What The Devil Whispers – How To Avoid Negativity And Boost Confidence


What The Devil Whispers podcast from Season I is all about getting back on track when those pesky, negative thoughts creep in.    

As such, when this so-called devil, negative voice, or whatever you want to call it starts to tell us lies. Their sole, evil mission is for us to believe them!

Tune in to our Podcast, “What The Devil Whispers,” as I run down through essential traps that we can easily fall into if we let the negative voice take over.

If you’ve been down lately and need a little pick me up, a little boost of confidence and clear voice that will turn you back on the right track in just a few minutes – this episode is for you!

No philosophy – just real life!

Let’s get started! 

Photo by Tamara Bellis

Hungry for some more content? Check out Quiet Moments And Instagram Noise. 

Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

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The Small Things That Give Us Big Feelings

The Small Things

Life can get over overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to if we only pause for a moment and recognize the small things that give us big feelings

We ran around doing one hundred things at once while trying to complete long to-do lists and take care of our family and loved ones.

And it’s no wonder! Because despite living in the 21st century, from what I see, women still do more. Perhaps because we’re natural caretakers or maybe because people expect us to perform in that way.

However, what if you could pause for a minute, and think about all the small things in life. Not big things. The tiny, little moments. The short small instances that bring you happiness. The small things that give you big feelings. 

What would they be?

Cozy Things

Maybe it’s your favorite comfortable, oversized sweater that you put on during a chilly evening.

Or, maybe it’s driving near a pretty road and seeing charming buildings and landscapes that put a smile on your face.

Or, just maybe, it’s a piece of delicious pastry in your favorite coffee shop.


Sometimes, we get so busy; we forget to stop for a bit and enjoy the simple moments. The few minutes that bring us small pleasures in life, and get us going through the day of the week—the little, obscure lifesavers. Without them, we would not be able to keep going.

An awaited dose of an invisible energy shot.

And, it’s through those quiet, ordinary instances that we get to appreciate life. The simplicity of being a human being. The beauty of the moment. The authenticity of it all.

What are some of the things that bring you small pieces of joy?

Here is a list of five things that bring me delight right now:

1. A long walk in nature on a weekday.
2. A cup of my favorite coffee – sipped slowly.
3. Putting on a new shade of lipstick.
4. The smell of fresh basil on my kitchen counter.
5. Taking photos of unexpected things.


Time is precious, and life is short – savior the small things now. Don’t wait for those big moments. They might never come. Don’t wait to eat out of that unique dinner set you purchased for a Christmas family event. Eat on it now!

Make every moment of your life count. Make it unique and enjoy the process.

A sad story.

There was once a nice old lady who passed away at the age of 90 years past. She died quietly in her sleep. When her children, who were already grown, organized a sale of her estate – they found lots of beautiful linens, precious china, and magnificent jewelry.

All these items were neatly stored away in her oak chest closet. She never used any of them. It turned out that the old lady was saving them for “that special occasion.”

Special Moment

Well, that particular moment never came. Consequently, she died never giving herself a chance to eat on her elegant china and cherish her lovely linens. And, nobody ever saw her wearing all of her luxurious jewelry. 

Hence, I always think about this story when a feeling to put something away for that “special day” sneaks in. 

Immediately, I remind myself that – every single day is extraordinary. 

Every day is magnificent. Each day is magical. Enjoy life now.

And give thanks for your existence. 

Photography: Simon Berger Jian Xhin  Juliana Malta  Julian Hochgesang Caique Silva Georgia de Lotz cosiela-borta Billy Kwok Annie Spratt

Don’t forget to check out our latest podcast and share it with your friend. 
Hungry for more content? Check out How To Practice Daily Gratitude

Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

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Contemplation: Quiet Moments And Instagram Noise

Hello Friends! 

A brief story about Contemplation: Quiet Moments And Instagram Noise.

I hope you can stay with me for this one. 

Do you ever have those days when you want to sit somewhere, browse through your favorite magazine, read a book, and be alone in deep contemplation?

I do.

quiet moments and instagram noise

Today is one of those days. It’s a crisp August morning, with an abundance of sunshine, and I feel like stepping outdoors to savor every moment. I can sit outside, read, write, work, and search for some inspiration.

