Delicious Ambiguity

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“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
-Gilda Radner
For reasons truly unknown to me, I have neglected this blog. Yet when I look back on the posts I have curated over the years, I am proud and inspired by the woman who penned these words. I was writing, and have always written, for myself. I write to sort out problems, soothe anxious nerves, or just understand myself better. With summer right around the corner and life starting to slow down to a sweet pace, what better time to start focusing on the blessings we encounter every single day? I also want to share the fascinating stories that I find online. Typically what I do is add these stories to my “Reading List” online but share them with no one. Why not have a platform where I can share these articles and perhaps be a beacon of light for someone searching for hope, positivity, and enthusiasm for life. So stay tuned for some lessons on gratitude, interesting finds online, book talk, interviews with fascinating people, and tips on how to live an inspiring, happy, and fulfilling life. I am going to be learning these life lessons right along with you and sharing what I find. A classroom for a wonderful life!
Reading List:
~12 Little Known Laws of Gratitude.
~8 Habits of People Who Always Have Great Ideas.
~The Evasive Work-Life Balance.
~9 Books on Reading & Writing.
~When Life Feels Like a Mess.
~The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself.
~7 Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed.
As continue to raise my beautifully spirited 2 year-old son and 4 month old daughter, I will also share some parenting lessons, suggestions, and obstacles that I learn along the way.
I look forward to building this small space into my online home. I am not doing it to build a platform, increase page-views, sell anything or become an online sensation. I just want it to be a place for me to do my favorite things; read, write, learn, and share. Delicious Ambiguity.

Nautical Themes

I love all things nautical. I live by the sea and I think it influences my style. I love greys, blues, whites. Neutral colors with many variations. I’m loving these shower curtains from West Elm! How cute are they?! What is it about the sea that is so calming, soothing, and healing? Does everyone feel this way or is it because I associate the ocean with carefree, childhood days? Either way, there is no way you can go wrong with adding the ocean to your life, in any way, shape, or form. It also helps to have summer reminders when you are faced with three feet of snow outside your window. It reassures you that summer will return again…someday. Right?

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Whale Shower Curtain img25c

 

Anchor Shower Curtain

 

Thanks Erin for bringing these to my attention! Now I just have to decide which direction to go…whales or anchors? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Random Bits

In my goal to continue posting daily, I thought I would share some cute and interesting things I found online today.

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Cute bag.

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Habit forming.

 

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Want to read this book! It’s getting some fantastic praise!

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Currently reading this book and it HOOKED me last night. I couldn’t put it down. Mhairi (pronounced “Var-ee”) McFarlane is SUCH a talented writer. The book comes out in the US on May 19th and I think it’s going to be a hit.

And a few more found gems…

Best Books for Boys

Take a walk.

Begin Where You Are

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“We begin right where we are with what we have right in front of us at any given point in time.” – Ali Edwards

Sometimes the right words find us at exactly the right time. Today is my first official day doing my “morning pages” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way) and following my plan to blog every day. I want to do this to loosen up my writing muscles, get into a flow and learn who I am as a writer, a thinker, a doer. Remember that whole 10,000 hours thing? Well, it starts here for me. Day one. Hour one. Ali’s post was particularly poignant because, as she writes, “It takes a willingness to be bad at it in the beginning. We all have to start somewhere.”

I couldn’t agree more and yet it’s something that I seem to forget every time I begin a new practice or try a new skill.

“Learning a new skill or sport or art form or way of being takes time and repetition. It takes doing the same move over and over and over again. That move may involve a paintbrush or a pen or standing on your hands or lacing up your shoes or yelling kiai or sitting at a wheel or looking through the lens over and over and over again.” (Ali Edwards)

I wrote in my morning pages, “It may seem self-indulgent to take this time to write three pages every morning, especially when I have a baby and a business that demands so much of my time. But maybe I need to do these pages because I have a baby and a business. I need this creative expression just for me.” Julia Cameron backed up my thoughts perfectly when she wrote, “It’s not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

We all need to put the time in if it’s something we want to learn and do well. We don’t start off as experts, we start as beginners and that’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s exactly as it should be.

