2014: the recap

Here we are, a few days away from a new year. I went back and gathered some of my favorite moments and posts.

Notable Moments!

Altered my letterpress tray to put all my collectibles. It is all full now. I already have a blank on backup for the next round.

Had a couple pieces in two group/gallery shows. I really need to do more of that next year.


I really produced a lot of art I liked this year, more than ever. Lots and lots of sketching.

Took a linoblock printing class.

Cut my hair off and went back to brunette land.hurz

The Mary Blair art exhibit with my new friend Caitlin. Yay for new, awesome friends!

Started volunteering with a feline rescue group. One of the best things I have ever done.

Collaborated with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and had my art used for their Ligeia collection.
10612575_339230029581425_7050001566437258625_nStarted my artist website! Now I just need to do a better job at updating it. Heh.

Made my first Day Of The Dead altar in our home, a tradition I plan on keeping up.

Stats: Josh and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary (13 years together) and our 40th birthdays, Reza turned 8, our cats turned 3.

Reza: won a cosplay contest, started 2nd grade, was in the local paper twice, rode a bike for the first time, shaved off the side of her head, lost 5 teeth and continues growing into an awesome little person.

Shows: Forest Swords, Washed Out, Chvrches, Lorde, The National, The Knife, ††† Crosses… CHINO, in person. Bucket list item achieved!

Travel: Two trips to San Diego, a road trip to Portland and a reconnection with the motherland in Mexico.

The Good: 
A new car! Well, new to us anyway and I love our VW.
Slowly but surely making new friends and getting closer to some existing ones. It is always nice to see things move to the next level with those who value you.
Lots of new memories with our friends. Being back in CA certainly has its perks.
Lots and lots perspective.

The Bad: Josh’s brother Jared died and certainly tossed up a lot of feelings, my Mom got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and of course the coming to terms with friendships (or lack thereof) and where you stand with them. With distance comes the inevitable drifting apart. All of these things really hit me with a massive dose of perspective, a renewed sense to really work on making things count.

The Ugly: Had a bit of stressful things go down. Drama, health issues that weren’t getting resolved. Thankfully all of that seems to be working itself out slowly but surely.

Favorite new phrase: “shit show”. And considering how some things went this year, it merited my using it, a lot.

Music: my favorite album as a whole was the soundtrack to Only Lovers Left Alive. It is the one I keep coming back to. Yes, my favorite album of the year was a soundtrack. Only-Lovers_CD_cover-art-660x660

This year was an odd one for music. Lots of good tracks but albums as a whole, not so much. I also felt this year was the year of the woman as some of the better tracks to come out were from Team Estrogen. Well played ladies. I made a playlist of some of my favorite tracks from this year, you can listen to it over on Spotify. There are way more but not everyone is on Spotify.

Goals for 2015: 

  • Make more art (and sell it) – girl has got to pay some bills.
  • Work on debt reduction so we can look into buying a home.
  • Less time on social media, more time making memories and art.
  • Stop taking so many photos with my cell phone and use a real camera for a change
  • Write more: on my blog, a personal journal, snail mail.
  • Read more.
  • Focus on health. All aspects of it.
  • Gratitude and humility. Lots of it.

In previous years: 2013 + 2012 + 2011 + 2010

the happiest place

Ever since moving to the Bay Area, I have been wanting to make a trip over to The Walt Disney Family Museum. It is on the pricier side to attend but when I saw they had two temporary exhibits worth viewing, I knew I had to go as soon as I got back from San Diego.

Recently I connected with an artist named Caitlin. Her art is rad (go look at it!) and we had been following each other on a couple social media platforms. Turns out she lives a couple towns over. I decided to grow a set and made plans with her cause new, local friends are a plus. Thankfully she was cool with hanging out with a complete stranger and we went to SF for the day to go to the museum.



The Mary Blair portion was AMAZING. It was in a building all its own because there were so many pieces on exhibit. Lots of wonderful, sweet, textural concept art for so many Disney projects. The opaque watercolor and brightness was mesmerizing. It was pretty hard to get good photos since flash was prohibited but here were a few of my favorites that really do the art zero justice.


