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dreaming …

I’ve read Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be about 20 times now. It’s been underlined, ear-marked, highlighted and starred so many times that I think I may need to buy a new copy just so I don’t confuse myself with last read’s notes. The book is THAT good. And it’s so jam packed with information that there is no way to apply it all at the same time (well, maybe some people can … I can’t); hence the reason that I keep coming back. Each visit to the book leaves me feeling ready to better myself and my business … and if I apply even ONE of the suggested principles, things can only get better.

In chapter 3 (Principle 3, decide what you want), the reader is encouraged to make an “I want” list. Write down 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to do before you die. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in maintaining our current lives that we forget what we actually wanted in the first place. So, it’s about stopping … dreaming … and figuring out what you want. Once you figure it out, you can start making it happen.

The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want. – Ben Stein

Yesterday, as I was making the list (again), I wrote down, “sleep in the world’s most comfortable bed outside on a beautiful private beach”.

I promise that I did include more productive items on the list, too. But what’s a life without simple pleasures and delights?

I’m a visual person, so I went online today and decided to put a picture to the dream. I flipped through the Hotel Villa Book ( and found my dream.

Dreaming is good.

You have to dream before your dreams can come true.  – Abdul Kalam



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It’s so funny that you are mentioning this, because, I just starting making this list recently! Because I love the outdoors, my dream is to visit the beautiful national parks of the US & Canada. One place in particular is Banff National Park in Alberta. And guess what…June 10th I’m leaving, just to do that!
That bed looks amazing, do you mind if I steal that “I want” from you! always-a


“Steal” away … I did : ) And can’t wait to hear about your trip!!!!!!

fantastic: a simple little treat

Oh, the simple pleasures in life …

Cashew butter + Creamed Honey = The perfect treat.

Spread it on toast or crackers … or just enjoy it right off the spoon. Either way … yuuuuuuuuum. Go slow and savor every little bite.

Bonus? My Canadian friends introduced me to creamed honey a few years back when I lived in Montreal. I’d never heard of it. But it took all of half a second for me to become hooked. Now, every time I scoop out a bit of the white sweetness, I think of them and smile.

(And then go for a second scoop.)


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my happy tummy: spinach smoothie

I’m currently obsessed with these little green gems! I feel my absolute happiest when I’m filling my body with goodness. My skin thanks me, my energy levels increase, and a sense of pride and peace sits in as I know I’m doing something good for my body. And then there’s the added bonus of not feeling so guilty when I later on grab a cookie ; ) This particular smoothie has almost 4 cups of raw spinach in it and WAIT … JUST WAIT … the best part is that you can’t even taste it. For a second you actually feel guilty for indulging in this treat. But then you remember that it’s actually good for you!

Google “green smoothie” and you’ll find about a million different recipes. Here’s the one I’m currently hooked on …

Place the following items in your blender …

About 8 ounces of Almond Milk (or any kind of milk)

1 frozen banana (Tip: Once you have bananas that are almost rotten, peel them, cut them up and stick them in a freezer bag. Et voila … extra sweet frozen bananas ready for a smoothie or banana ice cream)

1 TBS chia seeds

1-2 scoops of Vanilla Hemp Powder or a scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (I like how the Whey tastes better than the Hemp, actually … but I’m allergic to casein so I have a tough time with Whey on a regular basis)

1 TBS cashew, peanut, or almond butter (I like the rich flavor of Cashew butter)

And then fill the rest of the blender with organic baby spinach.

Blend. Enjoy.

A happy tummy = a happy me : )



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Ever since we came back from Albany, I have one of these daily. I also am such a fruit lover (i know lots of sugar,but it’s fruit so I don’t mind) so I’ve been alternating between my daily spinach smoothie or fruit smoothie!!! Plus, they really curb your hunger in case you want to grab junk:-) Thanks for the tips!


: ) We’ve got to go to Fresh Thyme soon, too! It’s been too long!!!!!!!!

fantastic: muddy sneakers

A long trail through the woods covered in mud and little piles of melting snow.

Crazy (suddenly) warm temperatures after a long week of bitter cold.

Sunshine after weeks of gray.

Giggling as I almost go foot over head down a slippery hill.

The slimy feel of gooey mud hitting my bare legs.

Breathing deeply in the fresh air and feeling so grateful to be able to move.

muddy sneakers, boandbelle, happy

Two very muddy pairs of sneakers … Fantastic.

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I wish I could post a picture here! Yesterday, I did a 7 mile hike in the rain…and didn’t even mind that I got my hair wet! I took a picture when I came back just because I felt so FABULOUS! Can’t wait to do it again!


7 miles … in the rain … HAIR WET … THAT is dedication. You go!!!!!!

good enough

One WHOLE year ago, I decided to create a virtual happy place for myself. I was excited! The thought of having my own online journal to celebrate the little things in life had me grinning from ear to ear. I have a blog where I share thoughts with my photography clients, but I wanted something extra. I quickly purchased and settled down before my blank blog page. One month later, I was frustrated, and shelved the idea. It’s a feeling that is all too familiar to me. I’m amazingly good with ideas (a perk to being ADD) … but I often get stuck when it comes to execution because I can never quite seem to create something that is good enough. I wanted my little personal corner of the Web to be perfect! I wanted an amazing color palette, beautiful fonts, and the perfect blog categories. I wanted a bio section that was true to me and my eclectic personality. For a whole month I tried idea after idea, layout after layout … and I couldn’t get it right. It never felt like home.

And so, the year went by. I was busy with my work ( and didn’t think about my virtual happy place. And now it’s 2013. The first quarter of the year is always the slowest time for portrait photography, leaving me with some extra time for soul searching … which brought me right back to the idea of a personal blog. After kicking myself for letting the idea go (who knows what I could have done with that year!), I reopened the blog. Eek. I (of course) can’t stand the last layout that I’d put together.

I wiped everything off, leaving a white space.

And I told myself to JUST LET GO.

Fifteen minutes later, my plain white background had a little bit of gray text with it, and I’m up and running. It’s not fancy. It’s not elaborate.

It’s a work in progress … and it’s good enough.

I’m sure as I spend more time here, I’ll change things, add things, take away things, rearrange categories, switch column sides … but at least I’ll be here writing and focusing on things that make me happy. that was the whole point in the first place. At least I will have succeeded … not by creating the perfect blog … but by finally letting go and just letting what happens, happen.


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Love the new blog…I think it’s actually given me inspiration to return to mine…Accepting that your good is “good enough” is very hard. However, being conscience that it’s necessary is a wonderful start…Can’t wait to see where this journey takes you. always-a.


Thanks, dear : ) Can’t wait to read your blog updates, too! We can keep each other going!