Saturday, May 30, 2015

Remember When

Other than this blog, I don't "live" that many other places on the web. I have an Instagram account that I rarely use. I don't have a Twitter account. I'm on Facebook, but really limit my "friends" there to keep it manageable. If you want to know what's up in my life... this is where to find me!

So today I decided to go back to one of Cate's prompts that I missed earlier this week - tell a story from my childhood:

How many stories can you recall from one photo? From this one photo, I remember....

1. My 16th Birthday. This is me around my 16th birthday with my Mother, Sandy. I had met her when I was 9, but hadn't seen her again until this visit. We were living in Elmira N.Y. at the time. And I *think* it was this visit that cemented the friendship between my Mother and my Mom, Sue.  What did we do while she visited? I have NO idea! Memory is a fickle thing.

2.70's styles. The long straight hair parted in the center. Button front shirts (usually flannel) and blue jeans. Probably bell bottoms. And most likely I was wearing a pair of work boots with this outfit. I have no idea why we all thought this was fashionable. Ick. This style also did nothing to help me look my age. I look about 12(?) in this photo!

3. Piano Lessons. I wanted to learn to play piano. So Mom rented one from a local piano store and I took lessons. This was during a time when we were really poor (single Mom, 5 kids, trying to get herself through nursing school while on welfare) so I don't know how Mom found the money to pay for the rental and lessons or what she sacrificed to give me this experience, but I'm sure it wasn't easy for her. Unfortunately, either my piano teacher wasn't paying attention, or I was good at faking it because I never did learn to read music.  I would painstakingly count out the lines and spaces "ACEG" and "EGBDF" to figure out what key the little symbol wanted me to press and then I would memorize where my hands went and the progressions from one part of a piece to the next.  I learned to play Beethoven's "Fur Elise" quite well and loved playing it with feeling.  But I got frustrated when I couldn't master anything beyond that piece and eventually gave up. I ran into the same issues trying to learn acoustic guitar in college (well, I wasn't crazy about the sore fingers either). To this day, I still can't read music. But I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to bring the joy of playing music into my life.

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Blogging {Almost} Every Day

So, I haven't blogged  every day in May, but I have blogged most of them! What did I learn?

1. It's not realistic for me. With a full-time job and other interests, blogging every day simply isn't realistic for me. And that's okay. Sometimes life just gets in the way. When that happens, I'd rather LIVE my life than blog about it!

2. Prompts help. It's a lot easier to write working off a prompt.  Thanks for giving this month's blogging some structure Cate!

3. I still love blogging. I didn't complete every day, but the commitment to blogging this month really reignited my love of blogging and I hope to continue to be more present.

4. Batch processing is key. Having a bunch of photos pre-edited and ready for blogland makes it easier to actually sit and write the post. Because I just don't like my posts without photos!

5. Get ahead when the mood strikes.  When I had time and was in a writing mood, I did two or three posts at once and scheduled them for the days they needed to appear to match Cate's prompts. This allowed me to have fresh content on my blog even when I was busy with work or family.  When I didn't get ahead, weekend blogging just didn't happen. I don't spend much time at my computer on the weekends!

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I  used to collect pins from everywhere that I traveled.  I blogged about it here.

Once that trend ended, I didn't replace it with anything. I'm honestly not that big on souvenirs unless it is a really special trip.

There was a period of time when we collected beanie babies as a family. We all enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. Now we laugh about that illness and are glad we got out of it in time to break even when we sold off the bulk of our collection. There are still a few in a box in the attic...

Now it seems Jay and I are into collecting and restoring antique/vintage furniture and furnishings. Some are for our home. Some are for our future business.

This old music cabinet is one piece we bought for ourselves, probably about a year ago. It serves as a bedside table in our guest room and is tall enough to see the clock (added after this photo) when you are on the bed.

I love the cherry wood color.
I love the shape of the drawer.
I love the hardware.
I love that it is tall enough to be functional and that it has storage (although the bottom remains empty at this point).

I could share a lot more about this recent "collection" but I've discovered that I need to take some photos! I don't have many of these items photographed.