All of the Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland pieces were amazing but that Headless Horseman from The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow took the cake for me. I was also very happy to eye a portion of her work space… I have a thing about artist workspaces.


The rest of the museum has tons of memorabilia about Walt, his family, and eventually it gets into all things Disney from the movies, concept art, animation process, etc.

While inside you eventually make your way to the back of the building which they were smart enough to make completely glass cause well, the view is HORRIBLE.


And then there was this replica of the park (vintage), some of which are no longer there (RIP People Mover!) and some parts moved, like the tea cup ride.



There was soooooo much cool shit to look at but for me it was all about the concept art and the park memorabilia. That tiny little piece from Night On Bald Mountain… so much love.

The Marc Davis exhibit was much smaller but there were some pretty amazing Haunted Mansion originals. Sadly photos were prohibited in that section. BOO! But they had 2 of the stretch painting portraits as well as the pirate girl from the Pirates ride. Total fan girl goo moment.

Eventually we got a case of the hungry so we headed out to Japantown for some eats and shopping at Daiso.

It was cool going to see art with someone else who appreciates it and sees things through the same lenses as I do (Thanks Caitlin!). In any event it was a great time and got to see a lot of VERY COOL and inspiring art.

Pro-tip: If you ever plan on going to the museum, don’t go on a weekend and if you do plan on it, GO EARLY. Lots of people and it gets annoying as all get out. Also, it can be on the pricier side so be prepared for the wallet dent. $20 admission + the gift shop + parking + special exhibit… it adds up. Also, I wouldn’t recommend it for small kids, they will get bored hella fast.


Lets kick this pot of stew off with the big one for the week…

Reza started 2nd grade yesterday! Where does the time go, right? Josh and I had a little bit of an anxiety attack when a concerned friend called me, the evening before the first day of school no less, to ask why Reza wasn’t on the lists for 2nd grade. Insert panic, we call the school, “We made a clerical error and enrolled her into another school in the district”. Oh boy. Thankfully it was all straightened out before we got there and she got put in a 2nd/3rd combo class. Not sure how that is going to work out but I was told that her grades reflect that she can handle it.

Her first day was so much easier than last year. Such are the joys of breathing in the air of familiarity. No anxiety, peace out Mom & Dad! She loves school and was so happy to see her friends and happy to be in a class with kids she knows well. She is going to do so well and we couldn’t be more proud to see her take another step in her academic path. Here is her 2nd grade interview which surprisingly didn’t have too many changes from last year. Go forth and conquer my Nugget!

Did you know that you can change Siri on your iPhone to be a guy/lady with a British or Aussie accent? Oh yes you can. Want to know how? Go to Settings > General > Siri >  and then you choose the language and gender.


I changed mine to a British guy and his English is so much nicer to hear. Now, if Apple could get on Siri’s voice being supplied by Tom Hiddleston. Wouldn’t that be magical? Now that I think about it maybe it isn’t a good idea. The other day I thanked Siri for some directions and it actually responded, “I LIVE TO SERVE”. If that sounded like Tom Hiddleston I would never leave the house.

Been venturing into sculpting for a project I am working on. It’s rough sauce but either way it has been fun to try new mediums even if the outcome is mediocre. Whee!
photo 4

It is still kitten season at the shelter and the other day there were 3 black kittens. I can barely handle the cute and lucky for Josh we have a lease agreement that doesn’t allow more than two cause I could easily become crazy cat lady. All the black cats to me. Case in point? This guy…

Since I got back it has been a whole lot of getting things together. Writing an endless list of Thank You cards to all the right people back in SoCal, uniform acquisitions for the child who grew out of EVERYTHING she owned for school, some art stuff that isn’t completed just yet. To say I am all over the place is an understatement. Have some things to wrap up then it’s on to new ideas.

