Monthly Archives: January 2014

Heading Off On Vacation!

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at Disneyland CaliforniaGood afternoon!

I will be taking a few days off from blogging, so that I can be fully present as I enjoy time with my family as we go on vacation!!


My sweetie, myself, my sis-in-law, and my niece and two of our nephews are all heading down to California for a looooong weekend! πŸ™‚ We are going to spend some time on the Californian beaches, a day in Disneyland, a day in California Adventures, and maybe a day in Hollywood?? We shall see!!

It is going to be a whirlwind trip and to say that we are all so excited is truly an understatement!! πŸ™‚

I have not been to Disneyland since I was 12, and my sweetie has NEVER flown since I have known him, and from what I hear hasn’t even been on a plane since he was 12, so this is going to be an adventure for us all!!! I know we are going to have the BEST time! I will make sure to have many pics and stories to share when I get back!!

Here is to having a BLAST while on vacation with the family!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Living Out Loud!

Living Out LoudGood afternoon!

This post is a reminder to live out loud.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Mame. It is about an glamorously eccentric woman who is just all around fabulous, and never seems to have any problems living out loud.

My favorite quote of all time came from that movie, and that is:

“Live! Live! Live! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are staving to death!” – Auntie Mame

Auntie Mame had the ability to roll with the punches, not caring what others thought of her. She was a friend to everyone, open-minded (an anti “braces on the brain” type); willing to try all sorts of new things whether it was completely redecorating her home in every conceivable style, or camel riding through Egypt.

I love that Auntie Mame always lived out loud. That is my desire too!! Living out loud has never been easy for me! I have always lived my life with caution. Constantly worried about the consequences for every action I take, what people will think of me, who I could possibly disappoint, who could turn their backs on me, etc. Even as I write this, I can see how absurd all of that has been in my life. I have passed up opportunities because I am afraid that someone else might not like my opportunity? Maybe it is true that others are too busy worrying about themselves to also have time to be worrying about you too!!

What would my life look like if I were willing to adopt aΒ  few of Auntie Mame’s living out loud philosophies?

  1. Be willing to constantly learn!
  2. Do the things that make you happyΒ  – every day!
  3. There is nothing as valuable as friends!
  4. Your home should be a reflection of who YOU truly are!
  5. Travel! You have such a tiny view of the world if you only stay in your own backyard.
  6. Dress FABULOUSLY at all times – you never know who you might run in to!
  7. When times get tough, that is the perfect time for thinking outside of the box!
  8. When you love, love with all of your being!
  9. Honey, when you are feeling blue, throw yourself a HUGE bash and invite every artist, intellectual, guru, and eccentric to make it a SMASHING success! That will cheer yourself right up (just don’t forget to ask for help with the dishes!)!
  10. LIVE OUT LOUD! Don’t give a fig about what people think about how you look, where you live, how you live, what you believe in, etc. This is your life, and you only have one chance to live it!!

Wow!! How much different my life would be if I lived like this every single day???

Well, there is only one way to find out!!

Wish me luck!! πŸ˜‰

Here is to LIVING OUT LOUD today!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Adventures in Photography!

Good afternoon!

This past Saturday, it was such a beautiful day that my sweetie and I packed up my new camera, remote control, and tripod, and headed out for a few hours to practice taking photos with my new camera! I had had my heart set out on going to the Union Street Railroad Bridge, which is an old river-crossing train trestle that was converted to a nice pedestrian bridge just a few years ago!

Walking BridgeWe knew that this was an old bridge, but were surprised to see that it was originally built in 1912. We were literally walking across history! πŸ™‚

Walking Bridge 8This is my lovely assistant, AKA my sweetie! He was happy to just people watch and soak up the sun on this absolutely GORGEOUS day!! πŸ™‚

Walking Bridge 14There were actually a lot of people out enjoying this morning, but we got lucky and I almost got a free and clear shot of the walking bridge without pedestrians! πŸ™‚

Walking Bridge 13The outside of the trestle.