It’s during those quiet moments that I can find my intuitive voice, which guides me on what to do next. Well, sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s okay too! Maybe it just means that I am not ready to hear it.

quiet moments and instagram noise

When I listen to my heart and don’t pay attention to all the noise, especially online, I feel in harmony with what I am creating. We all know that online sound can sometimes get overwhelming.

quiet moments and instagram noise

Just yesterday, I had some people follow me on Instagram then unfollow me two days later. One of them being a well-known influencer with 54K followers. Yikes! This is enough to disrupt my peace – if I only let it.

But instead, I went to my Tribe of support women on a business Facebook group I followed and got my validation. The message: not to worry about this happens, don’t take it personally! It’s part of the unfortunate Instagram follow/unfollow game.       

I say: we are either going mad or are being invaded by robots!

Well, it bothers me that we live in such a self-centered world. Give me, give me, give me – you don’t have anything for me? Ok – I am leaving! I am not saying that everyone is like this. But the sharks are out there. To me, social media is like this big Jungle. There are pretty birds, playful monkeys, and lions are waiting to devour their next pray.

Enter at your own risk, and you better know how to navigate.

Note: now you may insert a picture of your imaginary jungle creature or use this photo of a spotted hyena.

quiet moments and instagram noise

OK – back to my quiet moment…

Fortunately, my integrity tells me that it’s not always about quantity, popularity, or fame. That’s why I choose to be in what I call “the summer forest” rather than “the jungle.” And I want quality instead.

I hope you do as well. How is that for simple contemplation? 

quiet moments and instagram noise

As such, I prefer to be creative, productive, goal-oriented – loving, generous, and supportive rather than hungry and predatory. This is the road to a sustained living while building a lasting and robust foundation.  

In retrospect, I believe Karma is a bitch. And, darlings, She is not going anywhere.

quiet moments and instagram noise 

Have a fantastic weekend full of precious, quiet moments away from all the cyber and real-world noise. 

Photography: Caramel Chic LLC, All photos feature Joanna Sobjanek. 

Thirsty for more content: check out: Good News You Won’t Hear About On TV

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Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

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Happiness and Marriage. How To Survive It All And Stay Sane!

Podcast refresh!

Happiness and Marriage. How To Survive It All And Stay Sane! Anyone who’s been married can tell you that marriage is not easy. Yet, regardless of what anyone says, we still dream of the perfect wedding with the perfect dress we’ve fantasized about this since we were little girls.

Did you ever watch a movie titled “Muriel’s Wedding”? A single girl, desperately wanting to get married, randomly walks into various Bridal Salons to try on bride’s dresses while the boutique personnel snaps polaroids. She was obsessed. About happiness, and about marriage for that matter. 


Photo credit: Muriel’s Wedding, 1994 (Film still) Image: AnOther

If we pay attention, we notice that almost every romantic comedy/movie in America ends with a happy ending. And, there is always that pivotal moment. The groom-to-be does something stupid, and the girl breaks up with him. Ultimately, he decides to chase her through five United States of America on a stolen bike, just to proclaim his genuine love for her. She then forgives him; they get married and live happily ever after.

Or not.

Happiness and Marriage In The Movies

And, that would be the next Hollywood movie, where they get happily…divorced. Years later, she meets her girlfriends for lunch at Cipriani’s in Manhattan (for those not familiar with Cipriani’s, it’s a famous and costly place to eat for rich people). She tells them that she is bored with her husband and that she is having an affair with a man 15-years younger than her named Eduardo. By the way, Eduardo is also her trainer. She then gets a divorce and goes to Honolulu to celebrate. For like three months, because she doesn’t have to work.

But celebrate what? Lives shattered, children’s hearts broken; the entire family put in disarray. What’s there to friggin’ celebrate?  And, why does Hollywood celebrate the misery of brokenness and dysfunction?

Nonetheless, that is the “manual of marriage” that most women get from American movies.

Our Society

We live in a very romanticized society with a contradictory and disposable way of looking at relationships. And nobody is talking about what is going on. 

When you ask strangers: how was their wedding day, they say that it was the most beautiful day of their lives. Omg! Like from a fairy tale?? Yes! Even better! Disney had nothing on us! We were flying on a pink cloud on the entire wedding day and eating bonbons, singing songs, strolling through spring meadows and, colorful blossoms. Everything was just perfect. It was like a fairy tale, a dream. And, then it all goes on social media for others to view, like, and envy.