How do you know you live in the Bay Area? Well, other than the tapped out bank account, this is how you know you live in the Bay Area…

But then again there is always this, which I will never tire of looking at or photographing. I need to walk and ride my bike across it soon. Definitely after Summer though, way too many tourists. Before you get all phone police, I was a passenger while taking this. You would be shocked at how many people I have seen trying to selfie and take photos of this bridge while driving across it. It’s hella scary.

photo 2

I recently surprised my friend and CupKozy diva Dinah with a paper cutting of her likeness as a belated birthday present. I was pretty happy with the outcome. It isn’t a continuous piece but I could not omit her perfectly shaped eyebrow. No way.

photo 3
I recently started a Facebook group called The Skeleton Crew (thanks for the name Michelley!) . It was originally intended to be a page just for me and my friends to gossip about all the up and coming Halloween loot/festivities but I kept getting requests to join so I made it public. Yes, I start looking for Halloween goodies in August and it is the only holiday I don’t mind seeing in stores this early on. So happy to see that so many share my Hallow-enthusiasm.

Also, for you caffeine enthusiasts, Josh discovered that the chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde makes THE BEST iced coffee. I gave it a shot today and boy was he right! Woot! We get ours at World Market.

So on to the meat…

Now that Reza is back in school I can get myself on a more consistent routine. Case in point: the gym. Between kid and my myriad of injuries, I kept away for far more than I should have. I went yesterday for the first time in months and the ouch. It’s a good ouch mind you. Either way I hope to make a dent to some of The Summer Fluff paired with getting back on my anti-inflammatory regimen. I need me time, lots of it.

I guess that is where I say I am happy that Reza is back in school. I love her and being around her, but I also know that without zero downtime, I get edgy really damn quick. I know other Moms judge people like me, for celebrating back to school with enthusiasm. Good on them if they want to be that kind of parent. I just know it isn’t for me. I suffocate if I am constantly running with no time to stop and breathe. I like who I am for the most part and feeling like a square of butter on a loaf isn’t part of my m.o. – if anything, it makes me a horrible, stressed person and in turn a bad wife and mother. Those are two paths I have zero desire to go down. So fuck yes to back to school. Amen.

Otherwise, things at Compound Carley are really good. We have lots more outings in the pipe, seeing friends, potential travel plans – like trying to go to Japan in the Summer, lots of balance. People have been asking me how he has been doing, how I am doing and I cannot be more appreciative of those who have. I figured I would put it out there, give you an update of sorts. Josh has been amazing in the past couple of months and really is working on himself. July was a tough month for us and I am sure it still has its challenges for him but he continues on a good path and I am on the sidelines, cheering him on. His having 2 weeks to himself really gave him the time to soul search and I came back to someone newer. I honestly feel relieved because I was so worried for him and us… but he is taking all of this with 95% seriousness and 5% humor, cause lets face it, it wouldn’t be Josh otherwise. I am hopeful and confident that things will continue to get better and that is really the best I can do other than lead by example. I am happy to see him writing in his blog with more frequency, making music, getting out, reading, being Josh again.

So there you have it.

something wicked

Last year I was incredibly touched by my friend Diana, who sent me a care package filled with lovely and thoughtful gifts for my birthday. Gifts don’t happen as often these days (cough, old lady, cough) and I get it.. money is tight + postage abuse = it adds up. Either way, it was really sweet and I knew the day would come I could return the favor.

A couple weeks ago Reza and I found ourselves at one of those “paint your own ceramics” establishments, so she could paint a mug for Father’s Day. I decided to not waste any time and painted a mug for Diana’s birthday this week and this is what resulted….

Should you wish to give this kind of thing a whirl, here are a couple tips:

– Bring your own brushes if you want better detail work. Most of the brushes these places have are horribly beat up and they don’t allow you to get in finer detail work.

– Most paints require multiple coats to get a more vibrant/dark color when fired.

