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The best way to read this post is to either read the captions under the pictures first...or the text in between............................
My friend Jeri came up for a couple nights and chauffeured me around in her hot little Mercedes.
I know you've just been waiting on pins and needles to see more pictures of my Florida vacation...
so here they are! 
And my Davida and Trish and I had a totally relaxing day catching up.
I've neglected my play room for a week now, and not necessarily because I've been busy with Christmas preparations or anything like that - 
although I did have 78 people show up to my house this past Sunday evening for a Christmas Party! 
While I was making tags in the hotel room...from things I'd collected, this one turned out to be an angel ornament.
I think what's had me out of the play room is the fact that being without a computer got me down. 
And, since coming back from the States...for the first time in 19 months...
Hubby and I spent MANY hours on these waters in our little boat when we lived in Temple Terrace right after Sophia was born.
I've been homesick. 
It was cold enough in Florida that I got to layer, layer, layer...something besides art!
Like crazy.
You can just SEE how chilly it was from this picture! But I loved it!
That, coupled with the fact that we buried my Mom 8 years ago this week. 
My memories of her bring me joy and peace though - and especially around this season...cuz Mom LOVED Christmas time and it showed in everything she did!
Jerry and I on the little boardwalk/bridge that connected the rest of the world to that magical beach.
So, I've decided, for many reasons...and Mom being one of them...to...
(as Mary Engelbreit says)...
Now...how was I supposed to obey the "Do Not Feed The Birds" sign?!?
And part of that is me making art again.
Add caption
I mean...good GRIEF!!! I have SO much to be happy and thankful FOR!!!
Jerry and I at Crabby Bill's Restaurant on St Pete Beach.
Today...and a little yesterday...I feel lighter, happier, more peaceful, energetic...
I didn't realize...until this trip...how many brick roads there are in St Pete Beach.
and FINALLY getting back to myself.
See those cool little bird tracks?!?
(Even though I need lots of improvement...I'm better than where I was by far). 
A frequent visitor outside our hotel window.
Ya know...I usually skim over or entirely skip any blogs that I follow if all they're doing is talking about negative emotions, feelings, how hard life is, etc. - 
so if you haven't already read this far, I totally understand. 
This is probably the best picture I got of the hotel living room. Jerry watching the morning news.
But if you have read through, I want you to know that my decision to be happy is making my family, my home, my neighborhood, my city, my country, and eventually the world...a better place to live.
Yep! We DID get to Best Buy - where I bought a new camera. Can't live without one! This means I'm going to try my hand at posting some tutorials - soon!!!
And so I wish you happiness, peace, love, joy, great expectations (fulfilled), good health, prosperity and all things groovy...today and every day until the end of time. (If there is such a thing).
These were so pretty and abundant on the walk to the beach.
I love you all dearly...

Create your life,



  1. Annie, this has been a wonderful post to read through - yes I did keep going through it! LOL. Love your positive attitude with regard your Mum, of course, we miss our loved ones when they have gone, but we can certainly Honour them by living our lives to the full. As for your photos and Florida being cold!...what!!...I have learned something new I thought it was always warm at least! Hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. ybf ann.

  2. Your angel is so sweet , I love the idea of making art out of things collected while on vacation! Sometimes a bit of a getaway really helps to put things in perspective doesn't it?

  3. Hey annie,glad you are feeling better,thats always how it happins when you go home to visit your always sad about leaving.stan got me an android tablet for christmas im loveing it now ill have to see about skype when we get back from home.

  4. I love, love the pic of you and your friend in matching(almost) glasses....what a swell testament to friendship, those smiles say it all. Everything is layeralisciously beautiful. xox Corrine

  5. Yup, I read the WHOLE post (cuz that’s what BFF’s do! LOL) I agree 100%! Happiness is a choice. We all get down once in a while, that's to be expected. But then we have a choice. Choose to be happy or choose to be miserable. I’m very glad to hear you are choosing happiness!
    Great pics, BTW!

