Category Archives: self improvement

The winds of change are blowing my way (yet again!)

Some of you may have noticed that over the course of the last few months the frequency of post and the content of this blog has been changing.  There’s a reason for those changes.  My whole world has been undergoing something of a metamorphosis.  Not a Kafka-esque one, cause eww who’d want to turn into a nasty cockroach, but a series of huge changes none the less.  As some of you may remember I recently lost my dad, moved to middle America, bought a house (that needed a lot of TLC and some serious renovations), found a few job, and made some fantastic friends!  That’s a lot of stuff, right?  but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s been going on in the last few months…  I’ve also ended a marriage, lost a bunch of weight, mostly finished renovating the house, found a job in my field, found even more great people, met a great guy, expanded my previously shrinking family, and decided to move (again)!  With all of that going on behind the scenes, I have to apologize for slipping with the frequency of my posts.  I am trying to keep up with as many of the topics as I can, but as my move to the southwest gets closer (and more of my stuff got packed – the craft supplies went 1st, then the books, and finally the kitchen equipment) it became increasingly hard to keep up.  I hope to be back up and running very soon, but just in case, please don’t forget about my out there in the blogosphere, I’ll be back with even more projects, adventures, reads, and recipes!

Now I wonder if you can make it from Ohio to Arizona by way of New York, Walt Disney World or Mount Rushmore…  We shall see!!!


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Filed under bucket board, check-it-off-the-list, family drama, hunting for a new home, mixed up crazy world, self improvement

Snapshot Saturday – Boom!

July is the month that we, in the United States, celebrate our country’s independence.  Generally speaking, we honor the bravery and determination of our forefathers by having a BBQ, drinking some beer (or beerlike substance) and blowing stuff up!  I love FIREWORKS!!!  The boom, the colors, the majestic pictures in the night sky!  So, this month I’m going share some of my favorite pictures of this year’s fireworks!

5th of July Party

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Filed under bucket board, check-it-off-the-list, family drama, mixed up crazy world, self improvement, snapshot saturday

101 Things in 1001 Days

I’m stepping away from my regular posts a bit these days and working more on myself and less on projects.  I found this really awesome idea on a blog I follow at the end of last year and thought it would be a great idea to implement at the beginning of 2014.  The premise is that you choose 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days.  What a great challenge, right?  It’s based on finding a balance between long term goals and items you can accomplish relatively quickly to keep your momentum up.  As the New Year approached, I sat down with Gwen and we decided what our 101 things would be.  We’ve worked on the goals we set together a bit, but she just wasn’t as interested in the project as I was/am.  That being said, I decided to revise the list we made together and make it into one more tailored to my goals and plans.

Here’s my 101 Things List: (The items that are crossed out are things I’ve accomplished successfully since January.)

