Photography

Christmas 2014: Beach Time, Internet Detox, and Home Organization

It’s been a while since I posted but I consciously did a bit of a “internet detox” this holiday season. My family was off school and work and I, miraculously, was off work for 10 days! I have several jobs but the main one is typing charts for a busy doctor’s office, so time off is very hard to come by. I’m so grateful to have steady work and to be able to work from home – between playing kid taxi, ya’ feel me? – so I’m not complainin’ just explainin’. Ha! I’m usually on the computer pretty much around the clock for work and family stuff, even entertainment, so it was nice to just step away for a while. Have you done an internet detox?

We spent some glorious time at the beach with extended family and I really recharged my batteries. There’s nothing like sea air, crashing waves, great food, and family that loves you unconditionally <3. I took loads of photos but here is my favorite: IMG_5596

The rest of the time was filled with typical Christmas break stuff: Last minute shopping and wrapping, making our traditional Italian dinner for Christmas, opening presents, visiting nearby family, going to movies (“Wild” awesome! “Unbroken” disappointing, boo hoo), reading books by the fire, and lazing around with my family. {We’re binge watching “Blue Bloods”, an awesome show for families to watch together}. Needless to say, it was the best of times 😀

I also got the organizing bug and managed to clean out 2 bedrooms, 3 closets, a cabinet, and the kitchen pantry. My bookshelf sorely needed attention – here, see for yourself:

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Yes, that’s a lot of books! But believe or not, this is the “purged” version 🙂 About once a year, I go through it to make sure I still want all these lovelies. I adore having my own little library – in addition to the one inside my Kindle – and often re-read and loan books out. In the end, I removed 6 hardcover books which, ironically, were none of my own books but ones I had borrowed and forgotten to return. So there’s something else for the To Do List 2015: Try to remember who loaned me what and return them!

Here is the final result:

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Eh, at least it’s an improvement, sagging shelves and all, LOL. It’s mostly fiction but some non-fiction, too. I mainly organize alphabetically by author. This time, I also grouped together all books that have to do with Italy/Europe whether fiction or non. Sometimes I get “in the Italy mood” and this will make it easier to find a good read. I also grouped together weight loss/motivation books, both fiction and non-fiction, for the same reason. Anyway, I’m happy with the results and predict that at the end of 2015, I’ll be doing it all again!

Also on the organizing front, I got my 2015 Dayplanner refill and penciled in all of 2015 with school calendars, birthdays, sports events, and business things; now that feels good! I also found a pretty little journal at Ross while I was Christmas shopping. I can’t find it online but it’s similar to THIS ONE on Amazon . . .

Amazing Grace journal

. . . except the flowers are more like pink roses and it says, “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” Inside are lined pages with a Bible verse at the bottom of each one. I’m hoping to start a new habit of daily journaling – just real basic “what’s the haps”. Also, I’d like a place to keep random notes and perhaps cut down on my Post It Note addiction 😉

So, what was your favorite part of Christmas vacation 2014? Did you get any home projects done or just enjoy your family, friends, and down time? I hope it was a little of both and I’d LOVE to hear from you!

Travel Photos: Sacramento, CA – Fall 2014

When I think of Sacramento, I think of rivers. It’s the capital city of California and it grew up around where two major rivers meet: the American River and the Sacramento River. So pretty much anywhere you go in town, you’re never too far from one of them. This is looking up the Sacramento River with the American right behind me, at Discovery Park. There are lots more photos of this amazing park below.

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We stayed in one the many Victorian mansions that have been converted into hotels and B&B’s. They do a lot of weddings at this one; here’s the lobby.

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We headed to Old Sacramento and had lunch on the Delta King . . . oh so nice to sit on the water, in the warm sunshine, and enjoy a nice meal and cold drink. We watched the Tower Bridge lift up so a boat could cruise under. This bridge for years was always more of a deep orange color but they now paint it gold and I’m not a fan of the new look 🙁

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There’s a great Railroad Museum in Old Sac. We didn’t make it there but this Mr. Train was posing for us outside the Delta King.

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We made a stop at Sock City. Yep, a store with nothing but socks! It was crazy and all I could think was, “I’m so glad I don’t work here!” Can you imagine?? “Do you have any socks with Scotty dogs?” “Do you have socks with ballerinas?” “Where are your San Francisco Giants socks??” Oh my gosh, I would panic! Now I know I saw those somewhere …. ha!