I wrote three pages this morning and most of what I wrote were questions and rambling thoughts but I did get one gem out of it. I wrote, “I want to feel my pulse through my pen.” That one sentence made the three pages of scribbles worth it. Because it’s exactly how I feel, I want to feel my pulse through my pen. I want to check in with myself and understand myself through the written word. I want to distill my thoughts and understand the events of my life better. I want to write my way to happiness. (Side note: Recent studies have even found that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory, according to the New York Times)

You know you are on the right path and doing the work you need to be doing if you feel a fire in your heart. That fire was ignited yesterday and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Hello February

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I’m so excited about this month. February always feels like the turning of a corner. We are making the slow march towards spring and leaving the frigid temperatures of winter behind us. February is also a time when I start to really look at where I stand in the year. We are already one month into 2015 and resolutions are probably waning for most. Maybe some of us haven’t even attempted to embark on those resolutions. I am in the most confusing of positions. I couldn’t decide on a resolution. I had too many ideas floating around in my busy head. I wanted to write more. I wanted to exercise more. I wanted to simplify my life, streamline, explore minimalism. Ali Edwards has a One Little Word program that she runs where you focus on one word for the entire year. Couldn’t decide what I wanted my word to be. Do you see a pattern here? I have trouble making decisions (classic Pisces-two fish swimming in opposite directions).

Then something amazing happened. On a cold, snowy Sunday I stumbled upon a blog. Janice MacLeod. Janice is an artist, a writer, an explorer, a traveler, but also a girl, just like me, looking for her passion. She started a blog in 2010 in the hopes of documenting her ability to do 365 days of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages from her wildly popular book, The Artist’s Way. Essentially, Janice wanted to change her life. The Morning Pages became a focal point and a way to channel her creative energy. What resulted is astounding. Janice quit her job, sold her belongings and traveled to France, looking for adventures. She blogged her way through everything and started writing letters and painting images of her travels to her friends and family back home. The blog took off and her creativity blossomed. She ended up writing Paris Letters: One Woman’s Journey from the Fast Lane to a Slow Stroll in Paris. The rest, as they say, is history. What fascinates me is that all of this was the result of pursuing her passion and dedicating herself to change. She ended her first post with these words, “I’m like a horse at the gate. Excited. Nervous. I’m also frothing at the mouth. Game on.”

As I continued to read on about Janice, I found that she, too, was inspired by another artist, Percy Kelly, who sent letters to a friend. Letters that were illustrated and told a story. It’s amazing to actually watch someone’s dreams begin to take shape, and this is what Janice’s blog showed. She hated her job. Hated the work she was doing. She wasn’t inspired. She needed to breathe some energy into her life and she did it in small, creative steps. Steps that resulted in a book that has hit the New York Times Bestseller list! All because she started thinking creatively and looking for inspiration everywhere. Now she is the one doing the inspiring.

I immediately had to get my hands on a copy of her book. I’m right around the age Janice was when she started her blog. I have a one-year-old son who is my everything. I want to show him what a good, happy, inspired life looks like and I think I might have found the way. Writing has always been my passion but I hide it behind press releases for other people, other writers, other creative minds. I write about their lives, their work, their passions. But what about mine?

The fact that I have just written more in the past few minutes then I have all year shows that I am excited. I’m inspired. I’m motivated. I want to see what happens to my life if I begin to follow my passion. I’m going to do what Janice did. I’m using her as my inspiration. I will start doing morning pages every single day. I want to see if the creativity will be sparked. I want to blog every. single. day. Even if it’s just one word. One picture. One thought. I want to check in here, with my thoughts, every single day. The morning pages will be used to spark my creativity, get my creative juices flowing. Like Janice, I, too, want to explore my creative side. I’ve been a scrapbooker for years. I document my daily life with words and photos in albums that no one sees. I want this blog to become a bit like my scrapbook. A place in this wide world where I can be creative and discover new facets of myself.

I have found a journal that I will use for my morning pages. I don’t know how different it will be then my diary, which I keep on a daily basis, but we shall see. I’m already 39 days into 2015 but as anyone will tell you, now is as good a day as any to start. So I will do 365 days of morning pages. 365 days of blogging. Today is Day One. Yes, this space will hold me accountable. I’ve made this proclamation before. I didn’t stick to it. Yes, it’s embarrassing. So here’s hoping that on February 8, 2016, I will have 365 posts to back me up.

