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Revisit: Happiness Jar

Last year, I decided to make and keep a happiness jar throughout 2014.  I am happy to report, that I filled it up, shown below!  Earlier this year, I made a new happiness jar, shown below, which is bigger, and I plan to write down at least one sentiment at the end of each day and place it in my new jar in order to create a way to remember snippets from each day and to foster more gratitude this year.  I am also still using my wish ball!

Happy Wednesday!


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Photo Tattoos: Picattoo

I recently learned of how you can make photo tattoos from your Instagram via Picattoo.

For $14.99 you can get 12 of your Instagram photos turned into tattoos and shipped anywhere in the world.  Shipping is free, and I have read that the tattoos can each last well over a week if properly cared for.  Maybe I will have to check this out for myself, although, I have no permanent tattoos!  Also, I am sure kids would love to have selfie temporary tattoos, and it would make great party favors for kids as well!

Happy Monday!






The above images are courtesy of Picattoo.

Victory: Photography Project — 52

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

This week has been a crazy busy week, which has zoomed by in nothing flat and here is Friday already and it is also the first official day of spring and it is snowing!  We hope that warm temperatures will come soon.  Even though it has been a busy week, Victory and I made time at the beginning of the week to capture a few fun photos while she was in our bed with her ‘Victory Bone Pillow!‘  Isn’t she just adorable!  Doug comes home today, and we plan to take Victory on some outings this weekend!  We start private lessons for Victory on Tuesday and we hope that this will help her anxiety.  This also is my last ‘free weekend’ for a while before all of my photo shoots are in full swing in order to complete the second half of my photography project!

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Updated Website and Blog

Over the past couple of months, I have been working with my website provide to update my website in preparation for when I complete this next body of work, my long-term photography project.  My theme with my website is “simple and clean,” with the focus on highlighting the images along with easy navigation.  Although it is a lot of tedious work, I believe it is a good practice to keep my website current: (1) content wise and (2) appearance wise.  A few screen shots of my revised website are shown below.


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I have also updated my blog over the past several months, while also keeping a clean and simple look to the blog, which is simultaneously easy to navigate.  I have changed text colors; added a splash of color to the text via links; created a footer; edited the right side bar; edited the menu and categories; and made other updates where necessary.  I am pleased with the result.  A screen shot of the blog is shown below.


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The lesson that I have learned while working on updating and revising my website and blog is that nothing remains static — your website and blog evolves with you over time.  I am sure that there will be more changes in the future to my website and blog, but I believe my goal of maintaining a simple and clean presence will remain constant.

Also, be sure to sign up for the newsletter, which is coming soon!

Happy Wednesday!

Around Here: March

Well, it is March and spring should be here soon, hopefully by Friday, the first day of spring!  We are happy to have an extra hour of light each day; and we are happy that the temperatures are getting warmer!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in March!

-working really hard editing images for my long-term photography project, and I am getting close to finishing a draft of the first part of the project.

-gearing up for the final photo shoots for my project occurring shortly.

-making updates to my website and blog.

-attending training class with Victory!  She is making good progress.  Due to her anxiety in new situations and when she meets new people, we start private lessons shortly to help give Victory some one-on-one training time.

-started a new yoga class, which has been great and a good way to mix up the week at the gym.

-began reading this book.  I am examining how I am spending my little pockets of time.

-we are getting our outdoor deck furniture ready to set out as soon as it gets warm enough, and we look forward to spending time time outside on our deck with Victory along with enjoying sunsets together!  We shall see if she uses her outdoor Orvis dog bed similar to this one.  Last year, Victory did not want anything to do with it!

-making homemade dinner with Doug on Sundays.  One of our favorites is fried tilapia.

-making breakfasts together on the weekends.

-we had our first Shake Shack burger and it was delicious!

-began and finished watching House of Cards.  This season got off to a sluggish start, but it picked up, with a surprise ending.

-started to open the windows in the house to let in fresh air!  Yay!

-burning lots of candles around the house!

-having date nights with Doug — we went to one of our favorite restaurants this past weekend in Delaware!  We can’t wait for it to get warmer so that we can take our fur girl with us!

-taking more walks outside with Victory since the weather has warmed up some!  She loves her Hound About!

-giving Victory a bath — not her favorite thing to do — but she looks so great when she is all bathed and groomed!

-Victory and I will be on our own most of this week as Doug is going away on travel for work.

Here is a photograph of a freshly bathed and groomed Victory cuddling up with her ‘Victory Bone Pillow’ in our bed!

Happy Monday!


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Victory: Photography Project — 51

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Well, we think that spring might be on the way with these warmer temperatures, and we hope that we have seen the last of the snow!  Victory’s spirits are up with these warmer temperatures, and we walked around the neighborhood last night and took Victory in her Hound About, which she loved!