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Next was a funky store called Evangeline. This store has been here since the 80s and I visit every time I come to Old Sac. They have the most fun, funky, crazy things here. It’s like eye candy overload, with Technicolor tutus, gag gifts, books, signs, etc. We were there before Halloween and about half the store was COSTUMES! If I lived in Sacramento, Evangeline is definitely where I would shop for Halloween or costume parties.

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(I can’t wait to get an iPhone 6; hopefully the quality of my “on-the-go” photos will be better next time!)

On our way back to the parking garage by the Tower Bridge, we made a last stop at the candy store, Candy Heaven. You can take free samples (well, within reason).

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This creepy clown is watching you the whole time, so don’t take TOO much free candy!

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Back to Discovery Park . . . the tranquil rivers, trees, bridges, and amazing colors . . .

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Sacramento, CA is a very picturesque town. We’d planned to go to the State Capitol building and Capital Park but our trip was cut short. As a photo-taker, I was totes bummed. Oh well, there will be a next time! Hope you enjoyed some photos of this pretty town.

Have you been to Sacramento? What were your favorite sites?

#30DaysOfThankful: What Is it and What’s the Plan?

To go along with one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place – paying more attention to gratitude and the GOOD things in life when there is so much to bring us down – I’ve decided to participate for the first time in “30 Days of Thankful” (#30DaysOfThankful). With Thanksgiving coming in the US, it’s the time of year we tend to be more thoughtful anyway.


*Image via TheTomKatStudio.com

If you’re a scrapbooker like me me, you may have heard of CATHY Z’s VERSION {I just love that tiny 4×4 WRMK album, don’t you?}. A message board I’m on is doing this as a challenge for a prize – which would be lovely to win but that’s not what’s motivating me 😉

The challenge is to post something we’re grateful for on each of the 30 days in November. With your list of gratitudes, you can do many things, such as:

– Make a mini album
– Share on social media
– Make a scrapbook layout
– Share the list with your family
– Write a daily PROJECT LIFE CARD & pair with a photo for a quick album

Or anything else you’d like to do!

I have 2 other journaling-heavy memorykeeping projects going on right now so I’m not going to attempt a mini album or anything intensive. I think I’ll make my daily post on the message board, then compile those into a weekly post here on my blog. I think a daily post here would overwhelm the blog, LOL.

I’ll share my daily posts on Twitter – because gratitude begets gratitude (hopefully), right? I also created a PINTEREST BOARD to gather inspiration for this project. Stuff like this, from Cathy Z, who I mentioned above:

I’d love to have you join in – it’s a Pinterest group board! Just email me your first name/last name or the email address you use with Pinterest, and I’ll add you – send to: erika(at)blessednotlucky(dot)com.

Have you participated in “30 Days of Thankful” before? What form did you use and what was the experience like? Will you do it this year? I’d love to hear your plans!

Blogging: Why I Started the “Blessed Not Lucky” Blog

So. This is a fairly new blog, just a few months old and not many entries yet. I have lots of work to do – publishing posts and getting my blog to look the way I want it to – but I’m so happy to have gotten started!

I’ve actually been blogging since 2007 and have two other active blogs – one about my hobby and one for my work-at-home business (transcriber / blogger / virtual assistant).

I *love* blogging which brings together two of my favorite things to do . . . 1. Writing and 2. sharing about the things I love:

– photos
– music
– gratitudes
– writing
– blogging
– weight loss
– travel
– etc.

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Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

Obviously, those aren’t things I get to talk about much on my other blogs – because those are very focused on the topics at hand. I don’t like to mix in too much personal stuff on them because it dilutes their purpose.

But I keep finding myself frustrated that I can’t write or share about all my favorite things listed above. Dang.

So I decided to start THIS blog – “Blessed Not Lucky” – where I could talk about all that fun stuff. I also very much want to connect with other bloggers and blog readers.

Along with all this, I love to laugh about the absurdities of life and have a very sarcastic sense of humor. So we are gonna’ have us some fun!

My dream is for this blog to get better and better, to make some new friends, and to express myself in a more creative way than I’ve been able to in the past.

What’s in it for you? Well, I hope you enjoy reading what I share. I hope you feel blessed by my blog. I hope I make you laugh so hard that coffee shoots out your nose 😀

Wish me luck and I hope you’ll become a regular reader! Do we have anything in common? What types of things do YOU like to read about? I would absolutely LOVE IT if you’d leave a comment below . . .