Friday, January 31, 2014

Where has the time gone?

So, it appears I'm a little behind on my blog posts. I can't believe tomorrow is February. However, the part of me that doesn't like winter very much is really happy about that. Did I mention snow is on its way to Missouri? Sigh...

You know, snow is a funny thing to me. In December, I love snow. I wish for snow. I want a white Christmas! So I embrace the cold with the holidays. I don't mind wearing fleece and fuzzy socks if I can watch the snow fall while staring at my Christmas tree. Thinking about that whole scene makes me warm inside. But soon after the New Year, I'm counting the days until Spring. Winter around here is just dark, dreary and grey. The Christmas lights are put away and the kids are back in school, so at that point the snow can STOP! But this year, my friends, it hasn't been the snow of my gripes and complains... it has been stupidly and ridiculously cold. I don't ever remember having negative temperatures like this growing up. And we've had weeks of below freezing weather this winter. Schools have been closed simply because of the wind chill. That's crazy! And I'm starting to get cabin fever.

Thankfully I was able to escape for a while this month and spend some time in Puerto Rico. I went there for a work conference which I must say was almost cruel. Yes, cruel. It was difficult to concentrate on my work when there were sunny skies and a beach right outside my door. Another sigh... I received little to no sympathy from my co-workers back home however. It really was beautiful there, and I had a lot of fun. I brought my husband along, so we stayed an extra day to see the sights. I would love to go back when I have more time to explore.

I'm also pleased to report that my 365 photo project is going well. Despite the cold and nasty weather, I haven't missed a day. OK, Puerto Rico helped (that was 6 of the photos), but I'm still proud of myself for sticking with it. You know why I'm sticking with it? Because it's FUN and makes me HAPPY! That really is the key to sticking with any project that you start. You have to love what you're doing or you just won't continue. I find the time to take my photos because I love it.

Here's a quick video recap of my January photos that I made with Flipagram. This is a really cool app that is FREE, and it's SO easy to use. I recommend you check it out.

Next month I will focus on black and white images with a flash of red on February 14 for Valentine's Day. Should be an interesting month, and I think it will produce a cool video. Until then, I'll close with this final thought about the seasons:
Spring is about renewal and rebirth. Summer represents exuberance and excitement. Autumn reminds us that change can be good. And the winter??? Winter is all about perseverance. Hang in there, kids....

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

365 Project - Week 1

Do more of what makes you happy!

That's my resolution for the year. 2013 was a really great year. I did some traveling, went to some fun places, spent time with friends and family, and made new friends. Near the end of the year, I let one of my hobbies slip a little though... photography. I completed over a year of photo a day using the prompts provided by Fat Mum Slim (a blogger from Australia). But the prompts started repeating themselves a little and I lost interest. However, I really missed taking pictures!

So this year, I have resolved to do my OWN 365 project. No lists. No prompts. Just whatever I feel like snapping. In my mind, I will have "assignments" for myself to improve my skills but nothing formal. I think that's what was inhibiting me. The prompts were confining my creativity instead of broadening it.

So here is how the first week went:

Off to a good start, I think. I may incorporate a few themes along the way. But honestly, I just want to let it to evolve on its own. I'll continue to post updates here so you can follow along.

Did you make a resolution for 2014?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Tunes Tuesday - Favorite 5 Albums of 2013

I've got two words for you.... Girl Power! This year I'm happy to say that 2013 belonged to the women of country music. Four of my favorite five albums were either made by a female star, female group or female lead singer. That's exciting to see! With the airwaves dominated by male stars, I'm hoping we'll see a turn toward the more feminine side in 2014.

And I know I'm a day late with this post... it's clearly Wednesday, but what the heck! That was my 2013 story... always running behind. I hope to be more on track in 2014.

So here's my list! You can read my review of each album by clicking on the album title.

5. Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves:  She won the Country Music Association's New Artist of the year and this album was nominated for Album of the Year. She has stirred up controversy, but that's what makes her cool. She's also been nominated for four Grammy's! She's definitely an up and coming star.

4. Annie Up by Pistol Annies:  An all girl trio made up of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. This album peaked at #2 on the country charts and contains some of my favorite songs of the year. They also appear on my next favorite album....

3. Based On A True Story by Blake Shelton:  The only male in my list belongs to the highly successful Blake Shelton. This is his 8th album and most sincere to date. It reached the number 1 spot on the US Billboard Top Country Albums with three very successful singles. His fourth single, Doin' What She Likes, will be released on January 6th.

2. Pioneer by The Band Perry:  Definitely the most creative and entertaining album of my list. It also reached number 1 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums. No sophomore slump for this trio! I expect big things from them in the future.

1. Like A Rose by Ashley Monroe:  This album is the most traditional sounding country album and that's why it's my number 1 choice. She's one-third Pistol Annie and 100% a true artist. She co-wrote on every song. The only thing wrong with this album is that it's not long enough. However, it's the perfect example of how sometimes less is more.


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