Thursday, February 28, 2013

10 Reasons Why Cats Love Camping

1)      Relaxation - an endless sun spot for warmth, no shifting required.

2)      Family Time – no one is in a hurry, there are many folding chairs to lounge on.

3)      Amusements – an abundance of new toys: falling leaves, rolling acorns, fuzzy
dandelions, wild catnip, hidey holes in tree stumps and tall grass…

4)      Bird Watching – unlimited opportunities to view new feathered friends.

5)      Career Advancement – a new position in the pack as Lookout. Keeping pesky bears (moose, raccoons, armadillos, coyotes, etc.) at bay.

6)      Sleep Options – anywhere; nothing is off limits when camping.

7)      Hunting – a million bugs to chase down and extinguish.

8)      Claw Maintenance – after hunting bugs and such, there are scratching posts everywhere!

9)      Sleeping Bags – purrrrfect for a cozy cat nap.

10)   A Giant Litter Box – no time outs for going "outside" the litter box.

Oh yes, cats LOVE camping!

(Vintage post card)

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I'm Ready for Camping Season...

A little camping humor……

After having good, hearty meal for dinner, they laid themselves down in their tent for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, after hearing a Great Horned Owl begin hooting a strange call, Detective Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

Holmes said: "Watson, look up and tell me what you see".
Watson said: "I see a fantastic panorama of countless stars".

Holmes: "And what does that tell you, my good boy?"
Watson then pondered for a moment...
"Astronomically, it tells me that there are billions of stars and galaxies and potentially millions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo, good news for pisces. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three am. Theologically, I can see that God is All Powerful; and that we are small and insignificant in comparison to the Divine Powers that rule the Universe. And, meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow from the lack of cloud coverage."

Then Dr. Watson follows up his incredibly thorough answer with this:
"Why? What does it tell you, Holmes?"    
Holmes was silent for a moment then spoke: "Someone has stolen our tent."

Get Outside and enrich your life by discovering the lighter side of yourself.  Laughing a little more about things in general is good for the soul. For some reason, hilarious things tend to occur when we're outside with our friends camping; I think it's God's way of rewarding us for doing something good for our bodies and souls.

Wisdom and truth comes in all shapes and sizes and from all beliefs. Finding your path in the world isn't always easy, but I believe the serenity and peace of the outdoors can lead you closer to enlightenment. Balance yourself and calm your spirit by venturing out into nature…think outside…no box required!
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Monday, February 25, 2013

"...There are signs everywhere to help you find your way..."
For the last three weeks I've been walking past a large sign in the lobby that reads: 


It seems like that same message has been following me no matter what path I take. It was on the side panel of a bus stop, in the newsletter from our church, it’s the underlying theme of the novel I'm reading, and it was written in chalk on the sidewalk behind our house..."Dream Big"... 

Are these signs God’s way of moving me toward my dreams and goals; by showing me the message over and over again? This constant reinforcement of the message makes me think of a movie that I saw many years ago titled: Fools Rush In. The movie wasn’t a blockbuster, but one line in the movie struck a chord with me “There are signs everywhere to help you find your way.” The movie was about knowing when to take a risk and following a dream, all you need to do is recognize the signs.

This made me ask myself a question about why I haven’t been in tune with my dreams: “Is fear holding me back from realizing my dreams?” Something my Sweetie said recently made me think about my fears. I realized that I was not living my dream because I was desperately afraid- of financial ruin, of failure, of letting people down, and the possibility of regret. This question is helping me separate the fear from the dream, and in doing so, I realize that I really do want to move forward, in spite of the fear. My husband’s question helped me identify the fears and determine whether they deserved as much power as I was giving them. I'm learning to address the fears separately and not spoil the dream. Do I still worry about those fears? Absolutely. Will I let them rule my choices anymore? No Way! I'm on the threshold of a life change.


Now a final thought on Dreaming Big....This wonderful commercial is the story of a little guy’s triumph against the odds. A little donkey who wanted to be a Clydesdale, manages to fulfill his dream. The advertisement is a testament to "Dreaming Big" and fulfilling our dreams....Enjoy!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

1000 Gifts - Part Seven

This is part seven of my own journey to list my 1000 gifts; blessings to be thankful for every day. 