– If painting on the inside, keep in mind if the person is right or left handed so the inside design faces them. (I figured that one out a little late in the game)

Three dimensional items really aren’t my forte but I did the best I could given the tools I had. I am pretty happy with it! I just had to hold off sharing it until she got it in the mail… and it arrived today! Just in time for her birthday. Happy Birthday Diana! xo

spooky art, costumes and back pain. oh my!

Excuse my quiet. Last week I seem to have picked up some funky bug that had me laid up for days with what felt like a horrible ear infection. I pretty much rode it out and it took all week. It was a real bummer cause I had to miss seeing Broods which we already had tickets for. Josh went though and he was nice enough to get the band to write me a little note.

On top of that I seem to have jacked up my lower back and no amount of chiropractic adjustments have helped. Today I broke down for a 90 minute massage and while relaxing, really hurt in spots. I hope some of whatever is going on back there gets hashed out, cause being in constant pain isn’t fun and makes me a pissy bitch. Add PMS to that. I am all kinds of fun.

This past weekend was Bats Day and I sat here with total Missing Out-itis. Mainly cause it would have been nice to see some friends, go to Disneyland and see how people responded to my artwork. Now that I am able to share, here are some work in progress shots of two of the pieces I submitted to the Haunted Icons show for Bats Day 2014. These were a lot of fun!

This one seems to be the favorite piece of the bunch which was actually two oval shaped frames and the silhouettes are reversed, meaning, I had a square piece of paper and cut out the negative space. I wish I had a better photo cause when I took the photos, I shot them facing each other. Derp. Their new owner is going to send me better pix soon. (Thanks Derek!)

The final, framed versions can be viewed over in my gallery.

Reza’s school participated in the Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Rose Parade this past weekend. She goes to a French immersion school and they have many kids representing all over the globe so they thought it would be cool to let them wear “cultural dress”. I decided Reza, who seems to think she isn’t Mexican (oh hell no), was going as a Dia De Los Muertos catrina. Two days, two craft stores, forever 21 and a glue gun later, I managed to get a decent costume out of the deal. 90 minutes of hair and make-up later, she was done. Boy did she eat the attention up… almost too much for her own good. Apparently lots of the local press were taking photos of them and can’t say I blame them cause their whole row was like a live action It’s A Small World. Oh boy, I just discovered she made the news. Ham.

Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 5.19.47 PM

She is out of school next week. Already. Hard to believe I am the mom of a soon to be second grader. Where does the time go? DAMN.


Lots going on in Wine Country! I have no inclination to put this in any form of chronological order but here is the awesome that has been served up this way in the past couple of weeks.

First off, our homies Dave, Kelley and their wonderful nuggets were road trippin’ across the state and we were able to meet up with them for not only wonderful company but the most amazing sushi dinner we had had in ages. I love friend you don’t see for a while and when you get together, you are able to pick up exactly where you left off. LOVE. THEM.

This is the beauty about being so close to SF: we get to see a lot of friends cause people actually want to come here! We have seen more loved ones in the past year than we did in the 2 years we were on the East Coast. It has been wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, we are about to get hit with a week in the 70-90’s. Delicious.

With Coachella spanning two weeks of April, it brought A LOT of talent to the state and this month was a parade of shows. More shows than we could afford or had time for, really. On April 15th there were THREE shows we could have gone to! That night we took Reza to see The Knife and it was a complete blast cause not only did she hang like a trooper, but it was rad to hang out with our kid on that level. Jason & Eryc came up from San Diego and we all took The Fox by storm with our bunny ears.

Josh and I got to see The National a couple nights ago, again, another brilliant show. They sounded absolutely amazing. Sadly we were unprepared for the clusterfuck that was trying to find parking at UC Berkeley. It was a hot mess and Josh got all kinds of mangro over it. We missed most of the opener and by the time we rolled in there was nowhere to sit. Needless to say now we know a little better. We’ve been in the Bay Area almost a year (can you believe it!!? I CAN’T) and there are still things we are learning about. Flow of traffic and lack of parking for starters.

