Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Today and Everyday

Thankful for the little things.

Week #48  LIFE'S simple pleasures - Thankful
Some weeks along this journey of LIFE'S simple pleasures... are so easy to write about... and with so few words!!
Be Thankful!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thank You Everyone!

BE Thankful

Your path is beautiful and crooked and just as it should be.

Week #48 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - Thankful

I've recently read that it's this time of year people take more time to be thankful, because they are aware of the season.  We are all bombarded by feel good stories, advertisements for products to create warmth and happiness for the family and testimonials of God's blessings. 

Of course, that is all wonderful.... but there is always, always, always.... something to be thankful for, every day of the year!

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are.

Monday, November 25, 2013

What Can I Say? It's my 'Thing'

I'm thankful for the little things.

Week #48 LIFE'S simple pleasures - thankful
I'm a little giddy with a touch of bitter sweetness all mixed in!
It's week #48 of year 2013, we are quickly coming to a close and writing my weekly blog post about LIFE'S simple pleasures will be a 'thing' of the past.
Some weeks finding topics and writing were more than a struggle than others.  Just like everything in LIFE, right?
I am so grateful, thankful and blessed.... beyond words and pictures!
This journey here on my blog was actually something completely amazing!  Being thankful for the little things works into being aware of LIFE'S simple pleasures.
Each week I looked around my LIFE and really looked at the little things, the simple things and the 'things' that don't cost money (or very little money) to have and appreciate.
It's not what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, its what you have in your heart.

Along this journey I took pictures every day and learned how to be a better photography and a Photo Shop artist.  I wrote (almost) every day and learned how to not only put words down, but write a story.  I researched meanings and learned history to become a better well informed human being on this huge amazing planet.  And, I found fun new ways to put a twist on LIFE, my LIFE.
Continue to join me as I finish out my YEAR of 2013, LIFE'S simple pleasures!
What are you thankful for?
I'm thankful for today!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pass it On

Hug harder, laugh louder, smile bigger, love longer.

Week #47 LIFE'S simple pleasures - Random Acts of Kindness
Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, was written by Anne Herbert back in 1982.  I fit somewhere in between Generation X and Generation Y... so I'm part of the  (older) MTV generation.... and I think it was time that kids in the 1980s took a stand for something other than their neon work out gear and watching the Breakfast Club. 
It was time to show some kindness.  We are the world you know?
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
Its true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
I think one of the cool things about a RAK is really not planning on what you are going to do and who you are going to do it for.  Thus the word RANDOM....
But for some people who plan (and maybe it's a good thing, so that you have the extra 'stuff' you need to complete the task at hand)  here are some more ideas:
Put money in an expired parking meter, pick up trash, give your waitress a huge tip, when grocery shopping pick up extras for a food bank, leave a smiley face post it note on the back of a door, return a shopping cart, leave pennies on the side of a fountain for others to make a wish, take time to really listen when someone has something to say....
No act of kindness however small is ever wasted - Aesop
A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of Sunshine into someones day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

One in a Minion

Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world!

Week #47 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - RAKs
Random Acts of Kindness.... have you ever been the recipient of one?  If so, how did it make you feel??? 
I've read all over....blogs, magazine/newspaper articles etc.... one feel good random act is paying for someones coffee at Starbucks. 
I don't know who actually started that... and of all places where a coffee could cost up to $5... a kind soul will let the barista know that they are paying for the order behind them ... and then drive off with a smile on their face and the car behind them looking confused when the drive through attendee says the car in front of you paid for it already!!!  (Like people who go to Starbucks really need help paying for something.... but I digress.... its the random act we are to admire!)
Kindness is a very big thing.
Sincerely compliment someone every day, always keep your word, leave kind notes for people, be forgiving, accept others kindness....
Leave money in a public place for someone to find.
Don’t just drop a few pennies. Leave a five or ten dollar bill. Don’t think about where the money will be spent, it is about spreading kindness, not controlling how your kindness is used.
And shop on Small Business Saturday....  November 30, 2013.... instead of going to Hallmark, support a crafty and whimsical creative greetings card company!!! 
No act of kindness however small is ever wasted - Aesop
Send some FuN MaiL and Brighten Someone's Day!!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FREE Hugs, just because!

