Consider What You Don’t See, Hear, and Know


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This is what you see: She walks into the coffee shop and orders a coffee to go. When her order is ready, she is not satisfied. Slamming the coffee down, she demeans the barista by insulting their profession and competency.

Now consider what you do not see: At home, she is criticized by her family. Nothing she does is right. She is pursuing a new career that on the outside, seems irresponsible and impossible. Receiving no support from friends or family in her pursuits, she in turn, internalizes everything. When she looks in the mirror, all she can see is a failure.

This is what you hear: He calls his doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. When offered the soonest date, which is two weeks from now, he yells at the office receptionist. He demands to be seen that day and yells obscenities.

Now consider what you do not hear: His stomach turns in terror. Thoughts of doom spin around his mind, as he sees the mysterious lump in the mirror. He noticed it on his throat a couple days ago and it appears to be growing. His last round of chemotherapy was a decade ago. Then, the cancer seemed beatable. However now, he isn’t so sure. He is a dreamer, whose ambition to sing on Broadway may be ended by this lump. All he hears is a shattering of dreams that he hoped to accomplish.

This is what happens: The child throws a toy at their teacher who is playing with another child. The teacher takes the toy away and puts the child in the corner. The child kicks another child who was picking on them. The teacher disciplines the child again by taking away recess. When the child shares what they wants to be when they grow up, the entire class and teacher laugh. The teacher tells the child that could never happen.

Now consider what you don’t know: The child comes from a broken home. When living with either parent, the child is ignored. The child is desperate to gain attention, regardless of punishment for misbehaving. The child kicks and screams. The only attention the child receives is abuse. At home, the child draws pictures of the moon. When one of their drawings are seen, the parent crumples up the picture and laughs at the child. The child begins to believe the mocking and forgets their dream to go to the moon.

Consider what you do not See, Hear, and Know.

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahFehrenbach. All Rights Reserved.

Ghouling Ghosts, Turkey Gobblers and Chubby Santas: Beware


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Holidays and school events, birthdays and special occasions overwhelm the buzzing months of October, November, and December. Rushing to and fro, fulfilling obligations to committees and impromptu events that require your expertise and/or participation. Your eagerness for the holidays has you RSVPing to multiple parties months in advance, with little thought of time or your availability. A holiday sensory overload occurs, after you attend your fifth Halloween part. However, you have little time to consider this, as you know you have a dozen other holiday parties to attend in the next three months.

Before you know it, time has elapsed. While, you run around like a turkey with your head cut off, you realize two weeks has gone by without a workout. Your gym membership keychain begins to mock you, as you nosh on leftover Halloween candy. The dress you hope to wear New Year’s Eve hugs tightly around your middle, causing you to regret that second piece of pumpkin pie. The only item that fits you the day after New Year’s Eve is your grandmother’s knitted Christmas sweater that is the perfect blend of tacky and bulk.

To the super womans and super mans out there who have the willpower of Jillian Michaels to say no to goodie, and find ease in finding time to work out, I take my hat off to you. For those who do not posses this super power or an energizer bunny quality, you are not alone.

In the following blog posts, you will be assisted and reminded of well-known fitness tips, as well as some lesser known hacks that will beat the bulge and allow you to indulge. These will not be get-thin quick schemes but will be simple and achievable tips for the average Joe and Jane.

All you need is a willingness to be creative and ready to go against the grain of holiday season norms.

Here’s to good health!


Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahFehrenbach. All Rights Reserved.

Title Credit: Heather Lawton (


The Best of the Best: Coffee Shops for Everybody


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Coffee, coffee and more coffee!

The following are eight coffee shops in the San Diego County that have proven to be the best of the best.

1. The Best Eclectic Café: Café Bassam>Banker’s Hill<

An assortment of antiques and knickknacks await you in this café of sorts. Café Bassam is the perfect choice for coffee and tea drinkers alike. Enjoy the array of items covering the walls and allow your minds to wander in this place of imagination and originality.

2. The Best Writer’s Haven: Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse >Seaport Village<

Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling, Homer and Jane Austen, and others, fill the walls of the Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffeehouse. These pioneers of creativity ensure an unstifled imagination. Don’t wait! The great minds of literature anticipate your arrival.

3. The Best Latte Art: Lofty Coffee Co. >Encinitas<

Tulips and hearts grace the latte cups, served by the talented team of baristas at Lofty Coffee Co. This coffee shop presents quality and artistry in every food and beverage served. This fun environment is ideal for the family and individual, writer and surfer.