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up and a Wave

For the holiday weekend here in the U.S., I made a conscious decision (yes, again) to spend the weekend mostly unplugged. Which means I gave my email a cursory glance each morning to see if there was anything requiring immediate response. Otherwise, I left Facebook and Blogland to do its thing while I did mine. Here's what my long weekend looked like:

1. Jay & I stopped working a little early on Friday and we went with Becca out to Roman Delight for dinner (Rachel was working).  Watched television in the evening.

And I did some laundry.

2. Saturday morning one of our local developments had their annual yard sale. The kind where you park and just walk up and down the blocks because there is really that much to see! And that is where we found this:

It's ugly as sin right now.  Someone painted it in a yellow/gold/brown faux finish that is hideous.  But it is solid wood, OLD, well-built, and we got it for $20.  Someday (not anytime really soon) it will be gorgeous again!

We visited a few other neighborhood yard sales, found some free wood pallets which were needed for #3 and had lunch at Panera Bread.

3. We rented a storage unit for the burgeoning pile of projects we have with our upcoming business venture (more on that in a future post!) and moved some of the projects we aren't getting to anytime soon there.

4. Saturday night we watched the last episode needed to bring us to "caught-up" status with the Game of Thrones series. Jay & I have binge watched all five seasons over the last couple months.

And I did some laundry.

5. Sunday - the girls wanted to go to the shore, but Jay & I were concerned that it would be overly crowded and not warm enough to spend the day laying on the beach. So Jay suggested Bushkill Falls. Who knew that the entire world would show up at Bushkill Falls on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of a holiday weekend??!!

What should have been a 90 minute drive took well over 2 hours. You couldn't turn into the park - we ended up parking on the road outside the park and hiking in. Then we waited in line for about 30 minutes to get tickets.  Actually getting onto the trail was an exercise in patience. Numerous LARGE families in front of us just kept stopping in the middle of the walkway. Ultimately we did get onto the trail and we did climb hundreds of stairs

and see the falls and take pictures.

Rachel and Becca must have taken at least a hundred selfies!

What should have been a peaceful, relaxing nature hike turned out to be crowded and LOUD. The buzz of thousands of people speaking probably a dozen different languages managed to drown out the rush of the water over the falls! But we made the best of it. And learned a good lesson about holiday weekend travel.

6. Picked up some Boston Chicken on the drive home and rented American Sniper for the evening's entertainment.

And I did some laundry.

7. Monday morning Jay & I headed out early to check out Jake's Flea Market. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was lovely being out. Picked up a lot of little things - old tools, a counter height stool, a copper pot.  And stopped at the grocery store to pick up our Monday dinner fixings.

8. We spent Monday afternoon sanding, painting, upholstering - generally finishing up a few of the projects that have been in the works for awhile.
Jay forgot to take a "before" photo of this chair in it's original state which was a dark wood and really beat up. The before photo shows it with a coat of primer. I custom mixed the color for the chair to go with the fabric I had chosen. I really love the final look!

We have a pair of these chairs purchased with that red print just laid on top and underneath a stripe fabric that looked like a cat used it for a scratching post! The fabric in the after shot is actually a deeper teal color which I couldn't get to color correct from Jay's photo. But it looks great. Sarah has claimed these for her apartment!

9. We had grilled cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, potato salad, and fruit salad for dinner. With strawberry shortcake for dessert! Yum!

10. Between the flea market, grocery shopping, dinner fixing, and refinishing work, I had been on my feet all day. I collapsed onto the sofa at 8 p.m. to watch Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones on demand.

Oh, and I did some laundry!

And went to bed at 9:30.

Thus endeth my holiday weekend.

