inspire . create . love . simplify . connect

Thursday, September 30, 2010

goodbye september, hello october

crazy how fast the time goes.  the month is over and i didnt finish everything i wanted to, but thats ok i will add them to octobers list. 
 i am not feeling too inspired tonight, my 10 hour days at work really tire me. i have a few hours to myself tomorrow so i hope to get my  inspiration back. 
 have a great night.
tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 world is a better place with a good cup of coffee

my morning coffee. 
every morning i am so excited to get out of the shower and head downstairs to the yummy smelling coffee pot.  my husband is up before me to let the dogs out and feed them their breakfast so he gets the coffee ready for us each morning.  
 i have four very special coffee mugs from anthropologie.  each mug has the initials of our family, g, k, m, and c.  there is something special about drinking out of them,  its a combination between their sturdiness and cuteness.  i always look at the letter to see "who's" mug i have for the day.
i love the smell and the comfort of the warm mug in my hands.  i  bring my coffee upstairs while i get myself and the kiddos ready for the day.  it is such a simple thing, but brings so much joy to my mornings.
 i have learned to appreciate a black cup of coffee with no added sugar or cream.  i have watched my husband drink it that way for years, not quite sure how he did it, but now i know what i was missing all those years.
i used to pull through the coffee line at a locally owned coffee stand each morning.  one of my goals was to only drive through once a month.  so far it is working out well and i figure i am saving a few dollars too. 
think about something simple that brings joy to your day to day life.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

be happiness itself. -buddha

we face challenges daily.  how we react to those challenges tells the story of who we are.  i know my story has changed as i have grown older.  i face challenges i never thought i would, but i know they are in my life for a reason. a reason i didn't understand for a long time,  now i embrace them,  i feel blessed and i wouldn't change a thing.  i am proud and know that my soul is happy. 
 today was a good day.

when we face the worst that can happen in any situation, we grow.  when circumstances are at their worst, we can find our best.
elisabeth kubler-ross

we know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
-blaise pascal

Monday, September 27, 2010

the little frame project...a change in direction

my little frame project changed directions.  i had originally planned to save the frame and throw away the old bird print.  as i started painting the frame i started painting the print too and decided that this was a great canvas for a painting and it only cost me $4.99. 
 i haven't painted anything for quite some time and it felt so nice.  i am a little bit of an unconventional artist.  i love to paint with my fingers and use whatever paints i can get my hands on.  this one is done with some acrylic, but mostly house paint and i only used a brush on part of the flowers.  the other part i finger painted and the circles at the bottom are created by a kitchen utensil that i don't know the use for.  i think it has something to do with eggs. 

always leave enough room in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, or even joyous.
-paul hawken

Sunday, September 26, 2010

a view from my iphone

my husband and i went away for the weekend for some much needed relaxing "us" time.  it went by so fast, but we had such a great time.  our destination was our favorite place in alaska, our ski resort, alyeska.  we spend a lot of time here in the winter as a family, but it is such a beautiful place all year round .  it is only 2 1/2 hours from our home, but it feels like we are so far away from it all.

the drive is so beautiful and gives me a whole new appreciation for the last frontier.
this is the hotel (and my husband)
our view from dinner at our one of our fav spots "the bar"
we had such an amazing dinner (roasted tomato and mushroom ragout) and i was able to drink my fav beer (fish tale organic ipa)

we splurged for some blueberry cobbler
the leaves are falling off the trees so fast.  the colors are beautiful, and i thought they went so well with my blue mary jane sanitas =)
headed home
a look at alaska's fall.  it doesn't last long so we have to enjoy it while it is here.  winter is just around the corner.  we had a few snow flakes on the drive home.  
hope you had a relaxing weekend. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

a weekend away

some time away at our favorite place.

have a great weekend!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010 grandpa


when i think about my years as a kid growing up in california, i remember so many wonderful memories with my grandparents.  my brother and i were the only grand kids on my moms side, so we spent lots of quality time with them.

i came across this picture of my grandpa several years ago and i have had it in a special place in my home ever since.  i hold on to this photo because it is truly the way i remember him, handsome and strong, but one of the most tender hearted human beings i have ever known.  he was so kind, generous, and had quite the sense of humor.  he always had a smile on his face and made friends everywhere he went.  he truly loved his family and was married to my grandma for over 50 years. what an inspiration in love and friendship. 
he lived for over 20 years after he was diagnosed with parkinsons disease. 
he died just a few months before i had my son in 2002.  i miss him and think of him everyday.

my mom is exactly like him and continues his amazing spirit with her generous heart as she is one of the most wonderful and caring woman i know.

this is my first installment of thoughts...
one of my goals in my goal journal is to become a better writer.  i would love to express my "thoughts" better on paper.  to honest writing frightens me a little, so this is quite the challenge for me.  i am really excited and ready to start sharing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a special package arrived today

create with abandon
soar pendant
look with your heart

today i received a very special etsy order from my friend julia.  two of her fabulous paintings and a beautiful pendant necklace.  i am so thrilled to add these pieces to my inspiration room and i cant wait to wear my new pendant tomorrow. yay!!! 
find her on etsy by clicking here

