Happy Thanksgiving Day today to you all. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season this year!
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving, the holiday of gratitude everyone!
I have a lot to be grateful for, especially as it pertains to my family. Earlier this week we lost my maternal grandmother, Anita. I am grateful for the time I have had with her. With her 9 kids and 27 grandchildren and the fact that she most often lived out of state, It may seem improbable, but I always felt genuinely loved by my grandmother. And not in a generally sweeping “you’re my grandkid and therefore I love you” sort of way, but in a “you’re Danielle Laura, daughter of Mary Ann and Harold and I see your humor and silliness and sweetness and I love you for it” specific, and real sort of way. For that feeling, I will always be grateful.
As is common with a loss, one becomes more acutely aware of how lucky they are for their family. In fact, how lucky I am, I’ve come to realize, simply to have a mother and father at all, let alone two who love me and are always there for me. Not to mention, just a brief car ride away. How lucky I am to have 2 brothers who have always been my best friends too and that one of them gave me a sister-in-law that always just felt more like a sister.
And how lucky I am to have found a husband who was endeared to even my most complex and unattractive qualities, enough to declare that he wanted to be with me forever, and how lucky am I that it so happened that he was also the one I wanted to be with forever?! And how lucky am I that he come with a family with an amazing set of parents and sisters, but also a tremendously loving extended family too.
I’ve come to understand more clearly that family are the people who you can truly count on to be there for you, and perhaps even, the only ones you can really truly count on.
I am grateful because I know that I have that. I know that, if I have a joy to share, or conversely, that I have a sorrow or pain to vent. If I have behaved badly or if I, or one of my brothers, is going through a tough time, I know that my family is going to be there, even if it makes life complicated, or tough, or even just annoying, we will be there. Truth is, you can’t really count on others as reliably.
More than that, no matter what we put each other through, I know I can count on my family to support each other and also, to ultimately leave judgement behind.
So, when considering what I am thankful for this holiday there is not doubt it is for my family: my father Harold, my mother Mary Ann, my husband Westleigh, my brothers HJ and Donald, sister in laws, Lisa, Val and Ky, mother in law Mary and father in law, Mickey and for all of our extended family, I am very grateful and thankful.
Also this year, I’ll be thinking about my aunt Rose on Thanksgiving. My aunt was born and raised in the Philippines and came over here upon meeting and marrying my uncle in the 60′s. With the recent Typhoon, she lost some family members and the ones that were spared are enduring much devastation and tough times ahead and while I am grateful that she was here and spared, I know she must feel so sad not to be able to be with and care for her family and friends that she loves so dearly in her beloved hometown.
On this Thanksgiving, I do not want to take anything for granted. The roof over my head, the food on our table and the family I get to share it with…(both my own and wes’s.)
….and of course the doggy who will be by my side for it all
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
What are you grateful/thankful for today?
With Wes and I both working for ourselves, we do try to strategically carve out time to take ourselves out of the cycle of work and out of life’s necessary routines to just change our speed a little.
Being that it is Fall in Northeast Ohio, it’s one of the best times of year then to head East. We spent some time out in Middlefield, Burton and at Punderson State Park for some hiking. It was a beautiful day to be outside soaking in some fresh air, and perhaps the last remaining rays of sunshine we’ll see for the year.
Last night, Mr. Harper and I participated in one of Haunted Cleveland’s “Ghost Tours”. Our particular tour was at the Erie Street Cemetery. We have certainly been through this cemetery before but it was pretty fun to be in it during the cover of night AND during the Halloween season.
While it was really more of a history tour (right up my alley anyhow) than a haunted tour, we had fun, and were really glad we went, even though we both had a tremendous amount of work to get done.
Our guide walked us through the cemetery, sharing it’s history and the history of it’s more notorious residents. Also on hand was a coffin, replicating the style of coffin that would have been most common there (if there was even a coffin used at all, that is!) and everyone on the tour took a turn through the coffin with one tour guest actually getting shut into it and stayed in there, in the pitch dark for five minutes ( I would NEVER have done that, how claustrophobic i’d be!).