Waving hello to Sian and all the "Me on Monday" folks, albeit a little bit late.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Macaroni and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese recipe is a family favorite that I can make with my eyes closed. It is the same way my Mom used to make it when I was a kid. There were never leftovers then - and usually there aren't now either!  In the photo I used penne noodles only because we were out of macaroni that day - LOL - looks a little silly but tastes the same!
Print Recipe

Macaroni & Cheese

Source: family recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 30 Min
Total Time: 45 Min
Serves: 4-6


  • 16 oz Elbow Macaroni
  • 8 oz Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Organic Lowfat (1%) Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter - Unsalted -
  • 2 tbsp All-Purpose Flour 
  • 1 tsp Salt


  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. cook macaroni according to package directions
  3. melt butter in small saucepan
  4. add flour and salt to create a paste
  5. add milk slowly to create cream sauce
  6. add cheese, stir until melted.
  7. Drain macaroni, pour into greased 13x9 baking pan
  8. Stir in cheese sauce, mix thoroughly
  9. Bake for 30 minutes (covered to keep it creamy, or uncovered if you like it crunchy on top)
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 linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Learning How To See

I shoot with a Canon 60D. I received it as a birthday gift in 2012. I blogged about it here. Three years later, I'm still learning all the functions on this camera. I still don't know how to change aperture and shutter speed. I can't tell you all the brilliant features of this camera. I can only tell you that it has done it's job of teaching me to slow down and see the beauty in my world.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Where I Work

So remember when I told you that I'm trying to declutter again this year? And that I had tackled the office in January?  Well, Cate's prompt for today gives me the perfect excuse to show you what I did besides getting rid of 61 pounds of paper!!!

 This is a "before" view of the office looking from my living (a/k/a craft) room into the office toward the window.  Note, two chairs because Jay had a spot and the filing cabinet in the corner.

Here is my "after" view, still facing the window. Jay's chair made it out to bulk trash and was picked up by someone. In fact, I kicked Jay out completely.  I work here all day, four to five days a week.  He has an office space in the basement with three tables and as many computers and he only works from home one day a week. So I saw no need to keep reserving him space here.  The filing cabinet was moved to the wall closest to the living room and the tables were rearranged so my desk is now by the window. I got rid of the ugly brown bookcase and repurposed one that had been used in the family room and was no longer needed there. The big lump under the table is a two drawer filing cabinet - one for household bills and such, one for work.

The "before" shot facing from the sunroom doorway towards the living (craft) room. ugly brown bookshelf featured prominently on the desk space.

The "after" shot.  When I told you I got rid of a lot of stuff, I wasn't kidding!

"Before" wall opposite my desk - cabinets and printers

"After" - not much has changed here really.  Art work has been hung and the packing materials cleaned up.

So this is where I work. It is still very much a work in progress. I want a real desk with drawers and everything, not cheap laminate folding tables and a metal file cabinet. And I need to either move my bulletin board or add some more art work above my monitor.  The "personal" things that really make this space mine... how about the old irons being used as book ends? The candles on top of the sorter? I really like my work space!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Me On Monday (On Tuesday)

I'm trying to remember that it is all about being in the moment and enjoying the journey. Participating in blog memes (or anything else in life) isn't about being able to check another to-do item off the list, but about savoring the moment and learning something in the process.

So here I am on Tuesday, which feels remarkably like Monday, trying to play catch up yet again. Because the weekend was filled with family with all three girls at home. We had a fun Sunday morning of thrifting and my delayed Mother's Day dinner out with all my girls on Sunday evening - and not a single photo taken! Monday was appointment central. 9 a.m. chiropractor, 11:45 take Sarah to the train station (1 hour round trip), 2:00 doctor for yearly physical (and after getting my tetanus shot and then being sent to the lab for blood work didn't get home until nearly 4 p.m.), and finally getting to watch Saturday night's episode of Outlander. Whew!

Having spent the whole weekend being in the moment with my family - pretty much disconnected - I awoke today to 65 unread blog posts and I'm three days behind in Cate's Blog Every Day in May!

So, my quote (for Sunday) is in the photo, this is my hello Monday post, and rather than actually republish an old blog post (Tuesday's prompt), let me tell you this - I'm most proud of the posts when I'm real and honest and vulnerable, not sugar coating anything or trying to make my life sound better than it is... 

For example Learning to Love Me from March of 2010 where I dealt head-on with my body image issues. 

Or Meet My Inner Critic from August of 2011 where I finally declared my freedom from that nagging "not good enough" voice inside my head.

