Life, Boys and Monster Trucks

February 5, 2011

Once again, it’s been awhile since I’ve been here and I can’t stand the fact that I’ve been gone for so long.  Life is so hectic right now and that’s not a bad thing, just a busy thing.   The end of the year came and went, a new semester has started at my kid’s schools and a new season is about to spring into action, pun intended.  Sometimes I wonder if I had girls if I would be as busy as I am having boys.  Do girls like monster trucks like boys do?  When my boys found out (hubby included) that we were going to have a meet n’ greet with some of the drivers from The Monster Jam, they were definitely happy about it.  To me, a truck is a truck.  But before you all go correcting me on that, don’t worry, my boys already did.  And in great detail, too.  I guess I’ll see for myself at the show on February 12th.  😉

All business aside, I really, really want to get back to my blog.  This is going to be my year, I just know it.  Whatever comes my way, I’ll make sure to put it all here.  If you’re still with me, thank you.  Have a great weekend everyone!

(Anyone in the L.A./O.C. wanting to get tix for Monster Jam, be sure to use the promo code: MOMMY for a $5 discount!)

Holiday Wishes

December 24, 2010

It’s Christmas Eve and I have the house to myself while the rest of the family is at a holiday party and I’m home nursing the flu.  It’s actually quite nice.  Being sick has forced me to slow down, stay in my jammies, climb into bed and sleep the afternoon away and drink lots of good smoothies, something I wouldn’t allow myself to do otherwise. 

I’ve been itching to play with my camera because I’ve missing some great photo ops these past couple of days. (Have you heard about the infamous Los Angeles Double rainbow? Well, I was stuck inside and missed that photo op, too).  With the house so quiet and the Christmas tree sparkling so pretty I managed to play with my camera for awhile tonight, getting shots of different ornaments on the tree and managed to get the one above. 

I want to wish you and your loved ones a blessed holiday and hope the upcoming new year is filled with much hope and promise.  Remember to slow down every once in awhile and be in the moment (and don’t wait for the flu to do it, either!).  Life is fleeting.  Be good to yourself and those around you.  You won’t regret it. 

Have a wonderful Holiday.  😉

A Joyful Heart

November 30, 2010

I know, I haven’t been here in awhile.  Not to worry, all is well.  I’ve just been really busy, unusually busy.  Who knew that when my son started high school that the parent participation would be taking so much of my time??  I’m not complaining, I’m actually quite pleased.  Not only do they encourage parent participation, it’s pretty much required if you have a child involved in some sort of extracaricular activity (my son is in the marching band).  From football games to field competitons to parades, I’m there, and I love every single minute of it.   Plus, it’s new faces and places to take my camera and that’s always a good thing.

As this year gets ready to come to an end, my heart is full.  I’ve made a point this year to really be fully present and ‘in the moment’.  I’ve been listening and seeing more with my heart than my head and that is not an easy thing to do!  In doing this, here’s some things that really brought it home for me:

I’ve always said that things are either black or white but now I acknowledge that things may not always be black and white but might very well have some gray areas.  That’s a big one for me. 

I’ve realized how truly important my friendships are .  I’m giving more attention to these friendships and not taking them for granted. They help feed my soul and I need them, so much

I’ve made a point to go out of my way to do random acts of kindness and be more kind in general and that has been such an awesome gift, especially when I see the wonderful effect it has had on my boys. 

When I get an email from a friend that says you are such a good friend. I am grateful for you, it makes my heart sing because I know I am a good friend, and that’s everything to me.

How about you? What is your heart telling you?  I’d love to know. 

Today over at Shutter Sisters I am honored to be sharing my Bel Kai Designs necklace above, the latest addition to the Capture Collection of Shutter Sisters photographic jewelry.  To celebrate, today we are giving one away.  Just leave a comment by midnight PST(at Shutter Sisters). 

Picture Kindness

October 21, 2010

Kindness, as I’ve said so many times before, is very important to me.  I try to do atleast one kind thing a day, no matter how big or small.  One of the easiest and quickest kind things I do is leave little cards with quotes or sayings on them in different places.  I keep a bunch in my car and in my camera bag to make it even that much easier. 

It wasn’t until today that I got to experience the joy of getting one of those great little cards myself.  Unbeknownst to me, my son had taken the above card and placed it on my screen door.  We were in such a rush this morning that I didn’t even notice it until I got back from taking him to school.  Later, when I picked him up from school, I asked him why he did that.

“Why not?  You need kindness, too”, he said matter-of-factly. 

Why not, indeed. 