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a beautiful mind

if a man does not keep pace with his companions.  perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
(henry david thoreau, 1854)

several months ago i watched with my family one of the most inspiring movies, the temple grandin story.  temple is a woman who was diagnosed with autism at a young age.  with the amazing support of her mom and teachers she is now a successful woman with her doctorate.  the four of cried together while we watched and realized how difficult life is for some people and how wonderfull it is when they overcome all odds.  amazing!!

i was first introduced to temples story a few years ago, while i educated myself  about autism spectrum disorders.  she has written several inspiring books about her life.  she and all the others diagnosed have an amazing way of seeing the world and i appreciate all that she has taught me and my family. 
there is so much more to autism than the things we hear on the news or read in the paper.  i now see things through there eyes and know how difficult even the most simple things can be. 

right now i am reading a book called freaks, geeks and asperger syndrome, by 13 year old luke jackson. 
i am so impressed, what a gifted young man, with such a beautiful mind. 
this quote in the beginning of the book really struck me.
"to those of you who feel that you don't belong. always remember that different is cool."
wow!!  well said!!

no impact man

i watched a great documentary last night called no impact man.  it follows a family from new york city that decides to go on a year long crusade to make no impact on the environment.  it was so interesting and inspiring to watch how their crusade changed their lives forever. 
for one year they gave up tv and any kind of transportation that used carbon-fuel.  they ate only organic locally grown food and made their own cleaning supplies. 

thank you rachel for suggesting this to me.  i loved it so much. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

etsy find...upcycled frames

here are a couple upcycled frames that i found while searching through the
 wonderful world of etsy
paired with my new little table and books from anthropologie
i love them

Sunday, September 19, 2010

the little frame project...a new find

i found myself a little project this weekend. 
 a couple of ugly prints surrounded by frames with major potential. 
tomorrows my day off and the kids will be at school.  its my day to create. 

i cant wait.

its ok to say no

(a couple of my fav pics from a couple summers ago in my home state of sunny california.  these photos were taken by one of my high school friends, monica, at, who is a beautiful photographer)

one day i realized that it is ok to say no.  ok to say no to all the "extras" in life that in my heart i truly didn't want to do.  i was feeling a little overwhelmed with day to day life and not having much time at home as a family.  it seems that there was always something going on.  my husband has a busy job with lots of meetings and he had something to attend almost every night of the week.  i was simply exhausted and feeling like there was no way around our current situation. 

one day i was talking with one of my favorite friends, who told me that she didn't do all of the "extras".  no jewelry, candle, or home decor parties, no dinners out, etc.  i was so impressed with her ability to say no.   saying no sounds so simple, but for some reason it was so hard for me.  both my husband and i were feeling the same about it all and we decided to cut back.  he finished out the season on the little league board and resigned and he also had someone at work take over one of the boards he was on.  i started saying no to the extras that i didn't want to do.  wow what a liberating feeling.  it was so amazing that him giving up two things and me being selective on the extras i chose to do really made a huge difference in our lives.  now if i could have a house cleaner so i could free up more time on the weekends=)  saying "no" is so easy now and i have no guilt attached. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

fall is in the air

fall is in the air

here is the view from my back deck.  the trees are changing and the air is a little crispy. 
have a fabulous weekend!

BigHugeLabs: Do fun stuff with your photos

BigHugeLabs: Do fun stuff with your photos

senior mosaic

Thursday, September 16, 2010

goals...creative time

i am so thankful to have found some creative outlets in my life.  working full time doesn't allow me to be as creative as i would like, but i am finding ways to follow my heart.  i have always loved taking pictures and i am so grateful to the people who have allowed me to photograph them.  it is such a joy for me and i feel so inspired.  one of my goals i added to my journal is keeping up with things i being one of them.  my goal is to never set the camera down.  sounds so simple, but for years i set the camera down and just within the last couple of years have i found my inspiration to pick it up again. 
i love love love taking pictures of seniors.  they are so much fun and so willing to be in front of the camera. 
what a beautiful sunny day in alaska to take some fun pics.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

senior sneak peak

just a little sneak peak at this beautiful senior.  i will share more of her 2011 senior portraits a little later.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

goals...recycled clothes

so...i have been thinking a lot about journaling lately and i decided to keep different journals for different parts of my life. 

inspirational quotes are one of  my loves and so i have decided to keep a journal just for them.  i usually write them all over the place and this way i wont lose them and i will have them all in one place to go to for inspiration and sanity. 

the way i eat and the health of my family is a huge part of my life and so i will devote one journal to my health.  it will include exercise, recipes, and day to day inspiration that i find in magazines or online.