Nobody is talking about how your third cousin was having sex with the bartender because she had too much to drink. Stress. Or how your grandmother took too much valium and fell asleep in her underpants in the hotel lobby. Stress. Or when your dress ripped in half right before the ceremony. Double stress. Or, that cake your mother in law insisted on ordering from a custom home-baker which had ants in it. Stress. Oh, wait for the last part was my wedding. Friggin’ stress!

Marriage Is Good

By all means, don’t get me wrong; I am not against marriage. I love marriage! I believe in happiness and intimacy. However, it is not like Muriel thought. That all you need is the wedding and the white dress and all your problems will be solved. No, your partner cannot fix you by getting married to you. And, you cannot fix him by getting married to him. Things will not magically disappear from the radar because you sealed the deal with an elaborate wedding.

Muriel found out the hard way. She got married for sh…s and giggles. She thought getting married was the answer to all of her life’s dilemmas. She ended up getting divorced just as quickly as she got married. And all that was left was a plastic Hallmark photo album, made in China, and a couple of small press photos from Sidney media. Her dad was an Australian politician.

Happiness and Marriage And My Wedding

First, I don’t know if anyone is willing to admit this. But I will. My wedding day was very stressful! I was so friggin’ stressed out that I felt like my makeup was going to roll ride down my face and, my eyeballs were going to sink back into my eye sockets. All this right before the photographer showed up early to take pictures of me getting dressed, which I was opposed to anyway. And as he decided to poke his intrusive camera everywhere, he annoyed the crap out of me. When all I wanted is to be left alone and breathe while I was doing my makeup. Stress.

Don’t get me wrong; our wedding day was a successful event. But I felt like I just wanted the party to be over and, I couldn’t wait to get back to our hotel suite to relax in the quiet with my husband. Moreover, anyone who says that weddings are all about the bride is wrong. My groom was just as stressed out as I was. I don’t even remember talking to him much during the entire wedding day. Too much going on!

Happiest Moment

When it came to happiness and marriage and my wedding, the most joyous moment was at 10:00 in the morning, following our wedding day when the two of us were eating modest breakfast at the hotel while confirming flights for our honeymoon in Greece. An elementary yet happy moment for a girl like me!

In the long run, I’ve learned that the first year of marriage is when the real work on the relationship begins. But, don’t give up my sweet, little darlings. Because if you make it, you will gain insights on how to survive the second year, which entails even more hard work. Isn’t that exciting? Yes, I know. But, it gets better, I promise. Hey, I am still married, am I not? And I genuinely love it! Marriage is a unique form of a relationship like no other, and it should be cherished globally. It’s an exclusive union that evolves with time, and it never stops growing.

Similarly to what Jack Nicholson said in the movie “As Good As It Gets,” it makes you want to be a better man.

In my case, a woman.

Public photo credit: Tunefind.com

Photography: Alvin Mahmudov, Charisse Kenion, James Bold, Anton Mislawsky, Jeremy Wong Weddings, Photos by Lanty

Publisher note: This article was originally published in August 2018. 

Thirsty for more related content? Check out our podcast on “How To Be Happy No Matter What.”

Hungry for more content: Check out our blog post on How To Find Your Soulmate

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Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

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My Favorite Summer Place


This summer story takes place in a magical land of the morning fog, wild blueberries, and evening story-telling. Breathtakingly beautiful, speckled with hills and valleys and, surrounded by thousand lakes is a hidden world located on the border of Lithuania and Poland. It’s called: Podlaskie Voivodeship.

It’s an exceptional place to me that conveys a lot of memories from my childhood. My sister and I visited our grandparents’ farm in Podlaskie County during the summer. When at the farm, we were just carefree, two little girls, free from homework, and free from responsibilities. We ran around happily on the sixteen-acre property. We were excited to have so much space and to be away from school, our parents, and the city.


Our favorite pastime was hanging from rowanberry trees or playing “house” in the jasmine bushes. We often snacked on our grandmother’s hand-made, sour-dough rye bread with a fragrant, crispy crust. She baked the dough on top of aromatic calamus leaves, which grew in a pond near the house. We ate the bread with her very own hand-made creamy butter and rock salt.

We often walked three miles, by foot, through the hills and valleys to the nearest town to buy our favorite candy: sugar-coated jellies. Every time, for creatures of our small-size, it was an adventure.