Walking Bridge 12I just love the way the metal crisscrosses and all of the details of the rivets! Industrial chic?? πŸ™‚

Walking Bridge 11

Walking Bridge 10This is the old wooden foundation. You can tell that there have been many recent repairs, but it is just so cool to look at!

Walking Bridge 9The Willamette River.

Walking Bridge 7

Walking Bridge 6

Walking Bridge 5I am soooo in love with the curve here!

Walking Bridge 4

Walking Bridge 3

Walking Bridge 2

Walking Bridge 1

Walking Bridge 15Thanks to my new remote control and tripod – I now actually have the ability to show up in some of my own pictures!! πŸ™‚ Jason has a way of just keeping me laughing!! πŸ™‚

Walking Bridge 16I really do love this man!! πŸ™‚

I know that I still have a loooooong way to go on learning how to use all of my settings on a my new camera, but I am determined to figure them all out!! ISO, white balance, timing, flash vs no flash, etc, etc! In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed these pictures and hopefully, over the next year or so, I can keep growing and learning as a photographer and continue to share my progress pics with you! πŸ™‚

Here is to a FABULOUS day! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Bliss List Friday!

Good afternoon!

I find that when I get the opportunity to write my Bliss List for Friday, just the simple act of doing that causes me so much Bliss!! Isn’t that awesome???

Here is my Friday Bliss List:

Bliss List 1This is my sweetie holding our newest nephew, Liam!! Aren’t they just the cutest??? I wonder what they were both thinking about each other in that exact moment!! πŸ™‚


Bliss List 2As I was enjoying a quiet afternoon, snuggling on the couch, under a blanket, while reading a good book, this is what I looked down to see!! I just love these two little girls!! Faye and Sophie!!! Sleeping away next to mama!!! πŸ˜‰

Bliss List 3I can NOT forget to mention craft time in my little art studio!!! I am having such an ECSTATIC time just getting creatively messy in this space! It is soooooo good for my soul!! πŸ˜‰ OH, and yes, those ARE mini M&M’s sitting under my tripod. One of my previous art instructors told me that you should always ALWAYS have chocolate on standby when you are arting!! See teach, I listened!! πŸ™‚

Bliss List 4and who knew the box of randomly shaped wood would make a girls so happy??? Well, apparently my sweetie did, because he was the one who got these for me!!! Oh the potential of some new words of encouragement to go out into the world!! More to come! πŸ™‚

There is so very much to be blissful about!! What would you add to your own Friday Bliss List?? πŸ˜‰

Here is to a very happy & BLISSFUL Friday!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

You Are Going to Be Okay!

Good afternoon!

Now, I have already said that 2014 is going to be a HUGE year of changes for my sweetie and myself!

By 2015, all areas of our life will have drastically changed: where we live, where we work, how we look at the world, how we attain our goals, and how we take care of our bodies are all things under my mind’s telescope, going through intense scrutiny of trying to decide what’s next?

As I have been going through this process, I must confess that I have been going through some heavy boughts of OMG!!

Things like:

What the heck am I doing???
People are going to think I am freakin’ INSANE!!What if I completely fail and land on my booty!???What if we lose EVERYTHING??What if I get sued?What if I have to pay for a house that we don’t even live in anymore??What if I completely ruin our lives?What am I going to do? What am I going to do?? What am I going to do???

Over the past few years, I have adopted a mentor. Her name is Melody Ross. Melody Ross is a co-creator of the AWESOME & AWE-INSPIRING site/movement called Brave Girls Club. Now, Melody, yes, we are on a first name basis :-), and I have become fast friends, in my head!! We have never met! I am sure she has NO IDEA who I am, but Melody has walked with me these past 3 or 4 years, as I have been going through a lot of joys and struggles in different areas of my life. I have been listening to her cheer me on, from afar, through her online classes, her daily truth e-mails that arrive in my inbox faithfully every morning, and I am happy to say I will FINALLY be able to actually meet her, IN PERSON, in March! I am going to attend my FIRST EVER BRAVE GIRLS’ CAMP!!!

