A Gift for You from Sally Hogshead

Project Fascination Banner - 800

This post isn’t about me. It’s about YOU.

Branding expert and leading authority on the science of fascination, Sally Hogshead, has published her new book How the World Sees You on July 1, 2014.

To celebrate the insights gained from a decade of research, she is launching Project Fascination with the goal of showing 100,000 people how their personalities add value. As a part of this project, she’s given me a special code to share with you. The first 100 people who use it to take her Fascination Advantage® Assessment will receive the assessment for free! This has never been done before, and will only last until we reach 50,000 more assessment takers.

The best part is, you will trigger a chain reaction—a pay it forward situation. When you take the assessment using, you will receive 100 assessments to share with your circle for free, too! That’s $3700 of free market research at your fingertips!

So how do you take the assessment? Simple.

1. Like Musical Gems on Facebook.

2. Send me a message requesting the code. You will receive a response with it as soon as I am able to do so.

3. Go to How the World Sees You and use code.

4. Once you’ve taken the assessment, Sally’s team will load 100 assessments into your new account. Rinse and repeat. That’s it.

Now you’re ready to discover how your personality is custom built for certain situations, and which situations you should learn to avoid. And it only takes 5 minutes (you can even do it on your phone!)

28 questions. 5 minutes. A whole new way to communicate your value. Your Fascination Advantage® Report is the first big step towards knowing how your personality can be heard and remembered in an overcrowded market. Sharing the assessment will help others do the same. Find everything you need to put this knowledge into practice with your co-workers, close friends and significant other in Sally’s new book, How the World Sees You.

Remember that your code will expire once we reach 50,000 more assessment takers. Don’t let this $3700 value go to waste! Take the Assessment today and encourage your friends and followers to do the same.


Aaah! Joys of a Bubble Bath

Anyone remember baths with Mr. Bubble? That was a childhood delight of mine – a bubble bath. While I don’t indulge in bubble baths as often these days, I still love them. Since January 8th is Bubble Bath Day I may just celebrate.

At this time of year (and living in a cold climate), taking a bubble bath requires warming the tub with some hot water before I fill it. Once the metal warms, I enjoy adding my favorite bubbles or essential oils to the water. Often I bring in music selecting to play what appeals to me (maybe relaxing, maybe playful). Then, get in the water and enjoy. Often I take a few minutes to read while I enjoy the music, the aromas from the water, and the warmth. Sometimes I add a little more warm water to extend my enjoyment before drying off with a fluffy towel.

Want a few bubbly songs to get you in the mood? Try these:

I’m off to enjoy a bubble bath….Until my next post, I wish you a bubbly time!

Endings & Beginnings

Transition - New Beginning
Image by Mara ~earth light~ via Flickr

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. – Semisonic http://bit.ly/opy0d

As the year draws to a close and a new year begins, I am taking some time to review the year here on Musical Gems and to plan for the year at hand.

As part of my review I looked to see what created the most interest this year.   I wish to thank you for reading my posts, for sharing them, and for leaving comments. The top five viewed posts were:

  1. What Would Life Be Like Without Music?
  2. What are your six songs?
  3. Sharing Your Story, Making a Change
  4. Reflections on Music Therapy Conference
  5. Football fields are for Marching Bands (too)

Politics, fun challenge, advocacy, music therapy, and marching band…hum, things on which I have strong views.  Providing information others find useful, informative or fun is my goal. Please take a moment to answer this poll.

We’ll see what kind of exciting ideas we can share in 2012! I wish you much joy.

10 Steps to Giving Time

Christmas gifts.
Image via Wikipedia

There are many people out buying gifts these day. People are wrapping gifts. People (at least children) are asking for gifts. Some people are saddened to have little expendable income for gifts. Why not give the gift of yourself and your time?

Before you say you can’t wrap time and place it under the tree, hear me out. I have a way you can wrap it.

  1. Think of things the person receiving the gift enjoys. Examples might be having a cup of coffee, eating ice cream, walking, playing cards, bird watching, …you get the idea. Write those items down. Chances are several are things that cost little or no money.
  2. Think of things you can do for that person. For example, you can read to a young child or play their favorite game with them. For an older person, it could be running an errand, helping with a chore. Write these items down.
  3. Think of things they currently do that you could join in. Watching a game, attending a concert, play on a playground. Write those down.
  4. Figure out a time line – Whether it is one week, once a month, over a couple of weeks, it doesn’t matter. Find dates you can be available to them. You may need to look at times you are available, too.
  5. Create a calendar with the dates and times. You can keep it simple of decorate it.
  6. Neatly write out some select items from your lists you are willing to share with that person. Place each item in an envelope, small box, or fold the paper and wrap it with a ribbon.
  7. Place the calendar and the items together in  a box.
  8. Write a note explaining you are giving them yourself, your time as a gift. Inform them of scheduling the items found in the box.
  9. Place the note in the box. Close the box and wrap it.
  10. When they open the gift, take the time to allow them to schedule then record the events in your calendar.

I would love to hear how this gift works for you. Please share your experiences in the comments below.


New year streamer
Image via Wikipedia

According to Your Dictionary the word “expectation” refers to “believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way. (noun)”.  What a wonderful word to describe this time of year! There is a level of excitement, of wonder. Hope is creeping into our lives. We are in expectation of:

  • a new year
  • holiday presents
  • visits with friends/family.

