Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Smell I don’t have it!!

Over at Linda G Hill Life in progress she has a Saturday Stream of Consciousness (SOCS) writing prompt.  She gives us a prompt and we go for it – no editing just write.  Check her out for all the information.  This week smell.

When I read that word I thought I have nothing to write as that is not a strength of mine.  I think we would have to have a major gas link for hours before I might finally take up a whiff of it.  My co-workers know as soon as someone opens a bottle of nail polish from another room “is someone using white-out?” No joke.  Story here I feel safe at work over the “toxic” smell issues.  Home, hmm…….maybe not so much.

You can always start now!

 

 

 

Thank you younger self

I thought instead of writing a letter to my younger self about what I wish I had done or done differently. Why not write a positive letter thanking them for what brought me here today. I extended my letter into the future as figured why not? We all need a little push in the right direction. So here I am in 10 years time….. (sigh – I’m not in Europe right now)

Dear Younger Self

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for bringing me to where I am today.  Sitting in a cafe in Paris watching people as they get their coffee to start their day.  I feel privileged to be here and know my past mistakes, goals, accomplishments and risks have all gotten me here.

Thank you for realizing you get to decide your timeline, not society. You don’t have to be working full-time at 25, in a relationship by 30.  To not feel pressured by other people’s time frames that don’t necessarily work for you. Backpacking in Australia for a year was one of our best decisions. All the travel you did gave us experiences and memories we will have forever.

Taking the risk and buying your own home on your own. Weighing the pros and cons over numerous lunch hours and finally taking that leap. Realizing that this could be a “what if” regret and just doing it. Yes, choosing paint colors and wallpaper has been incredible!

Also acknowledging that instant gratification does not solve your problems long or short-term.  For realizing that bigger dreams means more planning and anticipation is exciting.

For finally taking that leap of faith and putting yourself out there through blogging – yes even if it was a mistake. That act has led to amazing friendships and support from all over the world.  Blogging has also given you the push and focus to complete novels and realize you can’t wait for perfectionism before letting them go as that may never come.

So as I sit and debate if I really need another croissant I jot down my to do list for the day. The online courses are doing well, I have a few emails to answer related to them. My next novel is in draft and waiting at the apartment for me. I have an ongoing collaboration with some incredible fellow bloggers I am excited about and of course I want to post some pictures of my adventures in Paris.

So yes to acknowledging what my younger self has done and is going to continue to do to bring me to sitting in a cafe in Paris/Europe/America in say 10 years. Oh yeah, we will be having another croissant.

You can always start now!

 

 

 

Stream of Consciousness – Saturday

I decided to try something new – participate in challenges (for lack of a better word) put out by other bloggers.  The above is from Ritu over at But I smile anyway.  Her bog is terrific and always a good read.  Plus she is one of the most supportive bloggers I know. Thank you Ritu.  Because bloggers get around Ritu’s post is from Linda G Hill #SOCS.

Here it goes.  The words are “all or nothing”.

It is Saturday morning of a long holiday weekend and I am on my second cup of coffee.  Lazy start to the day.  Reading Ritu words for stream of consciousness I decided that will be my motto for the weekend “all or nothing.”

To challenge myself to do “all” as I have a list of projects I want to start, finish and move forward.  None of them are major but “all or nothing” spoke to me this morning when I read Ritu’s post.  So I am all in for the weekend and actually feel pumped.  Or that could be the second coffee!

You can always start now!

 

 

Should we be using the word “just”?

There are some professions that are celebrated and acknowledged as they should be.  There are other professions that are not celebrated – they don’t have a day or week that acknowledges them and what they do.  Any profession/job that is done well should be acknowledged period. Not just on a certain day or week on the calendar.  Enough said on that, onto the next part of my rant!

I don’t identify myself by my job. My job has always been what I do to earn money to live the life I want. You know when people ask what you do, what they mean is what is your job. As if that is what you do and only do. I feel some people slot you into a category just on your response to that question.

So I am working on a new answer and it also involves eliminating a word from my vocabulary in this regard. What do I do? I am a blogger and writer. Or creative. The word I am trying (insert struggling) to eliminate is “just”.  You can insert this word into anything you do. Don’t.

I might not be the best, popular, creative, thrilling blogger/writer in the world but I am more than “just” and so are you.  We create that is what we do. Other people will be fast enough to judge us – don’t take that job on yourself.  If you are like me “just” is a word I have inserted into practically everything I have ever done.  This is a major learning curve for me.

So let’s take a deep breath before responding to the question what do we do.  What do we want this person to know about us? Whatever it is, it is more than “just”…..

