As we really get into 2013 and the last few weeks of the Year of the Dragon, I have some updates I hope y’all are going to be super excited about. I know I am!

 Throughout this post I offer you bits of my visual inspiration to enjoy!New Year, More Posts!

This is the morning after an evening of wintery mix last week.

Over the past week my mind has been blown repeatedly as I have been reflecting on everything that has happened over the past year. Here’s a rundown of some highlights: finishing grad school, creating and self publishing the book, presenting at conferences all over the place, discovering the book is currently being used in 4 countries in the Americas and losing count of all the states, learning how to run a business and navigate the intangible worlds of networking and blogging, and joining the awesome new nonprofit DIG Local as their education coordinator. Then there’s the personal things like: the addition of my sister’s new baby Callum into my life, my special relationships with my nature boy nephews Eli and Deo who’s photos I often feature, how I have been neglecting my own garden this year to accomplish so many new things, sewing for my little craft company {RE}Voltairine Handmades and having a show in Gainesville this fall, and even how my hair started falling out for a month in August because I let myself get a bit overwhelmed! But never fear, I still have plenty and relaxation, exercise, and some herbs got all that in check. Whew!

Callum and me on his first trip to the beach.

Since the Year of the Dragon only comes around every 12 years, I really wanted to make the most of my year. I would say I have learned a lot from my attempts, both successful and not so, and am pretty pleased with what I accomplished, but I have notebooks full of ideas to put into action for 2013, including tons of fun blog ideas. I am psyched to get started!!

I balance my beach love with my mountain love. This is where I hide deep in the Blue Ridge in the winter.

The newest news: the blog. Are you wondering why I posted on Tuesday instead of Wednesday? Well, it is because I will now be posting twice a week! Tuesdays and Thursdays! You can look forward to posts with a slightly shorter format, but they will still include lots of pictures and links. Just in case you were worried about what would happen to Wonder Wednesdays, never fear, they will still be in effect the last Wednesday of the month. So you lucky dogs get 3 posts on those weeks. I love alliteration way too much to change it to another day!

Here are a couple outdoor ideas that inspired me this past year for wrapping up the Year of the Dragon and kicking off 2013. Please share your ideas too!! I know y’all are all doing really cool things I haven’t even thought of.

Picnic outside! Bring a pizza and have some fun! The boys love a simple and easy picnic on the beach.

Build a house out of natural elements found on a woodsy walk. This one was build by the clever folks at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as part of their festival of lights. It was a piece of the exhibit created for the model trains to whiz around in the big greenhouse. If you look up close, there are even tiny clothes on the line and the little stools are made form acorn tops. There is even a chicken in that teeny coop made from a fuzzy seed. So cool!!!

Take nature’s shower. Eli and Sean are showering off the ocean water with rain water and Eli decided to try out a papaya leaf as nature’s washcloth. It works very well.


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