Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On to 2014!

Image courtesy of Dez Pain, rgbstock.com
Happy New Year's Eve!

How are you spending the last hours of 2013? I've been doing the things I usually do: reflecting on the year I've just had and thinking about my goals for the coming year. This past year was kind of a rollercoaster for me, but the high points were great!  I discovered that my husband and I are expecting our third baby this coming spring; I was asked to participate in a huge poetry project during National Poetry Month in April; I met some of the biggest goals I'd set for 2013... Overall, I'd say it was a very good year!

Now on to 2014! Here, in no particular order, are my goals:

Practice art journaling for at least ten minutes every day. Some of you might remember that I posted about this new obsession a few weeks ago. Since then, I've found so much joy and peace in art journaling that I want to make it a part of my daily life. I decided to set the bar low—only ten minutes a day—but I know from experience that once I start working, I usually don't want to stop. In addition, I've signed up for a couple of online art journaling classes that I really think will help me grow.

Practice gratitude. This is one of the goals I had for this year as well, and it's something I want to continue. Looking for the good in each day—no matter how small—has made me truly appreciate how blessed I really am.

Write more! This year was an okay year for writing, but I want to do more. I'm still working on my dad's memoir and my children's journals, but in 2014 I'd like to find another big project to focus on, either in fiction or poetry. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Read 110 books. I didn't reach this goal this year, but I like the challenge. We'll see how I do once I have a new baby in the house. ☺

♥ Grow in my spiritual journey. This is always one of my goals. I think this year I'd like to focus on my role as a mom and the responsibility I have to nurture my children's spiritual lives. In fact, I read a wonderful devotion about this very thing yesterday: 10 New Year's Resolutions for Christian Moms.

Continue to reduce clutter and organize my home.

So there they are, my six goals for 2014. I'm excited! And tonight I'll celebrate the end of 2013 by watching movies with my husband, which has become our New Year's Eve tradition ever since we had kids. It's a nice way to end the year. ☺

How will you spend the end of 2013? Are you making any goals for next year?

Wishing you all a wonderful day and a Happy New Year! ☺

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was really nice. It's always a lot of fun to see the holidays through the eyes of excited children. ☺

Today's inspiration fascinates me because the artist's creations are so ephemeral. Artist Simon Beck creates intricate and beautiful artistic masterpieces in the snow. He dons snowshoes after heavy snowfalls and uses geometry to help him make gorgeous and complex images. Some liken his creations to crop circle art; I find them simply amazing. Enjoy!

If you'd like to learn more about Beck and his snow creations, check out this story on ViralNova.

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Happy Christmas Eve, my friends! I'm going to be taking a few days off to enjoy the holiday with my family, but before I go, I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Also, if you're feeling as though you need more holiday inspiration, be sure to watch this Christmas food court flash mob video. It's fantastic!

See you soon. ☺

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, today I want to highlight this fun video produced by Alphabet Photography. In it, a group of warehouse workers breaks into a creative musical interruption of their work. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

Before we get to this week's funnies, I just want to thank everyone for their comments on my last post. I appreciate all the good thoughts and prayers more than you know.

I hope you enjoy this week's dose of fun. Have a wonderful weekend! ☺






I've posted these two before, but I can't resist posting them again!



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not quite Wordless Wednesday—and a small request

Happy Wednesday, friends!

I have two things to share with you today. First, I feel lucky to have witnessed this gorgeous sky recently. Isn't it a beautiful shade of blue? I'd love to paint it. Skies like this make me happy and remind me that, in spite of all the bad, there is still a lot of good in this world.☺


The second thing I want to share is about my husband. On Monday, he got some not-so-great medical news, and we're still trying to decide on our next step. I don't want to go into too much detail right now, but I can say that I (and I'm sure my husband as well) would appreciate any good thoughts and prayers you can send his way. Thanks.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful Wednesday. ☺

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Ever since I learned of Alexey Kljatov's snowflake photography, I've been completed fascinated by it. His photographs are stunning; to me, the snowflakes look like they're made of glass. His work showcases the intricacy and beauty of the world around us, even in those things we can't see with our eyes. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

Well, the Christmas rush continues here at my house—and I suspect it does at your house as well. I'm a little closer to being done with buying gifts, but I do have moments of panic when I think about all of the other things that still have to get done. Oh, well. I'm not going to worry about that now. Now is the time for some Friday fun! I hope you enjoy these signs and videos. Have a wonderful weekend. ☺







Thursday, December 12, 2013

I couldn't resist...