4. The Best Coffee Brew: Donut Bar >Downtown San Diego<

The Donut Bar has revamped the usual coffee and donuts. Hands down, Stumptown coffee conquers all coffee rivals with its rich and savory flavor. To add to the greatness of this place, unique donut options (vegan, too) are served and change daily. Say goodbye to a boring breakfast!

5. The Best Iced Coffee: Clair de Lune Coffee Lounge >North Park<

The art of creating iced coffee satisfying to your palate is a difficult task. The coffee strength, amount of sweetener (or lack of), brewing time and so on, determine the success of this tricky beverage. Clair de Lune Coffee Lounge has outshone other coffee shops/houses with its wonderfully crafted iced coffee. Savory notes of caffeine deliciousness quench your thirst in every sip. NOTE: If you’re not a fan of sweet, like me, ask for it to be unsweetened. It tastes great!

6. The Best Reader’s Paradise: Barnes and Noble >Specifically Mira Mesa<


Unlike any library or bookshop, Barnes and Noble invites the reader into an environment of fandom and reader devotees. Wall to wall shelves of books and catalogues, cafés providing items to satisfy even the fussiest appetite, await both novice and regular. After visiting several locations in San Diego County, the Mira Mesa Barnes and Noble café has proven the best. Its customer service and large variety of books make this location the best reader’s paradise.

7. The Best Seating: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf >Specifically Carmel Mountain<

Many have experienced the irritating incident of walking into a coffee shop/house and seeing every seat taken. CBTL offers a variety of seating options for its patrons. Bear in mind, this fact does depend on time of day and location. In my opinion, the Carmel Mountain Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf proved to be the best. Its outdoor and indoor seating are ideal for the sunshine and enthusiast and air conditioning fans.

8. The Best Wi-fi: Starbucks >Specifically Mira Mesa<

Its vision and coffee, multiple locations and quality are some well-known qualities of Starbucks. However, one lesser known feature is its excellent Wi-Fi service. Unlike other coffee shops/houses, the amount of people using the internet does not determine the connection speed. Again, this bonus could depend on the location. In my experience, the Mira Mesa Starbucks location provides optimal Wi-Fi. Word to the wise, this is a busy location-try to arrive  at non-peak hours to obtain a great spot.


Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahFehrenbach. All Rights Reserved.

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An Enthusiast of Fantastic Coffee: 8 Coffee Shops that Inspire


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Coffee shops and coffee houses, cafés and lounges continue to make their debut in becoming home away from home, a workplace and so on.

Dreams are accomplished, as well as discovered. Friendships are established, as well as old relationships rekindled.

Inspiration and innovation are encouraged in this environment of creativity.

The following eight coffee shops of San Diego county stand for originality and quality, consistency and artistry.

1. Café Bassam
Café Bassam is an eclectic coffee shop, perfectly situated in Banker’s Hill. While you sit and enjoy your beverage of choice, you feel removed from a world speeding by and are comfortably placed into a tranquil environment that mirrors a 1940s Parisian film.

2. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse
Placed strategically in Seaport Village, the Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse offers a glimpse into the minds of numerous greats that have impacted the literary world. Settees and vintage chairs decorate this hidden gem, inviting the bookworm, coffee lover, and tea drinker.

3. Lofty Coffee Co.
Within walking distance of Moonlight Beach, this coffee shop is known for its quality ingredients and unique latte art. From the moment you walk in, you are greeted by enthusiastic baristas and feel welcomed into a family of coffee lovers, as well as tea fans.

4. Donut Bar

Reputed for serving famous Stumptown coffee and unique donuts, the Donut Bar is a wonderful alternative to the ordinary coffeehouse. Surrounded by the buzzing city of downtown San Diego, the Donut Bar keeps pace with its patrons, by providing amazing service that matches the quality of its ingredients.

5. Clair de Lune Coffee Lounge

The phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies to the Clair de Lune Coffee Lounge. Despite its lackluster exterior, this charming coffee shop is inspired. The rich history behind this lounge runs parallel with the surrounding North Park community. Warm hues and full arches, welcome individuals from all backgrounds and offers an ambiance of comfort and individuality.

