December 29, 2010

monthly music

This holiday month has just flown by. I can't believe it is almost the new year!

It's been a pretty magical month. With good grades coming out of the fall quarter (my gift from myself was a raised GPA), tons of family fun and a few creative projects, I feel that I am headed into the new year with a renewed spirit and a joyful outlook.

I hope you enjoyed Never Say Never November's playlist. I know I did, but I have to say that I am pretty fond of the Delightful December melodies. If you like paint by number art, you can buy the print used for this month's album cover on lunaparkfoundry's etsy site...assuming I don't get there first! To listen to the playlist, go to Grooveshark *here* and hit "play all" once it has loaded. en-joy!

Delightful December 2010
  1. Snowfall - Ingrid Michaelson
  2. When I Grow Up - First Aid Kit
  3. Working To Be Loved - Future of Forestry
  4. Horchata - Vampire Weekend
  5. What I Wouldn't Do - A Fine Frenzy
  6. New Moon - House of Heroes
  7. Kiss Me Bar - Alamo Race Track
  8. Tricks On Me - Jed Whedon and The Willing
  9. I Can See Your Tracks - Laura Veirs
  10. If You Run - The Boxer Rebellion
  11. Thistled Spring - Horse Feathers

December 3, 2010

joy to my ears

Today is a first! This is the first ever music play list shared on my blog for all of my lovelies to enjoy!

I meant to send this on December 1st, but as many of you know, life is hectic right now (does that ever stop?) and I ended up a bit delayed.

But, today, I have my act together and I am so excited to share this! Just click on the CD cover below and you can enjoy my November Playlist posted at Grooveshark. (Hit "Play All" when you get there.)

BTW...I create playlists for myself every month as the days go by, so I would like to start sharing them here at the end of each month. What I need now is a nifty little name for those posts like "Monthly Mixed Tape" or "Playlist of the Month" or "joy to my ears" like today. Leave your ideas in the comments section below!



Never Say Never November 2010

1. Getting Old - Hellogoodbye

2. Tickets to Crickets - Ferraby Lionheart

3. The Leave Behind - Fort Christmas

4. Pocketful of Rocks - Forest City Lovers

5. Next to Me - Sleeping At Last

6. Penelope - Pinback

7. The Girl - City and Colour

8. Used To - Annie Williams

9. Blackbird and the Fox - The Twilight Singers

November 1, 2010

Moments

I'm taking a moment to whine to the Universe today...because a moment is exactly what I need right now.

I'm tired of school. I'm tired of homework. I'm tired of this journey I started so many years ago. Seriously! Aren't "I" there yet?

Today I can't stop daydreaming about so many things that I just don't have a "moment" to do right now...

A moment to read novels instead of textbooks...

Because reading IS cool. (Print by dazeychic)


A moment to knit a few winter scarves and gloves...


"A Little Love in Every Stitch" by LoveSugar


A moment to bake fall pies...



in one of these lovely pie plates from lesliefreemandesigns



A moment to drink some tea and daydream of adventures to come...

"Expedition" print by joutomaa

A moment to cook from scratch...

(This practice is much needed) "Tragedy" by violetbellaphoto

A moment to sew...maybe some new clothes... "Sew Sew" by LittleTypes

A moment to call and catch up with friends..."Telephone Girl Print" by theblackapple

A moment to build playlists of my fave music...

and share them on this little blog. "Mumford" by Moonbeetle

Ok...I'm done whining.

I hope all my lovely readers are enjoying the fall coziness and making your daydreams possible!

Missing you tremendously,

m

September 21, 2010

August Break Favorites

originally uploaded by L Gordon.

I need something calming today. It's already one of those days.

Seriously...Is it Friday yet??? Ugh.

This gallery of relaxing soft floral photos from the August Break is helping a bit. But I'm going to make myself some tea, just to be safe.

En-joy!

September 17, 2010

August Break Faves

Day 28
Don't you just love collections?!?!?!? Today's gallery is made up of my favorite images of duplicates, collections, and groups of beautiful things from the August Break.

This photo in particular reminds me of my most favorite spot in my apartment...my bookshelves. Filled with stories, adventure, new friends and old - this space in my apartment is a big part what makes it feel like home. There's something cozy about a shelf full of books. Something that says you could sit for hours and just thumb through the pages...learning, traveling, imagining, and reveling.

What's your favorite space?