One thing that struck me as surprising was that there are conflicting reports but said to be anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 bodies in that (relatively) small cemetery! What was a little scary to me was that the ground, everywhere was SO SOFT that you just felt that it would give at any moment and open up and swallow me up! I suspect it’s because everywhere you walk there are bodies under foot.
image via here.
Good morning to you! Rainy Wednesday here in Cleveland. Lately I find myself trying to hold onto my precious early morning routine from summer. Unfortunately the increasing darkness of the Fall morning and the decreasing temperatures, make for the perfect temptation to stay in bed, wrapped up like a cocoon!
It makes me recall a book I read recently: The Power of Habit. I have been wondering why it is that habit that has been active and consistent for 6 months would suddenly start to break down and reflecting back on this book, my theory is that the cue has changed.
The recipe of a habit is: CUE, ROUTINE, REWARD. For me, my ROUTINE (read: habit) of rising early and my subsequent activities was CUED by the sunshine and warm spring, then summer breezes through my bedroom window. Yes, it did start with an alarm, but after a short while, that hardly mattered because my body knew to wake at 7 each day (and so did Bucci!).
I have attempted the alarm again, but it has not quite been working. I mean, I get up, but very begrudgingly. So, what I have surmised is that my CUE has changed. There are no more Sunny, springy, fresh breeze filled mornings. They are dark. Like, nearly as black as night, and they are cold and the windows are closed so there are no fresh breezes. It’s hard to find a new CUE when without the bright sunrise, what is the real difference between getting up at 7am or in the middle of the night?
So, I will ponder this thought and consider one of those Sharper Image type alarms which emulate sunshine or something too, but, in the meantime, I will ponder gratitude…what is it that I am feeling grateful for this week?
In the immediate, I can say, that I am grateful that my friend Shibani is so thoughtful and generous that months ago when Wes and I were leaving their house in the midst of a torrential rain, she lent us her gigantic golfer-sized umbrella. I am grateful for that today as I used that very umbrella on the long rainy walk from my car to my office this morning.
I am feeling grateful for being born and raised (with a small hiatus) in the town (CLEVELAND!!) that I currently live in. It occurred to me recently that while Cleveland is a much larger city than the small town my parents currently live in and I spent time living in: chagrin falls, there are some strong similarities in the way of life. If you’ve lived here long or are a more outgoing type of person…you can know the names of the shop owners and restaurant owners you patronize, you can read the paper and know many of the names you see across it’s pages, if you’re a die hard renter like me you can move into places previously occupied or owned by people you know or have met through someone you know, you can jump in – get involved and feel your impact on your own community. You can take a public park and make it your own back yard, These are things that (to me anyhow) sounds like life in a small town. Cleveland is my small town and for that I am grateful.
Today, I am also grateful that there are not only endless ‘destinations’ in life, but an infinite number of paths too. I find it interesting to share and hear from others, stories about what we are learning about life, new approaches to goals, new goals, what works/what doesn’t work, and lessons learned along the way. You know what I mean? You talk to coworkers about your cooking attempts, friends over wine about some of life’s bigger challenges and to your mom on the phone about this or that…It’s interesting to learn from others and for that, I am grateful. But beyond this I am grateful that there is NOT ONE SINGULAR ROUTE we are all too take. What works for you doesn’t always for me. It may another day but it’s ok if it’s not right now. We take different paths, we select different ‘destinations’. There is no wrong way. To me, anyhow, if it seems I am on the slow path towards something, if it seems like everyone around me is passing me by, it’s not that I am lesser, or that I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, it’s that I am on a different journey. I am learning my own way OR it is something that is simply less a priority for me or not a priority at all. We all have a habit of projecting our goals, our destinations onto everyone and anyone else. I am grateful to know and understand that there are infinite approaches to life.
