happy thanksgiving!

no seriously! all day today I have been happy and SO thankful!

I started the day off with a list. not like that is anything different from any other day in my life, but here is the kicker!


I know! I surprise me too. now get off the floor and back into the chair and let me tell you what happened. 

it all started with two happy puppy faces saying "good morning mamma". they were happy because they finally had some relief after being diagnosed with lice! yuck! drugs are GOOD! thankful that they are feeling better!

then off I went to meet my friend for a run in the trails. we have beautiful trails and sans snow and ice it is quite nice to run without fear of going ass over tea kettle. so after the run she invites me in for coffee. sure! and we then spent the better part of the morning just chatting and laughing and reconnecting. I also made a new furry friend as she was babysitting. "chewy" is the sweetest big dog I have ever met! it was awesome! and I was so thankful that I forgot all about what I needed to do this morning.

from there I ran home to shower and have lunch and who happens on my doorstep but dan. what a lovely surprise! we lunched together, chatted and shared a big hug. I love my time with him and am so thankful that I get that and his hugs make me SO happy!

then off to pick mom up and take her to the doc's. dad decided to stay home so he missed out! while we were waiting for the doctor to come in she said she was hot. "oh I better not tell the doctor I am hot or he will think I am hot for another reason" she said. good lord! poor thing was having a hot flash. we leave the doc's and I ask her if she needs to stop anywhere before I take her home. she says no and asks if I need to stop somewhere. I tell her I need to stop and pick up some toiletries for dan and so she says okay I'll come with you!

we get into the store and off I go to grab shampoo and such and when I go looking for her I find her down the candy aisle with a bag of jelly beans in her hand. apparently she had found what she needed. so I keep shopping and she goes through the till and rips open the bag and starts chomping down on them like she is two. it was the cutest thing. she was so happy with her bag of $1.99 christmas jelly beans. so thankful I still have my mom and dad and I can enjoy these moments with them.

before I head home I decide to stop and get my glasses checked and adjusted. as the lady is pulling the lenses out she ends up breaking one of my lenses. I tell her I can't drive without my glasses and I will have to get someone to come and pick me up. no, no she says we are making it up for you now and it will be about twenty minutes. so twenty minutes later I had not one, but TWO new lenses! I am so thankful that I stopped to get my glasses checked! 

so I head home and he is smiling and feeling better too. so puppies are on the mend and he is on the mend and I? I am so thankful that I tossed my list out the window today so that I could just "enjoy" the day as it rolled out.

love this...

thank you vivian.

pass it on...


to what I like to call the "season of the forced smile...

I was reading a blog the other day were she talked about a fellow blogger and how her life sounded way too perfect to be true. I hope that I have not given you the impression that MY life is perfect. whoa!

so yesterday was supposed to be my longest run before the half marathon in vegas and needless to say it was a short 5 km. I had stomach cramps, was worried about him, feeling overwhelmed at all I had to get accomplished and so I headed back home. we have not been well since returning from our tropical get away. tests are due back any day now. it sucks!

so after my bouts of crying and crying some more and many hugs I pulled up my big girl panties and started to tackle things that needed to get done. I have been feeling so tired lately and have no energy and yet my mind says "go", but my body says "whoa". hopefully my doc visit today will help me gain some insight on that. 

do you feel overwhelmed? or am I the only freak? not that you are a freak. you are probably a really nice person. I label myself as "the freak". I tend to walk around the house and in doing so I spot all the things that should get done. organizing, moving items out of the room, cleaning, purging and so on. it bothers me! it bothers me SO much that when I open a door and see the "it" that needs to get done I feel awful. I open a lot of doors each and every day and so that awful feeling really piles up.

I know, you are saying, so, stop opening the doors! easy solution! but how do I get dressed? I could have him get my clothes for me. done. how do I clean my eyeglasses? move the cleaning stuff. how do I cook? do take out. and let's not even mention all the piles of books and magazines that I have now come to the conclusion that I will die before I get to read them all. 

and so that brings us to - winter - aka as the season of my forced smile. why? cause I hate it! there I said it! the stork dropped me off in the wrong country and I have been trying to get back home ever since. damn bird! so basically in the next couple of weeks I need to come up with a plan that will turn this frown upside down. a new way of looking at winter in a good way. I have already discovered that tanning beds are out. I will pay the price for tropical fruit without complaining. revamping the rec room into a beach was not looked upon as a "fun" reno idea so no go on that. 