Carry out a random act of kindness with no expectations of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
 ~ Princess Diana

Week #47 LIFE'S simple pleasures - RAKs
A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people.
Why do it? just because!!
Have you ever received an unexpected compliment from a stranger?  At first you may be shocked, but then after your mind raps around the comment, for the rest of the day you feel great!  That's why receiving a RAK is a wonderful thing .It then can prompt you to Pay it Forward and when the moment is right... you do your own Random Act.
People often forget that kindness is FREE.
Here are just a few things you can do: hold the door for someone, let someone go in line before you, return a shopping cart, pick up trash, donate blood, send a card to a friend, give out Hugs and donate used clothing.
It's all about finding ways to make the world a nicer place, just because!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Don't Act, Do!

A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someones day.

Week #47 LIFE'S simple pleasures - RAKs
Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty was first coined by Anne Herbert around 1982. A random act of kindness is  defined as a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people.
Last week on November 13 it was World Kindness Day and Random Acts of Kindness week will be celebrated February 10-16, 2014.
Become a RAKtivist!!!

Hopefully you wont have to perform the act of reverse pick pocketing.... check out this YouTube video above.  These RAK's have a bit of extra work put into them!  It will make you smile.

During this time of year, most people reflect on what they are grateful and thankful for.  And sometimes they want to make the world a nicer place.  Our willingness to help strangers is flexible, and can be shaped in small changes of perception.

One way to do this is to actually go out of your way to make the world a kinder place. Do a RAK.
Brighten Someone's Day.

One small act of kindness may be the positive force that turns someones life around today. Be Kind.

PS: Often while doing research for my blog topics, I look through magazines and newspaper headlines, I reflect on something that may have happened in my own LIFE and I brainstorm, then I just type the subject idea into Googles search engine.  Although I work my topic around 'famous' quotes and sayings from others, by no means do I wish to pass that some of this very clever stuff is my own.  When I see that an author is part of the quote, I include that.  Sometimes there is no author name.  These quotes are normally written in larger italicized bold text.  Artwork that is my own will have my prdesign2013 watermark on it. So.... I'm just sayin'

Friday, November 15, 2013

Music Speaks

Music should either move your feet or move your heart.

LIFE is like a piano. The white keys are happy days and the black keys are sad ones. Just remember that you need both to make music.
Week #46 LIFE'S simple pleasures - music
It is truly amazing all the different types of music we can listen to.  Now with satellite radio and cable television, and easy access to songs on Itunes, you can turn to hundreds of different channels to listen to thousands of different genres of music without ever stepping foot into a record store!!! (what the heck is that??)
In almost every walk of LIFE, even if you don't play a musical instrument, or read music .... or even sing.... you can appreciate the feelings and memories music brings to you.
I hope that reading my blog posts you've been able to take a few moments and reflect on some of LIFE'S simple pleasures ... it's funny how a melody sounds like a memory.
LIFE without music would simply B flat.
There are six more weeks left in 2013 .... the Year of LIFE'S Simple Pleasures ... I am so excited that I was able to post every week to my blog with something new!!!
Now go Brighten Someone's Day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just A Note

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between - Mozart

Week #46 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - music
It would be very interesting if in 'real' LIFE we had background music!  What would your soundtrack say about you?
I think my music during the day would be very quiet and calm, and at night during my dreams... kind of wild and strong!
Song lyrics are a great place to find words for sentiments inside a card or a note.

