Monday, February 22, 2010

Living Your Five gets a new home!

Happy Monday!

This week, instead of posting our normal Five updates, we have very exciting news to share! As of today, we're breaking down the walls and giving Living Your FiveTM wings. :-) Check out its new home on the web!

In the beginning, we thought keeping all of our posts together, along with your comments about what you were doing to live your Five, would help create a central place to cheer each other on as we work together to change our world.

What we found, after chatting amongst ourselves and with you, was that we all wanted more freedom to spread the Living Your FiveTM message. Many of you are posting your Fives and your progress to your own blogs just as we'd hoped. And really, that's the whole goal of LYF. To reach as many people as we can with the Living Your FiveTM way of life.

To encourage that even more, we're going to follow your lead! Rather than confining our posts to a single location, we're going to be moving our Five updates to our own blogs and encouraging other people to keep blogging their Fives and progress too. The more people we can reach, the more momentum we gain in our quest to make a huge collective difference in our world!

Now, as sometimes happens, life can throw you a curveball. Our own Becca knows that well and will be stepping down from Living Your FiveTM. We adore Becca and know that even though she may not be posting about her Five, she's still all about living her Five. And that's what matters most. :-)

So... from now on, Alyson, Tera and I will be doing monthly posts on our blogs sharing our Five progress. And we would love for you to keep doing the same. Talk about your Five, blog about your Five... help us spread the Living Your FiveTM message!

Oh, and as a special bonus, we've made becoming an Honorary Fiver even easier! Now you can become an Honorary Fiver whenever you're ready - no need to wait for a first of the month post.

Cool, right?

Check out the details at and join in the fun! And stay tuned to our blogs for more stories about how we're living our Five:

- Kay Cassidy:

- Tera Lynn Childs:

- Alyson Noel:

Come share your journey with us and keep Living Your FiveTM!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Living Your Five presents... Calling All Young Eco-Heroes!

Are you an 8-16 year old who LOVES all things green and eco-friendly? Do you get involved in projects to help the environment?

If this is you, Action for Nature wants to hear from you!

This international environmental organization is sponsoring its sixth year of the International Young Eco-Hero Awards, offering cash prizes of up to $500 for kids making a difference in the environment around the world. Find out more details about this great program here:

The deadline for entry is February 28, 2010. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tera's Five -- Traveling Light

Exciting things are on my horizon. In a couple weeks I will be starting off on a multi-week travel adventure that will take me to New York, across Canada, down to San Francisco, and then on to Houston for a conference. That's a long trip, many different activities, and a variety of climates.

My first instinct was to pack a lot. I'd need professional clothes for New York and Houston, comfortable clothes for travel days, warm clothes for Canada's cold climate, and decent-looking clothes for sightseeing. All that packing would mean a lot of shopping.

But then I realized how hard it would be to travel with all that stuff. And how much all that stuff would cost. And would having three sets of professional clothes and hiking boots really make my trip that much more memorable? Only if I want to remember the hernia I get from lugging my bags around.

So, in keeping with my Five ideals of Wiping Out Waste, Making the Little Things Count, and Going Green, I've decided to minimalize my packing.

  1. I ordered a new, ultra-light, carry-on-sized suitcase that doesn't waste a single ounce.
  2. I limited my clothing shopping to the absolute necessities: new underthings, an all-purpose fleece jacket, and a pair of perfect booties that are comfortable, fashionable, and look just as cute with jeans as with a dress.
  3. I also ordered a new netbook computer with a full-sized keyboard, since I'll have to write and work a lot on the road, but my old netbook is not going to waste. My parents will be (re)using it at trade shows for their business.
  4. I'm taking my trusty Sony digital camera, despite the lure of buying a smaller, lighter, more advanced one. It still takes great pictures.

I'm pretty proud of the fact that, despite the lure of the shopping mall, I'm keeping my trip preparations to the minimum. Other than the above, I'm only taking items I already have. And all my purchases are solid investments that I'll use for years to come.

Are you Living Your Five?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Living Your Five presents... Paying It Forward ala Kay

Happy Friday! This week is the final installment in our series about paying it forward with a question we posed to all the Fivers:

What is your favorite way to pay it forward to other people?

