The New Year is not off to the best start. Poor little Daisy had to be rushed off to hospital yesterday, the special offer I planned to start running has been delayed, and Murphy’s law appears to be playing havoc with my business plan. Still, I know that letting myself sink into the quagmire of negativity won’t solve anything, so how does one boost morale when the chips are down?

Daisy wasn't happy about the visit to the vet, but she is on the mend now

Daisy wasn’t happy about the visit to the vet, but she is on the mend now

I’m a firm believer that the only difference between the entrepreneur who succeeds and the one who doesn’t, is that the successful one doesn’t give up. If one road doesn’t take them where they want to go, they find another, or as my friend John Paul DeJoria told Barbara Walters, “… Successful people, Barbara, do all the things unsuccessful people refuse to do, like stay enthusiastic when you keep on getting rejected.” Trust me, JP walks his talk. While his success has been astounding, I admire him most for his buoyant resolve and tenacity (plus he is a genuine person), but what if you’re not a naturally positive person?

Are you naturally wired negative or positive?

Are you naturally wired negative or positive?

I’m convinced people are born with their brains wired positive or negative. Staying positive does not come naturally to me, so I’m constantly working on reprogramming my thoughts. First and foremost, I make sure I am in a healthy environment. It’s simply counterproductive to surround myself with negative people when I’m struggling to correct my own thought process. I either want solution seekers around me, or I prefer to be alone. I’m also a visually sensitive person, so being in aesthetically soothing surroundings helps me exponentially. A more regular meditation practice wouldn’t go amiss either. It’s so important to be centered within yourself when dealing with outer turmoil.

Environment and grateful lists help!

Environment, meditation, and grateful lists help me – how do you adjust your attitude?

I also make grateful lists. I smirked at a friend who suggested this years ago, but I swear it does work! Okay, so a team member disappointed me  – a year ago I didn’t even have a team. I’m lucky to have help today. I’m also learning how to sort the wheat from the chaffe, and gaining insight into where my own communication skills need improving. Mistakes are just opportunities to grow.

Stay proactive - postive action yields positive attitude

Stay proactive – postive action yields positive attitude

The best way I know to pick myself up, and ward off the toxicity of fear, is to stay proactive. Okay, so plan “A” didn’t work – what other options are available to me that might still produce the results I’m striving for? Are there other avenues left unexplored? What research needs to be done, or what new skill might help propel me there? This old dog has learned more new tricks in the past few years than in the entirety of my academic education, and I’ve surprised myself by how voracious that appetite to learn actually is! When I take action a more positive outlook prevails.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Flip the bird to negative thoughts!

The reality is I can spin out over people and things I can’t control, or work on improving myself and the things I can change. I took Daisy to the vet, gave my colleague an extra couple days, and I’m working with my developer to resolve the technical issues. My new motto? When life hands you lemons, make…

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

Tangy and simple, yet sensationally flavorful, this is easily my favorite roast chicken recipe served with crispy roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips. What’s not to love with dinner in one pan?

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

  • 3 pounds roasting chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 4 lemons both zested and quartered (reserve 2 tablespoons zest for the rub)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped + 3 sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary chopped + 2 whole sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 pound baby Dutch potatoes
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 large parsnips peeled and chopped
  • kosher salt to taste


Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets and excess fat. Pat dry. Season the inside of the chicken generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, 1 tablespoon of Rosemary, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread evenly in the bottom of the roasting pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice one lemon in half. Stuff the sprigs of thyme, Rosemary and lemon halves into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and place on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan with the wings tucked under.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of lemon zest, black pepper, chopped thyme and Rosemary, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of remaining olive oil. Rub generously all over the outside top and bottom of the chicken. Season generously with salt.
  6. Quarter the remaining lemons and scatter around the chicken, in with the vegetables. Roast in the preheated oven for 1 – 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the chicken. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part without touching the bone should read 165° F. Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before carving to allow the juices to redistribute. Meanwhile, keep the vegetables warm in the oven.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the chicken and vegetables hot, and quickly deglaze the pan, scraping up any yummy gooey bits, then separate the fat, and pour the juices over the carved chicken.

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat in microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes; or heat in a 375° F preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until just heated through (careful not to leave in so long the meat becomes dry).

P.S. What tips do you have for picking yourself up when the going gets tough?

P.P.S. Writing this helped me lift a major funk I was in on Wednesday – it does work when your willing to make the effort.

