Tuesday, July 24, 2012

(a vegas 4th)

We had a really nice loooong weekend celebrating the 4th of July this year in Las Vegas.

Our pyrotechnic friends (haha) have made a tradition of having a large display of fireworks each year for the 4th and now we are included in this tradition. Each year gets better than the last. Awesome!

While there, we squeezed in a little time on the strip. Our friend works for the Palazzo/Venetian complex and we hung out there shopping and lunching. It's not our first time but always amazingly beautiful how the indoors is made to look like the outdoors. We took a stroll down the canals just like in Italy ... not really but we pretended. It was still gorgeous, complete with an impromptu "street" performance of Italian opera.

Once home, I stole a few hours in the early morning to scrapbook. I can't wait to find time, I just have to get it all out and just steal time.  This is one of the kits I got from the last Ever After garage sale. Page layout came together pretty quickly because I challenged (or forced) myself to use what was in front of me.

In a few hours, I made 4 double page layouts. Woot woot! More to come as I get them blogged. A Vegas 4th was a blast! And I mean that literally!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Prompt 11-How do you love?

Journal Prompt from i heart run with scissors:  How do you love?  Through dating, and marriage, I had always heard talk about the five love languages.  I never thought much about it because I was pretty sure I knew exactly how I loved :)  Once, I read the book, it made so much sense to me!!!  What is your love language, how do you love?

I personally have not read the book but today's journal prompt makes me want to. I took a quick quiz on the website and discovered I love first through quality time. I need to know the ones I love want to just be with me hanging out and enjoying each others company. Quality times are the best times. Not a lot of fuss.

A pretty close second for me is acts of service. I never expect kindness or favors but when a loved one does something nice without being asked I feel loved. Clean the house? Cook dinner? Play with the kids? All rank high in my book.

What's also true for me is that receiving gifts is the lowest. Maybe that's why it never dawns on me to make a big fuss with birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. I really don't love through receiving gifts. I'm a romantic huh? Or a cheap date!

Some of the other ways people love are words of affirmation ... being told nice things. And physical touch ... those couples we see in public who can't keep their hands off each other. Problem is ... how you love may not be how your loved one loves. It would be wiser to love the way they need you to rather than the way you need to and vice versa. I think this book is worth a read.

Curious to know how you love? Take the quiz here.

Challenge idea came from here.

Mini Mission Monday @ 365 Less Things

I've been reading the 365 Less Things blog hoping to get motivated but then the week gets busy and I do nothing. Putting it out there might hold me more accountable. The blog holds these "easy" decluttering challenges called Mini Mission Mondays.

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

This week I'm up for the challenge. I'm supposed to gather all like items, purge and organize. I think I can ...

Monday-small tools
Thursday-small kitchen appliances
Friday-hair accessories
Saturday-household cleaners
Sunday-electrical cables

Cool thing is I really DO have a "home" for all these things. They just don't always end up where they belong due to a bad monster in the house that misplaces them for us. Haha.

Let's see how the week goes. I will get up from laying poolside. Haha. You up for the challenge? Go here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Prompt 10-Summer Projects

Today's prompt? Make a list of projects you want to finish this summer.

Number 1-20? Scrap with these kits. I'm famous for unfinished projects and these baggies all represent a mini book or series of layouts I've been meaning to do. I really want to actually have time to play.

Number 21-50? Purging around the house. Lots of small little things I'd like to declutter, fix, organize, finish or just get rid of it. So much easier said than done. Spring cleaning becomes summer and maybe even fall cleaning. Haha. Lol.

Challenge idea came from here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prompt 9-Scream it out!

If you could scream something at the top of your lungs right now what would it be?

THIS is what I want to scream at myself all day long. Frustrated at work? Disappointed by someone? Irritated with the kids? Stop and assess the situation for what it really is. Usually when we want it to be something else we hurt ourselves with that thought of how it should be. If we learn to accept what is and let go of the thought (shoulda coulda woulda) our unpleasant feelings will also go away.

I'm reading a book called Loving What Is by Byron Katie that talks about just that. Techniques, examples, real eye opening and hitting home for me right now. I want to love what is and be at peace more often. I want to scream this quote to myself over and over again.

Challenge idea came from here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Prompt 8-Design your dream home

Today's journal prompt is to imagine your dream home. If you could design the home of your dreams what would it look like?

My answer? Simple. Cozy. Reflections of love and life and family. This is the perfect spot in my current home. Our family room great big couch where all 5 of us can lay on at the same time. The sofa table behind that my hubby built to hold my wine glass. The picture gallery wall is colorful and has some of our favorite quotes.

What can I say? I have a dream home and I'm living in it. I'm blessed and grateful that our family has this place to call ours.

What does your dream home look like?

Challenge idea came from here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prompt 7-Happiness ...