Or Not That Lady from October of 2011 when I was processing my fibromyalgia diagnosis.

I'm most proud of those posts where I face my perfectly imperfect self with a sense of humor and a lot of compassion. And isn't that what THRIVE{ing} is really all about?

Waving hello to Sian and all the "Me on Monday" folks and linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Link Love

art fusion tutorial 1.1.jpg

1.  How about this free altered notebook tutorial from Rae Missigman?

2.  A quick how-to for adding pages to an already bound Cinch journal and

3.  Just for fun - 3 minutes of the most iconic movie dance scenes ever:

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May

Friday, May 15, 2015


today at Cate's Blog Every Day in May , Cate wants to know what I would do with a million dollars.

I blogged the answer to this back in November of 2010. And honestly, not much has changed. So here's the post from 2010, annotated for today:

If I had a million dollars...

First, let's assume that this money is tax free, that Uncle Sam isn't asking for a huge cut of it up front, otherwise, I don't really have a million dollars right? Second, let's assume it all has to be allocated to specific stuff. Not just put away for a rainy day. Here's how I imagine spending it:

1. $200,000.00  Create accounts for Rachel and Becca's college education. Sarah is already a junior, so not that we aren't providing for her, just that we are almost done there. $100,000 each should get them four years at a state-level university.  (Sarah's college tuition is more than double that figure, but she got some good scholarships!). Being that Rachel and Becca have completed their junior year at college, I don't need this much anymore. I need about $50,000 to get them through to graduation - give or take. That leaves an extra $150,000 to play with...

2. $140,000.00  For Jay - build onto the garage and over the garage, so he can have a space to call his own (he's always wanted a workshop) and we can have a nice master bedroom suite. And while we're at it remodel both upstairs bathrooms - wayyyyy overdue!  Ha! This work still needs to be done but prices have risen. I think we need to allocate 175,000 for this project.

3. $285,000.00  Buy a small beach home - probably in Florida - someplace where Jay and I can retire to, or be snow birds. Luckily the housing market stinks right now, so the price tag on this would be less than otherwise. Well, you snooze you lose. The housing market has recovered. I'm guessing that anything worth having would be in the range of $400,000 now, so there goes the last of the extra.

Boy, I blew through $625K awfully quick, didn't I?

4. $30,000.00  Buy each of our kids a decent used car. $24,000. Pay one year of insurance for each $6,000.

5. $100,000.00   10% to charity.

6. $150,000.00   Wedding/Elopement accounts. $50,000 for each kid. They can either use it on a wedding or elope and use it toward buying their first home. Their call.  And yes, I know that $50K doesn't go far for a wedding these days. But I also believe they need to have some skin in the game to really appreciate what they are getting.  I spent a grand total of $2,500 on my wedding. My parents paid for the band and the flowers. Jay and I paid for the rest. Okay, that was back in the dark ages and all, but still....

7. $33,000.00  Hire a Personal Chef for a year. Just because I can!  I did some research - this number is still reasonable.

8. $12,000.00   An electronics spending spree. A new digital camera for me. A nice macro lens for me. Computers all around (we are operating with some pretty old equipment here). The latest full version of Photoshop CS. Yes, I'm going top of the line!

9. Now if you've been unwittingly adding this as we go, you know I have a mere $50,000 left to spend. One mill doesn't go far these days, does it?  But I have BIG plans for that last $50K.  That is going to be used for a huge girls outing. I'm inviting all my best real-world girlfriends and all my wonderful bloggy-world girlfriends. I'm paying for the plane tickets. And the accomodations. And the food. I just need you to come!  And we are all getting together for a long weekend of scrapbooking and photography and story telling and giggling and eating yummy food and making crazy fun memories.  I can hardly wait!

Since I have no rich relatives and I don't play the lottery, my chances of ever having a million to spend however I like are fairly slim.  But it is a lot of fun to think about what you would do with found money and amazing how fast you can make it disappear! I didn't even manage to get DH & I new cars and I sure didn't get to quit work!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How To Make a Meal They Will ALL Eat!