Note when you are using this word and is it really appropriate? If you are describing yourself I doubt it is.  If we don’t start embracing ourselves – why should anyone else.  So deep breath – I am a blogger/writer.  To push the button further if they insist on “no, what do you do as in job”.  Answer for that is “why do you want to know?”.

You can always start now !

 

7 of my travel tips for any where you are going

Travel has always been one of my favorite things to do.  I was the first of my siblings to go to Europe – not amazing but I am also the youngest.

There has always been something magical about seeing a totally different place, the people, architecture and the nature surrounding it all.  I love old buildings and art so Europe has always been appealing to me.  I tell people I am a back alley person as there is something about doing down an alley way and walking into an incredible square with amazing buildings on all sides. So I thought I’d share some of my tips for travelling.

1.      First thing is what do you like to do? Eat? Hike? Museums?  Is there a city you have always wanted to explore? I love a big city – the different neighborhoods, art galleries, theatre and restaurants.  Also look for organized walking tours if that is your thing.  We did one in Ireland (below) where they gave us a map and took care of getting our bags to the next destination. The rest was on us. There are bus tours to consider if you want a more organized, taken care of experience.

2.      If you want to do a specific tour your best bet is to book ahead. We hiked The Giants Causeway and booked ahead of time to make sure we had it organized before we went. Plus it gave us a booked block to work around.

3.      I use Trip Advisor to check out reviews of places and hotels.  They have travellers’ pictures to check out – that is where you can really see what the place looks like. They also have lists of tops things to do and restaurants in pretty well any place you want to head to.  Plus, you could do your own reviews on hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Just make sure you jot down details and feelings rights away.  FYI you could also review places in your own city for Trip Advisor!

4.      Airlines – well what to say only check them all out. If you don’t have to book your vacation months in advance see if there are any seat sales comings up to places you want to visit.

5.      Last vacation we used Airbnb and we enjoyed it. We stayed in Dublin for four nights and it was fantastic to come home to an apartment. We picked up some groceries so could have coffee in the morning while getting ready.  It was also nice to crash in a living room at the end of the day.  For me it felt like I was more immersed while staying in Dublin.  So if you are staying somewhere for more than a few nights think about getting an apartment.

6.      If you don’t like to book too much ahead your first stop after you check in should be the local tourist bureau.  Some day trips only leave once or twice a week and you don’t want to miss it just because you didn’t get there until a few days into your stay.

7.      Most importantly be open to new experiences and don’t compare anywhere to home.  Every place has it own unique features.  We are travelling to gain experiences – fine if it makes you appreciate home more. You can acknowledge that when you get back.  Just enjoy where you are.

You can always start now !

A Different Kind of Monthly Challenge – Snail Mail !!

Fast recap – starting in January I decided I would challenge myself monthly. Nothing major just challenges that would get me moving and hopefully a bit more focused.

SONY DSC

I have challenged myself to listen to different podcasts, keep a gratitude journal and do a Sharpie craft.  Last month my challenge was to practice loving kindness meditation.  I have been doing it weekly since September but wanted to step up my game of doing it more than once a week.

I have to admit I wasn’t as successful as I wanted.  What is so hard about sitting down and breathing?  Getting caught up in other things and forgetting.  Sigh. No excuse.  I did do loving kindness meditation on my way to work (I take the bus so no fear of accidents).  Just closing my eyes, breathing and repeating  “may I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy and may I live with ease.  Then going on to insert two other names in there.  It was a nice way to start my day and get centered.

So long story short – I’m still working on incorporating more loving kindness meditation into my week along with my gratitude journal from a few months ago.

My challenge for the coming month has a defined task.  I want to send 2-3 items (at least)  of snail mail to people.  I’m not saying write a long letter – but that would be delightful for someone to receive – but what about a postcard or a just because card?  I am always happy when I receive a card in the mail.  I remember my mother writing to her sister Sunday afternoons weekly for over 60 years.

So grab a cup of coffee and paper and pen and jot a note to someone away or even just in town.  I already have a few ideas and going to start looking through my box of cards!

You can always start now !

 

What caught my eye – favorites from the past month

I can’t believe the first of the month is upon us.  No idea where the year is going.  Below are a few sites and projects that I stumbled upon in the past month.  Hope you enjoy and maybe get some inspiration!

Cool Things to Make With Leftover Wrapping Paper - Clip Artistry- Easy Crafts, Fun DIY Projects, Gifts and DIY Home Decor Ideas - Don't Trash The Christmas Wrapping Paper and Learn How To Make These Awesome Ideas Instead - Creative Craft Ideas for Teens, Tweens, Teenagers, Boys and Girls http://diyprojectsforteens.com/diy-projects-wrapping-paper

DIY projects for teens has some neat ideas using wrapping paper from the above on clipboards, wall art to a paper mobile.