I'll keep trying and in the mean time I will crank the goLITE to 30 minutes and pray that I get a slight glow. happy monday!

travel journal...

I love to make travel journals for all my trips.  I usually make them from scratch and apparently she
would like me to do a little step by step over at the studio.

hoping to get that up next week.

in the past my journals mostly contained writing with some sketches and bits and pieces like receipts, business cards and such.  when I was introduced to this wonderful world of "scrapbooking" and all the kewl papers, embellishments and toys, well, I went crazy!  I have started including patterned papers, transparencies and pictures.  yup, pictures! and I love it!

the thing I love about my art journals is that they are busting open from all the extras and now I am getting that same effect with my travel journals and it is making me SO happy!

here is my most recent journal from punta cana.  it is SO full!  I LOVE it!  enjoy!  

*I left the music off so it is up to you if you want tunes while watching or not

dominican art

seriously! did you think I would go away and forget about aRt? the colors in the caribbean are so beautiful. the houses we saw were covered in a buffet of bright blues, green, yellows and reds. all distressed from age and the air and so amazing. we were your non typical tourists in a sense that we took pictures of the weirdest things. benches, sidewalks, doors, dogs and food. I took pictures of everything that inspired me. we had two cameras and would often take the same shot to then compare once we got home. I love digital photography! you can take a billion photos! awesome!

we were walking along the beach one day and came across this row of shops. on the beach! lucky for us there were no signs that said "no shirt, no shoes, no service" cause we didn't have either. lol! there was your usual mass produced tees and keychains, but we were after something unique. we always try to pick up a little something for the house.

we came upon this guy and he told us his name was "scooby doo". yeah, right! anyway I was admiring these plates that he had and he pulled some down for me to look at and started explaining the story behind them. he told us that the plate was "taino art" and that the taino were the dominant culture in the dominican before columbus arrived. he explained how the plates were made and I asked him if he made them, no. I love to talk the actual artist who made the item every chance I get. here is a pic of the plate we purchased:

love the colors! and he was delightful too:

in the same row of shops we also saw rows upon rows of paintings. I asked our buddy "scooby doo" if there was one artist who painted all of them. a lot of the paintings looked the same everywhere we went. he explained that a lot of them were done on computer with color added later, but there were some that are original paintings. we walked around trying to figure out which ones were computer copied and which were originals and I could hear music. not a radio, but someone playing keyboard. we kept walking to the very back and came upon these two:

they stopped playing as soon as they saw us and I said keep going, keep going. they laughed and the one playing said he wasn't very good and I told him he was doing just fine. it reminded me of when dan is singing and playing in the basement. I loved it!

on the resort they had a little stand set up where you could pick a piece of pottery and paint it and of course I had to do that! the man who worked there was from haiti and we chatted him up while I was painting away. he told us how he came to the dominican in hopes to make more money. he would talk to the tourists and try to pick up other languages. we overheard him talking to someone in german and he spoke very good english. his dream was to one day be a tour guide. one of the things we did learn was that the dominican government does not assist students so that they can attend university. the people with the money go to university. he told us about his uncle in canada who was trying to get him to go there and had a job waiting for him. we told him it could be a bit cold for him!

an outdoor studio! imagine that!

the entrance of the restaurant had an archway made of palm leaves and they had food carvings. very kewl!

also on the resort they offered henna tattoo. of course I indulged! lol!


and we must not forget..."SAND ART!"

I was about to lay back down and saw it in the sand smiling back at me.  how fun to find "aRt" in other countries. 

thank you for all your comments. I loved reading them!

¡mis favoritos!

besides the obvious sand, surf and sun there were other things that made my get away so amazing. we stayed in an all-inclusive and although we love being spoiled rotten we also like to get off the resort and rub elbows with the locals. 

we took a tour which started out with horseback riding where I had a gentle, slow and well behaved horse. I could have done this everyday if I had the chance! we visited the sugar cane fields and sampled some sugar cane. we visited a dominican home and had coffee, hot chocolate and mama juana and feasted on fresh fruits. we took a walk down by the river and saw people bathing and washing clothes. little children everywhere yelling "ola". we went to a ranch and had lunch and visited a school. unfortunately it was saturday and we were unable to see the inside of the school. bummer! our tour ended at a local beach where there were vendors of all ages. a little girl trying to sell me some flowers and a boy with hand woven hats. we saw the most beautiful water and the softest sand. it was an incredible day. the rest of our time was spent walking the beach, laying in the sun and cooling off in the water.

like I said before I create a travel journal for each trip I take as I like to document our adventures away from home. what I have started doing with the last few journals is adding a daily "top five" list of favorites. so here are my top five from the trip:

1. fresh coconut juice

2. painting

3. passion fruit

4. yoga on the balcony

5. cappuccino on the beach (my starbucks understudy)

aw hell! can I add one more?

