Don’t Wait for Friday Night to Enjoy Life

2017--09-14b Don't Wait for Friday Night

How often do we hear the term (Thank God It’s Friday) TGIF? Of course we all have work to handle at home as well as much needed rest. Yet I challenge you to look for the joys of life no matter your activity.

In this video I’ll discuss how we can be content and happy no matter what day of the week it is. Love life while working and resting!


Advantages of a Vintage Lifestyle

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*My YouTube video on this topic can be found here.

You can live a vintage lifestyle 24/7 or pick and choose elements from a specific time era or era’s. I personally consider myself a subdued Neo Victorian. “Neo-Victorian is an aesthetic movement which amalgamates Victorian and Edwardian aesthetic sensibilities with modern principles and technologies” (-Wikipedia) Essentially it is about a creative lifestyle as we have the power to design our lives! It pays to be aware of historical customs, fashions and technology as we may find value in it’s rediscovery for ourselves.

Review Your Summer Bucket List

2017-08-03 Savor Summer 3

Here in America, Labor Day will soon be upon us, September 4th. This marks the book end of Summer. This holiday and Memorial Day nearly tie in 2nd place for the most popular outdoor grilling day of the summer, following behind 4th of July. Labor Day is the Summers grand finale. This also serves as a reminder to savor summer and review our Summer Bucket List.

One of the keys to simplicity is to enjoy the moments of life. Embracing the seasonal changes of climate, foods, and activities. We do this by eliminating non-essential activities, focusing on that which matters most. If you hold a full-time job and have to manage household duties as well, this becomes of paramount importance!
“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumbnail.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Viewing summer bucket lists on Pinterest and creating a little one for yourself will help you to gain mindfulness. If you live in a climate that is hot year-round, look to the seasonal special occasion days to mark a change.

Here were my top 10 Summer bucket list items. You may wish to give some of them a try for the season’s last hurrah.

*Go on a road trip. America is known for road-trips. Our land is expansive and driving out on the open road is far more affordable than taking a plane, train or bus. This year our family went to the lake town of South Haven, Michigan. I also took the opportunity to photograph a local historic graveyard!

*BBQ. You don’t have to grill outdoors to enjoy BBQ. There’s a feeling of camaraderie with your fellow neighbors when you cook outside on the nations major holidays. If you don’t care for meat you can always grill veggies.

*Paint a sunrise. You don’t need to have any special skills for this. Simply pickup a basic child’s watercolor kit then pull up inspiring photo’s online. You can make an impressionistic gradient, allow to dry then use it later as a piece of stationery! I’ve done this for a few homemade stationary pieces.

*Cook a campfire style meal in tin foil. There are countless ways to prepare campfire roasted “inspired” meals.

*Evening bike-ride. There is nothing like the feel of warm and cool air intermingling as you coast on a bike.

*Enjoy a picnic in the park. I try to take the kids out for this at least once per month during the summer. This year I have made it a goal to search for unique picnic spots around our town of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Followed by fun at a nearby playground.

*Walk outside after dusk to view the fireflies. If you have no firefly’s in your area go for a brisk walk on a summers evening. You may even try carrying an old-fashioned lantern.

*Have a meal on the front porch. There is something charming about eating outdoors on your front porch with the fresh open air. If you have kids they may find it extra fun.

*Plant fresh herbs in the backyard. I usually buy pre-grown herbs then re-pot them in our backyard for easy access. Freshly torn sage and rosemary taste wonderful in my breakfast. This month I’ve been making myself crispy yellow corn tortillas cooked with coconut oil. They are then topped with toasted buttery spinach, garlic, cheddar, and herbs.

*Make a tropical smoothie. I buy dozens of bananas which I then freeze after they are ripened. Add frozen blueberries, mangos or strawberries along with coconut cream & honey. Give yourself a spa getaway at home!

The more we can change our rituals during the season’s changes, the more unique memories we can create. May you savor the rest of summer!

Make Memories as a Family by Working Together

2017-06-25d-Trimming the Backyard

*You can view the family project video, Trimming Branches here.

In today’s modern culture it seems that most families spend time together by going to a restaurant, attending a sports event or shopping. Yet why not rethink this routine? What about a family project?

A few weeks ago my husband and children had a great time trimming overgrown branches in our backyard. Our daughter Winter took time to ride her bike in the summer air and our young son Orion created a little pool of mud throughout the activity.  The kids learned about basic lawn management while enjoying the day with their parents. Of course we got a fantastic workout and a new clear view through our windows.

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*Working with my Dad Jimmy Hotz, 1989 through the 1990s.

Working together in a family business could also yield wonderful memories while teaching the children valuable job skills. One of the greatest memories of my lifetime was working side by side with my Dad, Jimmy Hotz (inventor, musician, producer). Starting at the age of 14, I began an internship in the home studio. There I learned the basics of clerical, administrative, graphic design, music and technology skills which have been foundational in all of my work.

I continued professionally with his company for many years. We also did family projects working together organizing the garage, with Mom Nancy Hotz and siblings. It was a lot of work, yet remains a nice memory for me. I love you Mom and Dad!

Keep a Journal for Posterity

2017-07-18b Keep a Journal

In this weeks YouTube video topic I cover why we should journal for posterity. I also discuss why:

*Historically journals have been used as essential pieces of literature.
*The most simple record of ones day, may be highly valuable to those in the future.
*Lists and schedules make great journal entries.
*We should make a printed copy of your digital journal as formats change over time!