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A Necessity: “White Space”



“White space” is negative space.  In design, it is balancing the remainder of the design by providing some relief on the page or screen, which helps focus your visual attention.

What if you analyzed your daily schedule with an eye towards design?  Some questions one can ponder are: Have you preserved enough “white space” within your daily work?  Or does the way you design your day look very busy and cluttered?

We all need white space in our daily lives just as much as we need it in designs because the concept is two-fold: If our lives are over-cluttered and over-booked, we cannot focus properly on anything.  Importantly, this way of working actually diminishes our ability to think creatively.

In their book Scarcity, the researchers Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir make a compelling case for how “time scarcity” — the state of being constantly over scheduled lessens our imaginative powers.  Below is an excerpt:

Because we are preoccupied by [time] scarcity, because our minds constantly return to it, we have less mind to give to the rest of life.  This is more than a metaphor.  We can directly measure mental capacity or, as we call it, bandwidth.  We can measure fluid intelligence, a key resource that affects how we process information and make decisions.  We can measure executive control, a key resource that affects how impulsively we behave.  And we find that scarcity reduces all of these components of bandwidth—it makes us less insightful, less forward-thinking, less controlled. And the effects are large.

If we want to create an environment that nourishes innovation and imagination, we need to build quiet points into our daily rhythm.  These small moments of “white space,” where we have time to pause and reflect,  go for a walk, or just breathe deeply for a few moments  are what give balance and flow and comprehension to our lives as a larger whole.

It is important to see how you can open up your schedule and let some white space in.

But what exactly is white space?  Ultimately, that is up to you to define what works best.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Sitting quietly and letting your mind wander
  • Free drawing with no specific objective
  • Going for a walk around the block
  • Doing a mini-workout
  • Journaling and writing
  • Taking a short nap
  • People watching
  • Meditating

Ask yourself: Do you have enough white space in your daily routine?  Or do you plow through an over-cluttered schedule day after day, unconscious of how much this pattern is cramping your creativity?

Consider building a few white space blocks directly into your schedule weeks in advance so that no matter what meetings or deadlines come up, you still have time blocked off to take a few moments and think about the big picture or think about nothing at all.  Not having enough “white space” in one’s life will eventually lead to immense burn out and significant fatigue.

Our Biggest Collaboration!

My dear readers, it is with great excitement and joy that I announce Doug and I are expecting our first child, our little miracle!  We have patiently waited, for quite some time, for this season to arrive and we are absolutely over the moon with delight!  Our little miracle will arrive this summer!  I have been very fortunate in that I have not experienced any sickness, thus far, and I have been feeling great!  My belly is slowly but surely expanding; and our little baby is growing quickly!  It has been an extraordinary journey for us.  Our hearts are overflowing and we cannot wait to meet her and give her oodles of love, hugs, and kisses!  We are excited for this new chapter in our lives; and we are hopeful our little fur girl, Victory, pictured below, in time, will enjoy being a ‘big sister’ and that she will relish sharing her unwavering love and puppy kisses with her ‘little sister!’  We are so very grateful for our little miracle!



(We mailed our announcements containing our news several weeks ago, which included the image above of our fur girl, Victory, who has been a tremendous part of our journey, sharing the gender of our baby, which complimented our gold foil pressed announcement to friends and family!)

Six Year Blogiversary!

Tomorrow is the six-year Blogiversary of the blog!  It is really difficult to believe that six years have already passed by so quickly!  Many things have changed over the past few years, but some things remain the same, fortunately.

If it were not for our beloved Biscuit, I am not sure I would have ever started blogging and I know that I would not have started my long-term photography project, which is so close to completion, for which Biscuit and Victory are my inspiration.  Biscuit was such a blessing and gift to us.  Biscuit permanently changed our lives in so many positive ways and Biscuit sent us our precious little rescue sheltie, Victory, who we adore and love, shown below!  And, coincidentally, Victory is as old as the blog!

Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you, and I hope that you continue to enjoy visiting and reading the blog!

Thank you so very much!  xoxo


Around Here: January

Happy January!  We cannot believe that a new year has already begun!  We are happy to have another year!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in January!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-enjoying date nights together!  However, this month, we did not try any new restaurants!  This month we have been making more dinners at home together!  In fact, we made one of our favorite recipes last night!  Doug is a good cook and baker and I am lucky that I do not have to be the one that always cooks!

-we made a ‘chicken run’ with Victory to Zaxby’s located in Westchester, Virginia!

-gave Victory her first bath for the year!  She feels great and her fur feels silky smooth!

-since the weather has been a bit warmer, we have enjoyed taking Victory for rides in her Hound About!  Her new tires on her Hound About work really well!

-chose my word for the year, 2018!

-made my happiness jar for 2018 and began filling it up!

-began using the 1 Second Everyday App to document a second each day — it will be interesting to see the finished video at the end of the year!  (I will aim for a second a day, but it might be less formal, we shall see…)

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale, an intense, but really good series based on the Margaret Atwood novel.

-finished the miniseries, The Apple Tree Yard, a good series.

-finished reading Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan, a good read!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Monday!

P.S. — Below are a few images from our travels over the Holidays!



The below image contains Nick, my parents’ rescue papillon dog, and Victory wearing their new matching hats and leg warmers!


The image below is New Year’s Eve dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor!


The image below contains our top nine images from Instagram for 2017!  (Notice — Victory is in every single image!)

Loving: Winter 2018

Happy winter!  Although the winter is not our favorite season, below are the items I am loving, so far, this winter!


1. Pajamas — These are the most comfortable pajamas I have ever owned.  The light weight material is so soft and they are perfect — they keep one just warm enough!  I love them so much that I bought a second pair of these pajamas!