1. Start out with a complicated Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole recipe that doesn't quite please your family.

2. On the second try, ditch the Uncle Ben's wild rice with the overwhelming flavor packets and too much salt in favor of plain brown rice. Much better!

3. On the third try, change the milk to heavy cream and the Dry Sherry to Marsala wine. Definitely improved the flavor and made the casserole much more creamy. Also realize that the instructions calling for layering the ingredients in a pan are just stupid and mix it all together in a bowl then dump in the pan. So much easier! Cut about 10 minutes out of the prep time and it cooks better.

4. On the fourth try, add peas. Ask yourself why this recipe didn't have peas in it to begin with? Seriously, what was the author thinking?

5. Remember to take a picture after you have already started serving dinner.

 6. End up with a custom secret family recipe that everyone loves and that you can share with your blog friends! (P.S. This makes awesome leftovers). And in this version I added an extra can of mushrooms. Just cause I was in the mood! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 45 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr
Serves: 8


  • 2 cans Campbell's Cream of Chicken & Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Marsala cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable or Chicken stock
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 package Birds Eye peas w/garlic & mushrooms
  • 5 pieces Chicken Breast cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  1. Cut chicken breasts into bite size chunks

  2. Add all ingredients EXCEPT cheese into a bowl and mix thoroughly

  3. Pour into greased 13x9 pan

  4. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes

  5. Remove cover and sprinkle cheese on top

  6. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May
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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

To My Blog Friends

Today over at  Cate's Blog Every Day in May, Cate has asked us to write a letter.   My initial thought was to write an open letter to my daughters.  But I just don't seem to have the words in me today.  But I was feeling this... so, I'm writing to YOU...

Dear Blog Friend:

I never knew when I started this blog back in October of 2008 that it would become a place of such personal connection. 

I never knew that I could meet friends online who were just as real, just as supportive, just as wonderful as those who are present in my offline life.  In fact, sometimes you all are even more here for me than some of the folks who see me in person on a regular basis.  You GET me.  Does that make sense?

I never knew that I would find a tribe of like-minded women from all over the globe with shared interests willing to open up their lives, their homes, and their hearts.

I never knew it would be such a lasting source of inspiration and fun and sharing.

And for all that I want to say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To acknowledge how often a comment you leave here has the ability to make me smile, feel validated, pull me out of a funk.

And to tell you all how much you are appreciated.  And loved.

With big virtual hugs from me to you:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Me On Monday

Hello Monday! As is typical of Mondays, I'm back at the desk, trying to catch up with everything I missed over a crazy fun busy weekend.  On tap for today - lots and lots of paperwork. 2 contracts to revise for work. Flex Pay reimbursement submission. And business paperwork. Yuck and patooie. Plus meal planning and grocery shopping which didn't happen yesterday.  But the sun is shining, I have the windows open and a nice little cross-breeze through my office, and Life is Good! :)

I don't know if I have mentioned this lately, but I LOVE Spring!!! The weather has gone from winter to practically summer with barely a blink of Spring in between, but I have enjoyed every moment of it!

So my weekend went like this. 1/2 day on Friday - then hit a book sale at the Quakertown Library, thrift shops, and dinner at Roman Delight, my favorite pizza place. Shortly after dinner Rachel and Becca arrived home from college. They'll be around for the next 14 weeks solid and already I'm hearing "I'm bored".  I thought that was a teen thing???  Saturday we went to our community yard sale at Lenape Park and a flea market in Lambertville N.J.   Sunday I started in on the mountain of laundry that Becca brought home from college, went out shopping for flowers (photos coming!) and made Baked Ziti for dinner.  Mother's Day dinner out has been postponed to next weekend when all my girls will be home!

On tap for this week - the aforementioned paper work (ugh), in the office on Wednesday, and other than that, finishing up the mountain of laundry, trying hard to keep up with blogs, online classes, and my crazy creative life. Hoping for a good week! What do you have on tap this week?

Waving hello to Sian and all the "Me on Monday" folks and linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What My Mothers Taught Me

I had the unique experience of growing up with two women who loved me as their daughter - the Mother who gave birth to me and the Mom who raised me. You can read the full story here of how that came to be. It's important back-story to understanding the valuable lessons I learned from each of them.

