Tag Archives: dreams

The Stuff Dreams are Made of . . .

ALC Design Studios 380 S. Lake Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101

Are you guys ready for summer? This is the last week of school for my kiddies. I’ve been lying low, dealing with some health issues, + taking a break from social media among other things.  I haven’t been able to get to the studio regularly so I’ve been working from home a lot. I posted the picture above to remind myself that dreams really do come true. For years I dreamt of having my own space to work from and I just realized that in a few short months I will have been at the studio for a year! It sounds crazy,  I swear this has been the fastest year of my life!  God is so good. I just have to give thanks.!!! Anyway, I’m excited about summer’s swift approach. I’m looking forward to our schedules relaxing a little as far as drop offs + pick ups go, and I’m excited about lazy summer evenings and beach sunsets. How about you? Do you have any trips planned? What are you looking forward to this summer?


Keys to the Kingdom . . .

Excitement abounds!! Got the keys to my new workspace!!

Excitement abounds!! Got the keys to my new workspace!!

Picked up the keys to my studio! After school yesterday the kids and I drove out to pick up the keys and do a little bit of last minute measuring. I’m so excited I could pop! This weekend will be filled with painting and moving. It’s definitely an answered prayer. God is so good. I’ve been gradually checking off things from my vision board in the last few years and it feels so amazing! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, but most of all I hope you are all reaching for your dreams. Just know that no matter how far away they may seem, they are still within reach.

Do you have a working vision board or a book that you put your dreams + goals in? 


Thankful Thursdays: Growth

Happy Thursday friends!  It has been at least a week since my last post, but I thank you for hanging in there with me. My plate is definitely full, and so are my days. Yet, I feel so blessed with the things God is placing in my lap. Slowly and steadily the vision for my business is becoming a reality and I see myself stepping up to the challenges and turning my goals and dreams into reality. It feels great!!! . . . and somewhat scary. I guess it is just fear of the unknown, and the fact that I like to think I am in control. I am learning everyday that I actually have more control of things when I do my part to the best of my abilities and then release it. Pretty simple when you think about it. Yet hard for a perfectionist/control freak to continuously grasp! :) However, I do see myself changing into the woman I have always known was somewhere deep inside. So, today I am thankful for growth, and the recognition of it.

What are you thankful for today?

Image via

Thankful Thursdays: The Job I Love.

Today is one of those days where I have about 5 different lists on my desk and 10 post-it notes on each list. Everything needs to be completed yesterday, and even though I feel slightly overwhelmed, I am doing the job I love. Each phone call, vendor inquiry, appointment scheduled, sketch approved, and item crossed off my list puts me that much closer to my dream. I am thankful for the opportunity to create my future and grow my business.

What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursdays: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Ayanna Listenbee Allegra Hobo

This is an image of one of my newest styles. Her name is Allegra (which is also my daughter’s middle name). I’m posting a picture of her for Thankful Thursdays because she represents a milestone in a long journey. I am still on the path to turning my dreams into reality, but I realize that each day that I am active in taking steps toward my goals, I am that much happier and that much closer to my goals. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs on this journey, but looking back, I would not change any of them. As I move forward, I can see and feel myself becoming stronger. Each day presents a learning opportunity, and an opportunity to use the knowledge I have gained from the days prior. Best of all, each new day carries with it a chance to create and change my future. This is truly a daily gift that I sometimes forget to be thankful for.

What are the little things that you are thankful for in your daily journey?

The Guest Room: Musings on Inspiration by Robert Anderson

I’m excited to introduce you to someone who is a constant source of inspiration in my life. My husband, Robert Anderson. Rob has recently begun to actively pursue a dormant passion of his, singing. I think it is important to pursue our dreams in the midst of our daily responsibilities. I asked him to share a little bit of his journey back to pursuing his passion.

Years ago, my best friend, Jiar and I began this process of what we called “continual refinement.” We would insulate ourselves from reproach by consistently doing what we believed to be right. We would continue to make ourselves better in every way we could surmise. We believed that by doing so, someday we would leave the world a better place than we found it. Jiar and I were two young inner-city youths cut from a different cloth; a cloth of growth, sewn together with the threads of aspiration and inspiration. We found ourselves earning Master’s degrees, taking second language courses and thus developing our talents.

Years later, while teaching a university course on foundational practices of academic success, I came across some readings about a Japanese business philosophy called, kaizen. Loosely defined, kaizen means continuous improvement. Little did I know that a decade earlier, Jiar and I had begun the journey of kaizen; the same philosophy that lead Japanese car companies to become the global leaders in auto manufacturing.  (Can someone say Toyota?)

Fast forward to 2011: After several noteworthy achievements and successes; balancing a fulfilling marriage, experiencing the joys of fatherhood, occupational bliss, and strong spiritual connection, there was one other passion that lie dormant.  My passion for singing! I had always considered myself a decent crooner, and after lending my talents to serve as a prelude to wedded bliss for dozens of couples and receiving hundreds of handshakes, hugs, and compliments in return, I felt pretty good about what I could do. But I knew I was not as good as I needed to be to compete with “the big boys” and take my rightful place among them. That was my new goal – Famous at 50; the oldest person to win a Grammy for “Best New Artist”.

Kaizen is still at work! Believe it, or not, I’ve gotten better! Because of my perseverance, prayer, and improved technical insight, I’ve been able to break through to that next level of vocal ability. For my first performance in many years, I contacted any and everyone who had ever heard me sing before and invited them to my show. I knew they would be in for an amazing night, and I did not disappoint.  I could see in the audiences’ faces; I had captured them. This was personal fulfillment at its finest! A few ladies from the audience even felt compelled to join me on stage. John Legend, “eat your heart out”!  It was such a wonderful feeling to affect people the way that I did that night. To make my loved ones proud, was one of the best feelings in the world.

I learned years ago that it is true, a universal truth- What goes around surely comes back around. All the work you put in, all of the strategic work (physical and mental) will converge into something beautiful, something magnificent, something worthwhile and fulfilling. A beautiful melody, poignant lyrics, and rhapsodic rhythms is my passion. The ability to create radiant smiles, and beaming pride is an honorable gift.  Our journeys lead us to discovering the gifts we’ve been given. This search confirms that living is a process. There are highs and lows, ebbs and flows, and embracing all aspects of the journey will help to refine us into our best selves.

Are there any passions lying dormant in your life?

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