Happy Thursday, friends. ☺

This video is too funny not to share. I think I first saw it about a year ago, but it's been making the rounds again, and I couldn't resist posting it. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thursday. ☺

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Something exciting is happening at my blog today! (Pop!)

Happy Wednesday, all. ☺

You're in for a special treat today. Tara Tyler, author of Pop Travel and one of my good blogging buddies, is here at The Daily Dose to share some of her Lazy Housewife Christmas tips! Take it away, Tara...

Oh, Dana. I'm so happy to be at your bright, sunny, happy blog! Thanks for helping me with my Pop Travel Blog Tour. You're a wonderful hostess!

Today, I'm in Lazy Housewife mode, getting the house all spruced up for Christmas and guests. Very excited to have my parents come to town! While I prepare, I'm going to share some Lazy Housewife Xmas tips!

  • Don't spread yourself too thin
    • Did you volunteer to bring treats/appetizers here, there, and everywhere? You don't have to make them all; buy some! I love Kroger!
    • Make sure you take a break. Doing too much will also wear you out and leave you more susceptible to getting sick!
  • Don't kill yourself with the cleaning
    • Spread it out
    • Prioritize
    • Clean least used areas first and high traffic areas last
    • When you are cleaning, make sure you lighten your mood with some tunes!
    • Use some seasonal air fresheners or candles
    • Know that your visitors love you even if your house isn't perfect!
  • Do enjoy the best parts of Christmas
    • Christmas decorations and lights make me smile
    • I always dig out my Christmas DVDs and watch them or listen to Christmas music while decorating – makes things merry & bright!
    • Watch snow fall, catch some on your tongue, make a snowball or a snowman – be a kid!
    • Make a favorite seasonal recipe to share
    • Decorate cookies! with the kids (or without)
    • Make a gingerbread house
    • Sing, play, and just relax with loved ones!
  • Do show extra kindness to others
    • Mailman, garbage man, teachers, babysitters, etc. (I like to give them candy or small gift cards)
    • Tip a little extra
    • Volunteer and give if you can - it's that time of year
  • My special Christmas tips:
    • From my mom: display Xmas cards by hanging on ribbon in a doorway
    • Also from my mom: save the Xmas cards and clip the scenes or cute characters to use as To/From tags for next year
    • Decorating: fill glass vases with small ornaments, Xmas potpourri, garland, pinecones, tiny lights, etc
    • Light timers! not just outside, but inside all around the house. I have twinkly lights
    • I love catalogs - they have great decorating ideas, especially Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Pier 1.
    • Use the kids' art to decorate

I guess I'll stop there. I could ramble on and on! One of these days, I'll finish my Lazy Housewife book. I'd actually like to make some funny videos and include some of my tips… I just wish I had the time and resources. For now, I put some ideas on pinterest. Yes, I finally joined.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my tips. I sure had fun stopping over here. Thanks again, Dana! You're a peach! Merry Christmas, all!

The Lazy Housewife finds shortcuts for housework to make time to write... Here are some details for my sci fi thriller, Pop Travel.

Cooper thought he could get through
life without having to pop...
Pop Travel by Tara Tyler
A tale of deception and teleportation.

When a distraught client enters J.L. Cooper's small town detective agency, ranting about a pop travel teleportation cover up, Cooper takes the case. He blames the pop travel craze for his wife's death and would love to expose a glitch in it.

But the glitch turns out to be disintegrating travelers. And now, his client is dead, his secretary is missing, and a hit man is stalking him. Plus there's all the webcams watching his every move. Cooper must find a way to expose the deadly flaw, while using pop travel to escape the maniacs covering it up, not to mention save a couple of tagalongs he's not sure he can trust. No problem.

Available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Goodreads  <==>  Trailer  <==>  FB Author Page

After having a hand in everything from waitressing to teaching math to rocket engineering, Tara Tyler now writes and teaches in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. In addition to her novels, she has published short stories and poetry in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, and Humor. So many stories to tell!


Thanks for the great tips, Tara! Come back anytime.

Wishing you all a fantastic Wednesday. ☺

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiration comes from The Piano Guys, a group whose vision is to create music and videos that inspire others. I featured these amazingly talented guys on my blog a little over a year ago (post here), and I'm excited to highlight them again today. Their music is beautiful and uplifting. If you happen to be feeling any Christmas doldrums—or panic, as I mentioned I was feeling earlier this week!—this performance will almost certainly make you feel better. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends. I hope you enjoy this week's signs and videos. Have a great weekend! ☺








Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Miscellaneous musings

'Tis the season.
Image courtesy of Javier Gonzalez,
Happy Tuesday!