(Yes, I may have actually just squealed!!!) πŸ˜‰

As awesome as that news is, that is not what I wanted to share today. Not only is Melody an extremely talented artist, speaker, and motivator, she is an author, and she has written the most INSPIRING small book, called “You Are Going to be Okay”! Not only that, but she actually reads it to all of us via video. I know that I have listened to this AMAZINGLY simple but OH SO POWERFUL reading countless times! and I KNOW that someone out there needs to hear this, maybe it is you??? πŸ™‚

So, without further ado, I hope that this sweetly simple, but much needed message touches and inspires you as much as it has touched and inspired me.

Here is to a day knowing that we are all going to be Okay!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Artsist Spotlight: Heather Hansen!

Good afternoon!

I was struggling with what to share today, and while I was perusing the internet, I stumbled upon this amazing artist, and just had to share her with you! Her name is Heather Hansen, and I am SOOOOO in love with not only her art, but the way she goes about creating her art! SO peaceful, and creative!! I justΒ  love her!!

See for yourself:

I need more of this feeling of peace in my life!

Here is to a PEACEFULLY CREATIVE day!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Friday’s Bliss List!

HappyGood afternoon!

Friday is the day that I am trying to focus all of my energies on what has blessed me this week, and what generally just makes me happy when I think about!!

Here is this Friday’s Bliss List! πŸ™‚

  1. My sweetie! I know he is on my list every week, but he works so very hard for us, and this week he did the dishes and took out all of the garbage without being asked on top of working crazy hours, like the wild man of Borneo!!!! WHAT A MAN!!! πŸ˜‰
  2. My niece Megan! It was her birthday this Wednesday, and my sweetie and I are going to her birthday party this evening!! She is such a ray of sunshine in my life!! I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS LITTLE GIRL!!! πŸ˜‰
  3. Girl friends, both old and new! It is such a great feeling to know that there are amazing women who’ve got my back, no matter what!! I LOVE MY GIRLS!!!
  4. My art studio! I am so thankful for a space to call my own, where I can make a creatively beautiful mess and leave it all until I can come back to it again to art some more!
  5. My two, four-legged girls, Faye and Sophie!! They are just so much fun to watch play every evening – especially on the rare occasion when they get to hang out in bed with my sweetie and I before bed!! They are filled with SOOOOO MUCH JOY!! πŸ˜‰
  6. My 2014 planner. Is a planner a weird thing to have on a Bliss List??? Naw! I really am thankful for it. It is really helping me stay focused on what is important to me. With it’s help, I can see that where I am going is really possible!
  7. The movie soundtrack of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty! I am currently rocking that music in my car, and I have decided, that for now, it might be the soundtrack of my life!! I LOVE THIS MUSIC!!! πŸ˜‰
  8. Our new doggie stroller! Yes, I know, I know, I AM one of THOSE WOMEN!!! But since we have gotten this doggie stroller, I have been able to get my booty out on my walks because I know I am not leaving my sweet Faye and Sophie at home for another hour a day, by themselves!! That’s not spoiled, is it??? πŸ˜‰
  9. Goodwill! I am so thankful to have a place, close to home, that does good for others with the donations I have been giving them! It has given me an easy and safe way to donate our extras out of our home, as we have been working on simplifying our lives! πŸ™‚
  10. Finally, I am so very thankful for the early hours of the morning, the ones where I can get up before anyone else, and just take time to be quiet, and take care of what’s going on in my head! I feel like I am able to seriously focus on creating a healthy relationship with myself. I think it is about time!! πŸ™‚

My Focus for This Next Week:

  1. I am hoping that this next week brings me wisdom and clarity in what steps to take next, not only in my daily life, but in my dream life!
  2. I want to be brave and keep reaching out to my girl friends, I know that I need a lot of time alone to re-energize, but just the couple of times this week that I have made a concerted effort to hang out with my girl friends, and have really made my week really fun!
  3. I need to keep cleaning out the clutter! Cleaning out a condo that you have lived in for 7 years, is not as easy as I thought it would be, or as quick either, but through baby steps I have been making my way through it. I want to make sure to continue on to my path of “Live simply so others may simply live”!
  4. I need to get my booty moving more consistently! I am doing a good job taking those baby steps, I am so fond of – making sure my running shoes are close at hand, avoiding all elevators, parking farther away from the office. I can tell that it is time to add more!!
  5. and finally I want to focus on staying positive in my work life. My job is very stressful and we are going through change after change after change (isn’t that true everywhere??). I need to remain focused on what is positive there, and how it is helping me get to my financial goals so I will finally be able to step out and try something new!