It really does make a difference in my outlook when I realize how much splendor surrounds me on a daily basis.  There are so many things to be thankful for…all the little things that make me smile.

My mission is based on a book by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I plan to complete this journey by December 3o, 2013. Should you also feel inspired to remind yourself of all the things you have been blessed with (things that make you smile every day), please join me.

And so my 1000 Gifts journey continues... 
One Thousand gifts I have been blessed with Part Seven:
161.   A warm and safe haven to go home to at night 
162.   A gift from my Grandfather via my Dad that will help with the house. 
163.   Recognizing that stairs aren't necessary and being good with that for the future.
164.   Getting help with a daunting problem that just won't go away.
165.   Finding the documents needed right where they should be in the file cabinet.
166.   Flowers from my sweetie just because...
167.   Having the means to hire someone to clean the shower.
168.   Dinner at a new restaurant right in our neighborhood.
169.   The feeling you get when the laundry is done and put away.
170.   Finding some new outfits for work; my wardrobe has been shrinking.
171.   Getting on the scale and discovering a significant drop in weight.
172.   Wearing the beautiful earrings my sweetie gave me for our anniversary.
173.   The feel of a new hair cut on the day after.
174.   Receiving many compliments on my new "look"
175.   An invitation from an old friend to see the king...Elvis is coming to town.
176.   New Years Eve spent with best friends in a large cabin in the woods.
177.   Looking at mountain cabins with my sweetie, we love to look at real estate.
178.   Having insurance to help pay medical bills.
179.   Surprising someone with the gift they've been wishing for. 
180.  Having a romantic meal with my sweetheart on Valentines Day
181.   Sweets from my Sweetie.
182.   Discovering that I like fried eggplant when prepared correctly.
183.   Valet car service when it's raining 
184.   Having a strong hand to hold when I'm walking on uneven pavement in heels.
185.   Living in the city just blocks from all our favorite places to dine.
186.   A weekend with zero plans, just time to relax
187.   Blue-ray copy of my favorite romantic comedy, what a difference Blue-ray makes.
188.   Knowing that my sweetie still loves me, because he shows it every day.
189.   Being able to support our Church's large refurbishing and expansion project
190.   Being blessed with a wonderfully inclusive church family, knowing all are welcome.
191.   Knowing that your talents are recognized by other organizations. 
192.   Finding a great group of women to network and socialize with.
193.   Getting words of encouragement from readers of my blog.
194.   Knowing 12,000+ people find me interesting on Pinterest; that's a lot of followers!
195.   Plans to travel in the near future to Charleston, SC
196.   Seeing the first daffodils of the season, a sure sign of spring here in the south.
197.   Paying off the car ahead of schedule.
198.   Having the timeline on a project extended so it can be done correctly, not quickly.
199.   Signing my sweetie up for the Single Malt Scotch tasting as a surprise.
200.   Chocolate...need I say more?
Too be continued….
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the Air....

"Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker."
- Author Unknown.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hearts in Nature

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras - Fat Tuesday

It's Fat Tuesday, the last day of Mardi Gras....We will be celebrating tonight at a local joint known for it's Mardi Gras celebrations here in Atlanta.  Below are some of my favorite finds on Etsy for Mardi Gras...

Below is a handmade mask by TomBanwell  that I love for the celebration.
Leather Mask - Halloween

And how about this Alligator Head Bustier with  Pink Feathers and trim...LOL!
Mardi Gras Alligator Head Bustier with Pink Feathers

Be Safe if you are celebrating tonight!



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Saturday, February 2, 2013

9 Excuses Preventing You from Becoming a Successful Etsy Seller

9 Excuses preventing you from becoming a Etsy success.
Start Your Own Etsy Store - Image by Schugirl08

Be honest. How often do you interfere with yourself?