We are half way through our training class with our fur girl and she is doing well and making progress.  Since Victory has quite a bit of anxiety with the outdoors and being afraid of new people, next week we begin private training lessons at home to help desensitize her when she is in these situations so that she is not so scared and anxious.  She did a great job with her “come,” “sit,” and “touch” in her most recent class.  She is quite a quick learner — we just need to build her confidence more, especially in situations that cause her anxiety.  Hopefully, one-on-one training will help us with this issue.  She loves all of the training treats and she worked so hard in class this week that she was tuckered out by the time we got home!  We hope to make more progress in the coming weeks and we hope to build her confidence!

Below, Victory is walking around the neighborhood — she was happy the snow was finally melting!

Happy Friday!


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Inspirational Podcasts

I have started to listen to podcasts while editing along with Victory by my feet!  So I thought I would share these podcasts with you.  Below are a few recent podcasts that I found inspirational and interesting to listen to and I think that others will enjoy as well!

On Being: Mary Oliver: The famous poet discusses her journey as a poet.  Mary Oliver does not give many interviews, so it was very interesting to listen to her speak about her life and her craft — very inspiring, indeed!  Plus, she is a dog lover!

Good Life Project: Ed Catmull: The founder of Pixar, discusses how art informs and teaches us and the connection between artistic thinking and entrepreneurship.  In his recent book Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull discusses how creativity is cultivated, what is required, and his own journey from studying physics to founding Pixer.  My favorite quote from this podcast  is, “When you take art, the thing you are actually learning to do is to see.”  This is so true.  So much about art and creativity is actually based on how you see and interpret the world.

Chopra: Elizabeth Gilbert: Discusses creativity and moving through fear.  Elizabeth Gilbert also has a new book coming out later this year entitled, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.  There is also an interesting brief Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and failure, which is quite interesting and worth watching!

Alt Summit: Lisa Congdon: An artist, illustrator, and author was the keynote speaker at the recent AltSummit.  In this talk, she discusses her art career, her art identity, and big lessons that she learned along the way.  I found these words inspiring to listen to.

Happy listening!



Staying Organized on Paper

I have always used a paper planner ever since I can remember.  Along with my planner, I maintain a large to do list of everything that I want and need to get done in the short-term (daily and weekly) and long-term, which I update daily.  Doug gets overwhelmed when he looks at this list, but I feel overwhelmed without my list!  This practice saves me time and I make sure that items do not slip through the cracks.  Usually during the summer months, I purchase a weekly calendar that contains an entire calendar year, January through December, and then I start marking it up before the year begins.  I purchased this year’s calendar, shown below, in Montreal.

I think that there is something to be said for being able to quickly glance at my calendar and to do list without flipping through screens, typing changes, and updates, etc.  Plus, there have been studies that indicate a higher degree of happiness from using a paper planner.  For me, it is not as efficient to keep an electronic calendar.  Everyone is different.  I like the ability to write, erase, cross-off, use post-it notes, etc., which is faster than typing for me.  Doug, on the other hand, does not keep a calendar in paper or electronic form — not sure how he does it…well, I do because I am the one keeping the calendar for us all!


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Victory: Photography Project — 50

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

Below are a few images of Victory from a recent walk together, just prior to sunset before the deep freeze and snow!  We are looking forward to warmer temperatures and more outings together!  This weekend marks daylight savings, a step towards spring, we hope!

Here is a video, a pick me up, if you will, for all you creatives!

Happy Friday!


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Inspirational Quotes: Creatives

Today we have more snow and it just keep coming.  Victory is more than ready for warmer weather (as are we) — we are trying to keep her spirits up until it gets nicer outside for more outings together.  Here are some inspirational quotes for creatives below along with an image of Biscuit in the snow — he really loved the snow and today’s weather reminded me of this image of our Biscuit.

“A dream is our creative vision for your life in the future.  You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown.”  -Denis Waitley

“The monotony and solitude of a quite life stimulates the creative mind.”  -Albert Einstein

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas.   It is a creative art.”  -Ansel Adams

“Be brave enough to live life creatively.  The creative place where no one else has ever been.”  -Alan Alda

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  -Scott Adams

“The aim of art is to reprint not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”  -Aristotle

“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.”  -Henry David Thoreau

“Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.”  -Agnes Martin

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”  -Jonathan Swift

“No great artist ever sees things as they really are.  If he did, he would cease to be an artist.”  -Oscar Wilde

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”  -Plato

“Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into reals of uncertain outcome.  And fear hates an uncertain outcome.  This is nothing to be ashamed of.  It is, however, something to be dealt with.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves all at the same time.”  -Thomas Merton

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  -Walt Disney

“Nothing prepares you for making art except making art.  You have to do it to get better.”   -Philipp Meyer


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