All this concert going has been interesting cause it just boggles my mind how people pay good money to go to these shows and spend it on their phones the entire time. For some reason I am a magnet to these assholes too… usually in the form of the dumb, drunk chick who thinks everyone wants to listen to her sing off key while she plays with her phone and talks to her friends. I had a rad video clip of the whole place singing to The National and the whore next to me and her twangy country singing and wooing ruined it. Ladies, for the love of god, shut your holes or stay home.

Record Store Day came and went… man, what a debacle. I got lucky enough to get one of the three ††† EPs that were sold that day. I asked some guy who had it if I could see it, he didn’t even know who they were and he just picked it up like a lot of people do, just to list the shit on eBay. Maybe he felt sorry for me but he told me I could keep it. Yellow had to be procured on ebay and a friend was nice enough to procure the blue one for me in Seattle. I know, I’m a total Chino Moreno STAN. And then there was the lady giving me the laser eyes of death cause I got the last Muppet Movie soundtrack. She followed me around the store! What a nut job.

The other day Josh asked me what I had going on for the day. I said there were no plans and he pushed me to go do something fun like antique hunting. Well twist my arm! I managed to be extra lucky on my hunt that day. That scalpel print was meant to be mine.

Here are many of the awesome goodies I spied… and only spied.

I started going to the gym again. I couldn’t pass up a $10 a month deal. Honestly I wish it was a pilates studio but that shit is way too rich for my blood. The frequency and duration of my visits depends on how my joints are feeling but I am doing my best to maintain a routine of some sort and get the blood pumping. I haven’t really talked about it much cause it’s not my m.o. to go on a preachy spree. Accountability is great but the most accountability I need is toward myself. I am just trying to focus on the doing and not so much on the numbers or setting myself up with unrealistic goals, it isn’t good for my headspace. I will say this though, my moods have improved greatly since I started exercising more regularly. I have a follow up appointment with my Dr in August and I would like to see an improvement in my lab work results. But hey, if my clothes fit better and the boobs shrink, I won’t complain 🙂

Art Show! Flyers came in the mail! For more info on art show you can go to the Gallery 999 website. I am counting down the days I can share my pieces with you.

Speaking of doing things again, I am back to posting on Twitter. I just find myself having all these one liners that aren’t fb material. If you are so inclined to see my banter, you can follow me there.

We have been trying to get out and see the sights while hiking. A couple weeks ago we went to Taylor Mtn. and got our green/oxygen on. It’s nice having all these places close by and it gets us out of the house.

Yet another year has gone by that my dude has suffered Hockey Playoff Heartbreak at the expense of the St. Louis Blues. While I am glad the playoff beard is gone, it’s a bummer to see him let down. I’d deal with the beard if it made him happy. Oh well, there is always next year.

I should be drawing more but haven’t. I did manage to squeeze out a couple nuggets though so the creek hasn’t dried up just yet. I have some ideas brewing.

Larger versions can be viewed over on my flickr set

So yeah, save for some dental malarkey I have been dealing with, April has been awesome sauce!

wicked stitches

It’s funny how the world can be so small. Over the years I have made some very awesome connections, from all kinds of backgrounds and parts of the world. Designers, makers, models, artists of all kinds and I mean ALL KINDS, parents.. You name it I probably know someone who does it. Blogging has facilitated a lot of these connections that in many cases I probably wouldn’t have. In sharing my world, people in turn welcome me to theirs.

One of my long time e-friends Alyson hit me up last week and told me she had these rad dolls she had and was ready to pass on. She immediately thought of Reza and asked if I felt she would like them. One photo and I was sold. What I was not prepared for was when I opened the box to this…

DUDE. Reza was out at an Easter party when they arrived but when she saw them, it was instant love. Can’t say I blame her. The little couple are Azazel & Doyle. They came with those names. The priest didn’t have a name but Reza named him Constantine.

This is how I found her last night, piled up with her new spookies, her usual stack of books in the bed and her faithful tuxedo cat at her feet.

Funny enough, I shared them on Instagram and another one of my e-friends happened to know who made them. Small world. Apparently Brandon is retired from making them but his name was passed on, I dropped him a fb message to give him some kudos. After pleading my case of encouragement he says he may consider making them again… I said if he does, I want a nun.