A Note: a brief informal letter, a brief record.
Words make you think a thought
Music makes you feel a feeling
A song makes you feel a thought
~ E.Y. Harburg

When a singer/song writer is asked where they get inspiration for their music and their lyrics, they often point to something that happened in their life ... be it an awful tragedy, a dramatic break up, a joyful experience, an undying love or a great memory.
Maybe with LIFE'S simple pleasures, you will write someone a note (** hint** most all the cards you see here on my blog are for sale.... one of kind, unique and ♥artfelt). And take inspiration from a song and music that invoke a good memory with a special person!
Brighten Someone's Day
 I can't explain it, but I'll find a song that can.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Sing us a song you're the piano man ... -  Billy Joel

Week #46 LIFE'S simple pleasures - music
Do you play a musical instrument?  Is your voice your instrument?
Music is a huge part of a lot of peoples lives.  It's one of my simple pleasures.
Music is what feelings sound like.
If you are a movie fan just hearing a song can bring you back in time. 

The video doesn't quite work when you press play, but turn up the sound.... you'll know....
or, how about this one...

If you ever want to hear great movie theme songs, go to YouTube and just put that in the search engine.

Music is the sound track to all the good and bad times we have.

LIFE is like a piano.  The white keys are happy days and the black keys are sad ones, just remember that you need both to make music.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tune In

LIFE, is one grand, sweet song, so start the music - Ronald Reagan

Original Album circa 1977
I admit it, I'm one of those people who sings along (really loud) with songs on the car radio and gets the words wrong. 
I have forever .... and always.  I'm no longer ashamed... because there are many people like me!  And what's so interesting about that is, I know how to read music, I have played piano, cello and violin.... I have sung in 5 different choirs... and still I find it quite amusing to make up my own song lyrics when I don't really know what the artist originally intended to 'say'.
Week #46 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - music
Now I'm going to sound old here, but in my LIFE time I have listened to music in all different forms on all different types of 'things'.... vinyl albums, 8 track tapes, Audio Cassette Tapes, Compact Discs, Itunes.
The above photo is one of the really cool album covers we have on display in our house.  It's classic in artistry design, as well.  We have no record player or turn table.  I couldn't find any cassette tapes lying around the house either... those have faded away like a memory.  We do however, have a 'few' CD's.... collecting dust in some cabinets.... when is the right time to purge those babies??

Funny how a melody sounds like a memory.
Often, music evokes a memory in our LIFE
There is more types of music than I have fingers and toes to count, but I think we are all familiar with these different genres: Blues, Jazz, Rock N Roll, R & B, Rap, Pop, Rock, Classical,  Country, Disco ....

I find it so dang interesting that this piece of audio equipment in the above photo is almost obsolete and it's only about 3 years old.  It's an iPod Shuffle. It can hold hundreds of songs and it fits inside the palm of my hand!
My taste in music ranges from 'you need to listen to this' to ' I know, please don't judge me.'

Friday, November 08, 2013

What's on Your Discovery Channel?

I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It's a journey of recovery. It's a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It's already there.
Week #45 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - Discovery
I have found that I can make new discoveries every day.  To discover is to find something unexpectedly or in the course of a search.
In LEARNING to become Geocachers, Jeff and I have discovered new parks in our county that we never knew existed.
Are we on the right path?
Mistakes are the portals of discovery - James Joyce
Mistakes are also 'creative opportunities' in the card making world.  Oops, ha ha... my favorite picture above, I realized (discovered) I typed my watermark signature wrong... I'm ptdesogms2013.

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust

LIFE'S simple pleasures

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Get on Board

Do. Or do not. There is no try. ~ Yoda

I put a little 'twist' on my post today of  discovery, to focus a bit on my evolving and learning.  I am super thrilled about Pinterest.  I've heard that some call it the 'fantasy football' league for women. 
Where in one place can you get so many ideas, from home decorating to fashion, from recipes to simple DIY projects?  And so much more....
So, a few months ago I saw this cute DIY post for a card board.  That sounds kind of funny when you say it... seems like you are saying cardboard... which you are.... it's a board to hold your 'greeting' cards. 
If, and when I actually attempt to sell my creative greeting cards at a craft fair you need to have a display to show the goods.  For a few years I've been looking for old indoor window shutters with the louvers, because I saw a display where they have the card behind the slat and you can display a lot of cards at once.
Simply said, I've not found what I have in mind.  But then I saw this card... board. Not only had to try and make it.... I had to DO.