Ok, well, I am also grateful to all the new clients we signed in just the last 2 weeks alone, so grateful in fact, that I better get back to work and prove it!
Thanks for stopping by for the chat today. I always feel so good when I do these gratitude posts. What are you feeling today? Anything above resinate? Ever question your journey relative to others? well, stop.
Since transitioning into the event/wedding industry full time, I have worked really hard to create sharp divisions between my work time and personal time. I HUGE feat for me since I have long been blurring those lines.
As the Creative Director of my events, I am not always at each wedding my company has, or at least, not after their decor has been installed, which is my primary concern. I have amazing Coordinators, head up by the Director of Client Projects, Christen, who have the event day of coordination down to a science and I only get in the way!
So whether my weekends are the traditional days of the week or one’s I turn into my weekend, I have worked hard to turn the computer off, to give my focus to my husband, dog, friends and home. It’s still a work in progress, old habits die hard, but weekend’s like this past one are a great endorsement for prioritizing personal time!
I met up with my friend Charity for some fancy pants nails this weekend. You can see her post on it here. Below, on the left, is the inspiration image I brought into the salon and the result is on the right. Fantasy Nails on W.25th in Ohio City (sorta) brought my dream to life. The only caveat being they couldn’t do the inverse French mani in metallic as I had hoped. Having to choose a color, I went with hot pink. In the image after, you can see how that worked in my favor.
Wes and I play on a football team on Saturday mornings and our team colors are black and neon pink, so we not only won our game but I declare myself a team spirit winner too! I love how Wes insisted that his images be included in the image below so that it was clear that it was not HIS manicure being photographed with his shirt
Lucky us, we know the right people and got a sneak peek (thank you Jennie at RS! )of the vintage gems for sale at this week’s Paprkia Vintage/RS Boutique Fall show. The show is THursday so get it while the gettin’s good!
Wes and I had dinner with both sets of parents at Bar Cento but then snuck in an additional drink over at Great Lakes Brewery, where we noticed the countdown clock to the release of Christmas Ale (omg!).
I know that sometimes buying the right personalized gift can be a serious challenge. Well, one of our recent brides (and my now friend!) hit the nail on the head with her Paris-themed gift package for me as a “Thank you” for helping her design her wedding. How amazingly cute are these custom BUCCI bowls for my little baby, Bucci!?!?! And then below is a Paris from above book Wes and I both loved. So sweet, I tell ya!
We also saw CAPTAIN PHILLIPS this weekend and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! I strongly recommend it, but of course, it’s not a terrific shocker that Tom Hanks did a great job in a film with a great script etc. well, no less, it’s perfect.
Well into the work week again, I look forward to all the fall goodies Wes have planned for our upcoming weekend too. Have a great week everyone and thank you for stopping by!
You know, sometimes time flies when you’re having fun, and sometimes it flies, not when you’re having fun, but when you simply just need more time! My past week was of the latter variety. Every day I worked like mad to get projects and deadlines met and every day I could have used a couple extra waking hours to have felt better.
This was also the first week I missed a gratitude Wednesday blog post. So, I’m going to add in some gratitude at the end of this post, because no matter how difficult my week was and how ungrateful I may have been actually feeling, there is always a new day and a new outlook ahead and beyond that, there is always things to be grateful for, and this week was certainly evidence of that.
So, my crazy week culminated in my first ever half marathon race on Sunday. I have gone to many races to cheer on friends in the past, and never once did I even say to myself “I wish I could do that”. It just never even crossed my mind as something I would want to do.
That is, until this past Spring/Summer when, amidst a great deal of stress, I decided that I needed something positive to shift my focus towards. Additionally, practicing discipline, a great deal of discipline, is something I try to do at least once yearly to get myself back on track. Except, usually that discipline is in the form of a 5 day Juice fast, not a 5-month training program that ends with running 13.1 miles! This was certainly an experience to remember and inspire myself to keep at it.