I hope anyone reading this might be inspired to try out there own Friday Bliss List!! If you do, please feel free to share in the comments! I would love to hear from you! Oh, and if you haven’t had a chance to follow my blog, please do so by clicking on the follow button on the upper right-hand column of this page! πŸ™‚

Hear is to a Friday of BLESSINGS! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

A Peek into My Work Day!

Good afternoon!

I thought that I would share a quick peek into my day with you! These pics are pics are from random moments in my work day!

A Peek In My DayMy day job is as a data programmer, so I sit at my computer for what feels like 68 hours every day!! πŸ™‚

A Peek In My Day 2Yep, this is a peek of what I do during my working hours! πŸ™‚

A Peek In My Day 1Another peek! Not very artsy/creative is it? That’s ok – this job has brought my sweetie and I SOOOO MANY blessings!! πŸ™‚

A Peek In My Day 2aHere is one of the main ways I stay sane while programming!! Music on my i-Pad ALLLL FREAKIN’ DAY!!! That is such a MUST for me!!! πŸ™‚

A Peek In My Day 3Round all that out with lunch with the girls (have I told you I have THE BEST girl friends!!!!), mixed with a bunch of giggling, and keeping it all in perspective, I can honestly say that life is very VERY good!!

Here is to another FABULOUSLY productive work day! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

Girls’ Night In – Getting Arty!

Crafting Life Books with MaryGood afternoon!

I wanted to share with you how my arting night with my girl friend, Mary, went last night!!

Let’s just start out by saying, it really is SOOOOOO MUCH MORE FUN when you art with someone than when you always art by yourself!!

Well, as you may remember from yesterday’s post, I met a very lovely girl on Saturday. Her name is Mary! Well, Mary came over last night so we could get our art on!!!


We met up at my place of work, (on a side note, we have agreed that we are both SERIOUSLY directionally challenged, so she was pretty proud of herself that she found me, and I have to admit I was pretty impressed too!! ;-)) and we made the trek across town to my place!!

I was kind of worried, because you know like most people, there are things about my place that I find rather embarrassing, but like Melody Ross says, ” She felt (blank), but she did it anyway!” So, in we went! I gave her a quick tour, introduced her to our doggies, Faye and Sophie, and headed straight to my art studio to get to playing!!

We didn’t really have a plan for what we were going to do, but I had a fall back plan of creating our own life/dream/smash books, which is what we ended up deciding to do!!

Paper, pens, paint, scissors, Mary even brought over her Cricut machine (SO COOL!!), some happy music in the background, and stories back and forth mixed in with a bunch of giggling, add some funkily cut pizza (BTW pizza should NEVER EVER come in squares!!), and you end up with a night that was OH SO FUN!!!

My sweetie got home, and ended up being our chauffeur to drive Mary home, which in and of itself ended up contributing to the fun of the evening! You see, I am currently rocking the Frozen soundtrack in my car at the moment, which my sweetie just loves!! Well, we both have a few favorite songs, so as Mary and I are continuing to chat it up in the back of the car, Jason is blasting this Disney music, swaying to the beat of the music, and singing!! TOO HILARIOUS!!! I hadn’t realized that we were going to be entertained by a cute floor show during our travels across town!! LOL!! Thanks for that Love!!! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I am calling last night a HUGE SUCCESS, and I am hoping we get the chance to do it again real soon!! If anything, I can’t wait to see what kind of progress she makes on her life/dream/smash book!! Yeah, we really do have to decide what we are going to actually call those things!! Well, whatever they are called, we really did have a GREAT TIME!!

Friends are good!