September 16, 2010

August Break Faves

originally uploaded by flypeterfly.

It's a rainy day outside...in fact it is one of the first days in a while that the sun has lost the battle with the clouds here in Seattle. It's the kind of day that tells me fall is definitely coming.

Typically I feel Fall's approach the first day of August. I start daydreaming of cozy sweaters, boots, hobo gloves, favorite tea cups full of lavender camomile tea, baking pies, and cuddling up to watch all of my favorite shows that are back on TV. Before the sun has even ducked behind the clouds for a long winter nap these lovely things are on my mind.

So...today I bring you some cozy inspiring photos that I adore from the August Break collections. Maybe these will spark your mood for Fall too. En-joy!

September 15, 2010

August Breaker Faves

originally uploaded by violet allen

This is one of my most favorite galleries created from my August Break Faves. These photos are absolutely DREAMY. I hope you en-joy them as much as I do!

September 14, 2010

Modern Makeover

Hi All!

I'm in the mood for a new header. A makeover. There are so many creative blog styles out there and I feel like my little blog needs some sprucing up.

Here are some of my favorites. If you have any ideas, inputs, inspirations, please oh please send them my way!

























September 13, 2010

August Break Faves

originally uploaded by flypeterfly.

Because I'm madly crazy excited for fall and the woods are on my mind... here's a gallery of my favorite woodsy photos from the August Break collection. En-joy!

August Blur

So maybe I didn't do so well at keeping up on August Break, considering my last post was on August 19th, but I did have a lot of fun taking new pictures and finding my photography inspiration again. I hope you enjoyed the photos for the month and soon I will be posting some of my favorites from fellow August Breakers. Stay tuned! There are some absolutely beautiful shots...

Until then...I have decided that one day instead of a whole month may be a little bit easier to chew and I have signed up for the 10-10-10 challenge. It's one photo...from one day...to be posted in a flickr group of (so far) over 100 people. It should be fun to see what others come up with. So many creative minds out there on the web.

Hmmmmm...just one photo...from just one day...that speaks for and about me...I better think about this for a bit. If you have any ideas...send them my way!

October 10th, A most auspicious day

August 19, 2010

August 19th

Reach, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

Yes...I'm still here. I took quite the hiatus, didn't I?

This past week has been crazy and everything has been put on hold in order to make it through my last few weeks of summer school. in fact, today is my presentation of my project. I'm nervous and excited all rolled into one.

For those of you who don't know, I have a huge fear of public speaking. I have managed to get by so far with the support of group projects and the option to speak as little as possible. But this time...I'm solo.

Now...in the past...the words "solo presentation" were enough to make me drop the class all together. But this time...I decided to face my fear head on and immediately contact a hypnotherapist.

I have to say that I love hypnotherapy. It is nothing like I thought it would be and really...I won't know if I'm doing better until I put it to the test. But the best thing that I have learned from it is that WE are in control of everything. If I want to change my subconscious can help me do that. It can override all the doubt and anxiety in my conscious worrysome brain and guide me through this with ease. It's fascinating really. Not to mention that I absolutely adore my hypnotherapist. So much so that I would gladly pay $75 per hour just to go sit and chat. For anyone who has a fear, anxiety, or stress about anything...or even if you just want to know how to do something better, like knit left handed...she can help you. She is a miracle worker.

So...wish me luck and I will see you all on the flip-side. With another quarter down and a little over a year to go (and a helluva bumpy and spaztic ride to get there) I will be done with school and moving on to another miracle.

August 11, 2010

August 11th

Happy, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

I accomplished sooooo much today! So far so good anyway. (Not to mention the cheerful sun is out today.) I love days like this, where the ball starts rolling and all of a sudden the momentum makes everything seem so effortless. I've been feeling stagnant at work for a while. Struggling to get motivated. All of a sudden I'm back in action again!

It feels wonderful!

Fulfilling!

Exciting!

I am needed. I am necessary.

The trick now is holding on to that feeling. Instead of getting stressed...hold onto that feeling of exhilaration.

Now...let's see if this momentum can hold out for the weekend. I have a huge paper to write, a presentation to prepare, and a statement to make. (Somehow simultaneously getting over my fear of public speaking.) How about I just close my eyes until I get to the other side. Phew! I'll be so glad when it's all over.

