Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant to Chase Away the Winter Blues

The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge is for vibrant photos to chase away the drab winter blues. I am a northerner of the US who deals with the winter drabs by turning on lights and wearing bright clothes. So, this photo challenge really brightened my day!

Hopefully, I can brighten someone else’s day.

prom group

My son’s prom group in a rainbow of dresses.


colorful bird

A rainbow-colored bird at the National Aviary



An Iris from my garden last summer.



My friend’s flower.


To see last week’s photo challenge, Weekly Photo Challenge: Camping Anyone?


#Girllove Challenge

Recently, Marje over at Kyrosmagica tagged me in the #Girllove Challenge.


The girllove challenge was launched by Lilly Singh, known as Superwoman on her YouTube Channel. A beautiful, 27-year-old Canadian vlogger, actress and rapper, she became fed up with the hatred girls can show to their fellow females in schools, jobs and definitely on social media. She created an empowering video with women sharing their respect for other women in their lives. Click to watch this great video The Girllove Challenge. All proceeds from the views go to The Malala Fund, helping educate girls around the world. (Loved her book I am Malala, by the way! A must read for women and men)

The Girllove Challenge asks women to compliment other women over social media using the hashtag #Girllove.

friendship 2

For blogs, the challenge includes:

  1. Tell your followers who inspires you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis.
  2. Tell your followers who inspires you in real life. Someone you interact with quite often.
  3. Tag 5 women bloggers who you feel some girllove for and compliment them. Tell them why you love them then comment on their latest post with a link to your #Girllove post.

If you get tagged, follow these steps on your own blog and if you’d like to do it anyways – then do it! More love to spread around!

I have been enjoying Marje’s blog for a few years now and I thank her for the love! She is a fellow author and has tons of good writing tips on her blog. She also has book reviews, author interviews, inspiring images, quotes and her own poetry and Haikus. You could spend hours just reading her posts and what an enjoyable time it would be.

So, here goes:

Princess Diana always inspired me with her grace, generosity and elegance. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Royals, but I don’t think I could deal with the rules and protocol day in and day out. And I really think Princess Diana got the short end of the stick from the Royals and the press. Then she eventually finds some true happiness with Dodi Fayed and is killed shortly after. I am inspired by her strength in the face of negative press (even in the Royal household) to do so much charity work and raise two sons, then by her courage to seek a divorce and true happiness for herself.

Courtesy of Biography Online

Courtesy of Biography Online

“I’d like people to think of me as someone who cares about them.” Princess Diana

To learn more about Princess Diana and her life, click Biography Online.

The woman who inspires me in real life is my mother. I’ve always been close to my mom, but it wasn’t until I had a family of my own that I really understood all she went through to raise my two sisters and me. To raise kids, you need a big bag of patience from which you can draw an unlimited amount to see you through each day. My mom taught me patience but also to treasure each and every day with my sons because all too quickly kids grow up and move out. Following her example, I’ve learned to remember those less fortunate than I, that forgiveness is important and to seek out my dreams despite any obstacles. Thanks Mom!

5 women’s blogs I’ve recently discovered are:

Friendly Fairy Tales – Brenda Davis Harsham writes kid-friendly stories and poems. If you’re still a kid at heart, like me, you will enjoy her site.

The Linda Life finds the all important humor in life. She’s also pretty crafty 🙂

Gypsy Life – “Life is a journey not the destination.” I can relate to her gypsy tendencies for I love to travel, too.

Musin with Susan – Susan Gutterman has wonderful photography, bringing more beauty to the world.

The Ninth Life – K. L. Register is a fellow writer and spaghetti lover. Her blog shows her journey through life with all its ups and downs to encourage others.

That is my post on #Girllove. Now, go out there ladies and show a little love 🙂

red lips


Weekly Photo Challenge: Camping Anyone?

This week the Daily Post weekly photo challenge is Optimistic. “How do you fuel the fires of optimism?”

I too am deep in the middle of a Northern winter which can cause cabin-fever and sleepiness in people like me who prefer the sun and warmth of the rest of the year. So every January, while the snowplows clear the roads and the bulldozers remove the snow piles which are so high they block the driver’s view of traffic…

snow on deck

I get out a new calendar, my Old Farmer’s Almanac and a map to plan our season of camping trips. I grew up camping with my family so naturally my husband and I began camping and continued while raising our two sons. We even took along nephews and friends of the boys so it was loads of fun! Even now, with one boy done with college and one just starting they bring their girlfriends along. Good thing they picked girls who like to do things outdoors 🙂

Here are a few photos from various camping trips over the years.

Niagara Falls, New York

Niagara Falls, NY


Cooper's Rock State Park WV

I love this guy! Cooper’s Rock State Park, WV


Allegheny State Park, NY

Thunder Rocks at Allegheny State Park, NY


Letchworth State Park, NY

Letchworth State Park, NY


Ohiopyle State Park, PA

Climbing up under the falls at Ohiopyle State Park, PA


Our summer home


Weekly Photo Challenge: Do You Know Your ABCs?

This week’s Daily Post photo challenge was ‘alphabet.’ Suddenly the characters from Sesame Street began singing in my head and memories of teaching my own boys their ABCs flashed before my eyes. You should have seen the smile on my face.

