March 29, 2012

Guess Where We Went--

New York!

This was my first time; it's such a vibrant city. And contrary to what I'd heard, the people were generously kind to help us whenever we needed it. We filled each day with sightseeing and fun (thanks to my husband's ultimate planning skills). LOTS of walking. Thankfully I took my tourist tennies. And in case you don't know the Metro card works on the subway AND the buses; we didn't realize that till halfway through our trip. Ha. Here are a few of the places we visited:
It was incredible to be away with my family in such a gorgeous city. I'd love for that to happen more often. However, I think we museumed-out the kids because by the end they were moving bench to bench through the art galleries while my husband and I browsed. He teased them that it was less of a vaca-tion and more of an edu-cation. The trip did us all tremendous good but I'll admit, I'm thankful to be home. I'm a homebody after all.

In case you're wondering, I did not wear the Little Red Dress to New York. I'd set aside this week to be out of it, but I'm in it again and will resume updates next week.

Thanks to everyone who sent condolences yesterday, I appreciate all your sweet thoughts.

March 28, 2012

Life Hurts

I'm glad to be back from vacation; I've missed you and reading your blogs.

But today is somber for me. On our way home yesterday we found out our dear friend's health had unexpectedly become critical and he would most likely not make it through the day. As we flew home, I hoped against hope to make it there to say goodbye. We did make it and I am thankful for that.

But I'm so heartbroken. I don't know why loss keeps taking me by surprise. I hate it.

Tomorrow I'll share more about my trip, but today, I need a moment.

March 27, 2012

Packing Tip

Try rolling your outfits, placing them side-by-side and securing them together with accessories.

March 26, 2012

Much Love Monday: SouleMama Magazine

What I'm loving today:
What are you loving?

March 23, 2012

Favorite Things

*  My son's skate moves
*  Sunshine
*  Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly's
*  Multi-colored afghan
*  Feather pillows

Have an amazing weekend and hopefully enjoy some of your favorite things!

March 22, 2012

A Day in the Life

Few pics from a day in my life.
Starting the day off right. Usually I make coffee in my "kitchen cafe" but on this day I met a friend for coffee. YUM!
My kids love when I sing in the car. *wink*
Waiting for my daughter to get out of class.
Jotting ideas for blog posts while I wait.

What's a day in your life look like?

March 21, 2012

The Creative Framework

I was thrilled when Joanne DeMaio of the blog, Whole Latte Life, agreed to do a guest post; she's like the Mother Muse of the blogging world to me. Enjoy!


Similar to a camera, writing is a lens that lets me focus on life through the unique perspective of my characters.  Actually, writing and photography go hand-in-hand for me.  As much as I enjoy creating an image with words, I also enjoy interpreting life through photographic images.  For the past few years, I’ve done this with my blog.  Each post is inspired by a photograph I’ve taken in my daily travels.  Seeing everyday, normal life through the lens reveals a different perspective that gives me greater understanding.

In my novel Whole Latte Life, I’ve given a similar trait to my main character Sara Beth.  Her Art History background gives her a tool to process different situations she encounters.  Soon after Sara Beth walks clean out of her life, she is wracked with doubt over her decision.  And so, in steps her passion for art to help her understand …

Did she do the right thing?  They say that in an oil painting, colors can be painted over each other, changing the nuance of light.  So maybe this is what she’ll do.  Change just the nuance of Sara Beth.

Or in a later scene when she looks up at the night sky over the sea, heavy with twinkling stars, she thinks with longing not only of the mother she lost, but of a quote by one of the art world masters.  In this scene, she’s talking with her best friend …

“ … Twenty-five years of wishing on stars.  They must hold some celestial answer for us.”
“We take death to reach a star.  That’s what van Gogh said.”

Always, always, Sara Beth can draw on her passion for art to help her through days of longing, sadness, and contentment, too.  Her doing so is a way of showing the reader the wonder of living a life with passion.

Which is what I’m wishing you and your readers … A special passion in each of your lives to enrich your every day, always.

Thanks for hosting me today, Catherine!

Joanne DeMaio is an author, exploring through her writing the journey to living a fulfilling life.  Her debut novel, WHOLE LATTE LIFE, was published in March 2012.  In addition, her music essays have appeared in literary journals, celebrating her passion for song, in print.  Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut, where the coffee is always brewing, either in her country kitchen or a favorite coffee shop, and the talk is ever flowing over a fresh cup of java.