August 10, 2010

August 10th


Stones, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

I'm craving the ocean today. I want to walk up and down our northwest rocky beaches hunting for treasure, inspecting the fascinating sea life, feeling the mist on my face and breeze through my hair, tasting the salt in the air, and breathing in deep.

Let your mind take you to the place that is calling your name today. Absorb the memories, emotions, and spirit that is connected with that place. Then, open your eyes, refreshed, and carry on.

August 9, 2010

August 9th


Bubbles, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

Busy-Busy is back. Running my life as usual and stressing me out like crazy.

Busy-busy sucked up my yesterday. All of a sudden I looked up from my homework and hours had drifted by (...and no time was left for a Sunday blog post.)

Busy-Busy is my best friend and my worst enemy. I thrive on having lots to do, but I get tired of dreaming at night about projects that I am doing while awake. I never get a break!

Busy-Busy don’t you know it’s summertime? Don’t you have better things to do? Next time bring sunny weather and mojitos and maybe I won’t be so annoyed with you.

Happy BUSY Monday!

August 7, 2010

August 7th

Rainy Day, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

It's a rainy day in Seattle. Big surprise you might say, but being summer, we've actually had quite a few days of sun and this is the first in a while that has been fully rainy. Frankly, I don't mind it one bit.

It's a cozy day.

It's fresh outside.

It's rejuvenating.

While it may have ruined some Seattleites weekend plans, I have found it relaxing. Yesterday I played hookie from my housework and phototaking to hit the thrift store, buy groceries, and pick up a few half priced books. So many good finds! I came home with my treasures and relaxed with a drink and some netflix.

Today...with the rain outside...I was motivated to pick up where I left off on housework: Laundry, closet cleaning, dishes, reorganizing the kitchen cupboards, and any other nesting that seemed therapeutic. Then, I baked a sweet potato and some crackers. The rain makes all of this that much more comforting and I don't feel as bad about spending a summer day indoors.

Let the rain nurture your spirit.

August 5, 2010

August 5th


Precious, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

Today was a pretty mellow day.

If you factor out the traffic jam and the desk rattling roar of the Blue Angels practice flying overhead...it was almost serene. Quiet. Simple. Relaxed. I had nothing pressing to do, nothing I particularly struggled with, and any issues that arose were met with reason and rolled off easily. Though I would have rather spent my afterwork hours soaking up the sunset with a mojito in hand, I went to class and for once I felt I actually had something to contribute to the discussion.

Overall, today was a good day. While it could have been boring, or mundane, I've decided to take it for more than just another day. It was a day full of often unnoticeable landmarks.

As I relax and reflect on today, I found this photo speaks to me in the same way. It's simple, soft, and precious. Nothing fancy, nothing intense, and almost serene.

I hope your Thursday went smoothly too!

August 4, 2010

August 4th

Lavender Love, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

Somedays you just have to stop and smell the lavender. To inhale. To exhale. Touch the soft aromatic leaves. Then relax.

I find it hard to cross paths with a lavender bush without stopping to take a moment. Sometimes I wish I would cross them more often...just to have an excuse to slow down.

Is there anything in your life that makes you stop and breathe, think, smile, or relax? If so, do tell!

For now, I'm going to print this lovely photo and post it at my desk. A simple reminder to stop, breathe, and enjoy the moment.

August 3, 2010

August 3rd

Vibrancy, originally uploaded by joyful.life.

Today I am daydreaming. About who I want to be. About how I want to be seen. About the the life I want to lead...not the specifics, but the energy. That's a lot to think about, but the word that rings true with it today is "vibrancy."

I want to be vibrant, pulsing with energy, striking and blooming like this flower. I want that glory to be mine. I want the moments of my life to be as indescribable as the feeling I get when I look at this photo. I want to marvel at the world the way I do at the colors of nature. Most of all, I want to know that, while I am also just one of the many small wonders that grace our planet, I made an impression on someone too.

I believe this can be my truth.

Live a vibrant life.

August 2, 2010

August 2nd


PikePlace, originally uploaded by MaraRayanne.

I did the most ridiculous thing today. I woke up all excited, albeit early for a dentist appointment, ready to grab my camera and snap photos of my day. In the chaos that is me up early...I wandered out the door and somehow made my way to my appt. With a clean, fresh smile, I headed off to the office. On the way, there was the most wonderful foggy haze surrounding downtown Seattle and I reached over to grab my camera and snap a quick shot before the light changed. Hmmmm....no camera.