6. Barnes and Noble


Barnes and Noble is a dream come true to book lovers and fandom memorabilia collectors. This company has taken it one step further in providing cafés where its patrons can enjoy the Harney and Sons tea collection, while reading their favorite book. With chain companies, location is everything. Personally, I found that the Mira Mesa Barnes and Noble excelled in providing quality and comfort to its regulars and newbies.

7. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf offers a distinct environment that maintains a personal touch, in the midst of running a business. Its surplus of seating options and friendly employees add to your visit. As mentioned above, location matters. In my experience, the Carmel Mountain CBTL offers the best seating options and its baristas always greet you with a smile.

8. Starbucks

Starbucks’ reputation of consistency and quality is well-known. This coffeehouse offers an artistic vibe that mirrors the surrounding community. Maintaining its reputation of providing the same drink, all over the world, has been tested and proven time and time again.


Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahFehrenbach. All Rights Reserved.

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Coffee is Always a Good Idea


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Coffee and Paris hold a unique history, as well as a taste of ingenuity in every moment. Each have invited romantics and entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers to its alcove of solitude and adventure.

These two muses have influenced the film and music industry, and continue to contribute to the culture of today.

This is seen in Audrey Hepburn’s famous quote from Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.” The Friends cast, frequenting the Central Perk and enjoying their coffee in iconic coffee mugs. Lucille Ball drinking coffee on a regular basis, throughout I Love Lucy. These and other examples encourage the viewer to travel and taste all that adventure has to offer.

A part from the obvious glamour of Paris and its appeal to the traveler and artist, it is not always possible to visit.
On the other hand, coffee, a delicious treat that is chic in nature and delicious in taste, is accessible to the average Joe or Jane.

So when you long and dream to visit Paris, sit and enjoy your coffee. For in doing this, you will not only benefit from dreaming, but you will also gain from the following five items below.

Whether you are studying for a test or creating an idea to further your dream, coffee is always a good idea. Its strong flavor and unique taste awakens your senses to creativity and hope.

In addition to improving the taste of food and idea, coffee sharpens your senses to a world of possibilities. You will leave no stone unturned and will wish to investigate every outlet.

Regardless of your preference of a black coffee to a latte, an Americano to a frappuccino, this beverage is sure to comfort the drinker.

Many health benefits have been linked to the consumption of coffee. The possibility of lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and an increase in physical performance are some advantages to drinking coffee.

A new experience and an old memory are guaranteed in every sip.
New moments involving a greater understanding of what the world holds; and old memories that feature mom drinking coffee during her morning devotions. These and other times will carry on through the years.

Thus, remember this:
Dream About Paris and Know That Coffee is Always a Good Idea.

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

Coffee & Eiffel Tower Photo Credit:

6 Common Phrases with a Theatrical Background


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Cinema and stage have contributed to a variety of venues that have carried through the years of progression and change. Story lines based on invention and historic creativity, performers surpassing society limitations and ideals that have spurred on individuals to pursue dreams. Its impact has even permeated the English language with well-known phrases.

The following are six common expressions used in the work place and home, school and in general conversation.

To “put your best foot forward” dates back to the late 18th century. During this era, also known as the period of the dandy (men who placed stock in their appearance, speech, etc.), male models assumed one leg was more attractive than the other. Bearing this in mind, the model would place their desirable leg first, while leaving the other, more “repulsive” leg in the background. Presently, this phrase is said to those going in for an interview or first day on the job, and so on.

A superstition based on the belief that when one wishes a performer “good luck”, their wish would induce bad luck. Therefore, they would employ the opposite affect and wish they “break a leg”, to guarantee in their superstitious mind that the performer would do well. This is similar to the opposite game, played by children of the past and present.

This Irvin Berling song, first featured in the musical Annie Get Your Gun, is a satirical salute to the fame of show business, while the truth is that show business is not so glamorous. A saying used mostly behind the scenes of theater, has been said in moments of frustration with work, regardless of occupation.

Before the electric age, stage lighting was created by directing a flame at calcium oxide, which would then create a lime coloring. Thusly, the performer was spotlighted by a limelight. This expression is utilized when someone demands being the center of attention. Although its origin did not hold an unpleasant meaning, today’s use of this word is not a compliment.

Staging is to put together a theater production as well as, planning out events to create a certain effect. This technique is used in Zen, which holds the belief that when furniture and decor are arranged in a specific way, it will produce a calm atmosphere.