On a personal level I am living in expectation of:

  • a new nephew
  • new business opportunities
  • time off with family
  • spring gardening
  • more freedom from clutter
  • offering more classes for preschoolers in Hays, KS
  • hosting some community events to share the love of music

Sometimes expectation has negative emotions tied to it. The expectation is for negative news. Maybe we feel this as we await biopsy results or preparing to say goodbye to a family member who is dying.  There is a tension and sadness with this form of expectation.

What expectations are you living with? How do they make you feel? Please share them in the comments below.

Stay home if you’re well!

the amber glow of november's end (hbw 1)
Image by jmtimages via Flickr

We all know the importance of staying home when you are ill. November 30th is Stay Home When You’re Well Day. Before I have a world full of bosses sending angry responses because everyone is calling off work, let me make it clear –

“I am not recommending  call in sick on November 30th and take a mental health day.”

Instead, I encourage you to do two things:

  1. Create a list of simple pleasures that bring you joy but maybe you don’t often include in your schedule. My items would include going out for a cup of great coffee, strolling through a beautiful garden, painting toenails with my daughter, reading a comedy. Get the idea – things that may not take much money.
  2. Schedule time in your calendar to do one of these items in the next week. 
    Just like a doctor’s appointment, honor that time – even if it is only 30 minutes.

Then, share what you did & how it made you feel in the comments below!

11-11 Moment

On The Front Porch
Image by larrymac via Flickr

Yesterday,the social media and the news were filled with comments of how special and unique 11-11 was. Why don’t we view each day as special  & unique? What would happen if we treasured more of our days in the same way? What would happen if we treasured a minute of each day?

I am currently listening to Victor Wooten‘s ” The Music Lesson” . Here is a “timely” quote which I listened to yesterday:

“Now listen here, son. How much of your precious little time is spent really becoming who you choose to be? Do you know? Actually all of it is, but you don’t know that it’s you doing the choosing. How much of that time is spent consciously making yo’self better? Not much. We can probably count that time in weeks, or even days…If you were to look back over yo’ Life, you could find time frames when yo’ actions did produce the outcome you were looking for. For example: you spent a few weeks learning how to walk, and you succeeded; you spent a few months learning how to talk, and you succeeded; you’ve spent years learning how to play the bass guitar, and you have succeeded. All the things that you’ve held yo’ mind to, you have accomplished, or will accomplish. You can believe that! And all of these time frames can be viewed as phrases.” pg 183

I challenge you to take moment every day and make it the best moment you can. Make is a snapshot worth moment! Find a way to record those moments – a photo, a journal entry. Cherish each day for the gift it is. Then, come back in a week and share how having a special moment each day has affected your life.

Until next week….

P.S.This is a very thought provoking book. I recommend having both the audio & written versions. The audio shares some wonderful insights while the written format allows you to reflect in a different manner.

Are you a dreamer?

Imagine - John Lennon's Memorial
Image by dimic- via Flickr

Today John Lennon would have turned 71. One of his songs that stands out is my memory is “Imagine“. In it speaks of being a dreamer. Of what do you dream?

I dream of:

  • slow walks on the beach
  • days filled with laughter & sharing with family and friends
  • listening to stirring music performances
  • health
  • wholeness

When I look at this list, I am amazed it all currently exists in my life. For that I am grateful. I also have dreams for the world, many of which Lennon shared in the song: peace, no hunger, freedom.

As you listen to “Imagine”, please take a moment to dream of what it is you want in your future. Then share it in the comments below or in your blog. ]

Happy dreaming!

What makes you smile like nothing else can?

Persian Smile
Image via Wikipedia

National Smile Day is October 7th. At Music Sparks I am sharing a post of smile songs. Which begs the question: “What makes you smile like nothing else can? Here’s my top 10 list:

  • A walk on the beach at sunset on a beautiful summer evening with my husband and daughter.
  • A warm cup of fresh coffee on a cold morning.
  • Cuddling by the fireplace with my hubby and a glass of wine on a fall evening.
  • Being with my Dad and siblings as we tell stories and share laughs.
  • Watching my husband conduct – especially one of his compositions.
  • Watching my daughter perform well in an ensemble or alone as an instrumentalist or a vocalist.
  • Spending time in my garden and seeing the fruits of my labor.
  • Making music with family & friends.
  • Being part of a moving worship experience.
  • A baby – human or animal.

What makes YOU smile like nothing else can? Share it in the comments below.

September Thoughts

Girl under leaves.
Image via Wikipedia

What things run through your mind when you hear September? Football? Cooler weather? Sweaters? Apple cider? Bonfires?

Living in the northern hemisphere, colored leaves becoming an increasingly familiar site. Seeing their bold color in the trees. Watching a leaf fall to the ground. The smell of leaves as they are raked and gathered from the lawn.

One of my joys as a parent was having my daughter help me rake the leaves into a pile. Before we would bag them, we would reward ourselves by jumping into the mound. As a child, I remember hours of entertainment from raking and jumping. Now my daughter is a teen. I tend to use the lawn mower to gather the leaves. But, maybe, just maybe I’ll let my inner child once more relish the raking, the jumping, the smell of fall leaves.