Here's how I answered that question:

If I could only pick one way to pay it forward for the rest of my life, it would be to cheer others on to success. Yes, I'm a former college cheerleader, but that's not the kind of cheering I mean. (I'm not sure I'd fit into my old skirt anyway!)

I'm a big believer in pursuing your dreams and embracing your full potential. So much so that's encouraging and supporting people to do the same is one of my Five! To me, there's nothing more fulfilling and emotionally satisfying than seeing someone who has worked so hard finally achieve their goal. There's nothing like it!

This is why I love the Olympics. Those athletes have been training for most of their lives for this one shining moment and only one of them can be the winner. What an extraordinary thing! But those moments happen every day to people all over the world.

-- The student who studies extra hard to understand geometry, going over it and over it until they finally ace a test.

-- A writer who toils in private for years honing their craft and finally sells a novel so the whole world can read their words.

-- A pet foster parent who lovingly nurtures an abandoned animal in need despite the sometimes overwhelming challenges and finally earns its trust and love.

It's so easy on the path to success to simply give up when it gets tough. To say "This isn't worth it" or "I'll never get it" and stop just shy of greatness. So when someone perseveres--really gives the best they have inside them--that is worth more cheers than I can possibly muster. But I'll give it my best every time because they deserve all that and more.

I absolutely believe we are all capable of accomplishing anything we set our minds to. So go for it... I'll be here cheering you on!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kay's Five - Girls Retreat, low-VOC paint & chocolate pie

In keeping with my tradition of always incorporating food references into my Five posts... ;-)

Last week, I hosted a Girls Retreat at my house. I had friends in from around town and out of town and we spent the day talking about what's going on in our lives and how we can support each other as we all work to create more balance and harmony in our lives this year. This kind of positive atmosphere--combined with my friend Celesta's decadent chocolate pie--was exactly what Make family and friends a priority is all about.

I just wish I'd taken pictures of the pie. Seriously... SO good.

In preparation for the retreat, I decided to finally finish decorating our house. We built our home several years ago and, for reasons I cannot fully comprehend, I opted to leave it sort of half decorated since. I have a habit of this, actually. We usually wait until right before we sell a house to rush around finishing all of those projects that make a house a home. And then stand there looking at the house and say, "Why didn't we do this years ago when we could actually enjoy it?"

With decorating on the agenda, I knew eco-friendly was the way to go for my Live a greener life commitment. The best thing I did was buy the same paint I've used in our last three houses: Glidden's Lifemaster 2000 paint (now called Lifemaster No VOC). It's the greatest thing ever, I'm telling you. The smell is so pure my family doesn't even know I'm painting. You have to buy it from a Glidden store (they don't sell it at home improvement centers), but it's basically the same price as the premium home improvement store paint.

When we first moved in, our local home improvement center was selling a "Low VOC" paint that I decided to try for one room. BIG mistake. It smelled so bad that we had to air out the room for two days before moving the furniture in. I've never found another paint that compares to Lifemaster. I actually heard about it from watching a This Old House episode several years ago. (And no, I don't secretly work for Glidden. LOL.)

Now technically, it's not "No VOC" once they add color dyes to it. So to keep things on the eco side, I chose a beautiful low-VOC color called Bavarian Cream that adds a lovely warmth to the walls without tons of dye additives. I'm addicted to this color, I think. I've used the same exact color in our last three houses. It just has a wonderful warm, cozy feel.

So that's what I've been doing to Live My Five. What new and exciting things have you been up to lately?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Living Your Five presents... Honorary Fiver Day!

Welcome to Honorary Fiver Day!

We'll be hosting this event on the first Friday of every month. Honorary Fiver Day is your chance to become a bonafide Honorary Fiver member of the Living Your Five community.

To become an Honorary Fiver, all you have to do is share your Five in the comments on this special Honorary Fiver post. Let us know the five areas you want to make a difference in!

Once you've shared your Five on this post, you are officially an Honorary Fiver and have our permission to nab this cute logo (designed by our own fab Tera!) to place on your blog or web site. Cool, right?