This idiom holds a negative sense in theater, as well as in the real world. Upstaging is when an actor purposely draws attention to themselves, by moving ahead of another actor on stage. Moreover, when a coworker attempts to upstage you at work, it’s not only irritating but downright rude.

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

What Disney and Mom Never Told You About Planning a Trip


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Disney movies and moms have worked together, for one cause in children’s lives: to dream and live.

A goal of exploration and living that will open eyes and minds to a world of possibilities.

In stating this, the subject of travel, as with many things in life, goes beyond dreaming and planning. You have to consider the ins and outs that will result in an affordably smart adventure.


Online travel agencies provide an affordable option to adventurers of all incomes and lifestyles. Its easy to use system makes you aware of money-saving techniques and unique deals. Listed below, are some agencies that uphold the importance of saving money and living a full life.

Travelocity is by far my favorite agency to go through. Its offer to “book now pay later”, “free cancellation” option and tasteful website make the research and booking process stress-free.

> has proven itself in its excellent deals. If you are someone who prefers numbers to stars for guest ratings, this website is for you. Its straightforward appearance may be harsh for some in its red and white hues; however, this same approach keeps you on task to finding great deals.

Expedia goes one step further. Not only is this agency easy to navigate, but also offers lower deals than Travelocity. My favorite feature of this website is the homepage picture. Some type of adventure is captioned for you to imagine yourself there, inviting you in.


Dreaming about the place or places you wish to travel will open your eyes to a world of possibilities and exploration. Whether you are a planner or a “from the seat of your pants” individual, use your imagination. The sky is the limit.


Destination is only part of the decision to be made in taking a trip. Timing is crucial in more ways than one. Consider when off-season is, the time of year you wish to travel and how long you would like to visit.

Another thing to keep in mind is when you research and book. Typically, Thursday through Monday will feature offers that are $100 or more than offers presented on Tuesday and Wednesday. For example, when I researched my round trip plane ticket to Africa through Travelocity, on a Monday, it was over $1000. However, on Tuesday, the price decreased to $900.


Travelers hold differing views of what they value in a trip. Reading views on accommodations and other travel necessities is a good practice. However, weigh the negatives and positives. Some negative comments may be petty, while others might be cause for concern.


>Review the Amenities.
Do not speed past the fine print, when looking at hotels and other travel accommodations. See what your room will include and does not include. Unfortunately, I did not follow this tip when I visited San Francisco, last winter. The hotel did not provide a robe, which was a huge disappointment in a freezing room. Moral of the story: READ THE FINE PRINT!

>Is Parking Included?
Depending on the location and accommodation, parking may be included. On the other hand, some hotels and other lodgings require parking fees or do not offer parking of any kind. Further, do not be afraid to ask about valet. Many hotels offer this as a complimentary service to its guests.

>Are all Fees Included in the Final Price?
When purchasing your trip, confirm that all fees are covered in your final price. Some agencies will include everything, when some will not cover a resort fee, parking fee and so on.


The old bait-and-switch is an unpleasant device, commonly used in present day consumerism. Hotels, Airlines and online Travel Agencies have been known to use this technique by keeping track of browser history.

The attorney, Robert M. Weiss states: “With this enhanced technology, online companies have the potential power to use an unprecedented amount of consumer information in tailoring their pricing strategies.”

By deleting browser history, you will ensure fair prices that are solely based on true offers.


It’s always best to be prepared. Listed below, are some travel hacks that will save money and ensure a wonderful experience.

>Bring Your Own Sheets and Pillows.
You have heard the horror stories of hotel cleaning, or should I say, lack thereof. “The hotel pictures looked great online.” “It received good reviews.” These and other statements have been said after seeing the real condition of the place you will be staying at. Regardless of your repulsion to a room, most accommodations will refuse to refund the room. Instead of footing the bill for a room you do not sleep in, bring your own sheets and pillows. This will guarantee comfort and prevent bed bugs.

>Bring Your Own Breakfast.
Avoid the temptation of continental breakfast pastries and cost. Bring your own breakfast and enjoy lunch and dinner out on the town.

Why waste money on drinks in restaurants and hotel mini bars when you can save by bringing your own, favorite beverages? Stocking up for road trips is the perfect solution to having your drink of choice at an affordable price.

Go travel, explore and learn. Life awaits you.


Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

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Habits in the Midst of Chaos


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With many things in life, we develop methods and routines. The way we brush our teeth and get ready for the day, and so on. With a world
of chaos ensuing around us, these habits are an automatic response
of longing for consistency.