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  • January 4, 2013
    8:28 am

    Another great blog, Julie Anne! I am also not prewired to be a positive person. It takes cognitive work for me as well. I hear people speak of positive thinking and read books on how to do it, but actually applying these principles is a whole different ballgame. I try to be thankful for what I have but can’t help being jealous of the things that I don’t. Definitely a work in progress. Just one look into Daisy’s sweet eyes lifted my spirits a little. Pets and children are true blessings (even when they are driving us crazy). My new year started off pretty rough too. I hope yours improves soon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and helping us turn lemons into lemon chicken. I’m gonna flip the bird at negative thoughts every chance I get (but not the one in your photo…he’s too cute to flip). <3 :0)

    • January 4, 2013
      8:43 am

      We’re all just a work in progress – I had to write the piece to pull myself up by the bootstraps. Your right – dogs and children ALWAYS lift my spirits too, and my grown up child arrives in less than a week, so I have SO much to look forward too – not least of which finally meeting the lovely man in her life face to face (she’s bringing him with her this trip).

  • January 4, 2013
    8:59 am

    First off… is Daisy ok? Poor little muffin!

    My facebook feed has been full of people hoping for a better year but it seems that illness, death and major items breaking down seems the norm. In my own little circle, a meeting with the police revealed their cold case department has been disbanded and any new tips will go through a hugely complicated process before even being investigated. Knowing three families personally and seeing the pain they go through each setback, I was knocked for a loop but constant reminding myself of the Dali Lama’s teachings and not wanting to let them down, it’s time to regroup and rethink. My father was a hugely positive person but my mother was the opposite. I prefer his outlook.

    The chicken is a favourite around here and the perfect comfort food. Great choice!

    • January 4, 2013
      3:50 pm

      Rachel – I know how much you care, and devote yourself to helping cold case victims’ families, and I’m so sorry they have cut the department. I’m sure even with hoops to jump through, you’ll find a way – you strike me as one extremely determined woman!

      Daisy will be fine – she must have gotten a splinter or something in her paw, and it had an angry infected by the time I noticed. I don’t usually dig deep into the bottom of her paws – but I noticed she was not her usual tail wagging self. Glad I got her there when I did.

  • January 4, 2013
    9:37 am

    Hoping Daisy is feeling better and on the way to having a new year filled with fun and health!

    The first week of the new year usually finds me down in the weeds and not feeling especially positive. Generally, it takes me a few weeks to find my footing and try to move forward. This year is no different. I know I need to make some decisions and these are causing me to worry too much, so I know I need to sit down, with paper and pen, write out what I need to do and then do it. Once I’ve made the decisions, I’ll feel better. Until I settle down, I’ll just have to let things percolate a bit, try to get back on a good schedule and only then will things fall into place.

    Hope everything works out on your end! It will, it just takes time and a lot of thought to make it all work the way it needs to. Sending you cyber hugs and powers!

    • January 4, 2013
      3:52 pm

      YES, I need to sit down and prioritize too.

  • January 4, 2013
    10:36 am

    Please let us know how Daisy is. I find several things help when I’m down. First of all talking about it. I often find that other people are or have been in the same situation. It’s nice to know your not alone, plus their experience helps get thought it…most of the time.
    Second, cooking a yummy treat and if all else fails I get a pedicure or something like that.

    • January 4, 2013
      3:53 pm

      Did Tatjana put you up to that Suzanne? She arrives on Monday, and has been bugging me about when we can go to get pedicures – it’s one of her favorite mother-daughter excursions.

  • January 4, 2013
    10:51 am

    I’m definitely wired to be positive… It doesn’t mean I’m not a wicked bitch though. I’m just a happy one. 🙂 haha My number one attitude adjustments are: Great music, laughing with friends, sleeping and “me time.”

    • January 4, 2013
      3:55 pm

      Laughing feels SO good, and something Daisy makes me do almost every day.

  • January 5, 2013
    1:54 am

    I’m not a positive person however it is a work in progress. My positive affirmation books are a huge help as well as my two little angels Mia and Jack. I just look at their smiling faces and anything remotely negative just vanishes.

    I bet that parcel waiting for you Jewels, will make you smile 🙂

  • January 5, 2013
    1:08 pm

    2012 ate the last shred of positivity I had, lol!

    I’m so sorry to hear about Daisy, I hope she’s on the mend!

    Rachel – that’s terrible! But I do know that you are one hell of a resourceful woman. While it’ll be more work, you’re still a huge source of support and advocacy for these families.

  • January 11, 2013
    5:54 pm

    For the most part I am a naturally positive person. Just yesterday my best friend Monica told me that I did not even realize how much of an inspiration I am to the people around me because I always have an upbeat attitude and offer words of encouragement. That absolutely floored me! I never really took the time to consider how others view me–I feel that I am just being myself by doing these things–it comes naturally. I have always felt that it’s best to treat people like I want to be treated. I also firmly believe we attract what we are. I am a spiritual person and find that prayer really helps me to feel at peace not only during stressful times in my life but on a daily basis. It is how I show my gratitude for everything that I am, all that I have, and all that I am hoping to become.

  • January 11, 2013
    5:57 pm

    Almost forgot to send my get well soon wishes to Daisy Boo! So sorry she was not feeling well but hope she is on the mend and able to get back to her usual spunky tail-wagging self real soon! :o)