Here are my ABCs:


The ABC tabs on one of my favorite books – the dictionary.

Letters on a wall

I made my initials in my first ceramics class.


I love rocks!


An “O” of Halos.


Did you miss last week’s Weekly Photo Challenge:

Friday Fun Post #22: Fill in the blank

When I was in school I liked multiple choice test questions rather than fill in the blank questions because if you had absolutely no clue to the answer at least the multiple choice gave you options. But this Friday I thought it might be fun to ‘fill in the blank.’

Relax, these are easy.

  1. blue eyesWhen no one is watching, I eat _____________.
  2. trafficIf someone cuts me off on the highway, I __________________.
  3. guy sleepingMy wackiest dream was __________________________.
  4. crazy womanMy pet peeve is ________________________.

You can answer any of them or all of them in the comments below. Please try to keep your answers PG and legal-friendly 🙂

Have a great weekend!

To read the last Friday Fun Post: Friday Fun Post #21

Let Feng Shui Make Your Wedding Lucky

Do you have a wedding planned for 2016? Is this the year you will “tie the knot?” If so, here are some simple ways that the Chinese balance of energy, Feng Shui, can help make that wedding lucky and lasting.

Plenty of natural light

Be sure to have the wedding and reception in a place with plenty of natural light to signify the bright future ahead for you and your spouse. If you’re having a beach or garden wedding you will probably have the natural light taken care (as long as the weather cooperates).

wedding at the beach

wedding at a botanical garden

If your nuptials will take place indoors, then shoot for lots of windows rather than the harsh, overhead fluorescent lights. Churches usually have beautiful, stained glass windows but if you’re stuck with a dingy, basement reception hall because your dear Uncle Fred is an elk or moose or something – don’t fret. A warm atmosphere can be created with light-colored tablecloths and decorations. If possible, candles give off a softer more natural light than the dreaded overheads.

No clocks

Even though everyone has the time on their cell phones these days, be sure there are no actual clocks at the reception, because you want your union to be timeless.

Round or oval tables

At your reception, try to arrange for round or oval tables to signify the endless union of the ring and to encourage socializing and harmony among your guests. If you must use the standard, rectangular renter tables cover them with tablecloths to soften the edges.

wedding reception

Lucky color schemes

  • Red – Red creates a strong atmosphere of romance and love. Just what a wedding is all about, right? Chinese women’s wedding dress may be red, but if you are not comfortable with that, having the bridesmaids in red and groomsmen in black suits with red accents is a great look. wedding dress with red sash
  • Purple/Violet – This color scheme is best for the smaller more intimate wedding giving off plenty of sexy vibes. Imagine a spring wedding with the bridesmaids in soft violet dresses. Very pretty.
  • Black & White – Think yin and yang. Black and white represent a strong balanced relationship. This color scheme gives weddings elegance and style. yin yang symbol
  • Blue & Green – Nothing promotes calmness more than blues and greens. Think of the tall, green trees swaying in the breeze or the blue of a lake or ocean. So calming. If you are concerned with battling family relations, maybe using this color scheme will help smooth the troubled waters. This is also the color scheme suggested for a 2nd wedding.
  • Orange – If you will have a wedding of 250 guests or more, than an orange color scheme will promote a sense of warmth among your large gathering.

When you leave your wedding, consider having your guests:

  • Blow bubbles – this would bring the water element into your wedding. Water is the most powerful force in nature and will bring flow and freedom to your wedding.
  • Throw flower petals – this always looks nice especially rose petals symbolizing love.

rose petals


If you want to dive deeper into using Feng Shui to plan your wedding, even to the point of picking the perfect date, there are websites and books available.

For instance: Wedding Feng Shui: The Chinese Horoscopes Guide to Planning Your Wedding by Laura Lau & Theodora Lau

Websites to learn more about Feng Shui:



If you have any advice from your own wedding for someone planning theirs – please comment below. Something that worked extremely well or something you wished you had done differently.

Weekly Photo Challenge: I Love Circles

This week’s Daily Post photo challenge is about circles.

This photo was taken out our Sheraton hotel’s window of the green dome roof of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



We went to Philadelphia this past October.

Here are some of the other places we visited.

Jim by the Rocky statue. He wouldn't do the Rocky pose :)

Jim by the Rocky statue. He wouldn’t do the Rocky pose 🙂

I love the gargoyles over the door!

I love the gargoyles over the door!

To see and read more of our Philadelphia trip, click Whirlwind Weekend in Philadelphia Part 1 and Whirlwind Weekend in Philadelphia Part 2.

I love Philadelphia and can’t wait to go back. There is so much to do that we could have spent 10 more days and not seen it all.

Have you ever visited the City of Brotherly Love?

Friday Fun Post #21:

Another Friday and this one the first of the new year. May I take a moment and wish everyone a joyous and prosperous New Year!


2 snowmen talking

What do you think the snowman in the blue hat is saying to the other snowman? Or vice versa?

Mine: Snowman in the blue hat: “Does this hat make me look fat?”

or  Snowman in the blue hat: “Hey babe. Play your cards right and you can have my blue hat and scarf.”


Have a great Friday and begin 2016 with an open heart and mind!

Happy New Year