We loved the summer blueberry season and often went blueberry picking to the nearby forest. Just after few hours of blueberry picking, we came back with purple teeth and purple hands and purple-stained clothes. But we didn’t care; we were just happy that we had picked so many blueberries. We devoured them with sugar and milk or only by itself. It was like having our very own blueberry festival.

Nowadays, as an adult, when I want to eat their local blueberries or anything hand-picked from that area, I visit their farmers market and buy them from the natives. I know it’s not the same thing as picking the berries myself, but it’s hard to find good blueberry patches, and now I wouldn’t even know where to look.


It’s amazing how every time I visit this stunning and enigmatic region, it looks so unchanged. Always green and full of abundant nature, surrounded by freshwater lakes and unpolluted environment. Especially during the summer season. It is so astoundingly beautiful that everyone calls it the fairy tale land.

I often ride my bike through the hills and valleys of the surrounding countryside and reminisce about the innocent childhood spent with my sister. She is no longer with us, what I wouldn’t give to transport back in time and spend some time with her on some of the dirt roads, wearing our rain boots and playing in mud holes. Or get soaked in the rain and not care a bit.


Speaking of rain.

One time when I was vacationing in the fairytale land as an adult, I took my bike for a long ride around the region. I loved to explore the area like that. That day I rode my bicycle approximately two hours away from the location of the farm. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that there was a thunderstorm approaching, and it was already getting dark.

I rode my bike fast on a desolated asphalt road, trying to get back to the farm as quickly as possible. There was no one in sight but birds and cows. The thunderstorm had started, and rain poured. I was afraid because I didn’t want to get struck by lightning. I thought to myself, gosh, if this were Manhattan, I would have pulled to the side, and hailed a taxi cab. But it wasn’t Manhattan instead of desolate country land, where if a car happened to drive by, people waved at you. At that time, not a single car drove by.


I had to make a decision quickly. I had no rain gear. No rain-coat. Nothing to shield me from the crazy weather. And there was nowhere to hide. Hence, having no choice in the matter, I rode my bike while getting steeped in the rain. While zooming on the bike and looking around, I had this strange feeling that the cows who were scattered all over the grass fields, were gazing at me and laughing: “Look at that silly girl, on that stupid bike, getting all wet, oooooh, hahaha hahaha.” They seemed amused, while slowly chewing grass, and not minding even a single raindrop. Never mind the thunderbolt lighting!

When it got dark, and the lighting and thunder took massive action, I stopped riding. I walked to the side of the dirt road, soaked in the rain. I figured something was going to strike me, and I was going to die a stupid, unfortunate death. A simple ad in the New York Times will read: “She died by a single stroke off lighting. In the middle of nowhere. The end.”


Eventually, I stumbled upon a small house near the side of the road. I decided to ring the bell and ask for shelter. By the way, if I did that in NYC, the homeowners would have probably called the cops. I sighed with relief that I wasn’t in NYC.

I rang the bell again. An older man approached the door. He didn’t even ask me what I wanted. He took one good look at me and immediately invited me inside. I entered his home. I was shivering and mumbling: “I’m a wet chicken, a wet chicken, I’m a wet chicken.”

He made me hot tea, let me use the bathroom, and gave me a blanket. I was delusional for about ten minutes, muttering and speaking of dying. Still, the older man just sat there entirely composed smoking a cigarette and staring out a dark, rainy window. It’s as if though he was expecting me, someone off the road sapped in the rain. To simply show up at his house during a storm like that.


Later on, when I came to my senses, and we’ve started to chat, it turned out that the older man knew my late grandfather very well. He knew him for many years. He seemed pleased that I came from NYC to visit his humble home in the rainstorm. It’s as if it was mean to be, I just fell from the sky and showed up at his house out of nowhere.

The rain passed. I thanked the man for his hospitality, got on my bike and, and rode back to the farm in complete darkness. There were no lights on the dirt road. I don’t know how I made it back. Must have been a good dose of fear and substantial adrenaline.


The next day I woke up to a beautifully fresh summer day. It’s like the thunderstorm never happened. The vivid landscape intact, and nothing obstructed. I thought to myself, how on earth did I ever make it back? Maybe my sister guided me? Or maybe all that storm noise and lighting was just a bad dream? And perhaps the story of an older man in a timeworn house, in a desolate part of the road, was part of that dream? Kind of like Dorothy from Kansas, the USA in “Wizard of Oz” when she woke up from her nightmare.