The most important lesson my Mom taught me was to be self-sufficient and never need to rely on a man for my support and well-being. The lesson came directly from her own life, but I grew up knowing that it was important for me to do well in school, that it was important to have a vocation - a skill or career by which I could support myself. It was a lesson that earned me a full scholarship to one of the top colleges in the country, gave me the education I needed to succeed, and taught me the value of hard work. I think it still plays out in my life in many ways today. In how I approach challenges, obstacles, difficulties.  The one flaw in that lesson is that the goal of gainful employment was never tempered with any kind of advice to do something that you actually enjoy. So I ended up with a career that pays the bills but provides minimal personal fulfillment. I've had to learn on my own how to convert that scenario into a happy life. No worries - I think I have it figured out! :)

The most important lesson my Mother taught me was to live for today - to be present in the moment, to stop and smell the flowers, to not always be focusing so hard on the future. I'm sure she didn't think I was listening!  But I did get the message. I understand that this moment is the only one I know I have for sure, that I should live it to the fullest and actually attempt to enjoy it. It isn't quite in my temperament to live with a devil-may-care attitude, so I temper the enjoying of the moment with also planning for the future so that I'm prepared for all the other moments that I may be gifted with down the road.

Do you see it?  The yin/yang, two sides of the coin lessons that I learned from my mothers? It took me awhile, but I do now.  Thanks Moms.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

THRIVE - April Review

 Cate's Blog Every Day in May wants a list of ten bloggers we follow regularly. Truth is the only "famous" blogger I follow regularly anymore is Cathy Zielski. Brene Brown and Stacy Julian are still in my reader but they rarely post. Otherwise, the people I follow are bloggers who have become friends. And you all know who you are!  I don't want to single anyone out or make anyone else feel left out if I publish a list. So I'm using today for my THRIVE review.

I'm trying to stay accountable to myself for the things I have set out to do. THRIVE is a big word. This is what thriving looked like in April...

1. Read A Book:  I read "Find Your Happy" by Shannon Kaiser in April.  You can read my scathing review Here.  

2.  Try A New Recipe: I did!  Chicken Scallopini with Capers. I shared the recipe here.

3.  Declutter:  With traveling so much of the month, I didn't actually do a new decluttering project. But I did get all those boxes from March off to the charity shop! And I took some books to the crop to sell at the yard sale table. 

4.  Complete An Unfinished Project:  I made significant progress with Rachel and Becca's Kindergarten through 6th Grade School of Life albums. I think I have about 4 digi pages in each to create to call them done. Here are some examples of the pages I did this month:

 One thing about creating for twins... one design does double duty. I made this page twice, only changing out the focal photo.

 Becca - keeping these pages super simple

 Somehow we only had one copy of this field trip photo. Scanner to the rescue! The scanned version (with a little photoshop help) is actually clearer than the original.

 Two 8.5.x11 digi pages adhered to 12 x12 cardstock with bits of the newspaper clippings and awards program added. The pages are the same except that the ad each child drew is different and clipped directly from the paper.

 Title page for Rachel's album. They change a LOT between Kindergarten and 6th grade. And somehow I had no small copies of the 1st & 2nd grade photos, but had Fall and Spring versions for 5th & 6th grades. 

5. Improve Flexibility - A little backsliding on this one. I'm back to 6" from the touching my toes. Which is why stretching will be a priority again in May - I need to get back into the habit!

6. Scrapbooking - My Favorite Five - Not this month either, not a single one of the photos I identified in this post were scrapped during the months of March or April. I didn't think they would be. But a lot of scrapbooking WAS done and I WILL get to those photos. A few of them are what remains of finally being finished with Rachel and Becca's K-6 albums. So they will remain on my list for May. GOAL.

7.  Photography - I haven't looked at Kim Klassen's classes since I posted my THRIVE review last month. That will change soon. It's on the list of things to do.  I did manage to get outside for a few Spring shots.