From a young age, self-reliance develops habits and in turn, creates an idealized notion that if we do everything we should, then nothing will go wrong.

This goes without saying, but we have no control; regardless of our constant habits. Traffic and natural disasters, blackouts and out of stock items; these and more contribute to this circus of life.

Instead of trusting in our habits and methods, there is One you can place your whole trust in. Jesus is a God of consistency and peace. These two attributes we are striving for, are indeed, promised in a life with Christ.

This world will continue to be a slew of disorder and your life will never be perfect. Regardless of what some religious leaders claim, God will not remove all of your problems and neither can you. However, you can rest in the fact that Jesus is bigger than the issues of life.

He has overcome this chaos.

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved

Our Journey Awaits


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A journey, adventure and a puzzle characterize marriage and/or being in a relationship. These three titles hold a similar undertone: new. Unfortunately, the monotony of life chips away the newness of a relationship. The mystery of it all fades as habits and personalities become second nature between you and your spouse/significant other.

Regardless of this truth, the newness of experiences does not necessarily have to wear off with years together.
In order to experience new things, you as the couple have to create limitless possibilities for yourselves.

A part from the standard venue of a date night, consider ideas that are out of the ordinary. The possibilities are endless, regardless of the size of your bank account.

Reasons You Should Do This
• New Experiences – Whom else would you rather gain new experiences with than your spouse/significant other?
• Mastery of Saving Money – When thinking outside of the box, new adventures might cost more than movie and dinner. However, the result will be worth it!
• Grow Closer to Each other – How can you not grow closer together when experiencing something like the running of the bulls or riding a subway for the first time? Imagine the stories you will have and the sites you will see!
• Turn Your “Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ves” to “We did it!” – Whoever said creating goals was a solo effort? As a couple, you will turn your wants and desires for adventure into reality.

Things Holding You Back
• Budget Costs – For some, date nights and bucket list items may be out of your price range. But do not allow this to hamper future expeditions. Save up, instead of dwindling money away for things in the present.
• Time Frames – As with budget costs, your time frame may not allow for some date ideas and bucket list items. Plan! (Even if it is 10yrs in advance.)
• Impossible Expectations – The hazard with creating lists can sometimes be overwhelming. Be realistic when you are thinking out-of-the-box. If it is your lifelong goal to travel to the moon ($155 million round trip), then you might need to consider your income, and so on.

“Let the Fates Decide” (Date Jar)

My sister in law and her husband gave me the idea to pick dates from a “Date Jar”.
This nifty plan changes up their dates, as well as ensuring the anticipation for new experiences.

“The Zealous Planner” (Lists)

Making bucket and date lists are perfect for the individual/couple who loves organization. If you fancy bullet points, then creating checklists are the perfect formula for you to try out. Unexpected experiences can still happen for the detail-oriented planner.

“The Artistic” (Creative Monthly Dates)

Putting in the effort will guarantee the accomplished result. Imagine beyond the ordinary pen and paper and utilize different components. This will make the finished product appealing to the eye and will display your creativity.

“The Goal-Oriented” (Deadline/Plan)

The Deadline Approach is perfect for the individual/couple who have difficulty with finishing things. Setting a deadline will put the fire under you to experience new things that you have wanted to do as a couple but have not done in the past.

If you run out of ideas, here are some great resources:

Your journey awaits,

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.

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The Visionary and The Realist


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Being married to a visionary holds a variety of possibilities that surpass the contained mind of this realist. Thinking into the future can be frightening to one who loves to create lists and set high goals.

Unlike the realist who expects to accomplish every goal, regardless of its impossible time span or nature of that goal, the visionary can focus and achieve, as well as forgive missteps.

Similar to yesterday’s post on stereotypes and titles, the individual who identifies as a “realist” is not only limiting themselves in the eyes of society, but also in their own eyes. Fear of not being enough, which is according to their own standards, consumes them. These flawed standards are a perfectionist, almost Utopian, mindset that will produce disappointment and dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, the individual who identifies with being a “visionary” possesses a limitless identity. This outlook will lead not only to accomplished goals but will also guarantee a confident embrace of human error.

In stating this, consider who you want to be. Personally, the visionary seems more appealing.

Madam F.

Copyright © 2014 SarahHardy. All Rights Reserved.


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