That morning I decided to walk to a nearby lake. The skies were clear, and it was going to be a beautiful, sunny day—a perfect day for a little bit of relaxation and some sun tanning. When I got to the lake, I set a blanket on the grass and laid on it while looking at the sky. I put my iPod to listen to some music and closed my eyes. A few minutes passed, and I felt like something was eating my hair. I swiftly got up and saw a big black and white cow standing above me. She was looking right at me and sticking out her big, white tongue. She was chewing on something. I hope it wasn’t my hair!


I looked at her and said “gee-whiz” can’t you people aka cows, leave me alone for just one minute? But she replied: “Mooooooo, whroooooo, glad you made it through the storm, Joanna.”

Someone, please pinch me fast! I thought I wasn’t dreaming anymore!

Photography: Michał Gałężewski Cezary Kukowka  Janusz Maniak  Radoslaw Prekurat Dawid Łabno Katarzyna Pe Erik Witsoe  Janusz Maniak freestocks Jakob Cotton

Featured photo: Timothy Eberly

Text copyright Caramel Chic LLC 

Hungry for more travel stories? Check out our post on my visit to Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

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The Idea Behind Caramel Chic  – Interview With Joanna Sobjanek

The Idea Behind Caramel Chic 

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Caramel Chic?

A: A while back, I saw a romantic comedy centered on the daily lives of five Lebanese women living in Beirut. Instantly, I fell in love with it.

Q: Where did the action take place?

A: The movie took place in a small beauty shop.

Q: What sparked your interest in this particular movie?

A: Just about everything drew me to this movie; the theme, the scenery, the music, but especially the unique bond that was formed among the women regularly visiting the beauty shop.

Caramel – The Story

Q: Without revealing the plot, can you tell us more about the movie?

A: With the support of their friends in their well-known salon, the women searched for the answers to questions of life, love, and happiness. But they also talked about home life, baking, their neighborhood, their business ideas, relationships, and marriage. The women formed a strong bond and a unique friendship.

Q: How does your website translate to the movie?

A: Caramel Chic is a media platform for women, just like in that beauty shop in Beirut, Lebanon. But, it doesn’t have a location. Because it’s happening right here on our platform, reaching women all over the globe.

Why Caramel 

Q: How did you come up with the name Caramel Chic?

A: The movie’s title, “Caramel” inspired me. The name stems from an actual sugar wax, caramel, which is a popular, all-natural beauty product in the Middle East and Lebanon. The women slowly melt sugar, which forms into a gooey substance; the technicians then apply the product to the skin all over the body. In the movie, we can see women also snacking on the caramel, as it is delightfully sweet.

By watching the film, I’ve learned that you can’t rush through the process of making caramel and, as it can sting. Just like life, I think.

The Mission Of Caramel Chic 

Q: How would you like your fans to recognize your platform?

A: Here at Caramel Chic, we would like to share practical and real advice on all sorts of lifestyle topics about women. My dream was to create an outlet where women can feel just like in a local beauty shop, where they can find familiarity and connect. Where they can feel at home.

By forming this unique bond, I mean to strengthen and inspire women all over the world, even if it means only one woman at a time.

The Future Of Caramel Chic 

Q. Any projects for the upcoming months?

J. In the future, our goal is to host podcasts on interviews with keynote speakers, women from all walks of life where they can share stories about their lives, issues, careers, and aspirations. So, stay tuned.

Q. The last question, are you from Lebanon?

A. No, I am not. I am from New York City, but I was born in Poland.

Interviewed by J. Netsua, a Caramel Chic fan.

Photography: Jordane Mathieu; Gallery photos: imbd.com 

Featured photo: BlackPrint Photography

Interested in more interviews with Joanna?

Joanna was a guest on a Podcast called Our Story Speaks where she discusses taking risks and tells her story about moving abroad. 

Charlotte, NC Real Estate 

 I RUN A REAL ESTATE BUSINESS in Charlotte, NCLet me help you with your home buying or selling journey while providing amazing client results. Contact me today at 704-800-4476 for FREE PHONE CONSULTATION or email at [email protected] to make an appointment. 

BIO AND LINKS  Check out some fun real estate stuff  

OUR LISTINGS Our listings in Charlotte North Carolina and the area. 

Disclaimer: I may or may not receive small commission from this ad.