What does being an Honorary Fiver mean?

Being an Honorary Fiver means you're ready to join us in our quest to change our world... one person and one Five at a time. But posting your Five in the comments area of an official Honorary Fiver Day post is just the beginning. We want you to keep us posted on how you're doing on your Five! Any time one of us posts about our progress, please chime in and share your Five news too. Tell us what great things you're up to. All Fiver progress is worth celebrating, big steps and baby steps alike!

The more action we take, the more excitement we spread, the more momentum we build... the more impact we make as a Fiver community!

And yes, we encourage you to post about your Five progress on your own blogs too if you wish. Blog your Honorary Fiver hearts out, we say! Just remember to post your progress on Living Your Five too so you can inspire the rest of our community. :-)

An important note to keep in mind...

One of the tricky things about creating your Five is distinguishing between something that's beneficial to you vs. something that's immediately beneficial to others. Even we had to stop ourselves on occasion and ask "Who is really benefitting from this?"

Your Five must be things that directly impact others in a positive way, not something that is primarily for your own personal benefit.

In addition to our Fives, Alyson, Tera, Becca and I are all actively pursuing our own kinds of personal development. That's just part of being the best we can be. But that's a personal endeavor, not a Fiver endeavor.

Here's an example of what I mean:

Things like regular meditation and spiritual development are for your own personal growth. They're lovely goals, to be sure. And they may very well improve your ability to carry out your Five. But those goals would not be part of your Five themselves because the person who benefits most is you.

Stick to things that directly and obviously impact others first and foremost, whether those others are people, animals, the Earth, or whatever you happen to care about. Don't worry... if you're like us, there will be way more than just five things in your "Impacting Others" column.

NOTE: You must post your Five here to become an Honorary Fiver, even if you've already shared it in the comments of a non-Honorary Fiver Day post. (Having all of the Fives together on these special Honorary Fiver Day posts is the only way we can keep track of our growing Honorary Fivers membership.)

And now, without further ado, I introduce... YOU!

So there you go, dear readers! If you're ready to step up to the plate--Welcome! We're thrilled to have you aboard!--now is your time to shine. Share your Five in the comments below, nab the Honorary Fiver logo for your blog or web site, and go change your world!

Are you ready to Live Your Five?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Alyson's Five-You're never too young to make a difference in the world!

So I just realized that even though my Fifth Five is hugely important to me, other than keeping my vow to uphold my end of it, I've yet to post anything about some of the incredible people who are reaching far beyond their own self interests to do something positive in the world.

And when I read THIS, I knew I had to start here!

For those of you who are click shy, the story I'm referring to is that of Charlie Simpson--a seven year old boy from West London who, wanting to do his part for the people in Haiti, ended up raising the equivalent of $240,000.00 to aid them!!

How awesome is that?

And it just goes to show that you're never too young (or too old!) to make a difference!

Also, on the Random Acts of Charity front, well, I'm gearing up to donate a ton of stuff I no longer need . . . but I'm not done yet, so more on that to come . . .

What about you? Are you living your Five?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kay's Five - Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, good friends & more!

Has anyone noticed that food plays a role in many of my Five updates? ;-) Lots of fun stuff to report this week.

On the living green end, I took a massive van load of recycling to an out of town recycling place since our local recycler doesn't accept them. We also got a new security system put in recently and the installer asked if I wanted him to throw out the old components for me. Since I know electronics have to be disposed of carefully because they can be hazardous materials, I told him I would take care of it. I'll be calling around to find out where to dispose of the electronics.

On the family and friends side, I held a Girls Retreat at my house on Saturday. It was four of my writerly friends and, whereas we often chat about career things, our focus this weekend was on how to create better balance in our lives while still pursuing our dreams. It's amazing how many struggles we share, regardless of where we are in our writing careers. Being able to talk openly about it and share support and ideas was invaluable. As was the wonderful array of goodies, from decadent chocolate pie to pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I'm incredibly grateful for my wonderful friends. And, okay, for the sweets too. ;-)

What about you? What have you been doing lately to Live Your Five?