Little Things #44: Happy National Pet Day!

Sleepy face puppyYou know when something is so adorable, you can’t stop staring? That’s this guy. All the time. Even when he sleeps, he’s adorable. Brightens my day.

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Hand painted Moroccan wall

img900Painting a patterned wallimg898img902img901I have lots if ideas. But, of course, time is always a factor in making all of these ideas happen. So a few months after moving into my home, I finally started painting some walls. My bedroom is now an earthy clay color, with 2 Moroccan patterned accent walls. And yes, they were hand painted with a stencil.

Needless to say, this is a pretty long process. And I still have quite a bit to go…especially after painting a wall with a stenciled color, and realizing that the method I was using was leading to blobs of color, as opposed to patterns with clean(er) lines. It’s not going to be perfect, especially on a textured wall. You can see some of the said blobs in the 4th photograph. It definitely needs a redo. However, I have some fun things to hang on the wall when it is done! So that will be my motivation.

Good thing I got the hang of it and experimented on the short wall before applying the pattern to the 16-foot wall! Phew.

Regardless, I wanted to share that things are happening, even if I don’t spend every weekend doing home projects. Summer is coming up, and I think a lot of things will be at a standstill. I mean, who doesn’t want to enjoy their days off in the sunshine?

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Today, do something good.

LeRoy biking through the leaves.Today is a bittersweet day. One of the volunteers I work with just passed away suddenly, and I am still taking time to process and digest this. Today is his memorial service, and I am unable to attend. I don’t think he would appreciate my presence there, anyway…he would probably roll his eyes and poke fun at me for sobbing my eyes and heart out.

He isn’t one to wallow, but he wants you to get out there and do something. Make a difference in this world with whatever resources you have. As a man experiencing homelessness, he may not have a lot of worldly possessions. But let me tell you, you can do a lot and change so much, even if it looks like you have nothing. He had the world, and captivated us with his intelligence, compassion, and entrepreneurial spirit – all in the name of helping others. Today, I ask you to please pay it forward, do something. I think the world would be a better place because of it.

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April Challenge: 30 days of my favorite things!

30 Days ChallengeJust in case you missed it, I am doing a new daily challenge every month so that every day, I am focused, trying new things, taking risks, or enjoying things that make me happy. The plus side? I get to choose the challenge! It can’t be too hard then, right? RIGHT? Last month was 31 days of healing. I had been through a lot in February, so I wanted to use March to recuperate and heal. Because most of my photography is film-based, you will be seeing a recap of that month a little later!

As for April, I knew I had to make this one special. It’s my Birthday month, and to make it even more enjoyable and me-centric (which I am not), I thought the best compromise would be to fill every day with something I love. It can be as little as listening to one of my favorite songs, or as big as going on a day trip somewhere. Who knows. The point is I want to enjoy things that make me very happy, and while Birthday month is a great excuse for that…I think we should do a lot more of enjoying our favorite things more often regardless.

So…cheers! Will you be joining me? What are some of your favorite things?

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31 Days of Healing

HealingSo February hasn’t been so kind to me. Nearly every “worst case scenario” and “things can’t get much worse” situation happened. But, to my amazement, I am still smiling. And I smiled my way through all of February.

I have a way of not feeling stressed, even though I probably am. I try to not let things get to me, and I try to stay as strong as possible. I really needed to be strong this month, not just for myself, but for everyone else too. So I didn’t have time, or the opportunity, to just let go.

Well, that eventually takes it toll…and my body definitely feels it. I am needing lots of sleep. And I mean A LOT. I want to be alone to recharge. Relax. Heal.

So this past month has been my impetus to start what I am dubbing my “30 days” challenge. No, it’s not new. I’m sure many people challenge themselves to something for an entire month. But I am starting this monthly challenge to have more fun in my life, create some inspiration, and extend my creativity.

So here I am, starting in March. Each month will have a different challenge, so I am excited to try something new, and stretch myself to do different things every single day.