As Janice said, “GAME ON!”

If you, too, are looking for inspiration, check out Janice’s book and blog. You will not be disappointed. Her artwork is stunning and her words are inspiring.

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Thanksgiving via Oprah Magazine

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A More Festive Feast…This is something I will definitely be incorporating into my Thanksgiving celebration this year. I absolutely love the idea of not only recognizing and acknowledging what you are grateful for but documenting it, as well. Being able to reflect on your gratitude the following year is a charming tradition to bring to the table.

Plateful of Grateful

“Pass these out during dessert and ask guests to write what they’re grateful for this year. Once everyone has read their answers aloud, pack the cards into an envelope with the date written on it so you can pull them out next year, starting an annual tradition.”

DIY
For each guest, cut a 4¼” x 5½” square of colored card stock and 2 rectangles of brown kraft card stockone 3¼” x 4½”, the other 2″ x 4½”. On one side of the colored card, glue the larger rectangle; on the other side, glue the smaller one. In the center of the larger rectangle, stamp a seasonal detail (like a pumpkin or a turkey). Above it, stamp a banner design, where guests will write their name.

(via Camille Styles)

{Oprah Magazine, November issue, p.40}

I’m back

I’m hoping to make blogging here a more regular thing…because I honestly have so many thoughts to share and ideas to explore. I am hoping to make it become a habit. A routine. I also want to have a home on the internet for creative exploration. Let’s see how this goes. For now, to have things be more manageable (especially because I have a 9 month old baby and a full time job that I love), I am going to work on posting for 30 days in a row. Just 30 days. They say that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit. Let’s do a little social experiment and see if works. So today is Day 1. Hopefully I will see you here tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Interesting Links

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Monday was off to a slightly optimistic start. The weather seems to be brightening up (just a bit) and we seem to be heading towards warmer temps. I will keep my fingers crossed. I thought Here are a few gems I recently found and some questions I’m pondering.

Should the Breast Pump Be More Advanced?

Ergo vs. Baby Bjorn?

What is the one word that should never follow I LOVE YOU? 

Humor is a form of mental exercise.

Children and their favorite toys.

Anatomy of a Tumblr.

Top 10 Books on Simplicity because Spring Cleaning always inspires me to simplify, simplify, simplify.

Self-imposed deadlines don’t help, should I do away with my To-Do list?

Have a great week and I will be back soon!

 

A New Year

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And my life has been forever changed.

Stay tuned for a new direction for this blog.

There will be many ways in which it will stay the same. I will still talk about things I love, inspirational thoughts and quotes, motivational ideas, and plenty of gratitude.

But now it will also include lots of things I’m learning at this stage of my life, the stage of new motherhood….and the fact that even typing the word “motherhood” and referring to myself makes me start to cry.  (Of course, that’s probably hormonal due to the fact that I only gave birth two weeks ago).

I’m thanking you in advance for joining me on this journey and I’m inviting you to throw out any ideas, advice, suggestions and thoughts. My home is your home.

This is my home.

New iPhone Case

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Want.

Growing

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Very excited to start my gardening adventure and am looking forward to some beautiful spring and summer blossoms. I also feel that learning something new, like gardening, is a way to stay curious and excited about life. Days like this, when we are facing such tragedy and confusion, it’s nice to lose yourself in something real and cathartic and gratifying. I know that the minute I see a sprout of green, a sign of life and beauty, I will feel a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, and an appreciation for the cyclical nature of life.

Boston

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Words can’t express how I feel about what happened in Boston on Marathon Monday. To have such tragedy, such loss, such pain and suffering thrust upon our beautiful city, and the inspiring people who reside here, breaks my heart. I have complete faith that we will rise above the terror and be stronger and more courageous than ever before. Yes, our innocence may be lost but our hope, faith and bravery remains.

Words to Live By…

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Things I Love

Flowers

 

Pretty Flowers from Style Me Pretty

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In honor of Mad Men returning next week (Via)

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Words of advice.