  6. What an uplifting post. All the happiest blessings of the season to you and yours. See you next year!

  7. Hey, life isn't always fun and games and it's good to share those things too. I lost both my parents relatively young and it makes me feel like an orphan sometimes. Great to keep apositive attitude! Enjoy the holidays and...I can't believe so many people fit in your house! :-)

  8. Hey, life isn't always fun and games and it's good to share those things too. I lost both my parents relatively young and it makes me feel like an orphan sometimes. Great to keep apositive attitude! Enjoy the holidays and...I can't believe so many people fit in your house! :-)

  9. Thank you Robin! One of the reasons why I LOVE your blog is that it makes me happy!!!

  10. Thanks so much Karen! I appreciate your comment and the fact that you took time out of your vacation to read my post!!! Peace, Sister.

  11. Hi Caatje! I feel like you're almost part of my family now (we just have to physically meet to make it official) and you'll never be an orphan if there's anything I can do about it!!! And yes! 80 including Jerry and I!!! The downstairs and outside lanai and front terrace were FULL!!! What amazes me is that I had JUST enough food!!!

  12. Annie, we can be so blessed and have endless wonders in our lives but we all still get these feelings and you shouldn't feel guilty for having them. You can feel this way and still be grateful for everything you have, the two are not incompatible. I'm having some 'wobbles' myself this week, and I've absolutely NOTHING to complain about, I'm just going to go into my room tomorrow, finish the remainder of handmade christmas presents I have to do and snap myself out of it too. Happy Holidays hun :) x

  13. Great pictures! We always need to be positive! A blessed Christmas to you and your family! Patsy from

  14. Annie, you lighten my heart and give me wings with your joyful spirit! How I miss your living near me - I was really spoiled! When art is in our soul and we have the need to let it out and express ourselves how can it not be free and exciting! I'm SO wanting to create, create, create! Thanks you for the inspiration! Love you lots, Carol

  15. Hi, Annie, I came this afternoon to your blog, from Costa Rica. As usually, I liked all the feelings and emotions you described after your trip home. Very nice and let us see the beautiful human being you are. Congratulations, you can write a book. Wallis

  16. Hi Wallis! I can tell from your FB updates that you're having a great time in Costa Rica! I'm SO happy for you! If I'm beautiful, it's because of the wonderful friends and family that I call mine. :)

  17. this is so beautifully written, so heartfelt. wishing you the happiest of holidays, annie!

  18. Thank you Aimee! Xxooo I wish you the same…from my heart. :)

  19. Thanks so much waggonswest! I'm still thinking about some of those recipes from your blog. Orange Julius...jalapeno bites...yuuummmm.

  20. Funny... I love when bloggers share who they really are. But I agree - if you are just whining and being a negative nelly, I probably won't read it. But there is a very big difference between whining and sharing true emotions. Or, at least I think so!
    Having a loved one die around the holidays, particularly your mom, must be so tough each year. But your vacation and party sound delightful and like they help even out the sorrowful moments with the joyful ones.

  21. Thanks Phoenix Peacock! I'm pretty much an open book. :) And yes...I do love reading emotional...from-the-heart...posts. I miss Mom so much but really, I know she's in a great place and I WILL see her again so my memories of her are almost always happy ones.

  22. Back from the States to Where? Loved reading your blog - and yes, I did reach the end - but still cannot make my mind up where you are now.
    Thanks for the advice - I am going to make that my only resolution - to be "aitch ay pee pee why" HAPPY. Thanks! My best wishes for 2012 to you and yours, Hugs, Neet #4 xx

  23. Hi Neet. Thanks for the encouraging comment! :) I moved to Barranquilla, Colombia 19 months ago when my daughter came here with her hubby and my now 4 year old granddaughter. It's been a huge adjustment but I AM making myself Happy!!! I'm with you on that resolution...even if you did spell it kind of weird, um, I mean different. Hey, I LOVE different! (and weird). :)

  24. I'm going to join the HAPPY band along with my good friend Neet! Great post, interesting colourful, great photos too.
    I'm just back home from the South Coast of England visiting my family so quick catch up to thank you for your lovely comment and the fun and inspiration on your blog!
    Here's to a great New Year 2012!! Health, Happiness, Peace & Joy,
    Love JoZarty x

  25. Thank you ZoZart!!! With friends like you and Neet and so many others who've commented here and there...how can I fail?!? I can't!!! And that's one of the only times I've let myself say I can't this year. :) I wish you the same for the best year ever. xxxooooo


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