My March monthly challenge will be 31 days of healing. Because I need it. I will be doing something every day in the month of March that will help me heal – mind, body and soul. And, to fulfill my love of film photography, I will be photographing the healing things that I do with my film cameras. So while you may not see what I have been doing to heal in the month of March, I will be able to share them with you in a different month. The following months’ challenges will all be different. But I thought it would be appropriate to start with healing myself.

Why don’t you join me in this monthly challenge? Share your ideas with me – what do you do to heal? I would love to try out your ideas, I need 31 of them! Who knows, maybe your idea will be the one that truly heals me.

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More Holga!

So film photography is a love of mine, and here I am NOT taking any photos. So here are a few photos I took recently with a “toy” camera of mine, the lovely Holga, coupled with some expired film. Did I also say that I love experimenting? This particular roll had some mishaps, and without getting into the particulars, you can see how some of the photos blend together and such. But I LOVE those mishaps.

So here’s to taking more photos with film, photography mishaps, and sharing and capturing the little moments in my life. Cheers!

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Itching for spring


So…I have my work cut out for me. Last summer, my sister came over to help me do some yard work, and we never quite finished with the “mundane” projects to get the yard ready for this upcoming spring. Can I say how lucky I am to have a sister that will come over to do yardwork?

My house was a short sale and sat on the market for a good 6 months or so before I was able to move in. What does that mean? It means weeds took over the entire yard, plants have grown between every crack and crevice of the patio rocks that trail around my backyard, and weed roots that burrow feet of length below the ground (yes, I said FEET!) . Yikes.

With that said, I am getting sooo antsy to start doing yardwork and get my backyard ready to enjoy for the sunny months in Portland! I love spending time outdoors, and I want to start a pretty epic garden. Well, epic for me. I have an interesting relationship with plants. I love them, but would benefit from learning how to take care of them properly. That’s the nicest way to put it.

So I am a little quite a bit intimidated about the process, but ready to take it on. I still have a LOT of prep work to do (yard party, anyone?). But I think I’ll enjoy some sunny days outdoors in the yard, regardless of what I am doing. Are you ready for the sunshine?

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Homemade dog treats

Homemade pumpkin dog biscuitsSo…at the risk of seeming absolutely over-the-top ridiculous, I am going to share this with you anyway. I found a recipe for homemade dog treats, and made some for my dog. In my defense, I was completely curious and my dog wasn’t feeling amazing. So why not find a fun way to get him some pumpkin to put his tummy at ease?

Yes, this is where I get even more ridiculous. The recipe is wheat free. Why? Well, I am pretty picky about what my dog eats, for the most part. Boxers tend to have a lot of allergies. They also have the highest rates of cancer, and generally a shorter life expectancy than a lot of other breeds. In an effort to reduce opportunities for allergic reactions and keep my dog as healthy as possible, he eats a wheat/corn/etc.-free diet.

Well, for the most part. There are those occasional wheat-filled, naughty ingredient treats he gets from others. Or that he steals on the bottom shelves of pet stores where they (in)conveniently place them for dogs to have easy access.

Okay, so back to my homemade treats. The recipe I used is here.

To attest to my ridiculousness, the staff at New Seasons Market in dog-friendly Portland thought I was “weird” for purchasing groceries for homemade dog biscuits. But they warmed up to the idea and realized how awesome it was, even asking me if I sell my treats. I told them I would have to see how this batch turned out first. But maybe dog treat making is in my future? But I digress. Yet again.

So the real recipe has super cute bone-shaped treats. Mine are elephants. I just didn’t go out of my way to get the “appropriate” cookie cutter. Plus, why would Huey disapprove of elephants? He’ll eat anything.

The recipe was surprisingly a success. Let me rephrase. Surprising success not because Huey (and other dogs) liked them, but success in that my baking didn’t lend to burned dog biscuits. Hooray! Definitely a step up for me. I’ll have to try out some more recipes soon!

Have you tried making your own dog treats? What’s your favorite recipe?

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Hello, 2014!

Happy New Year!

E and I on New Year’s Eve, saying “hello” to 2014!

So, I’m not the New Year’s Resolution type. I like the idea of goals, and I like them even better when you have a checklist of fun things you want to get done. So here is my 2014 checklist of things I HAVE to do this year. In no apparent order.