I am exhausted, but genuinely proud of myself and so happy for having had this experience. In the last month or so I trained a few times with my friends Nicole and Beth. Beth and I ran side by side each and every step of today’s race, despite her ability to run at a much faster pace if it weren’t for me.
Westleigh (AKA Mr. Harper) filmed Beth and I crossing the finish line (check it out below!) and that was truly one of the best moments of my life. I was pretty darn exhausted, and Beth said “ok, let’s sprint this last bit in and finish looking good” and even though my body was like “sprint?!! what?!” I said “ok! let’s do it!” and just as we did, my husband and family came into view. I thought I would break down into tears, i was so so SO very happy to see them. That finish was a moment I won’t soon forget.
I am extremely grateful for the health to have gotten me through this, my first big race today. I had a weird strain to my thigh on Saturday during my weekly football game and was still hurting as I arrived at the starting line, but somehow it didn’t impact my running. I was able to push through and ultimately ignore it altogether to get myself over the finish line. I am lucky that was all that was in my way, otherwise being in good health.
I am sure that technically I could have finished the race had I run it alone (my original plan), but having had Beth’s optimism and conversation keeping me company (and distracting me when necessary) not only got me through a challenging run, but made it fun too. We just talked and talked, her walking me through recipes of her fall favorites and asking me about work, no matter the topic, it was distracting me from thinking about how tired I may have been getting or how much longer the race still was. Gratitude would be an understatement.
This past Friday was Westleigh’s birthday. I’d be crazy not feel grateful for the day he was born as I can’t fathom a better fit for me or a better person to have by my side for this crazy ride called life.
Memorable weekend for sure, Wes’s birthday night out with friends, our Saturday football game and Sunday’s half marathon. I am grateful for a really positive and fun end to an otherwise challenging week.
Thanks again for stopping by and letting me share my half marathon with you. I appreciate your visits.
If you would like to see the photoshoot I styled a few months back, which has been published today on the beautiful wedding blog: Oh Lovely Day then stop by my other blog here or directly to Oh Lovely Day for pictures.
have a great week!
Good afternoon friends! Thank you so much for stopping by, wish I could offer you a cup of tea or coffee!
I know many of us are frustrated by the government shut down. I have been training for my first half marathon for 5 months and it is now on hold due to the government shut down because it is in a national park. Another friend has some rather stressful visa issues that are now up in the air because of it.
With such frustrations, it’s extra special important to take the time to list out a few things we ARE grateful for.
Today, as I reflect back on the past week and the rest of this one, a few of the things that come to mind are:
*Right now, I am grateful for the book I am currently reading: Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind by 99U by Behance as it is full of sage advice on the very topic I feel I need the most assistance with at the moment, and it is assembled in a concise enough way that someone with an unbalanced routine needs in order to find the time to read it! It really is a gem! I have been experimenting with different routines and am getting closer to settling into one which respects the rhythms of my life and work and I am grateful for the way this book is helping me get there and certainly recommend it.
*I am grateful that we have the cuddliest dog in the entire world. I love that even as I type this very sentence, she is snuggled up against me. (the picture below is the current scene over here as I type:)
* I am grateful for the work I get to do. I am in the midst of a re-brand and don’t talk too much about the specifics of how my new company is unfolding other than a little about the weddings we are doing. But I’ll certainly be sharing more about the next chapters of this business when we get our logos and new site finalized. With the addition of my new Manager, Christen, who is in charge of managing the weddings & parties side, I am able to spend more time developing the other half of DeBoe Studio. (BTW, that is the company’s new name, more on that later). With half the company being the Weddings & Parties side, the other half, is the Special Projects side, which I am managing. This is where I get to explore potential new creative projects, and where my new ebook: “PUT TOGETHER” was conceived, where we are producing our DIY Bridal and party workshop happening late Winter and where various other Creative direction projects are born out of. Basically, I am exceedingly grateful for the diversity of projects I get to work on.