... is living life to the fullest. And what a life I've been blessed to live. Filled with ups and downs, adventures and simple everyday routines life has made me who I am today and every place I've been and every experience I've had remains a part of me.

By far the biggest influence is summertime all year long, aka life in da islands. The carefree attitude of living local style by the beach in Hawaii brings me happiness. I feel most content when I'm just hanging out in summer clothes, with summer weather and long summer days. One day we shall meet again ... I can't stay away forever!

Growing up with a seamstress mom, I am very happy being crafty. I love to sew, to scrapbook and to make things pretty. I remember recycling junk into "art" in elementary school for GATE, sewing classes all through high school, decorating my teeny tiny apartments during college and beyond years and discovering scrapbooking with motherhood. Happiness is creating absolutely anything.

Happiness is shopping ... actually traveling and shopping. I'm not fond of just shopping itself but to explore a new city with its many boutiques? Happy, happy, joy, joy! Memories of Japan (cuteness), Paris (sophistication), Venice (artsy), Chicago (food) and New York City (everything) are memories of shopping and citified adventures.

And I'm pretty happy in a bakery. Not for the sweets but oh for the crusty breads. My year in Paris was often spent buying a baguette in the morning and then carrying it around in my bag all day long. Those were the best (most simple) sandwiches. Now, I usually rate a good restaurant by its bread. Give me sourdough crusty french bread any day ... with some brie and I'm extremely happy.

Happiness is so many things ... these are just a few of mine. And to illustrate, one of my blog finds, Inslee Haynes. She does these wonderful fashion illustrations by watercolor. Pretty and happy!!!

What does happiness mean to you?

Challenge idea came from here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prompt 6-What summer feels like ...

Prompt 6 was:  What does summer feel like?  What does summer look like?  What does summer smell like?  What does summer sound like? and What does summer taste like?  Use all of your senses to describe this wonderful season.  Have fun!

For me, it looks like shorts and slippahs. It looks like a carefree attitude and "hangin' loose".

Summer sounds like boom and pow. Fireworks tradition that started last year may just be a part of our summer for years to come.

It tastes like fresh fruit. My favorite time when all the tropical fruits also become available ... mango, nectarines, guava, lychee, papaya, cherries and more!

And summer also smells like lots of chlorine. Spending lots of time at the beach and pool with the kids is a given.

What does summer feel like to you?

Challenge idea came from here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Prompt 5-I Believe

Prompt 5 asks the question what do you believe in. Without spending too much time overthinking it, these are some of the things that came to mind. I do believe in god first. Faith that there is a bigger plan for all of us and our paths are meant to help us grow. Therefore, change is good and there's always a lesson to be learned.

I'm a glass half full kind of girl so I definitely believe in hope and that there's always light at the end of the tunnel. Isn't the saying this too shall pass?

And of course I live for love and for family. There is amazing and abundant joy when life is shared. We are meant to go on adventures together, discover each other and bring out the best in all of us with our forgiving and unconditional love.

I believe so much more simply because life is full. I'm grateful for the fullness and this journal challenge as an opportunity to stop and reflect.

Challenge idea came from here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Prompt 4-Journal it!

Prompt 4 was to go outside, sit and relax and journal whatever comes to mind. Well this week everywhere we turn it's red white and blue. Makes me think of what freedom means to me ... and since I'm a list maker, journaling in the form of a list.

1. Being american is freedom to live a life of opportunity. Right after college I had the chance to visit Vietnam and meet some distant cousins and family friends. At that time in my life I had my whole life ahead of me, climbing the corporate ladder and becoming "successful". They had nothing. Jobs were hard to get and a young woman could only look forward to finding a man to take care of her. I will never forget that moment when I knew how lucky I was to have opportunity. I can live my life anyway I choose.

2. I'm grateful to have the freedom to live a full life. Whether it's my parents for my good genes and my upbringing or my life experiences for shaping me or all the mentors that have shown me the way. I have a career and a good home life with the freedom to decide what that work life balance looks like for me.

3. I can honestly say I am free in love. Gone is the girl who loves to get loved back, the codedependent, the insecure. I'm free in my heart to love unconditionally. But what a bonus when the love I get back is also unconditional.

4. Free to raise my kids anyway I want. Believe me I don't want to do it alone but free to make both right and wrong choices with wisdom from others is a freedom I treasure. I think each child is different and I'm grateful for the freedom to change as I go.

5. I so love my freedom to choose my own beliefs. I was raised Buddhist, married a Catholic, discovered Christianity and am now helping my kids formulate their own set of beliefs. We need the structure of organized religion to help us find our way in life but having the freedom to see other views is a blessing too. Afterall, we're all trying to find our way.

Freedom is so many things that without it, life would be hard. As we celebrate freedom on this 4th of July, lets think about how that one word has so much impact on all the parts of our life.

Challenge idea came from here.