  1. Attend a Sporting Event
  2. Go Antiquing
  3. Go to 3 Concerts
  4. Go White Water Rafting
  5. Travel to a Foreign Country
  6. Finish 50 State Quest
  7. Go to Disney
  8. Go to Harry Potter World
  9. Go Stargazing (Romantic Nighttime Picnic)
  10. Watch a Sunrise
  11. Go Fruit Picking
  12. Go to 3 Zoos
  13. Go Camping
  14. Go 4 Wheeling
  15. Have a Bonfire
  16. Go Sky Diving
  17. Take a Train Trip
  18. Watch a Sunset
  19. Swim with Dolphins
  20. Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World
  21. Spend Christmas at Disney
  22. Go to an Aquarium
  23. See Chihuly Art Exhibit
  24. Attend a Food Truck Festival
  25. Go to a Daytona Race
  26. Buy a Gun
  27. Buy Stock
  28. Get a 2nd Car
  29. Get another Tattoo
  30. Buy 3 Pieces of Art
  31. Own a Mac
  32. Improve Tool Collection (chop saw, wet/dry vac, …)
  33. Own Food Processor
  34. Own BBQ
  35. Upgrade Digital Camera
  36. Get a Bike or Classic Car
  37. Learn to Ride
  38. Try Yoga
  39. Exercise Daily
  40. Give Up Fast Food
  41. Give Up High Fructose Corn Syrup
  42. Run a Disney 5K
  43. Fit into Size 16 (or less) Pants
  44. Give Up something for Lent (3 times)
  45. Go Out with Friends (12 times)
  46. Try 25 New Restaurants
  47. Finish 101 Pinterest Projects
  48. Finish Current Furniture Projects
  49. Get Upholstered Furniture Done/Redone
  50. Organize & Digitize All Photographs
  51. Try 101 New Recipes
  52. Make a Quilt
  53. Turn Puppies into Art
  54. Pay for a Stranger’s Groceries
  55. Send a Message in a Bottle
  56. Let Go of 100 Balloons (with notes)
  57. Bake Something from Scratch
  58. Plant a Tree
  59. Watch 33 Movies I’ve Never Seen
  60. Finish 1000 Piece Puzzle
  61. Have Harry Potter, Classic Disney, New Disney & Star Wars Movie Marathons
  62. Build a Snowman
  63. Learn to Sew, Knit or Crochet
  64. Make Headboard
  65. Make 12 Shutterfly Books
  66. House Train the Dogs
  67. Eat 25 Things I’ve Never Tried
  68. Have a Random Act of Kindness Day
  69. Set Up Digital Portfolio
  70. Read 150 Books
  71. Finish Oakland Bathroom Renovation
  72. Finish Oakland Living Room Renovation
  73. Set Up Oakland Craft Room/Library
  74. Update Oakland Kitchen
  75. Paint the Exterior of the Oakland House
  76. Finish All Oakland Rooms (Soup to Nuts)
  77. Set Up Workshop in the Garage
  78. Fix Oakland Yard
  79. Replace Oakland Windows
  80. Fix Oakland Porch
  81. Decorate for Christmas
  82. Set Up a Bar
  83. Host a Holiday
  84. Host a Party
  85. Pay Off 25 Old Debts
  86. Pay Off 5 Credit Cards
  87. Support Myself
  88. Increase Retirement Savings
  89. Considerably Reduce Student Loan Debt
  90. Save $5000
  91. Sell Crafts (Flea Market, eBay, etsy)
  92. Get Financing for 2nd Rental Property
  93. Become Landlord
  94. Expand Real Estate Portfolio
  95. Design Dream Kitchen
  96. Look into Real Estate Licensing
  97. Have 250 Blog Followers
  98. Make $ from the Blog
  99. Increase Blog to 5 Days a Week
  100. Save $5 for Each Completed Task
  101. Make Next 101 in 1001 List

Putting this list out there for the world to see I something I’ve gone back and forth on, because now I am accountable to an audience for my success (or failure) in meeting these goals.  I’ve decided that I can go back and edit the list, based on major life changing events or large changes in circumstances, but that I can’t just edit it on a whim, because I’m afraid of the challenge behind some of these items.

What do you think?  Can I meet this challenge?  Should I add or change any of my 101 Things?  Have you ever done anything similar to this?  I’d really appreciate some feed back on this – positive or negative, just keep me moving toward my goals!

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, family drama, self improvement

Snapshot Saturday – Hiding in Plain Sight


The most amazing things can sometimes be hiding in plain sight.  I’m making an effort to look for the joy and beauty right in front of me.  I look forward to finding many more pieces of hidden beauty right before my eyes!!

Butterfly 4

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The Liebster Awards!

I have been nominated by a fellow Disney enthusiast and awesome blogger for the Liebster awards!  This is my first time being nominated and I’m really flattered that The Disney Diva chose my blog to honor! The rules and my nominations are as follows…


1.) The nominated blogger must link back to the person who nominated them.
2.) The nominees must answer the 11 questions given to them by the person who nominated them.
3.) Those nominated must choose 11 of their favorite bloggers who have less than 200 followers to answer their own set of questions. When you are nominated. You can not nominate the person who nominated you.