* I am grateful for the abundance of resources available to learn anything you want to learn! For example, the work I do requires the employment of graphic design in almost every single aspect of the work we do. It is essential. Yet, we cannot afford an in-house graphic designer and we cannot afford to pay someone to do EVERYTHING we need done. So, at least there are resources such as Lynda and Skillshare, where I can pay a small fee, invest some time and develop some base line skills. It wasn’t that long ago where these such resources weren’t even available to me so for them, I am grateful.
* I am grateful for the building I get to come to for work everyday. It’s a pretty cool building in and of itself, but I love having a studio to spread out in, to invite people into, to work on projects within and even to socialize from.
Feeling frustrated by the shut down? having a bad day for another reason? I promise it helps to spend some time shifting your focus onto things, which you are grateful for. Remember this post about it?
So, what are you grateful for today? It doesn’t have to be a deep thought, if you don’t feel you have the time to really put into, just think of surface level simple things, but experience some gratitude. I promise you’ll feel better.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you may know I’ve been working very hard on a number of personal development areas. Back in July or so, I bought this eCourse, a 15-step program towards identifying and “shattering” your goals. The approach taken in this course is effective for my style of learning. I loved it and worked hard on each step until the result was a tangible list of priorities and goals ranging from obvious to surprising. I have taken steps to readjust my work priorities, to bring in extra help where it was needed and carve out the time to do the projects, which had previously been stuck in the “perhaps one rainy day” file.
Well, with this goal program, I took a closer look at all the various little projects that I have dreamt up and pushed aside over the years. They were pushed aside for all manner of reasons, but most typically there wasn’t enough time or money…or for whatever reason, their timing was just off and they weren’t deemed ‘important’ use of my time to work on them.
As part of all of my efforts towards working smarter, getting a better handle on time management and taking the fresh start opportunity of having a new company to define what it is I really want to be doing, I’ve carved out time for special projects, just like this one. And, wonder of wonders, I made the time and voila! I made the project!
“The project” is one that had been pushed aside for years, an eBook on personal style. I have spent the last (over) 10 years working as a buyer or in some facet of design. As an entrepreneur I’ve watched my income fluctuate, incidentally I’ve also seen my weight fluctuate. I have had to develop brand identities, purchase not just my own personal wardrobe for a season but the entire offering of two woman’s apparel stores. Throughout all of this, I’ve learned some adaptable processes and tips (and common pitfalls!) for defining your own personal style and for assembling a wardrobe in an efficient manner.
I’m so excited to be able to check one of my listed goals off the list. The eBook I’ve written is the first of a few I’ve got line up. I’ve put together a teaser about it below. It will be for sale here and here as soon as it is ready (sometime between October 5-10th).
I hope you will find this helpful, and I would be so grateful if you would consider spending the $28 to see if it can ultimately save you a lot more. This program offers a truly valuable benefit for anyone. That was important to me. If I could prevail upon you for one more thing, please consider sharing this promotional notice on your social network.
Thank you for all of your support!
There was something very ‘amusement park’ about the experience, with the sci-fi fonts reminiscnent of Cedar Point’s “Disaster Transport” (RIP!) and all the water being forced through various tunnels and channels felt an awful lot like being in line for a water ride, only not a water ride ANYONE would EVER want to actually be on!
So, after leaving the tour, we went home, got showered (we actually went to that tour immediately following our Saturday morning football game, so it was a jam-packed day!), and headed out to the Peninsula area near Brandywine/Boston Mills area.
Later on, just as the Browns were wrapping up their victory, I wrapped up my own victory…an attempt at this seasonal comfort food recipe. (you’ll want to click on the link as their images are so inspiring.)
APPLE SAUCE MAC & CHEESE with APPLE SAUSAGE!
Since this post is written on Sunday evening, all I can say now is that we are pretty anxious for the SERIES FINALE of BREAKING BAD omg!!!!!!!
Hope your week is aces!