This Week in Happiness {Week 17}


It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.

 “It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you’re doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It is what you think about”

~Dale Carnegie

(h/t to Katherine Center for posting this on FB)

I feel like that quote sums up exactly what I’m doing with my weekly happiness reports, and with the direction I’m taking my life.  Focus on and think about happiness, you’ll be amazed how changing your perspective changes your world.

 So many phenomenal things happening in our world recently, and I can’t wait to share them with y’all.

I don’t know when I started following 2Sisters_Angie on Instagram, but I know that I’ve adored her ever since we met at Blissdom way back when. Her daughter, Mayhem ,has been a source of amusement, laughter, inspiration, and joy for me for a long time.  Angie and I have gone back and forth over Mayhem’s and Princess’ fashion sense, their flair, their style, and their sheer joy for life and all things creative.  Well, Miss Mayhem has become quite the internet sensation, and it’s pretty fantastic.  You can follow the #FashionByMayhem hashtag or check out their blog Fashion by Mayhem

One of the things bringing me the greatest joy this week is seeing how Angie and Mayhem are using #FashionbyMayhem and all of its popularity to start giving back to charities that are near and dear to them.  The first Dress Auction for Charity is up now and they are donating the auction proceeds to FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education

fashion by mayhem Charity Dress Auction #1

image via Fashion by Mayhem

I met Maile back in 2010 maybe.  We met at Mom 2.0 in Houston, thanks to Karen seeing us as kindred spirits.  Maile is one of the most phenomenal portrait and family photographers I know.  She has a truly beautiful spirit, she is kind, funny, sarcastic, generous, and has a heart that makes Texas look small.   When I was reading Maile’s most recent blog post, I found myself identifying so deeply with her and her wishing that she was taking more pictures of her family.

When I’m going back through my photos taken with my “real” camera (aka non iphone}, I realize that it’s all sports, food, client, school… what’s missing is our life, our everyday, our reality.  It’s the every day, the reality that is the most beautiful, and the moments I cherish the most, and the ones I wish that I had captured once they’re gone.   I absolutely love that Maile has started a 10X10 project for herself (totally inspired by her, as usual)  Maile has challenged herself to: a “goal of taking ten simple shots from Saturday and Sunday”  and she’s sharing them on her blog – Maile Wilson


Did I mention that Maile is also the mastermind, genius, and creative brilliance behind my favorite camera bags?  Epiphanie Bags… 

Epiphanie Bags and Maile Wilson

image via Maile Wilson

I love seeing my friends and inspirations following their passions and sharing them with others.  Karen is one of the most generous people with her knowledge, her light, and wanting to help others find their path.  Karen is someone that I was meant to meet.  We met on an airplane as we were both on our way back to Texas from BlogHer in 2009.  Karen is a force of nature.  She is gentle and calming, until she gets riled up and then… woah nellie – get ready.  She’s got a fire in her that is fascinating and probably makes her downright scary if one were to piss her off.  So.. don’t piss her off.  Karen is one of my inspirations, in photography, in friendship, in relationships with others, and in life.  I took Karen’s online CREATE 2014 course, and it reignited my passion for journaling, focusing, and quiet time.  During that course, I found my word that speaks to my soul for 2014, the word that focuses me.


Karen is a phenomenal photographer, her book The Beauty of Different, is more than just visually stunning, it is a book that speaks to the soul, that invokes passion, emotions, and if you allow it, it will change the way you view others, and yourself.

Karen just released a her 3rd e-book: Beginning Focus:  This one focuses on photography for beginners.

Beginning Focus: a Photography e-book by Karen Walrond


I’ve already downloaded it, printed it, and have already started highlighting things.  Karen has a way of explaining ISO and Aperture that makes you say.. “duh.. that makes total sense, why didn’t anyone else tell me this”

In full disclosure – there’s a picture of me in one of the chapters on portraits.. something about the eyes 🙂  More disclosure – 5 years (or so) later, that picture that Karen took is still the screen saver on my husband’s laptop.

I get absolutely nothing if you purchase Karen’s e-book, other than the knowledge that you’re on your way to being a better photographer and understanding your camera better.

it’s possible that I’m going to give a copy away next week because I really want everyone who wants to learn more about photography to have the chance. 

Last, but not least.. Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and I have gathered more than 40 chocolate chip cookie themed recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers and created

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Round-Up and How To Guide

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Round-Up and How To Guide


What’s making you happy this week?

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