Is there anything more satisfying and refreshing than a unique and perfect getaway, a great meal, a spirit-boosting motivational message, or being a parent to the world’s greatest kids? Here are five exceptional ways to soothe your soul …
Yep, it’s been a long year or so but the metaphorical sun is rising once again. Folks are venturing out, activities are resuming, and we’re returning to a once-familiar world that’s been on extended walkabout for too, too long. Today is the perfect day to imagine the possibilities.
GETAWAY: TREE-MENDOUS FUN!
Hidden amid Atlanta’s bustling and busy intown section is a most peculiar and perfect escape in the form of a three-unit treehouse named by Airbnb, Inc. as the world’s No.1 Most Wish-Listed Property. Generally, words like “urban” and “secluded” don’t pair well but in the case of Treehouse [with a guest rating of 4.95 stars], it works.
A suite of three cozy and beautifully furnished rooms connected by rope bridges, Treehouse delivers an intimate, simple and restful reprieve from all that sits sideways in your craw. Described on Airbnb as the essence of Southern graciousness, Treehouse’s three areas – Mind, Body and Spirit – sit among a lush canopy of green leaves and chirping birds, creating a dreamy and romantic escape that brings forth the kid in all of us.
Featured on The Today Show and in Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure and Harper’s Bazaar, Treehouse’s three areas deliver different experiences.
Mind is a sitting room with antique furnishings and artifacts, including 80-year-old windows of pressed butterfly wings, a plaster cast of a Siberian Tiger paw, fossils, a couch and chairs providing the perfect setting for settling in with a great book or a warm chat with a loved one.
Body is the bedroom, accommodating two guests, with high-end Parachute bedding [100% long-staple Egyptian cotton and pure linen]. The bed is wheeled, allowing it to be easily moved into the open air high above a gurgling stream.
Spirit is a hammock deck open to the elements and anchored by “Old Man”, a 165-year-old Southern Short-Leaf Pine and the largest of the seven trees supporting the suite. A highly efficient and quiet fan provides cooling during warm-weather months and a mattress warmer keeps you toasty when fall and winter come around. If it rains, simply sit back and enjoy Mother Nature’s soothing symphony on the tin roof. A completely private full bath is located in the lower level of the adjacent owner’s home for guest use and there’s free parking.
Treehouse rents for $389 per night. No pets, no smoking, no parties and no kids under age 12. [To view the Airbnb listing, visit Airbnb.]
Speaking of kids …
BE PROUD: RAISING SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
A recent article by author Amy McCready addresses a phenomenon that seems to have taken over young people in recent years and turned many of them into entitled, “me-centric” challenges.
What’s a parent to do? Change, that’s all.
McCready points the finger squarely at parents who don’t put down boundaries to keep kids in check and to teach them accountability and responsibility. Here are five practical strategies for saving your sanity and raising a son or daughter that you’re proud to say, “That’s my kid!”
Expect more. — Give your kids some credit. They can and should make meaningful contributions to the family. Expect “Family Contributions” [notice the word “chore” wasn’t used there?] on a daily basis and expect them to take on increasing amounts of responsibility through the years. When you hold your kids to a higher standard, they will meet, and often exceed, it. They’ll learn life skills and you’ll have paved the way for happier, more successful and self-sufficient human beings.
Give up on giving in. — Do you hear yourself saying “Yes” even when your brain says, “No”? It’s time to step up and have the courage to serve your kids with a firm “No”. They soon discover life won’t always go their way and, no, the world happens not to revolve around them. Stand your ground despite the unavoidable fit-throwing, eye-rolling, and pouting. You’re not “the bad guy” or a “meanie”, you’re being a good PARENT.
Hand over the reins. — When we rescue kids from their mistakes, intervene on their behalf, or smooth the way so life is easier for them, we are doing them a disservice. We’re robbing them of a learning opportunity — the chance to be responsible, to figure it out for themselves [which builds character and boosts pride], or to face a scary situation.
If kids don’t need to try, they generally won’t. It’s their responsibility to be responsible, plain and simple. Role-play with them so they learn how to have respectful conversations and learn problem-solving skills. You’re still there to support them — but they’ll feel so empowered by knowing they can handle challenging situations without you rushing in to rescue them.