It is 4 boards that are 4" x 4'.  Cheapest boards I could find at $3.49 each.  I actually had Menard's cut the 10' boards at 4 feet for me (they did it free).  I sanded the heck out of those four boards to
a: get rid of all the splinters and
b: to distress the edges of the wood.

I used paint stirring sticks on the back to hold the four boards together. On the backside using wood glue and a staple gun I lined the boards straight and flat and then put the stir sticks across horizontal and stapled the hell out of them.  I probably could use two more stir sticks, but that will be for next time.

I painted the boards with some extra exterior house paint I had on hand.  Sanded up the edges of the boards again once it was dry... distress is best.  On the raw wood I was supposed to use wood stain, but all I had was Distress Ink in my craft stash, but that worked.... it's all about making the wood look worn.
Wrap twine around the boards, overlapping and twisting along the entire board.  Tie with a secure knot on back.  Add clothes pins.  The more distressed and worn the clothes pins the better.  Don't want any of those pristine ones that you can actually get from the Dollar$tore.
I have floor space and room enough to display this four foot stand.  The DIY on Pinterest used it as a Christmas Card holder.  She used holiday floral picks with pine cones and red ribbon and attached it to a spot on the top corner.  But actually, you could make a 'clip on' pick and change this up for any holiday or celebration... for someone's birthday you could add a banner hanging from the top, you could use this to display photos, postcards, kids art.....

Or even, a cute, whimsical, one of a kind.... creative greeting!!!
Brighten Someone's Day
with FuN MaiL!!!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Most Valued Customer

Words a girl loves to hear...

Do any of these words catch your attention????
Week #45 LIFE'S Simple pleasures - discovery
Obviously, if you've been following my blog for any amount of time, although I take my writing seriously, the 'twist' I take on LIFE, is supposed to be about LEARNING, INSPIRING, FEELING, EVOLVING and SHINING regarding simple pleasures!
What a feeling to walk into a store and find an item you needed is 'on sale'.
I always think of shopping as the art of the find!
Like in yesterday's post (just scroll down) its fun to find a BOGO.... buy one get one free, especially if you have someone to share the 'other' one with.  Really?  What in LIFE is FREE anymore?  But just the idea you're getting something FREE is an incentive for any good shopper!!
Kohl's Department store is actually my all time favorite store!! I am one of their MVCs... Most Valued Customers! And have been sine 1987.  I mean, who doesn't love a SALE, and then on top of that, getting 30% marked off your purchase.  Great marketing!!!!  And to prove their point... they ALWAYS circle in red at the bottom of your receipt how much you actually saved on that days purchase!!!
And in this economy, who doesn't want to $AVE more money.  There are few things we really NEED to survive... food, shelter, clothing, family, love... but being light hearted and fun.... it's great when the things we WANT are 'on sale'.
Your most important sale in life is to sell yourself to yourself.  Maxwell Maltz

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


This week on my blog I'm writing about discovery.

One of LIFE'S many simple pleasures is finding out that something you were going to buy, you actually are getting two for the price of one.

BOGO.... Buy One, Get One is regarded as one of the most effective forms of special offers for goods,

In my old neck of the woods this was called Double Bubble.  Two for one.  In other places it's called Happy Hour!
We were in Iowa City, Iowa recently visiting our oldest who is a Junior Hawkeye and trusted Trip Advisor to direct us to a good eats place.  Not often seen anymore with businesses trying to make a buck, but  EVERY day from 3-6 it's two for one drinks, on ALL drinks!!
Week #45 - LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - discovery
Yesterday's blog post was about finding money in your winter coat pocket, underneath the couch cushions or on the sidewalk.  It's like winning a small lottery!
You're richer than you were a few minutes ago!
It's just one of those simple pleasures, going somewhere that you've never been before, and putting your money in the vending machine and two sodas drop down instead of one.  The best thing is to share the 'free' one with a friend!
Not every BOGO is a deal, especially if you don't need two of them.  But discovering one at the end of a good day, unexpectedly, is one of LIFE'S simple pleasures.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Loose Change

Money can't buy you happiness, but money can buy you ice cream and that's kind of the same thing.