March 20, 2012

Little Red Dress Days 22-28

Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25
NO PHOTOS for Day 26 and 27. 
Sick with a stomach virus, I stayed in pajamas all day.

Day 28
This week was better than last. I had renewed energy about the Little Red Dress.

I've been reading more about other countries and cultures in the poorer communities of the world. They seem to be so full of joy with so little. I'm sure that it wears on them the same as financial worries wear on anyone; but they seem able to rejoice in the little things--savor the small moments. They don't have as many "expectations" or "rights" that they're touting around and being disappointed when it doesn't happen.

I've seen I DO have an entitled mindset. I often feel like I'm owed or that I have the right to what I want. But what about being happy with what I have right now? What about not searching for bliss in the great unknown, but finding it in the everyday? That's what I attempted to do this week. And I found whining has a much harder time showing itself when you're feeling grateful.

Lesson four: Be grateful for what you have in your life TODAY.

If you'd like to read more about the Little Red Dress Experiment go here. Also,
Days 1-7
Days 8-14
Days 15-21

Little Red Dress experiment Days 36-42 (days 29-35 were spent in New York and I didn't wear the little red dress, forgive me)

March 17, 2012

Five Lucky Movies

1. Serendipity - the best all-time lucky romance there is.
2. It Could Happen to You - fun for cheering the underdog.
3. Lucky Seven - romance that's predictable in the way we love predictable to be.
4. Lucky You - what's a greater gamble than taking a chance on love? (I adore Drew Barrymore!)
5. Lucky Number Slevin - a mystery full of twists, hilarity and great acting.
Grab a bowl of Lucky Charms, and cozy up for a night of movie watching that just might change your luck. ;) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2012

How I Paint

I thought I'd take pictures as I worked this week on a new painting. I wanted to have it completed by Friday but it didn't work out that way. I'm sharing anyways because it shows a bit of my process. Anytime I'm having difficulty overcoming painter's block or being a perfectionist about what I want to do, I pick up a bottle of paint and squeeze out a bit on the blank canvas. This takes away the pressure of it being perfect and then I'm free to play.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

March 15, 2012

In the Mail

I love getting packages in the mail! This week I received a gorgeous shell necklace from The Lady Waits that I won in a giveaway she had a little bit back. It's lovely and I can't wait to fancy up the Little Red Dress with it.
I also received this print (also a giveaway--I'm having a lucky streak) from Cat at Love and Light. I absolutely LOVE the ocean. I've never lived near it, but we vacationed at the beach fairly often growing up so I have happy memories of it. The waves relax me in a way nothing else can. This picture will be hanging nearby because simply gazing at it refreshes me.

Thanks ladies!

Any fun packages in your mailbox lately?

March 14, 2012

Little Red Dress Days 15 - 21

Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21
This week the Little Red Dress got it's first battle scar; a tiny rip at the corner of one pocket. I had to mend it best I could (I'm only slightly competent at that sort of thing). I couldn't help thinking how it's only been three weeks and I already have a tear. I've been washing my dress on delicate cycle and drying only lightly before hanging it up. I'm careful about what I do in the dress, which I suppose anyone would be if it was all they had.

I can't imagine a child wearing the same thing day after day, the wear and tear must be triple. But then, I suppose if you knew the value of your clothes, you would be more careful. Kind of like we teach children about carrying a glass or something breakable. They learn to be delicate. I've tried to be careful with the Little Red Dress, but when I think of it, it's probably not the I-won't-have-anything-else-to-wear-if-I-ruin-this careful. It's sobering when I think of that.

Lesson three: Having only one garment is a burden.

I guess I should've known that, but this dress has felt like Frodo's ring this week--heavy and burdensome. I lost some of my creativity because I just didn't have the heart for it. It's embarrassing to admit because it emphasizes how spoiled I am--that aspect of this experiment has been painfully evident. And each time I want to whine and complain, I feel this prick in my heart of how I still have a choice. Even now, I could give this dress away and have no worries about it. BUT, there are those who can't; and I'm beginning to understand I don't have a clue of what that's like.

If you'd like to know more about the Little Red Dress experiment go here.
Days 1-7
Days 8-14

Little Red Dress experiment Days 22-28