I love leaving the cards for others to find and I’m not alone in doing that.  Sandy is leaving one thousand paper cranes with a different postitive word written on each one and leaving them in different places for others to find.  And, she’s making each paper crane herself.  How awesome and special is that?!  If you live in the central New Jersey area, who knows? Maybe you’ll find one!

Feeling like giving it a try yourself?  The gals at Kind Over Matter have a bunch of awesome free, downloadable cards for you to print out and distribute however you’d like.  Better yet, if you do do this, take a picture and add it to their Flickr group to share!  Whatever you do today,  show a little kindness.  You’ll be glad you did.

 (cross-posted at Shutter Sisters)

On Dreaming, Picturing and Being Kind

October 10, 2010

I don’t like going much longer than a week between blog posts but at times it just can’t be helped.  I have a lot on my plate right now and that’s okay because I’m loving every minute of it!  As the saying goes, it’s all good.  Here’s a sampling of what’s keeping me on my toes:

1) The Mondo Beyond Dream Lab with Jen Lemen and Andrea Scher (who coincidentally are fellow Shutter Sisters extrordinaire!).  I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time and now I finally am.  It’s definitely making me think and I’m having to challenge myself in ways I really never had to before.  Aimee over at Greeblemonkey sums it up perfectly in her post about the Dream Lab. One thing’s for sure,  I’m not going to be able to hide behind my camera in this at.all.  In fact, I’m thinking this will elicit atleast one of those snot-nosed, ‘ugly’ cries but if that’s what it takes, then so be it.  If it helps me turn my dreams into a reality then it will all be worth it in the end!

2) I’m involved in Picture Fall and I’m loving it.  This one is all about the camera so I’m definitely in my element with this one!  If you haven’t taken any of these photo-centric classes over at Big Picture Scrapbooking (and don’t worry if you’re not a scrapbooker. I’m not.  This is strictly a class about having fun with and enjoying your camera) then you really need to.  Picture the Holidays starts December 1st and you can register for it now.  I’ll be there!

3)  My oldest son started high school.  Never did I think I’d be as involved with a high school like I am with my youngest son’s elementary school.  In fact, parent participation is pretty much obligatory and I’m loving it.  And even better, I’m using my camera there as much as I do everywhere else!  So really, it’s a win-win situation all around. 

4)  As you know, kindness has been my theme lately from random acts of kindness to community acts of kindness.  This, by far, is my most favorite thing right now.  What’s even more awesome is that I’m not the only one on board with this.  My inspiration began a couple of years back when I came across Patience Salgado (who I can say has become a dear, sweet friend of mine) and her blog, Kindness Girl.  In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a national “Guerrilla Goodness” collaboration between us in the months to come that will be open to everyone!  Our creative juices are flowing on this right now and once I get more details, you’ll be the first to know, I promise. 

Feeling like doing some kindness yourself and needing some inspiration?  There are some wonderful people out there doing their part for kindness in this world, too.  Take a look at Secret Agent L, Love Your Neighbor, The Kindness of Strangers , and Operation NICE to name a few.  And last but not least, head over to Kind Over Matter where you can download tons of free printable kindness cards of all kinds to get you started.  If you decide to jump on the Kindness Train, share with me.  I’d love to know about it!   Whatever you do, have fun and remember, always be kind. 

Go make a great day everyone!

A Child’s Wisdom

September 10, 2010

 Yesterday we had an assembly at my son’s school to talk about the upcoming year and to let the kids know about the Kindness Tree that I had started there (which even made it to our local paper!).  We told them that they could add to the tree at anytime and they could also take a tag they would like to give to someone else as long as they replaced it with a new tag.  After the assembly was finished the kids headed out to recess.  To my surprise, as I was leaving I found the tree surrounded by the kids, so much so that some were complaining that they couldn’t get to it because there were too many other kids around it. 

When I went out to the tree to check it out for myself, the kids couldn’t wait to show me what they were doing.  One after another they clambored around me to show me the tags they had made.  As I read them all, I was overcome with emotion.  Their words moved me, especially knowing these were coming from children as young as 6.  It’s at times like these that I do not hold to the belief that children are meant to be seen and not heard.  Everyone has a voice, no matter the age.  These kids spoke loud and clear through their written words and their wisdom was breath-taking.  Never worry, sweet children, I will always listen.  Truly, I am blessed.

Lots of Guerrilla Goodness Love is Goin’ Around!

September 8, 2010

My heart is full of all kinds of gooey love this morning after seeing how many people in other parts of this country have come together to do their sidewalk chalk art and kindness trees.  It’s just so awesome!  Patience over at Kindness Girl is feelin’ that same gooey love today, too.   Thank you to all that participated, no matter what part of the country your located in!  You guys rock!  Check out this sweet little slideshow of our Guerrilla Goodness and remember to be kind today.  🙂

It’s Back!