2. Lululemon Full Freedom Tank – I recently bought this work out tank top and it is really comfortable.  I highly recommend it!

3. The Universe Has Your Back Cards — Last year I read the book, The Universe Has Your Back, and I recently got these cards, with daily words of inspiration, which I have gifted to a few friends!

4. PuraSense Humidifier – It has been cold and dry that we got a new humidifier for our bedroom at night.  This humidifier works really well by keeping moisture in the air in our bedroom!

5. Ponds Dry Skin Facial Cream  – Since it had been so cold and dry while we were in Michigan over the Holidays, I used my Mom’s face cream and found the Ponds Dry Skin Facial Cream to work well, and plus it is really inexpensive!  I have continued to use it this winter for extra moisture.

6. Warby Parker Glasses – I had to get new glasses and I used Warby Parker!  We have a Warby Parker not too far from our home and the process of getting new glasses was seamless and easy!

You can view other things I love here!

Happy Monday!

2018 Word of the Year: Peace

Happy New Year!  We are back from taking a break over the Holidays and we are getting caught up and back into the swing of things!  Many people write new year resolutions.  I concurrently write down my goals for the year, which I recently finished, while also reflecting upon last year, but I have found it more helpful to have a word, an intention, to focus on throughout the year.

This year, after reflection, I decided the word peace would be my word for 2017.  Last year I chose the word relax; in 2016 I chose present; in 2015 I chose flow; in 2014 I chose trust; and in 2013 I chose the word create.  Also, My Intent offers custom bracelets and necklaces containing one’s word as a reminder of one’s intent, while spreading positive energy.

Peace defined: /pēs/ noun 1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.

I decided that I want to have more of a sense of peace than last year, which was quite intense, in many ways.  So Doug and I are making a concerted effort to enjoy each day and incorporate as much tranquility and peace as possible this year, and we are hopeful and excited to see how this year unfolds.

Are you considering selecting a word for yourself (or letting one find you)?  There is no right or wrong.  The main thing to remember is that this is your word.

And what do you do with this one little word?  You live with it.  You invite it into your life.  You let it speak to you.  You might even follow where it leads.  There are so many possibilities.

Happy New Year!

Happy Pawlidays!

“Dogs truly are able to see into our souls and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.” — Unknown

Happy Pawlidays!  Thank you so much for a wonderful year!  I am very grateful to you readers!  Thank you so very much for reading the blog — it means so much to me.

Below is the front and back of our Pawliday card along with our matching envelopes using custom stamps and little seals of our beautiful little Victory!  (You can view our previous Pawliday cards hereherehere, here, and here).  Sending our Pawliday card is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season!  This is my way of sharing our Pawliday card with all of our blog friends!  Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you.  We hope that you have a wonderful Holiday!


We are traveling over the Holidays and will be taking a brief break from the blog to enjoy some down time.  I will return to the blog in January 2018.  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Happy Pawlidays!

2017: Wrap Up

We cannot believe this year, 2017, is coming to an end already.  This year has been punctuated with important milestones: Doug turned forty this summer and reached the career midpoint of fifteen years.  And, after nearly five years of work, I finished the final edits on my long-term photography project examining the relationship between dogs and people; and I continue to work on the forthcoming steps on my project.  Other highlights from 2017 include celebrating Doug’s birthday; enjoying long weekend trips to Dewey Beach and the Shenandoah Valley; celebrating Victory’s sixth birthday; and enjoying several visits to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for crabs with our fur girl, Victory!  Additionally, we vacationed in Charleston, South Carolina this summer and truly enjoyed lazy days by the ocean!  Below is a snapshot of images representing our 2017!

We look forward to seeing how 2018 unfolds; however, most of all, we are grateful for the many blessings in our lives and we do our best to appreciate everything while remaining present.

“May you live every day of your life.” —Jonathan Swift


Around Here: December

Happy December!  We cannot believe that it is almost the end of the year and the December Holidays are here!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in December!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-enjoying date nights together!  However this month we did not try any new restaurants!  We’ll try again next month.

-making more dinners at home together, and here is an old favorite that we made this month!

-took Victory to see Santa for the fourth time!

-had our first snow this winter this month and the temperatures are cold — winter is here and it is here to stay!

-this weekend I took Victory on her last Hound About walk/ride for the year!

-gave Victory her last bath for the year!

-finished and sent out our Pawliday card!

-finished our Christmas shopping!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished the third season of Broadchurch, a good series.

-finished Alias Grace, a really good series.

-started the second season of The Crown, an excellent series.

-began reading Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  I hope to get some reading done over the Holidays!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Monday!


Victory: Visiting Santa

This past weekend we took Victory  to visit Santa, an annual tradition!  She was a very good girl!  Of course, Santa and his helpers remembered our little fur girl, as this is Victory’s fourth time visiting Santa!  (You can see Victory’s previous trips to visit Santa herehere, and here.)  Victory wore her new ivory cable sweater, that she got for her birthday, for her visit with Santa!  All proceeds from visiting Santa are donated to a local dog rescue, a very good cause near and dear to us as Biscuit and Victory are rescues.  If you are interested, be sure to check with and visit your local pet stores to see if there is a Santa in your area that specializes in furry family members!

A few images from Victory’s visit with Santa are shown below along with the previous three years’ visits with Santa!  The time really does fly by!  We are so grateful for our fur girl, Victory!

Additionally, each year, I have a photo ornament made with Victory and Santa for our Christmas tree!

We hope that you have a lovely week enjoying the Holiday spirit!

Happy Monday!






Pictured immediately above: upper left, 2017 visit with Santa; upper right, 2016 visit with Santa; lower left 2015 visit with Santa; and lower right 2014 visit with Santa.