The Orange Hammock: Fiction Bits

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I stumbled along the path, following the clearly marked pavers, confident that I was moving in the right direction. It had to go somewhere, right? It had to end somewhere? This was a familiar feeling. My life was mimicking this path with endless twists and turns and no definitive direction or purpose. Even though I was in a tropical paradise, after awhile palm trees all started to look the same. Flowering plants and crawling vines morphed into one continuous form of vegetation. I wasn’t seeing beauty anymore, I was just feeling panic. Panic that I would remain lost until dark. Panic that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back. Panic that I was being led so far away from where I wanted to go even though I was following a path, a clearly marked path.

The constant green was broken by a bright spot of orange in the distance. At first I thought it was an overgrown bush of blooming flowers. But the orange was so bright, so solid, it had to be something artificial. Nothing natural could hold that kind of vibrancy. As I rounded the last bend, the orange object came into focus. It was a hammock. It was an elaborate hammock, not a simple piece of fabric strung between two trees. This one was made up of intricate patterns and knots. Tassels dangled from the edges and the fabric looked clean and freshly laundered, not like something that had been hanging for a long time or forgotten long ago by travelers.

Who did this remarkable hammock belong to and why would they leave it here for anyone to use? Why would they share something so beautiful with strangers? I was too timid to sit on the hammock, too scared to trust it with my weight, but I touched it gently. I ran the tassels through my fingers as I searched the landscape for a house. There was nothing to be seen but the brilliant hammock and the stones beneath my feet leading me somewhere I did not yet know. I released the hammock and continued on my way. I was still lost. I was still scared. But I had seen beauty. I had recognized something unique and it had made me pause and reflect. I knew, someday, I would be back. I would find my way out and I would return. And maybe this time I would relinquish my fears and worries and I would simply swing.

 

Love

Image Via Katie Daisy

I love everything about this painting! The quote, the colors, the contrast, the vibrancy. Just beautiful!

Happy Holidays

Well, I’m off to do some Christmas shopping. This is my absolute, hands-down, favorite time of the year. I love the festivity, the kindness, the general excitement that surrounds me wherever I go. It’s just a beautiful and breath-taking time of year. Yes, there are long lines, rude people, the expense of it all. But there is also a timeless quality to the holidays. It’s a time to remember where you were last year, the year before, ten years before. It’s a time of love and reflection. It’s also a time for hope. The possibility of a new year and all the joy and adventure yet to come. I am looking back fondly on 2012. Yes, there were some large bumps in my road and many tears shed, but I was with the people I love and I appreciated every moment of it. I have tremendous hope for 2013 and feel blessed that I am able to sit here, write these words, put my heart into everything I do and move forward.

Happy Holidays!

i love new york

I just adore this print. It’s made by Tiffany Pelczar. And what’s even more beautiful about this print? All proceeds go to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Branding

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There are so many businesses online. So many creative ideas, projects, initiatives, missions. They are popping up all over the place and they are inspiring and motivating. But they can also be overwhelming. They can make you feel inferior or like a failure because you haven’t built your own successful business, because you don’t have that “million dollar idea.” But the truth is, just trying to reach your dreams is the definition of success. Taking that step, putting yourself out there, making a leap into the unknown is the sign of courage. Try everything. Be curious. Discover your passion.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ursula LeGuin

Loving Fall

I am a sucker for a New England fall. The dramatic drop in temperature. The vibrant colors that light up the trees. The crackle of fallen leaves. The cold fingers and toes at night as you snuggle deeper under your covers. It makes me feel brilliantly alive. It’s days like this that make me thankful to live where I do. Yes, when the long, hard winter months start hanging heavily over my head, I do wish for the summer skies of California. I long to feel the warm sun radiating on my body and I sense a definite change in the moods of those around me. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and I can tell you it makes an appearance every February/March without fail. But for now, the chill is delightful. It hints at holidays and time with our family. The winter chill means hot apple cider on the stove, a fire in the fireplace and cozy clothing (with elastic waists!). I am going to really try and hold onto this winter cheer for as long as humanly possible. I will try to see the beauty in everything it brings and really try not to complain too much around January, February and March. (But I can’t make any promises).