Well, here we are in December. It's hard to believe that another year is nearly over. Now comes the rush of the Christmas season, something I never seem to be prepared for. My panic starts right about now and lasts through Christmas Eve—but I shouldn't let it. I know that somehow everything always gets done. I just have to keep reminding myself... ☺

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and I'm not entirely sure where they went! One thing that happened is that I didn't complete NaNoWriMo this year. Life (including the very welcome excitement of our expected baby girl!) kind of got in the way. I did, however, get some words down—more than I've written in a while—and I feel good about that accomplishment.

On an even better note, I've taken up a new form of expression: art journaling. If you've read my blog for a while, you know that I love all types of art. Art journaling takes my love of words and combines it with my love of art, and I'm having so much fun with it! I don't consider myself to be an artist at all, but with this type of journaling, the process is more important than the product, and I'm enjoying the process so much. I'm excited to see where this new passion takes me. Who knows? You might see this topic in one of my Sunday inspiration posts sometime soon.

Finally—and for no other reason than it's Tuesday—here's Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone." Wishing you all a fantastic day. ☺

Lyrics here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. ☺

Today's inspiration is unlike any I've ever seen. This video features the work of Lorenzo Durán, an artist who transforms fallen leaves into amazing and extremely delicate works of art. His creations are absolutely beautiful—and so very fragile. I can't even imagine the patience and dexterity it must take to create them. You can find out more about Durán and see additional examples of his work at his Web site, found here. Enjoy!

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday had a fantastic day. It was just the four of us this year as we opted not to travel, but we had a really good time.

Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing weekend!☺













Thursday, November 28, 2013

On this day of thanks...

Image courtesy of Michael & Christa, rgbstock.com

I want to say I'm grateful for all of you. Thanks for reading and commenting and being such wonderful blogging friends. Wishing you all a beautiful Thursday—and to all my fellow Americans, Happy Thanksgiving! ☺

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
     ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm weak...

Image courtesy of Ramon Gonzalez, rgbstock.com
at least when it comes to having to know my new baby's gender. ☺

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

You might remember that I had an ultrasound a little over a week ago. My husband and I weren't sure we wanted to know the baby's gender, so we asked the technician to write "boy" or "girl" on a piece of paper and seal that paper in an envelope. We (well, I should say I) didn't intend to open it. We (I) thought it would be nice to be surprised at the birth. Well, guess what? After a lot of pressure (mostly from our other two kids), I opened the envelope.

Do you want to know?

Here's what the paper said:




 Yes, we're having our second girl! Our four-year-old daughter is over the moon—and our six-year-old son is okay with it, too. I feel so blessed to be adding to our family. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving—and every day!

I'm glad I could share this news with friends like you. Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday. ☺

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday inspiration

Happy Sunday, friends. I hope you're all having a great weekend.

Today's inspiration comes from a segment that CBS News calls "On the Road."  Ever since I saw this video last week, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. In it, journalist Steve Hartman profiles Richard Renaldi, a New York photographer who stops people on the street—people who are strangers to each other—and asks them to pose as though they were friends, family, or even couples. What Hartman discovers about human nature is remarkable and inspiring. Enjoy!


What do you think about Renaldi's project?

Wishing you all a creative and inspirational Sunday. ☺

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday fun

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a good week and have some fun plans for the weekend.

You might recall my baby update from last Friday's post. Well, there have been some developments on that, and I'll have an update soon. Stay tuned...

I hope you enjoy this week's funny pictures and videos. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. ☺








Thursday, November 21, 2013

Let it pour from your soul

Image courtesy of Marja Flick-Buijs,
Happy Thursday!

I've been rereading one of my favorite books—Ted Kooser's The Poetry Home Repair Manual—and this week I came across a passage that I think will resonate with all creative people. Kooser talks about how the form a poem takes doesn't matter as much as what it says, and he quotes a passage from Anton Chekhov's The Seagull to illustrate his point:

"I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that it's a matter not of old forms and not of new forms, but that a man writes, not thinking at all of what form to choose, writes because it comes pouring out from his soul."

I find this liberating. Just think: It doesn't matter what form our creativity takes; we don't need to shoehorn ourselves into a particular style. We should write (or sing or paint or draw or act or knit...) simply because we love to do it. We should unleash our creativity in whatever form it takes—whatever rules we choose to follow or break. Our work will speak for itself.

What do you think of Chekhov's quote? What's your creaitve outlet, and what are you doing today to follow your passion?

Wishing you all a creative—and wonderful—Thursday. ☺