Week #45 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - discovery
There can be a lot of different ways to describe this week's Simple Pleasure.  I thought it would be fun to highlight some things we get, find, or discover.
There are so many things in our LIFE to celebrate, and some of the best things in LIFE are Free. 
So, as I write this, there are seven more weeks left in 2013.
There is always something new to discover! (or new to you/me) Because there are so many great things, it's a small challenge to group some of them together to write a cohesive post. This week I find a few simple pleasures that are a great little moment of discovery

It's a great day when you discover (find) money! 
Oh, it doesn't happen to everyone, but when you find a $10 bill in your winter coat pocket, you feel like you have won the lottery!!!
Okay, finding a penny on the sidewalk isn't as exciting... but if you are somewhat superstitious, or you have a small child with you... I'm sure you think to yourself.... see a penny pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck. Find a penny, leave it lay, and you'll have bad luck all the day. 
But, finding paper money on the sidewalk?  You don't know if you dare pick it up?  Look around to see if anybody is nearby looking for something?  Or just chalk it up to finders keepers!!!! cha-ching!
Hey, it was exciting to find money in the phone booth coin slot!  I don't think anyone under 40 will get that... what's a phone booth??
Another place that it's fun to discover some money is in the cushion of a couch or underneath the car seat.  Even if it's only some change, that discovery of money makes your day, especially if you can buy a favorite beverage with it.
I knew someone who bought a pair of jeans at a resale shop for her niece, and when she got them home and the young girl tried them on... they discovered a twenty dollar bill in the front pocket.  It's like winning the lottery!!
Sometimes, big money can be discovered when the newspaper lists names of those that have  unclaimed property or authorized government money refunds.
Although, the true simple pleasure is finding only a few bucks.
There are people who have money and there are people who are rich.  Coco Chanel

Friday, November 01, 2013

Mish Mash Stash


Cute kids ahead!

I must admit that it's only November 1st and I'm done with Halloween, and ready to move on to the next holiday or event or special occasion. The pumpkins are ready for the trash bin, the candy bag is empty and definitely the weather has changed!
Do you ever feel that way?  Weeks of preparation, the anticipation and excitement erupts everywhere, then it's pouring rain for the event, 4 hours later the light goes off and this holiday is in the history books.... so to speak!
Does every event have to flash by so quickly now?
Week #44 LIFE'S Simple Pleasures - Halloween
I've been blogging all week about my kid's Halloween costumes.  When they were quite young there were few choices and easier persuasions when deciding the perfect costume. Looking back, I enjoyed making their costumes, but I'm sure at the time, I was stressed about buying them versus making them and why things had to be so expensive!!
I believe these pictures are from 1998, and yes, although store bought, these costumes were part of their normal every day play.  We truly got out monies worth with this dress-up fashion statements.  Can't help but show our Packer pride in the Green and the Gold.

I don't want to say (admit) all holidays are for the young, but by becoming empty nesters this year, sadly, I have a different understanding of the excitement, and the interest is no longer the same in our home! 
I still love getting caramel (or candied apples) and purchasing bite size candy.  I have fun walking through the garden center and picking out the perfect pumpkin.  I like putting out simple (yet tasteful Halloween decorations). And I love scanning the costume aisle at Target. Now it's to see what silly costume I can dress my dogs in. (no, I did not buy my dogs costumes, this year!!!)
But, I miss being the room mom with the Interactive Halloween Story, GHOST bingo, bobbing for marshmallows, costume parades down the hallways throughout the school, Mish Mash Hot Potato and helping my kids pick out their costumes. I miss the rush of afterschool snacks and getting the costume put on, to find that a piece is missing or something needs to be stitched closed. I miss their excitement of meeting up with friends in the neighborhood and the stories they have to tell.
What I'm finding out this year is that LIFE'S journey takes us on many different roads.  I've been down that Halloween costume road and now it's time to enjoy the happy memories. And to be proud that I was able to share these events with my kids.
However, I miss looking through their stash of candy and finding the things I like!!
Happy All Saints Day!!!!


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