Browsing Tag


Fun stuff, Inspiration, Lifestyle

How Loom Knitting has kept me on the shallow side of the deep end

June 22, 2016 • By

loom knitting

Previously, I shared one of my favorite ways to deal with stress. While gaming is a great way to unwind after a hectic shift, I found an even better, long-term way to alleviate stress: loom knitting! Knitting without needles has been incredibly therapeutic. It’s relaxing, keeps me focused on achieving a goal and once I’ve finished a project, I have something tangible to give as a gift or to keep for myself. But the absolute best thing about loom knitting is that it’s incredibly easy to learn. I’ve been doing it for two years and made over seventy different projects from hats, scarves, bags, socks and blankets. All you need is patience and a free afternoon to get going!

Before You Get Started

Loom knitting is a relatively inexpensive hobby to start. For most projects, you need a loom, a loom tool, a crochet needle and yarn. The type of loom you’ll need depends on what project you wish to start. Most people start out learning how to make scarves on the loom, so for a thick scarf suitable for winter weather, a rectangular loom is best. For a light fall or spring scarf, a round loom is fine. Generally, rectangular looms are for scarves, blankets, place mats and similar projects. Round looms are for hats, scarves, gloves and socks.READ MORE

Fun stuff, Inspiration, Lifestyle

PC Gaming: Reduces Stress on You & Your Budget

May 17, 2016 • By

All of us, no matter what field of work we’re in, have to find positive ways to deal with stress. Whether it’s hitting the gym, catching a live show or taking the occasional weekend trip, finding ways to reduce stress has become increasingly important. As a relative newcomer to shift work, I unfortunately found this out the hard way. Luckily, after a few minor bumps in the road, I’ve found a positive outlet to alleviate some of the anxiety from my job: PC gaming.READ MORE

Gardening, Inspiration, Lifestyle

My English Cottage Garden Redux

April 28, 2015 • By

My English Cottage Garden Redux

Have you ever had a vision of creating something fantastic and the final outcome only registered a “blah”?  That’s precisely what happened when I bought my house in 2001.  I had just sold my townhouse because I had a dream of living in at least my version of an English Cottage Garden oasis and 300 square feet of outdoor space wasn’t going to cut it.

I needed something larger, something that would allow me to realize my vision of what a garden that was situated in the Cotswolds would look like.  Except, the location would end up being in a sleepy little town in North West Georgia.  I can’t say exactly what drew me to a little blue and white cottage but I knew that I wanted to buy it even before the realtor pulled up to the driveway.

English Cottage Garden

I knew the land that it sat on, as imperfect as it was, would be the perfect setting for achieving my dream.

It met all of my requirements: It had a basement, a deck and a front porch.  The deal breaker would always be the porch.  As a lifelong southerner, it was imperative that I had somewhere to sit and people watch.  The best part is that it sat on one acre of land.  The yard was mostly remnants of what could be termed as grass but you could tell that the former owner had tried to add her own touch to it at some point.READ MORE

Inspiration, Lifestyle

How to Stop Tap Dancing for the World and Find Your Sanity

July 29, 2013 • By


Are you at a point in your life where you’re constantly frazzled, burning the candle at both ends and can barely fire two synapses together because you are on emotional overload?  You’re being pulled from all sides….the boss has you on an impossible deadline and so far the only thing that you’ve managed to produce is a case of the heebie jeebies (but who can afford to be out of work in this economy?).  Your kids are convinced that you have tentacles that can extend and retract at will.  Your significant other (an otherwise bright and intelligent person) becomes befuddled when it’s time to load a dishwasher and the mere mention of housework makes them apoplectic.

The irony of it all, is that you are stressing because of someone else.  Don’t get me wrong we all have obligations, both professional and familial.  While your hands may be somewhat tied when it comes to your livelihood, it does not have to be the case anywhere else.  Unless that’s how YOU want it to be.  A lot of the pressures that we feel come from external forces.  We’re supposed to have an immaculate home, perfect robotic children, run the daily car pool like clockwork and fix seven dinners a week that would make Wolfgang Puck jealous.  We are too busy living the life that others expect, in fact, demand of us.

Luckily, there is a way to get off of the crazy train.  By giving yourself permission to orchestrate your life in a way that is meaningful to you, you can reclaim your sanity.

 Here are a few tips to get you closer sanity:READ MORE

Inspiration, Lifestyle

There Is Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself

July 31, 2012 • By

This is the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Yay!!! I made it! I thought it would be a good idea to end my journey with a travel related article. It’s about a dear friend of mine who shall remain nameless who wants to travel but is afraid to. There’s so many things that you want to say to encourage….but I didn’t want to think too much about it. I will just speak from the heart and hope that she hears it.


I have a friend who really wants to travel internationally, but she can’t bring herself to do it. She told me that she is afraid to travel across a body of water and the long plane trip won’t be a picnic either. I can sympathize that both issues can be disconcerting, but it should not be a deal breaker. Traveling, while it is fun and wonderful, can be challenging. It will be a challenge for my friend, but I know her deep desire to conquer that fear is why she reads my blog for encouragement.