6. this man

he made this trip possible and helped me make it through the week. there were some ups and downs which mostly involved my stomach and head, but I kept telling myself that I was at the beach and so I put my big girl panties on and worked it out the best I could. all in all it was an amazing trip, a great break and I acquired another sand specimen to add to the collection.

thanks babe!


the sand...

the surf...

and the sun...

and tomorrow? pics of my fave bits!

holiday highlights!

a few of my favorite moments from our trip to punta cana, dominican republic...

strangers who lean into photos - love that!

my feet touching the sand for the first time...

lying on the beach looking up at the palm trees swaying in the breeze.

horseback riding!

the children

michael jackson - in concert

this shot for kath:

more tomorrow!

back from the beach

more highlights to come...

"sweet escape" number ONE!

I'm off to my number one "sweet escape!"


love the sun, the sand and the sound of the surf! SO MUCH SO that it is hard to explain. I feel calm by the water and I love the sand beneath my toes. the sun is my friend. my skin craves it!

walking on the beach early in the morning when it is a little cool and the sand is moist and as you walk your foot leaves a slight imprint...

and at night watching the sun set. darkness starts to set in and the waves are rushing in to wrap themselves around you as you fall asleep...

it is my heaven...enjoy!

"sweet escape" number two

that would be "running" baby! love me some run! but heck you KNEW that! at least if you read my blog on a regular basis. I started running about five years ago. took a for women's only clinic through the running room. and have continued with it ever since. I started out running with women who to this day still meet once a week to run.

I have encouraged friends and family to try running and have been there for many "firsts".  what a thrill for me to be there as they cross the finish line.  the look on their face! and I know exactly how they feel!  it is out of this world!

I have participated in all kinds of runs/races all over. 5 km, 10 km, 15 km, half marathon and marathon. in december I am off to vegas to run my third half marathon. imagine paying airfare and accommodations, meals and race fees to RUN? am I crazy?

yup! it be called "runners high"...

"sweet escape" number three

this "sweet escape" takes me to my studio. yup! right here in my home! I love to go in there, listen to music and play! make stuff, try some ideas from my sketches and just be creative. 

here are some recent journal pages:

paper is my first love. I love making cards, books, collage and art journaling. my second love is fabric. I am not a serious seamstress. I find it hard to follow a pattern and usually start with the basic design and then wing it. not very perfect with the cutting either so some things are kinda wonky, but I love that! paper, paint, pencil crayons, canvas, stamps and a bucket of collage items are like heaven to me.

I love that my "sweet escape" number three is also the place where I make a living. I always tell dan that if he can find a job he loves to do that he will never have to work a day in his life. lucky for me I have THAT! 

how is your "sweet escape" list coming along?

"sweet escape" number four

am I the only one who loves to read blogs? probably not! I have my list of regulars that I go to every morning to check out whassup. I feel like I know them and love to hear all about their lives. I get ideas, information about products, links to other blogs and well SO much! I enjoy having a little "mini" escape into the lives of others.

here are some recent ones who have come up on my radar:






and my daily faves:








I could go on, but you can always check out the list on the side. more good reading to be found there! what are your fave blogs to "escape" to?

"sweet escape" number five

meet "namaste"

I made her...

she represents, for me the last 93 days...

she, on a daily basis will remind me of my dedication to my practice...

"sweet escape" number five is my 25 minute morning yoga routine.

I use the yoga routine from kris carr's dvd (hi kris!). prefect! it is short, sweet and complete. it has totally changed how I start my day. I ease into it now instead of taking off like a jet plane. slow and steady wins the race. it has improved my balance and as I found out last week it is important as we age! it has also helped to stretch my muscles and that is huge for my running!

do you yoga?