Best of 2015

I thought I’d do a wrap up of some of my favorite blog posts for 2015.   So here it goes.

Funky Junk – metal filled fireplace

Loved the rustic look and the metals.

Ali Edwards – Life in the week of…..

I participated in this in August and really enjoyed it.  Snapping pictures of my week and keeping a running diary of what I was doing and who was around.  It was neat to capture the week and put the album together.

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Picture from my life in the week of

Dear Introvert – honest confessions from an introvert

I had to pick one post, but wanted to at least get you into the blog as I found it interesting (being an introvert) so have a look.  If you are not an introvert you likely know someone who is, so good read to get into their head space.

A Wandafulthing – neat storage for wine glasses

My friend Wanda had lots of great posts in 2015 but this one stuck out as I WANT IT.   i think it would be a conversation piece in your dining room and could be used for lots of different things.

Aunt Peaches – home tour

My home doesn’t have a lot of vibrant colors – that is just me – but when I saw Aunt Peaches home tour it made me smile.  Hope it does the same for you.

Wonder Forest – solutions when things are not going your way

You Can Always Start Now – having a bad day

This post resonated with me as it was a learning experience – catching myself before things got too bad.  Realizing I had a choice what road to go down and choosing the road that took me to the brighter side.

Hope you enjoyed checking out some of my favorite posts in 2015.  If you have any favorites share in the comments as I would love to check them out!   To 2016 and making it incredible.

 

 

 

What I am learning as a blogger and more

I confess I am a self-help junkie.  I enjoy finding a book that will challenge me to think differently and/or push my boundaries.  Two books I have read and completed more than once are:  Cheryl Richardson Life Makeovers.  Broken down into 52 chapters on practical & inspiring ways to improve your life one week at a time (direct quote from book).  Few examples are 1) What is draining you? 2) Stop juggling and start living 3) Learning to wait and 4) Creating Space.  The other book is Julie Cameron The Artist’s Way.  The Artist’s Way is broken down into 12 weeks to help you unleash your creativity.  The author starts with the assumption (which I agree) is that we are all creative beings.

So blogging was a natural fit.  It pushes my boundaries to be more open and builds on what I already know.  I look at experiences and interactions in a learning mode.  I am trying new things and old I likely would not have if it were not for the blog (example paint-by-numbers).  Blogging has made me feel more positive about myself and I am defining who I am differently.  It has also helped me focus on being more creative in other areas of my life.  There is a supportive community out there and room for everyone to have their own unique voice.

I am seeing experiences in a different light and pushing myself to take them further.  Look at what is happening around you.  Is someone doing something you think is cool (maybe pottery, politically campaigning, local gardening, anything!)   Why not check it out and see where it leads you!  Accidental blogging lead me to explore different creative channels and is pushing me to try new things.  See where something new can lead you.  You can always start now!

Today I will begin a new life…..lessons to take away

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

I found that quote in a small book by Og Mandino The Greatest Salesman in the World.   It was originally published in 1968 but all the material is still relevant today.  It tells the story of how a young man became the greatest salesman in the world by applying 9 lessons.  While I was reading it I thought this is for everything and everyone so I wanted to share it.  I am going to introduce the lessons as they were in the book chapter by chapter.

habits Continue reading

How to be Parisian – book club!

Paris postcard

How to be Parisian wherever you are, by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas.  I came across this book via the internet and thought it looked interesting.  If it has anything to do with travel I’m hooked right away. I thought hmm… what could I take away from being Parisian?  It was a light, fun read and I thought I’d share some of my “take aways” so we can all be a bit more Parisian.

  • The Parisians never wears makeup (I’m in)  on a date. Naturally her inner beauty needs no artifice. On the other hand she won’t hesitate to wear lipstick to the bakery on Sunday morning, because what if she runs into someone she knows.
  • Either go all gray or no gray hair.  Salt and pepper is for the table.
  • Beaware of your qualities and your faults. Cultivate them in private but don’t obsess.
  • The signature item is an attitude. It is the gun in your holster that makes you feel well dressed and invincible.
  • How to destabilize a man – grab hold a stranger’s arm to walk down the stairs in heels.
  • In truth more than wanting to look young – which is but a fleeting illusion – Parisians want above all to become the best possible version of themselves, outside and in, at any age.
  • Take the time to listen and to get to know yourself.
  • You’re not a slave to the cult of the perfect body – so learn to make the best of what nature gave you.

The book was broken down into sections from Get the Basics, Own Your Bad Habits, Cultivate Your Allure to Dare to Love. There were even recipes and places to visit while in Paris. I captured just a few that resonated with me hope some caught your attention.

Personal Mission Statement

The first time I read about Personal Mission Statements was in Stephen R. Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Today when everything seems full-throttle and we are pulled in every direction I think having a Personal Mission Statement can keep us focused and maybe grounded. Our Personal Mission Statement should touch on what we want to focus on and who we want to become as a person in this part of our lives.  Think about specific actions, behaviors, habits and qualities that will have a significant positive impact on us for the next 3-5 years.  This can guide us in our day-to-day actions and decisions. Continue reading

A light read to start the New Year – No Relation

If you want to read a book with no murder, kidnapping, fleeing the police or intense interrogations I recommend No Relation by Terry Fallis.   It made me smile and I enjoyed his descriptions some of which were motion pictures in my head.  Hoping this isn’t illegal to quote from the book but here is one of my favorite descriptive passages.

“we joined the agency within weeks of each other nearly fifteen years ago.  But we’d been on different trajectories ever since.  Over the years, I rose through the ranks as if I were sauntering up a gentle slope, stopping often to lounge at patio rest stations along the way.  But soon after we started, Bob seemed to board the space shuttle, docking with the corner office after what seemed to me like very short ride.”

The novel is about a man trying to find his way and the individuals he collects during this journey, all with a similar problem to his (I’m not telling).  The writing is witty and the characters diverse.  I think you will enjoy reading about the situations they get into and how they get out of.  A good read if you want something light – but maybe don’t read in public in case you laugh out loud or have a smile on your face at an inappropriate time!

Book club anyone? The Book Thief

I am an escape artist and my favorite place to escape is a book.  An adventure, a mystery, a drama I can get lost in any of them.  When I find a character I enjoy, well I can take them along with me on any adventure.  Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) has been to a few interesting places outside of Hertfordshire.

So I thought a book club should be included for us in exploring our possibilities.  A good place to check out book clubs is your local library or start your own at work or with friends.

Continue reading