Shut down the ATM. – You aren’t rich and money really doesn’t grow on trees [or in treehouses]. OK, maybe you are rich and you can lavish things on your kids. Don’t.
Instead, set a specific allowance amount per week for each kid in exchange for “Family Contributions”. Develop a list of expenses your child is expected to cover – a tasty treat at the candy counter, school lunches, school clothing, entertainment and, later, gas and auto insurance. Kids need to “learn to earn” and that starts at home.
Un-center their universe. – Research consistently shows those with an “attitude of gratitude” in life are happier, less depressed, take stress in stride, and approach life with healthy optimism. Yes, it takes practice but it’s a critical life message for the young ones. Model responsible behavior and let them know the world doesn’t owe anyone anything. We all must do our part to make it a better place. Practice daily gratitude rituals at home, do random acts of kindness, and seek opportunities to serve others throughout the year. Your reward and theirs is a more rewarding life. [To order The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic on Amazon, visit Amazon here: Amazon Books ]
Speaking of rewards …
DISCOVER: PETIT ST. VINCENT
A rewarding experience awaits you on the privately owned island Petit St. Vincent, the southernmost link in the St. Vincent and Grenadines archipelago. The entire island is a resort, featuring 22 one- and two-bedroom cottages and villas. “PSV”, as it’s colloquially known, is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the Worldhotel chain.
Rimmed with two miles of white-sand beaches, PSV also includes gently rolling hills and tropical woodlands in its interior region. Temperatures are a steady 84-86 degrees year-round and tradewinds keep the air refreshing.
In 1963, Haze Richardson and Doug Terman hosted a family aboard their 77-foot schooner, Jacinta During the three-week cruise, one of the guests expressed interest in purchasing an island and building a small hotel. Richardson and Terman eventually purchased Petit St. Vincent from a lady on Petit Martinique, oversaw construction of the resort and never left. PSV now includes recently renovated cottages, a new beach bar and restaurant, and a spa. A dive center was opened by Jean Michel Cousteau in 2014. Is it time you booked a reservation? [Visit the resort island’s website at: https://www.petitstvincent.com/ ]
Speaking of books …
GREAT READ: SOCIALNOMICS
If you’re looking for a fascinating read, I recommend Socialnomics by Erik Qualman who also happens to be a captivating motivational speaker.
Amazon says, “Socialnomics is an essential book for anyone who wants to understand the implications of social media on our daily lives and how businesses can tap the power of social media to increase sales, reduce marketing costs, and reach consumers directly”. Recently updated, Qualman presents fresh material based on recent meetings with 75 Fortune 1000 companies, 50 colleges and universities, and more than 100 small businesses and non-profits. Qualman’s theories are embraced by corporate giant IBM, NASA and Harvard Business School.
In Socialnomics, you’ll read about:
- Top-10 easy opportunities companies and organizations miss with social media
- Where social media belongs in an organization and necessary building blocks for success
- Why more than 50% of companies still block social media to employees and how this is a detriment to success
- Proper social-media training methods for your entire organization
- Reviews of companies, organizations and individuals effectively leveraging social media, including what helps them stand apart from the competition
[To order Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business on Amazon, visit here: Amazon ]
Speaking of social …
PLATEVIBES: OPEN YOUR HOME TO A MASTER CHEF!
For an over-the-top hosting experience, gather up to 18 friends at your home and have PlateVibes and Master Chef Liz Linn [or one of her cadre of trained chefs] demonstrate their culinary wizardry. A 2019 finalist on Gordon Ramsay’s popular television show, MasterChef [Season 10], Chef Liz teaches “on-the-fly” cooking lessons while you and your guests relax and let the salivary glands go into overdrive.
She specializes in “seasonal, vibrant food with exciting flavors”, sourcing locally grown fresh ingredients and/or preparing a customized menu based on your taste preferences. If you happen to find yourself heading to sea — perhaps aboard your own 77-foot schooner — welcome Chef Liz aboard. She recently completed her Ship’s Cook 2020 training and certification and is now available worldwide for freelance chef bookings on private yachts and charters, and at offshore estates. [To learn more about PlateVibes and Chef Liz Linn, visit: PlateVibes ]
Let me just say, it’s grand to once again be able to relax and imagine the possibilities!