Porch Planter

You can tell the weather is getting warm as I am gravitating towards projects.  I thought these repurposing of old drawers were too neat not to share.  Check out DIY n crafts for 14 other repurposing of old drawers ideas.

Over at Thirteen thoughts is a post on 5 things to focus on when you have lost your  motivation.  It is well worth the read.

Balzer Designs is doing a 100 day project on creating faces.  I found the link on Bloglovin and love the idea. I’m not sure I would do faces but it has me thinking of challenging myself on an art project.

Ikea Hackers has transformed a moppe-chest of drawers into travel lovers’ keepsake.

happiness is an inside job ;) Don't give that job to someone else:

I thought I’d end my favorites for the past month with the above quote. I think it says it all.  Let me know any links that caught your eye recently. Would love to check them out.

You can always start now ! 

 

Instagram Accounts I’m currently digging

I set up my Instagram account in the fall.  Above is one of my pictures on Instagram taken one morning from the bus stop.  I started an  Instagram challenge for 2017. Check it out.  I’m enjoying the pictures and posts and thought I’d share some of my current favorites.  I would love to hear in the comments your favorites so I can check them out!!  In no specific order here we go…..

DJMctographee pictures of his travels and everyday shots.  Beautiful lighting and incredible scenery.  Well worth a look.

Lost and found in the city part of her blog’s social media.  Links to her blog and pictures of life in New York City. FYI one of my favorite cities.

A Beautifulmess again a blog so one of their social media platforms. Their pictures are beautifully shot, colorful and make me happy looking at them!

Debs world her pictures are mostly scenery. Are you seeing a theme here? I like scenery/travel pictures!!

I enjoy doing crafts – working with my hands so enjoy checking out what is happening over at Modpodge rocks.

One of my main reasons for purchasing my place was to paint and put my stamp on it so always enjoy looking at different decorating ideas.  Domino mag has a variety of them.

Simply designing also has decorating, crafts and even shots of her life which shakes things up.

If you are into bullet journaling check out Boho berry.  Lots of ideas and tutorials.

My last one is Oliver Spence Design.  Reason I like her pictures.

I am just touching the tip of the iceberg here.  I would love to know Instagram accounts you are currently digging so drop me a line in the comments so I can check them out!

You can always start now !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framing an odd size print

I brought three cards last year in Ireland.  They were 8 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches. So, needless to say, not your standard size.  I didn’t want to pay a fortune for framing so had the sizes written down in pursue and some times even the cards.

For months I mulled over how to frame the cards and recently I thought of an idea. I had purchased some lovely paper and a few pieces where burlap and even in complimentary colors for the pictures. Yes, all three.  So I just laid the cards on the paper and done.  I am happy with the results.

If you have some unique ways to frame odd size prints/cards let me.

You can always start now !

 

5 actions to start creating the life you want

The quote “life is a journey not a destination” has always felt right to me.  We know the final destination, so it is how we go about getting there that counts.  The following is my take on what we can do to create the life we want and make our journey count.

  1. Try new things.  For me this has ranged from belly dancing, zumba, yoga, pottery and improv class.  Some have stuck and other no. The thing is I would never have known I enjoy yoga if I hadn’t taken a class.  Belly dancing is not my thing – even though I had a blast at the class.  I have never regretted taking a class in something and have always come away with a new appreciation. Recently I went to the “Big Sing”. Where people come together and learn a song in an evening.  Check out events and classes in your area.
  2. Your health.  I’m not advocating you have to run a marathon and not eat cake here.  What I am saying is trying to keep yourself in shape to do the activities you want to do. If you want to hike when you retire – well keep hiking and moving now.
  3. Connections.  Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you.  Remember that works both ways.  We all need and should be cheerleaders.  Find your tribe that pushes you to try new things. I volunteered on a committee for a Christmas fundraiser and came away with a new friend who I now go to the theatre with.  Connections can be made in unlikely places.  Does your library have a book club? Coffee date anyone?
  4. Hobbies.  If you are trying new things has any of them stuck? For me one was yoga.  Hobbies get your face away from the screen and uses a different part of the brain.  I have friends who curl in the winter so that season takes on a whole new meaning. Not just ice and snow.  Knitting, drawing, writing, Pilates, pottery, blogging and travel. The list is endless. Hobbies have you working towards something. Looking for new patterns and ideas. Plus something to talk about besides the latest show on Netflix.
  5. Realizing you are okay right where you are now.  A journey has a starting point. No beating ourselves up because we didn’t start sooner.  We are starting now and creating memories.  Wherever we are in life it is fine and we are okay right now. This can be our starting point.

You can always start now !

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