So...since I was slightly off kilter this a.m. and missed my photo-op, here is another photo from last year. This was taken at Pike Place Market. See, the thing about the fog this morning, wasn't so much the lovely ethereal mist, it was the atmosphere that comes with it. The cool crisp morning air, the softest mist on my face outside on the street, and the rich ocean air from the Puget Sound.

I'm telling you...if you visit Seattle on a morning like that...when the city streets are alive but quiet, when the coffee in your hand has more comfort in it than the best home cooked meal you've ever had, when the silent energy that is building makes every one of your senses dance alive...you would never want to go home.

It's my home.

My lovely city. Seattle.

This is my piece of wonderful, though just a glimpse, to share with you.

August 1, 2010

August 1st


polaroid flower, originally uploaded by MaraRayanne.

So...here we are...Day 1 of the August Break. I'm excited for this month's adventure. I'm excited to step back from the hustle and bustle of my life for a few simple moments when I can appreciate where I stand, what surrounds me (beautiful or not), and soak up the world...to soak up life. So often, I forget to do that and my camera encourages me to do so.

This is a photo that I took last year, on a particularly hard day, when my therapy was to take a walk and absorb the beauty around me. In a rare and special moment without a cell phone, without a radio, and any other distractions of life, I looked at the world the way I used to, with pure wonder, intrigue, and admiration. This is a place that I miss, a way of thinking that I can only dream of now...simplicity.

July 21, 2010

The August Break


Hi All! It's been a while...as usual. Summer class and work have been keeping me busy, but since the 4th of July break I am finally starting to feel sane again. I actually have days where I have nothing to do after work (no homework, no chores) and I don't automatically think "Thank Goodness! A break!" and then sit and stare at the TV for an hour or two before going to bed.

One of the side effects of having time in the summer is that I start to think about all of the projects I want to do. Learn to sew my own clothes, redecorate my apartment, catch up on reading, and get this blog up to date again. I know if I apply myself I can do it all, but then I think...why bother...you're just going to be back in school again before you can finish anything. It's an awful thought, but in some cases it's true. So...instead, I have opted to take on only the little projects between homework days. Stuff I can do as I go or projects that can be finished in only a few days. That will make for less pressure back on my plate.

One thing that I miss dearly this summer is photography. I had the chance to take a few shots during the holidays and I remembered how much I enjoyed carrying my camera with me everywhere I went last summer. It was all part of the Unravelling eCourse, which was part of what kept me motivated. But this year, I haven't really had an excuse to be the sudo-tourist girl hiding behind her camera. Well...until now. Susannah has come up with the most wonderful idea for August! Especially for those of us who aren't Unravelling. It's called The August Break and it's sublimely simple. Each participant will share one photo each day on their blog. It can be taken with any type of camera and you can choose if you leave a caption or story or not. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with and it's sure to bring some new lovely blogs to follow.

Stay tuned!

April 27, 2010

Compliment Complement

Many of us struggle with accepting compliments. Why is that?

It could be low self-esteem, that we feel that we can do better or be better, or that we simply are caught off guard and don't know how to respond.

I never really knew that I struggled with receiving compliments until I realized that my automatic response was to point out why the statement was incorrect, or feel the urge to return the favor. While the second isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is an automatic response that is ultimately designed to take the focus off of me. Once I realized what I was doing, I made it a point to change my reaction.

Why did I feel that what this person likes about me or my image is incorrect? Why did I want to push all of the attention off of me and on to them or something else? What is so wrong about receiving a compliment?

For me, it comes down to self-image. I figured that their intuition about me couldn't be correct...that they just didn't know me well enough...or that they must have gotten the wrong impression. "There's no way someone could think those wonderful things about me! What, are they crazy?!?!"

Turns out the crazy one was me. In an attempt to be humble and to be more authentic, I chose to let the positive opinions of others slide by. I didn't want to become arrogant. I didn't want to become disconnected with the parts of myself that I wished to improve. But sooner or later I found out that I desired the way a compliment made me feel. I had allowed myself to slip down into a place of unworthiness, a place where I didn't believe that the "self" I projected to the world was in any way wonderful or deserving of praise, and in turn I created a world where I couldn't believe in who I was and who I wanted to be.

If you identify with anything that I have said above, here are a few steps to shut down your inner critic and truly believe in the positive messages that come your way.