The Disney Diva’s Questions:
1. Who or what inspired your blog? – I was looking for a way to channel some of my free time, creative energy and maybe create a source of income to supplement my shopping habit.
2. Most useless sidekick in a movie and why? – Mini Me from Austin Powers, because the entire series of movies was pretty useless.
3. If you had to choose, would you rather have dinner with The Hulk or go to a dance with The Thing? – I’m not sure how to answer this question, because if The Hulk were in his Bruce Banner form, I’d choose dinner, but if he were all Hulked out, I’d have to go dancing with The Thing.
4. Which Pokemon would you want by your side? – I don’t know diddly squat about Pokemon.
5. Who woud win in this fight, Link or Batman? – Who is Link?  The character from Legend of Zelda?  If so, then Batman, hands down.
6. Favorite non-princess Disney movie (animated or live)? – Modern: Lilo and Stitch, Classic: Swiss Family Robinson
7. At the end of Inception, did the totem stop spinning?  – I’ve never seen the movie.
8. What is your biggest pet peeve? – Fake.  Anything fake.  fake people, fake flavors, artificial anything and everything.
9. What is your favorite quote? – It’s a toss up… Either “All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney or “Yippee-ki-yay Mother F@#$er.” John McClane Die Hard.
10. Name one famous person (dead or alive) that you would want to have a drink with. – Roger Maris
11. Dessert before dinner? Heck yes! What dessert are we having? – Cheesecake or fresh fruit.  Actually both.

My nominees:

Viva la KP!

Little In A Big World

Bake with D

The Cheergerm & Silly Yak

Disney by Design

Keeps Me Out of Mischief

It’s “All in WDW”

Mon Petit Chateau

Disney Genius

Hodgepodge Pilot’s Wife

Home Across The Water

My Questions:

1. What is your favorite book? – Yes, you have to pick just one.
2. What is you dream vacation? (Destination, length of stay, type of travel)
3.  What is your favorite food?
4. Who taught you to cook, craft, love Disney?
5. Yankees or Red Sox?
6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
7. If you could live 1 day as any person (living or dead), who would it be and what day would you choose?
8. Do you believe in Happily Ever After?
9. Sky diving or Scuba diving?
10. Sunrise or Sunset?
11. What was the last concert, play, museum, show or amusement park you visited?


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Snapshot Saturday – Blooming Butterfly

Can you sense a theme?  I love butterflies, and all that they represent!  What do they mean to you?  For me they are change, growth, beauty, joy, hope, flight, …

Butterfly 3

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Thirsty Thursday – Sparkling Strawberry Wine

Sorry this is late, but we went to a Pure Romance party hosted by one of our good friends last night and I was a bit distracted…  The theme of the party was pretty in pink, and we were asked to bring something fun and fresh along, so I decided to mix up some adult beverages.  I needed something that was universally appealing, like a punch, but I also wanted something that was a bit more sophisticated, like a sangria; however, I waited until the last minute, so I went with a Sparkling Strawberry Wine recipe I found on Pinterest.

I grabbed the ingredients:  a bottle of sweet white wine (Moscato works), a half a bottle of Sierra Mist (about 3 cans of any lemon-lime soda works), and a bag of frozen strawberries.

Strawberry Wine Spritzer Ingredients

The pin didn’t have any real instructions, so I winged it.  I dumped most of the bag of strawberries into a pitcher.

Frozen Strawberries

Then I added the soda (or pop, like everyone around here calls it…).

Add the soda

Finally I poured in the bottle of white wine.

Add the wine   Smelled light and fruity

Don’t forget to stir it, so the strawberries don’t become a giant ice cube.  I poured a glass to test it before serving, and it tasted remarkably like Arbor Mist.

Taste Test  Sparkling Strawberry Wine

I may try a different flavor next time, because the blackberry Arbor Mist was always our favorite…



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