Today or really any day, you know you have tasks you’d like to finish because they’d positively impact your Etsy business, and then there are the tasks you actually do. You trick yourself into thinking that keeping up with Pinterest, following others on Facebook, and reading the latest blog posts is “working on your Etsy shop”. You do know better, but some part of you believes that having an understanding of all things “Etsy” will better position you when the time is right. When that time comes, you’ll be the absolute front-runner of the handmade world, because you’re so well studied… But that day doesn’t come.

Something is holding you back from great success on Etsy, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. So instead of moving past it and taking action, you make an excuse. You justify your reasons for not moving forward.

 What follows are 9 of the most common excuses you might tell yourself.

9 Excuses preventing you from becoming a Etsy success.
Take a risk!

1.) You can’t afford to take a risk right now.
If not now, then when?
This excuse is fear of the unknown.
The reality is that you can’t afford not to take a risk right now.
Putting on the breaks doesn’t just inhibit your creativity…it prevents people from ever making a purchase from you. Just go for it, take the risk!

2.) You don’t know where to begin.
Just take it step-by-step.
Think about it, every great seller on Etsy probably thought “I don’t know where to begin.”
Before you know it you’ll be a pro and will hardly remember how nerve-wracking these first steps were.
I found this article a big help when I was starting my Shop:

9 Excuses preventing you from becoming a Etsy success.
You don't have to be.

3.) You’re not that good or creative enough.
Don’t sell yourself short!
Not everyone needs to be ├╝ber creative.
Yes, there are extremely talented artists on Etsy, but there are also regular folks with very successful shops selling craft supplies, and vintage items. Some of the top sellers in the jewelry category (my category), simply hang a pretty pendant from a single chain; not tremendously creative but exactly what their buyers were looking for.

4.) You don’t know what your passion is; you can’t think of a niche.
Understandable. Not everyone is there, yet.
However if you want to do something, but just can’t figure out what, go to the bookstore and see what section you gravitate towards. Spend some time browsing through the magazine racks; if there wasn’t a market, there wouldn’t be a magazine.
Do some soul searching to determine what you’ll forever be passionate about.

9 Excuses preventing you from becoming a Etsy success.
There's a buyer for everything!

5.) Nobody will buy.
If people will buy the “Pet Rock” they will buy what you’re selling.
You just have to figure out how to market yourself.
Good photos of your merchandise and detailed descriptions are a good start, but you also need to work at getting your items noticed. You’re probably already using facebook and pinterest; create your own promotions using the tools available to you.
I found this article on marketing interesting: 

6.) You can’t be successful until you have _______.
Money, studio, tools, website, expensive camera, stock pile, or any other number of other factors.
Make every attempt to acquire the bare essentials quickly.
Plot out your steps and create milestones to acquire additional resources.
Missions and objectives do wonders for progress.

7.) It’s too hard keeping all the balls in the air.
Anything worth doing is hard.
When was the last time “easy” had a huge payoff for you?

9 Excuses preventing you from becoming a Etsy success.

“You are in the middle of your day today, and you’re caught up in the sandstorm of thoughts, feelings, to-dos, meetings, readings, and communications of this day.
Pause. Breathe. Let all of that fade.
Now focus on doing one thing, right now.”
~Leo Babauta

8.) You can’t commit right now.
Fair enough, we all have a lot on our plates.
But when can you commit?
Don’t use this excuse to push something aside, if you don’t want to invest the time.
If it’s genuinely interesting, look at your calendar and ask “when can I commit?” and put yourself on a productive path.
And if you don’t want to do it, be honest and admit you’re not interested. Close your shop.
People will always respect honesty over being strung along waiting for your new items.

9.) You don’t have time.
Seriously? You just had time to read my blog post. You have time.
In fact, you have all the time, resources, and knowledge required to be a great Etsy seller.
Being great, no, being excellent is a choice.
It’s a choice to never stop. It’s a choice to view yourself as limitless. It’s a choice to stop at nothing until everyone knows your name and shop.
Without a doubt, you’ll encounter many obstacles on your journey. That’s a given.

So what are you waiting for?
Be great.

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