And Alyson, who always manages to send me awesome boxes with goodies and dead things? Well, I got something planned for her cause awesome is only repaid with awesome. Thank you!

SF in Photos

Lucky is the day where I have a lot of time to myself to wander around San Francisco, with camera in tow and with gorgeous weather? HORRIBLE.

The easiest way for us to get in to the city, is driving across the Golden Gate bridge. It’s a $6 toll mind you but well worth it. On the way in there are a few places where you can park and overlook the bay. It is usually packed with cars and tourists but on a Friday morning, it was solemn, flat and gorgeous.

I was kind of in a shitty mood when I got there but every time I see this bridge, it reminds me that we are back in CA and just how grateful I am to no longer be on the East Coast. My bad mood was instantly lifted.

After hopping in the car I just took turns without plans, ending up at Baker Beach. I collected a couple of nuggets for my letterpress drawer including this chunk of seaweed that ended up drying out really cool.

Having grown up in Southern CA and Mexico, I have always had proximity and a connection to the Pacific. I don’t know what it is but being near a body of water has always been important to me. The Atlantic never filled that hole. It always felt grey and angry. Surprisingly enough, we had not been to the beach since we moved back to CA in July and this was the first time I got to set foot on her shores again. It was very quiet and there were very little people there. I thought about putting music on my headphones but then I stopped myself cause the sound of the ocean was all I needed. I was standing there, not paying attention and in an odd timing, she came up and kissed my toes… like a long time friend, reacquainting herself.

After finding a few shards of sea glass and some dead lady bugs, I hopped back in the car and headed to The Mission district. The cherry blossoms seem to be a little confused by the weather cause they are already starting to show their colors all over the city. Sure, it’s January but I can’t say no to the sakura, they’re my favorite.

I stopped in a couple really cute stationery stores and an art gallery where I got some new names of artists to look up. While wandering around I managed to stumble onto Paxton Gate by complete accident. I have visited the Portland store and both are nothing but short of amazing. Lots of beautiful oddities, bones, bugs, books… but definitely not the kind of place to go when you are on a strict budget. BOO!

While there I came across the most incredible artist named Lisa Wood, who makes these amazing, miniature dioramas with real insects. Absolutely fantastic. Next time I am in the city I want to check out her studio/shop The Woods. Give the links a look, all of her artsy endeavors are pretty cool.

(photo by Lisa Wood Curiosities)

A couple more photos from The Mission…

Yesterday we came back in to show our friend Mike around… like a trip to Twin Peaks and Japantown for a nice bowl of necessary ramen. Holy hell I love this city.

The rest of my photos can be viewed here

DIY: a drawer of secrets and curiosities

It is painfully obvious that I am a collector of knick knacks and oddities. A couple years ago I finally decided to make a cabinet to display them all. Over the years I have outgrown my cabinet with all of my little treasures, especially with the tiny things that just don’t get displayed properly.

Many years ago, I picked up a vintage letterpress drawer on ebay. This was way before it became a “thing” and way before I turned into an antique hunting junkie. Either way, it has been used once before to put a lot of Reza’s small toys and now… well, I took it back and decided to give it a little life and this is what happened…

(click photo to view bigger)

So what do you need to make something like this? I will show you!

1 letterpress drawer
Several scraps of awesome paper (I used scrapbook paper from Halloween and vintage spelling pads)
Double stick tape
x-acto knife/scissors
flathead screwdriver, hammer, drill and mounting kit
Lots of awesome collectibles, tchotchkes and treasures.

I won’t lie, this is not a cheap endeavor because of all the magic that goes in it. A lot of it is years worth of collecting… and a drawer can run you anywhere from $40 and up, most of which I have seen in the $50-100 range depending where you get it.

This is what the drawer looked like before.

With the flathead, you want to dig up and remove all of the nails on the backing. It’s a pain in the ass but well worth it. Once all the nails are removed, you want to gently pry it apart. This is what it would look like.