Art is fun!

and I am feeling UBER BLESSED!! πŸ™‚

Here is to another day filled with HAPPINESS & CREATIVITY!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!

My Word for 2014!

Being BRAVE brings new friends in your path!! :-)

Being BRAVE brings new friends in your path!! πŸ™‚

Good afternoon!

Back in December of 2013, when I was sitting down to think about what I wanted to have happen in 2014, I thought about the usual suspects when it came to trying to decide my New Year’s resolutions: exercise more, eat better, lost weight, get more sleep, do a better job at uncluttering the house, etc, etc.

After mulling it over for quite some time, I decided that I didn’t want to just focus on or two goals, I wanted this year to be different, so instead of doing any New Years resolutions, that this year I would focus on a word for the year. A word that epitomize the overall goal/feeling/mood that I had for myself, and the word I chose was Brave.Brave is the word that I focus on when I am making any kind of decisions in my life in 2014.

What will I wear?
How will I move?How will I spend my time?
Who will I spend my time with?
Where will I spend my time?I think you get the idea!! πŸ™‚

Well, I had my first big BRAVE moment Friday evening, when I was out at the movie theatre with my sweetie. After we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, we had started to leave the theatre, and on the way out my sweetie had to stop and use the loo, which meant I was going to wait patiently outside in the hallway for him, and people watch! Well, as I was doing so, I noticed this woman who had the cutest outfit on!! It was something right up my alley, you know, right along the lines of adorable dress, leggings, boots, cardigan!! LOVE!!! πŸ˜‰

So far seems pretty benign, right?

Well, here is where my “BRAVE” kicked in. You see, I had 2 pairs of boots that I ABSOLUTELY loved, but having recently lost 100 pounds, and in turn losing 2 shoe sizes!! YEAH, no body prepares you for that!!! Anyway, these boots have been staring at me from a corner in my house for well over 6 months, and I knew that I needed to find a new home for them (like they are puppies or something!! Ha! Ha!) When I saw this girl, I just KNEW That she could TOTALLY ROCK those boots!!!

I went up to her, like a crazy person, I must admit, and said, “Excuse me, what size shoe do you wear?” She told me, and WHOO! HOO!! I knew that I had found a potential home for these boots!! I continued on, “I am sorry, I know I must sound like a crazy person, but you have the cutest style, and I have these two pair of boots that need a good home! Here is my number. Call or text me tomorrow if you would like to meet somewhere where I can give those to you!” I may have even added something like, “they need a good home, someplace where someone will love them, and treat them right, pair them with just the right outfits!!” – you know, crazy-person-speak!!! πŸ™‚

Well, I left her there, and she was very sweet, but kept looking at me like I was a crazy person – which, in a way, I guess I was – isn’t crazy what being BRAVE is all about?? My sweetie even asked me something, like “Have you lost your ever-loving mind??” In only the loving way that he can, as we laughed about it the whole way to the car – and then all the way home!!!

That really REALLY was so out of character for me!!! πŸ™‚

Anyway, lo and behold, I got a text from her the next morning!! YEAH!!! πŸ™‚ and because I realized how insane I must’ve sounded the night before, I told her, that if we wanted to meet up at Starbucks downtown to get the boots, I would treat her to coffee!!

We met up, I gave her my boots, *SNIFF*!! It’s ok, I know it was for the best!! πŸ˜‰ and we proceeded to talk for a little over an hour!!My new friends name is Mary, and she isΒ What will I wear? We have A LOT of the same taste in fashion, boots, & books, and are both creative!


SOOOOO, because I was brave, and acted on my word for 2014, BRAVE, I have not only gotten rid of 2 more things cluttering up my house – to a really sweet girl who LOVES them, and will take good care of them! I made a new friend, and a new creative partner-in-crime! Yes, that is right!! Mary is coming over this evening to have our first session of Creative Girls’ Night!! Doesn’t that sound FUN????


I will keep you posted!! πŸ™‚

Here is to a very VERY BRAVE 2014!!! πŸ™‚

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If you want to have a different life, you have to live differently!!