The most difficult thing about meeting a challenge is taking the first step. She’s done that, so she’s ahead of the game. She’s flown domestically which would always be my first suggestion to conquer that fear. Take baby steps all the while realizing that this will probably be one of the hardest things in your life that you will do and then resolve that you will do it. It will take equal parts bravery and planning but it can be done. We are all faced with things that are uncomfortable…… hell……. unfathomable to conceive of doing. However, we must remind ourselves that in order for great things to happen to us, we have to be willing to receive it…to allow it to happen. Resistance is the antithesis to receiving it. Stop pushing away things that could potentially change your life for the better.READ MORE


Love Sent You Here To Me…..

July 20, 2012 • By

Day 20 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!!  I’m guessing by now you are saying that you are beginning to know me quite well.  lol  Well, I warned you….that this exercise would be the chance to get to know me a little bit better beyond my travel persona.  I hope that you are still enjoying my posts and feel free to jump in at any time.  I welcome all comments and observations.

Today’s post is a love letter to my only child, Carisa.  She’s a talented graphic artist and website designer and I’m very proud of her accomplishments.  I wrote this poem ten years ago and its significance has magnified ten fold.


Love sent you here to me…..

…… to two empty arms longing to hold a sweet baby girl with beautiful brown eyes.READ MORE


What Irks Me About Traveling

May 2, 2012 • By

travelingToday, I realized that I am somewhat of a strange bird. I love to travel, but there are limits to that infatuation that I’d not considered. I love all the things that make traveling special. I love knowing that when I finally reach my destination, there will be merriment and joviality not far behind. However, I detest the act of traveling….not necessarily, the packing, research or any of the precursors of getting to your destination. It is the act of fighting through local traffic in a desperate attempt to put as many miles between you and your home base as possible. Or standing in long lines during check in as punishment for being unable to have reached some fancy tier on an airline’s FF program.

I hate going through TSA checkpoints and dealing with the various attitudes and platitudes being served up at nearly every airport that you must pass through. I hate having to answer questions that will put the questioner’s mind to rest that I don’t plan to commandeer the airplane as soon as it takes off. I hate having to deal with rude passengers and increasingly ruder airline personnel before, during and sometimes after the flight. It’s all a hassle…..but as soon as I have made my way to ground transportation after waiting what seems like an eternity for my battle-scarred luggage to make its way to me on the carousel, I feel renewed.READ MORE


Regrets – An Ode To Youth Lost Too Soon

April 1, 2012 • By



I think as one grows older, the heart grows sadder as it recalls the many ways it had failed to lead its owner on a certain path.   Regrets are for fools, people say, yet those regrets still linger as the only companion that has remained faithful to many throughout the years.

Don’t look back with regrets, but move on with hope.

Looking back, I can see that my own personal stumbling block was fear.  Fear of the unknown, of what others might think or say, of being judged, of making the wrong decision.  Sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves; we feel as if we have to get everything just right the first time or why bother at all?  I didn’t realize that there was a lesson carved indelibly for me regardless of the path I took.

The irony is that out of all the choices that lay before me, I chose to play it safe and took care to never stray from my perceived path and to risk coloring outside the lines.  As a result, I struggle to identify moments of personal greatness or achievement as a young woman.

 Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. – from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”


Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 18 – Michael Figueiredo

June 17, 2011 • By

Today is my final installment in the Inspired Traveler series. I appreciate all the support from the readers and the participation of some really great travel bloggers who generously shared their wit and wisdom in their interviews. Helping the fat lady sing is one of my faves, Mike Figueiredo, who quite by accident has found himself blogging about traveling in between his day job in La La Land. Mike shares his adventures in his travel blog Strux Travel and as the local guide/contributor to the Los Angeles Examiner.

Standing on a dolphin’s head in Punta del Este, Uruguay!  (not really)

1. What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

Just sitting at an outdoor café, sipping a cappuccino and watching the people go by. It doesn’t really matter what part of the world I’m in—it could be Paris or Istanbul, Buenos Aires or New York City. I really enjoy seeing how people go about their day-to-day lives.

2. What is your favorite place in the world?

That’s a hard one! If I had to narrow it down I’d say Barcelona, Spain. I love the lifestyle there—tapas bars, afternoon siestas, eating dinner at 10 p.m. Plus, the people are so friendly and the city is teeming with spectacular art and architecture. I love that it’s a very cosmopolitan city but at the same time it enjoys a relaxed Mediterranean vibe.

3. What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

I have yet to go to a place that I disliked so much that I’d never want to return. I hope I never have an answer to this question!

4. What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?


Interviews, Travel Advice

The Inspired Traveler – # 11 – Michael Schuermann

April 29, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, we get to bend the ears of Michael Schuermann, who runs The Easy Hiker website.

Mike taking a hike in Sedona

1)      What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
(More a wry smile.) When I see people do something they quite clearly do not enjoy, like pulling their bored and tired kids through an art gallery, out of a sense of “holiday duty”

2)      What is your favorite place in the world?
New York as a city, Northern Arizona in terms of the landscape, but if you ask for my favorite travel destination, I generally prefer places where I have not yet been.

3)      What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
The Philippines – not because I did not love the country (I spent more than two years of my life there) but because they have blacklisted me and would probably throw me in the slammer if I ever tried to get back in. (It’s a long story.)READ MORE

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