  • Take Huey (my pup) for his first beach trip and some off-leash fun in the sand and waves!
  • More hiking. Yes, definitely more hiking. And camping.
  • More running…half marathon, perhaps?
  • Make regular wellness appointments. I take care of everything around me, but not myself. That needs to change…
  • Learn to sew. Craft more. Maybe open up an Etsy store with some fun creations? Maybe? Note: I am the WORST sewer in the world, at least when I was in junior high. Maybe things can change? Maybe?
  • Home projects. Actually set aside time to get things done! Or at least unpack. Sheesh. I still have boxes.
  • Gardening. Can I keep some veggies alive for more than a few days? 🙂
  • Roast my own coffee.
  • Canine Good Citizenship certification. For my dog (not me).
  • More, more, more , more photos! And prints!
  • Get out of the state. Better yet, get out of the country!
  • Read more. Especially after I finish up my closet/reading nook. I can’t wait.
  • Thrift more. Find more treasures!
  • More dates with E.
  • More dates with friends.

…so it looks like my 2014 is the year of “more everything.” I better get started! What’s on your list for 20

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Goodbye, 2013…

Looking back on 2013, I am realizing that it is probably the year where I had the most growth and life changes. It didn’t really feel like it when going through life one day at a time. It’s kind of fun to reflect on the past year, its ups and downs, and have some curiosity to where the next year will lead. Here are some of the big moments in my 2013:

Disney Princess half marathon finishers!I ran and finished my first half marathon – the Disney Princess Half Marathon! Yes, you heard me right. Disney princess. It’s pretty fun to say that I finished my first half marathon in a tutu at Disney World. At the time, I was thinking it would be my only half marathon. But as of late, I am considering signing up for another one in a few months. I injured my knee a few months back, most likely from overtraining in a short period of time. I’m still recuperating, nearly 10 months later…so it seems like the perfect antidote to set a goal and get back to where I was…but more slowly this time. 🙂 Plus, I have a new training partner now! A cute, adorable, and very fast puppy!

Grandpa and catI had to say goodbye to one of my favorite people in my life. My grandpa. I still think about him all of the time, and it’s especially hard during the holidays. But I know how he would be mocking us if he knew how much we miss him right now. Oh, Grandpa. I still miss you. But I know better than to wallow. 🙂

Disney World with our auntsI got to spend time in Florida, visiting and meeting some of my family for the first time!

Hello 30

I just entered a new decade of my life, and I have to say that I was SO excited to reach my 30’s. I’m not your conventional dreading-turning-older type of person. I am looking forward to my 30’s, and I am feeling more secure in who I am. This means that I can truly be happy and enjoy my life as I get older and make decisions that truly get me where I want to be. I mean, if you aren’t excited about every moment and year in your life, then how could you be happy? You would be living in regret and procrastination – “oh, I will enjoy life later when _____.” Just enjoy it now. And tomorrow. And the next day. So you can keep enjoying it through a ripe old age of 105.

Hiking for all ages (Mt. Rainier camping pt. 3)My summer was full of outdoor adventures, and camping with my BFF and her amazing little family was one of my favorite moments. We don’t get to see one another often, but this trip was magical. You try watching a toddler pitch a tent and tell me that’s not one of your favorite moments.

Mi casa, su casaOh, and I bought a house. No big deal. Just accomplishing one of my lifelong goals. You know. It was one where I didn’t think could happen, or if it did, it wouldn’t happen for a very, very, long time. Things just fell into place, and here I am! Please excuse me while I try and shake myself of this disbelief…

My child has four legs and furOne of the major reasons I wanted to buy a house so bad is because of this face. I got to adopt a dog. Now this, this has been a lifelong dream. I’ve waited my entire life, 30 years, for the right moment. And now I have a new furry member in my family. While we still have a lot of training to do, he is an amazing companion and family member. Yes, he is a rescue dog, but you know what they say, right? That rescued dogs know they have been rescued, so they are so happy and grateful to be in your life. I don’t know if that’s always true, but trust me, he is one happy dog and my life is happier because of him. *sigh*

I LOVED 2013, and I am looking forward to what 2014 has to bring! What were your favorite moments from this year?

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