8.  Art Journaling - I haven't had any time to do this, but I do have some mixed media/altered art projects in mind for this month that will likely take the place of actual art journaling. Projects I'm excited about. So stay tuned.

9.  On the Wellness front - I literally ate my way through Baltimore, the Poconos, and the Dallas area of Texas during the month of April. I enjoyed a lot of foods that I don't normally have at home (Maryland crab cakes and crab bisque, Thai, blueberry crepes, Texas barbeque...). I don't regret a single bite, but my "numbers" continue to be moving in the wrong direction.  I AM still moving more - had several days during my trips where I hit 10,000+ steps.  And walking around the block (that's about 1/2 mile in quite hilly terrain) is happening regularly at home. During the month of May, I'm committed to reigning my eating back to healthier choices and smaller portions.

And here are the April pages from my One Little Word Planner:

 I had a full calendar in April with lots of travel. The large photo shows sunset from the vantage point of 30,000 feet on the way home from Texas.

1. Numbers;   2. Work conference in Baltimore MD; 3. Crop in the Poconos with friend Krystal
4. Melissa and I at Frisco Mercantile; 5. Texas Bluebonnets in Ennis; 6. Target practice with 9 mm S&W

 April's One Little Word Assignment was to capture how our word is manifesting in our lives via photos.  The stamped copper penny is a charm I bought from an Etsy shop to have a tangible reminder.

My gratitude calendar - noting the best thing that happened that day or the thing for which I am grateful that day.

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Happy Place

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.

Where do I go to clear my head?  If I have a choice, it is the ocean. Ocean City N.J. is the most often visited. 

As soon as I cross the bridge into O.C. I feel like I have come home. Like this is where I belong. With the sound of the gulls, the smell of the salt water, the waves crashing on the shore, this is where I am at once most peaceful and most alive.  Maui was the prettiest bit of ocean I have visited to date. I'd love to go back!

 If I can't have the ocean, any body of water will do - the closest being the creek that runs along the walking path here in town. 

layout from April 2011
And here's a link to a true story of a day when I actually HAD to go there to clear my head.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Movie Madness

Today Cate wants to know my top five movies of all time.

If I went strictly by what I've seen the most on television, it would go something like Mean Girls, She's The Man, The Princess Diaries, John Tucker Must Die, and Pitch Perfect.  Are you sensing a theme?  Yep, teen chick flicks ... and while I enjoy them, no they aren't my choice. Obviously this programming is courtesy of my girls (well, at least the younger two)!

Second most in terms of viewing "pleasure" would include anything from the Terminator series, Matrix series, Saving Private Ryan and a host of other war-type movies, Aliens and all the sequels, and Twister along with all the related mega-weather type movies. Theme?  Action-adventure and Sci-Fi mix. I enjoy these too, especially the sci-fi and weather movies. Not so much the war ones. Courtesy of Jay of course.

And since those are the people who generally control the remote, those are the movies I've seen most on television.  But IF I were given the remote (like that would ever happen), the movies I would choose as my favorites of all time:

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Poster  E.T. (1982) - what's not to love about a friendly little alien that just wants to go home??? And has this ever been shown on TV?

2. Dirty Dancing (1987) Poster Dirty Dancing (1987). I'd give my eye teeth to be able to dance like that. And I always had a thing for Patrick Swayze. Loved him in Ghost as well. And I enjoy just about any dance-themed movies, including the newer ones like Step Up (2006), cause let's face it, Channing Tatum isn't hard to look at either.

3. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) Poster Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). Robin Williams was a comedic genius but I think this was my favorite role of his of all time.

4. Forrest Gump (1994) Poster Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks is just incredible in this film. And the references to events over decades can't help but crack you up. I loved the scene where he accidentally invented the smiley face!

5. Avatar (2009) Poster Avatar (2009). This had some of the most beautiful CGI imagery I've ever seen and the message is timeless. I loved it!

And just because I can... a few runner's up on my favorites list include Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), Independence Day (1996) (and the Men in Black Series and Hitch - yes, I enjoy Will Smith), and Titanic  (1997).

linking up with Cate's Blog Every Day in May.