If you got a particularly crusty antique on your hands, dust it off with a rag prior to continuing the project. Careful when handling it because the slots/partitions can come out/apart. My drawer had some slots that were very small, too many, so I pulled out some of the dividers to open up more space for larger items.

Set the frame aside and lay down the backing, front side up. This is the fun yet tedious part… take your papers and lay them across to map out where you would like to put them. The cool part is the back had the spaces kinda worn in so I could make better planning when it came to what papers I wanted where. Stick them down with double sided tape so you can reposition accordingly. You can glue if you want to but I didn’t in case I want to change the papers and the frame will hold them down anyway.

You with me up to this part? Cool. Pick up your frame and place over the backing just to see if everything is placed where you would like it, then remove once more. If you need to reposition and switch things up, now is the time.

Gently flip over your backing and cut off any trim or excess papers off the back and then reassemble the drawer.

I was lucky enough to get one that already had the mounting hardware on it. If yours doesn’t have some, some screws and picture frame wire would suffice. Mount on the wall! You will need to screw in some of the corners to the wall in order to keep it nicely anchored.

Then the fun part… fill with treasures and revel in the awesomenesss.

the little things…

Happy 2014 friends! I know a lot of people come into the new year with high hopes that it will only be better than its predecessor. Some will come into it with clear intention, some not so much… so I made a list that could help kick start your thought process!

  • Learn how to do something new. Hobbies, recipes, languages, you get the picture. We are creatures of comfort, break out of that mold.
  • Have some free time? Volunteer it! Be it with critters, people, helping a non-profit.
  • If your health permits, sign up to be a marrow donor with Be The Match or donate some blood. Life is a gift! As a recipient of a life saving transfusion, I thank you in advance.
  • Tell people you love them ALL THE TIME. We may know, but it’s also nice to be reminded.
  • All those people on Facebook who do nothing but piss you off or irritate you? Hide or remove them even! Seriously. We all have differences of opinions and not everyone is going to jive with you. IT’S OK. Your reading their feed does not equate friendship or love.
  • Unsubscribe from websites and mailing lists you no longer or rarely patronize. It’s a pain in the ass at times but think of all the bombardment you will be avoiding!
  • Do not underestimate the power of a candlelit bath, in silence or with your preferred music of choice.
  • Snail mail! I cannot stress this one enough… That note or postcard you send means a lot more than your e-mail, text or Facebook wall birthday post.
  • Do something for someone who cannot repay you. Revel in the magic that is giving without receiving.
  • Carry a pocket sized journal on you, write down the good you experienced that day. Go back and read it when you are having a bad day.
  • Speak the truth. The only person you fool is yourself and lying is toxic… no one likes that business.
  • Don’t wait anymore. You may never get that chance again. Use this rule wherever it applies best.
  • Revel in nature. Hike, climb, skip stones on ponds, collect rocks and leaves. The outdoors is the best therapy you can get… and it’s FREE.
  • Get a library card. You would be so surprised how many people don’t have one! Make it a habit to go and check out some books, real ones, none of this kindle bullshit.
  • Avoid the comments sections to news articles online. Let’s face it, they’re always full of trolls, stupid and ignorant people. Spare yourself the rise in blood pressure. Arguing with strangers on the internet is about as useful as giving a fish a bicycle for xmas.
  • Put more value in your health. Not everyone may be as lucky and they would probably kill to have the health you complain about.
  • Listen to music on your headphones while errand running & grocery shopping. The grocery store is a whole new place when you are blasting some Prince or Cameo in your ears. Word up.
  • Humility, humility, humility. It’s great to like “you”, like what you do, but don’t be a dick about it.
  • Pay attention to those who love you, forgive those who have hurt you, remove those who do not serve or benefit your existence.
  • Learn and master the art of saying NO. So many times we find ourselves living to please others, and at our own expense no less. It’s time to say yes to yourself. And don’t feel bad about it either!

Need more ideas? You can read last year’s list as well.