1. Notice: First notice what your automatic response is to a compliment. Even if you don't reply outloud, or have found a way to simply say 'thank you', what does your inner voice say? How does is attempt to fight back?

2. Practice: Learn to accept compliments more graciously. Even if you don't yet believe them, determine how you would like to respond. One way to do this is to consider what you would want someone to say to you if you complimented them. Often, a warm and heartfelt 'thank you' and a smile does the trick. Avoid explaining, justifying, or automatically returning a compliment. Keep it short, genuine, and sweet.

3. Pause: Take a moment to turn off your inner voice, let the compliment sink in, and then graciously reply with your 'thank you'. This step also leaves room for my favorite part of compliments...save it for a rainy day. When you receive compliments on a day where you may not necessarily need one (which is sometimes the reason for our battle) don't let it go to waste. Remember what they said and how those kind words should make you feel. The next time you are feeling down, or lonely, take a peek into your collection of compliments and see what you goodies you find.

4. Embrace: Who gave you the compliment? What are their intentions? Our inner critic tends to provide negative reasons for why a person would take the time to compliment us. Instead, we should assume that the person is sincere, and simply just wants to make us feel good...some people just love to give compliments. Also consider the feelings of the other person when accepting a compliment. Your reaction can encourage or discourage them to give additional compliments to you down the road and even to other people. Accepting your compliment graciously will encourage the complimentor to spread the love to others because they will feel good about the reaction they received. Discouraging them by belittling their words will only make the world a darker place. You don't want to do that, now do you? I didn't think so.

5. Return: Another way to improve your compliment taking skills is to get better at giving them. Notice how those that you compliment receive them. Do they accept them graciously or do you feel that they are suspicious of you? This will also switch your focus to finding the positive in people. By focusing on more positive things, you will spend less time worrying about the negative and the benefits of giving and accepting compliments will be reflected in your life overall.

There you have them. 5 simple steps to embracing who you are and what the world appreciates about you. Oh...and don't forget my favorite part...they even wrote a song about it...

"For when your troubles start multiplyn...and they just might...it's easy to forget them without tryin'...with just a pocketful of starlight...Catch a fallin' star and put it in your pocket...save it for a rainy day. Never let it fade away!"

La La La Love you!

You simply are the best! (Do not insert negative inner voice here)

I mean it! You simply are the best!

You better believe it! (or at least put it in your pocket)

April 12, 2010

Ode to the lovely ladies

Hi Friends!

Have I told you lately how amazing you all are?

Seriously! Let me announce to the masses how unbelievably proud I am.

Now...I've known forever how wonderful and special all of my lovely girlfriends are, but lately you all have blown me away. With everything from career advances and career changes, spiritual and emotional triumphs, to just sharing with the world the beautiful light that dwells inside of you...the glow that I knew was in there all along...my heart is filled with so much joy.

Bravo! You are my inspiration.

April 8, 2010

Garden Goodness

Finally! I have my very own p-patch on Phinney Ridge! After 3 years on the wait list, I get my own little 10x10 of gardening paradise.

The funny thing about it is, I am taking three classes this quarter and I don't know when I will get a chance to put on my sunhat and dig in the dirt. (So if you want to share this little plot of land with me, please let me know. No cost to you.)

So now, I'm filling out the official application and daydreaming of the goodies I will nurture and harvest this summer. Here's what I have so far...



Strawberries! Yum!

Peas Please!

Lots and Lots of Mint = Lots and Lots of Mojitos!


A variety of dahlias...my fave.
(The secret is cow manure. Right, Mom!?!


Plump, Juicy Blueberries!
Do you have any other ideas?
I've mulled over many other veggies, but I am not sure I will eat them. A pumpkin vine, carrots, cucumbers, and a small herb garden may also be on the list.
I'm so excited I can hardly wait, but I'm nervous too. My history with houseplants hasn't been so lovely. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

February 8, 2010

Photo Therapy

I need a day off! Pretty funny considering I just got back from having 2 of them, however I didn't get to relax much because I have projects and homework galore. To help with that, here's a few pictures that I am enjoying today. Hope you enjoy them too!

(I apologize that I don't know where I found most of these so I haven't included any links)

Breath of fresh air!

Daydreaming of rocks in the sun...

I think I need to twirl a bit.

Precisely.

How could this little one not make you smile?

Have a joyful Monday!