August 31, 2010

IMG_1189

That’s right!  We’re doin’ it again and of course, Patience of Kindness Girl fame (the one who got this ball rollin’ 2 years ago) is on board as well!

So, here’s the deal:

1. Grab some bright sidewalk chalk.

2. You head out with friends, family, kids, dogs, grandmothers, artists, whoever…and write positive messges to kids on the sidewalks in front of the elementary schools for the first day of school. Here are some things you can write:

Have a GREAT first day of school!!

It’s going to be a awesome year!

You look fantastic!

We believe in you!

if you want more ideas, check out the pictures of what other people have done here.

3. Go home blissed out with the kindness high! 

4. You can let us know you’re participating via the Facebook page

5. If you decide to do this project or blog about it, please leave a comment so we can highlight your kindness work and watch it grow! Don’t forget to send me pictures and I’ll post them or simply add them to our GG Flickr Pool.

I’m excited!  Aren’t you?!?

Guerrilla Goodness:An East Coast/West Coast Collaborative

August 30, 2010

About a week ago I received an email from Patience Salgado AKA Kindness Girl:

Girl….i gotta an idea i thought we can partner on….it’s a back to school mission!  What do you think? we could partner and launch it together….does it call to you at all?

Well that was a no brainer.  Of course it called to me, so partner we did!  When I told my son what we were going to be doing, he couldn’t wait to start.  We enlisted the help of a couple of friends and got to work.

We cut up cardstock into little card sized pieces and grabbed a hand full of markers and let our imaginations run wild. 

 The kids got creative with their words as well as their artwork and they did a great job!  

 After we finished the cards, we jumped in the car and headed to the local ice cream shop and bought a bunch of $2 gift certificates.  Next, we attached the gift certificates to the cards using paperclips then headed off to the closest Target store for our mission.  We made a beeline for the back-to-school section of the store. Once there, I told everyone that they could take their  little cards and put them anywhere they wanted.  They chose pencil boxes,

and backpacks, 

 and I put one in this pencil box in hopes that someone would find it quickly.

We had to be quick and make sure no one saw us. I had to be quick with my camera too, because I didn’t want to draw attention to what we were up to.  The whole think took about ten minutes and we left as soon as we finished.  What a great day!

Patience and I are determined to get more people involved in Guerrilla Goodness, so we are inviting everyone to participate.   You can do as little or as much as you like.  Here’s some instructions to get you started on your mission:

1. Call a friend right now and invite him or her to do this kindness mission with you. Kids can pick friends too! Pick local or far away, it will be fun for everyone…

2. Decide how daring you want to be with your kindness- all levels count!

3. Pick a treasure to hide. Some ideas are a note, $5 in a small envelope, a gift card, tiny journal, movie tickets, some stickers or silly bandz for kids!

4. Hide a treasure in a pocket.  Any kind of pocket will do- pants, shirts, bag, or even drop in a shoe.

5. Where? you can do this in your house in a closet near you, or head to a thrift store, mall, etc. Anywhere someone will find your love and kindness.

6. Include this new fancy little green card like the one in the picture above to your kindness act so we might even invite others to pass it on. (You don’t have to use these cards.  You’re more than welcome to make your own as we did). 

7. Show us your stealthy goodness in the Guerrilla Goodness Flickr Pool and join our Facebook group so we can all see the kindness spread and grow! 

So, what do you think?  Are you in?!  This world definitely needs more love and kindness so please join Patience and myself in doing our part to bring more to this world.  It’s something we can never have too much of. 🙂

Let the Fun Begin!

August 26, 2010

I’m seriously excited about the upcoming week!  For the 3rd year in a row I’ll be doing the ‘Back-to-School Sidewalk Chalk Art’.  The first year was just myself, my son, his friend and his friend’s mom doing our ‘chalk art’.  Last year I let some people know and told them to bring a few friends and we had a great turnout.  This year, I’m expecting even more kids and parents and I just know it’s going to be awesome! 

Second, my camera and I get to go back to school and see all ‘my’ kids again!  I’ve missed their smiling faces and their hugs, too.  My camera and I are going to be loving every minute I get to spend there and I have no doubt that I will be there a lot…and that’s a good thing.

I also have a couple of  “Guerilla Goodness” projects in the works for next week as well.  I can’t really say what it is yet, but I can give you a little sneak peak.  The first project involves this awesome book,

 and these tags filled out by some of the school kids.

The second, super fun project has to do with this,

and school supplies.

The best part is that “Guerilla Goodness” seems to be catching on because I’m not doing these alone.  Yep, it was bound to happen: Kindness is Catching.  How awesome is that?! 

Stay tuned!  More to follow very soon!