the third specific journal i will keep will be dedicated to my goals for the year.  the first goal i wanted to share with you is about recycled clothes.  my goal for the year is to buy as much of my clothing second hand.  i know every now and then there will be something at nordy's that i just have to have.  i think this is a great opportunity to recycle and save a little money all at the same time.  while i was in california i found some pretty amazing things at crossroads thrift store in roseville.  i went three times and found different treasures each time. 

as you know i am a jean freak and so i was beside myself with excitement when i found these three pairs of designer jeans.  on the left a pair of paige premium denim for $10 (they are a little worn but for the most part they are in great shape) in the middle are my fav's.  a pair of joes from their vintage line.  so cute and only cost me $37.50.  another pair of joes on the right for $27.50.  WOW!!

here are some of the great little tops i got at the same store, all four cost me around $20!!!

i will keep you updated on my progress. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

vegan yumminess

chocolate peanut butter cups
from the kind diet
by alicia silverstone

i am so in love with this book.  it is so interesting and so inspirational.  there are so many yummy vegan recipes.  i am always looking for good healthier treat recipes for my kids that don't have refined sugar and all that yucky stuff.  there are several recipes that i still want to try and this is the second one so far.  the first was a wonderful fruit cobbler (i will share that recipe too).
if you love reeses peanut butter cups you will absolutely love this vegan version.

makes 12
1/2 cup earth balance butter
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (i used organic creamy)
10 graham cracker squares
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (i used agave nectar)
1 cup non dairy or carob chips
1/4 cup soy, rice or nut milk (i used almond)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (they all taste good, i used a mixture of almonds, peanuts and some other green nut that i don't know the name of=)

line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.  (they do make unbleached liners made from recycled paper.  not sure if i will find those around here but i will look. all of you who are so lucky to have a whole foods near by should be able to find them there)

alicia and her husband do not have a microwave so they do all their cooking on the stove.  i am not able to give up my microwave so i used it to melt the butter and chips.

melt butter and then add peanut better graham crackers and maple syrup and mix well.  evenly divide the mixture, about 2 tbls per cup, among the muffin cups.

combine the chocolate and milk (i combined them after i already melted the choco in the microwave) spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture then top with chopped nuts.
place in refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving.
enjoy they are wonderful

i will share the cobbler after i make it this weekend so i have a pic to show you

Friday, September 10, 2010

one of my fav's

this is one my favorite journal pages. 
 it has three pictures that i cherish of a thanksgiving family vacation to the big island. 
this page brings back wonderful memories and makes me smile everytime i see it. 
i try not to use too many store bought items on my journal pages.  i love to use magazines, catalogs, new clothing tags, old cool things that i have been hanging on to for some odd reason, and gift bags or neat shopping bags (one of my favorites are the little striped bags from coach).  i am recycling and  it makes the journals so interesting and those items tell there own story and reflect who i am and the things i love. 
i am so ready to pull my journaling box out and see what cool things i forgot i had and get writing.

what is your favorite item to journal with??? 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ready to fly

last night we said goodbye to sammy.  she is headed off to washington for college in the morning. i am so sad and i will miss her so much.  basketball season wont be the same without her running up and down the court, but i am so excited for her to experience college and most of all getting out of alaska.  i think every child that grows up here should go to the "lower 48" or the real world as i call it to see whats out there.  it will be so weird and wonderful for her to have a winter without snow.  i think i am a little jealous=) i might just have to go visit!! 
sam is an amazing young woman with so much potential for an amazing life.  i am so excited to see how she grows and what path she chooses. she will be a success and follow her heart.  best of luck sweet niece of ours, we love you. 
christmas break will be here before we know it.
i look forward to so many fun times with sam, she is not only my niece but a friend i will cherish always.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

it is here where she must begin to tell her story...

she decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. 
 and birds fluttered around her, writing "yes" in the sky.

one of my favorite things to do in my spare time is journal. 
i received three amazing journals for my bday.  my goal is to fill them up before i turn 34. 
i have 362 days to accomplish my goal. 

shes turning her life into something sacred: each breath a new birth. each moment, a new chance.  she bows her head, gathers her dreams from a pure, deep stream and stretches her arms towards the sky.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

im ok with that

i had such a wonderful birthday on sunday.  no major plans just a day with the fam and a dinner made by one of my great friends.  she even had my favorite organic pickled beets from our local gourmet mart.
i have such amazing and thoughtful friends and i received some amazing gifts from the heart.  from a wonderful frame made from old barn wood, yummy miso and fuggle mustard (being a vegan you learn all the really amazing things to eat that are out of the ordinary) to a nail file with the most wonderful little saying.  "i know i'm in my own world...that's okay, they know me here"
i am in my own world up here in alaska.  i don't always fit in, but i am ok with that
thank you beautiful friends

the little table project...

is complete. 

Monday, September 6, 2010


what a great day--70 degrees in alaska in september on my day off--i am so thrilled!!
what a great afternoon for some kendall jackson and sunshine=)
hope you all had a wonderfully inspired holiday weekend. 

m & m girls photo shoot

just a few pics from my photo shoot with these adorable sisters

so much personality