Zen Notes



Today is the 1st of August, and usually that would mean a new list of words for the Random Zen Ten photo challenge. But, I’m going to retire the list for a while and work on something else. I gave it a good year, and loved the challenge of finding photos to go with the words, but now I feel it’s time for a change. Maybe some time in the future I’ll bring it back. I’ll never run out of words, so we’ll see.

Back when I began Random Acts of Zen, I was giving out small cards with charms attached, for people to pass onto those who may need a boost. If you’d like to see how it all started, take a quick look here. Now I’ve thought of something else to spread some zen around, and would love to share them.

Since the start of the year I’ve been posting weekly original quotes, and now I’m going to print these onto postcards to share some zen goodness. The same principal as the charms, but something a little different. I love receiving gorgeous cards, and have them all around my workspace for inspiration. I’d like to think that my Zen Notes may inspire a few good thoughts too.

But before I start spreading them around, I’d love some feedback. And that, my dear friends, is where I ask you a favour. If you would like to give me your opinion, let me know and I’ll pop a few in the mail for you. No cost to you, just your thoughts. Feel free to keep one for yourself and share the others with those who could use a smile.

You might even like to leave them in a random spot for someone to find out of the blue. I’ve received some lovely messages from people who’ve found a charm, and they always seem to make their way to someone who needs a positive reminder.

So if you would like some Zen Notes in your letterbox, drop me an email at lisa@zendesigns.com.au, and I’ll post them out to you. I’ll send a mix of quotes and colours, and would love to know your favourite.


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.


Now It Gets Serious


I have quite a fondness for trees. Trees in design of all kinds and trees in photography too. This form of photographing trees is a favorite. I think that it’s very creative and lends a unique, surreal quality to nature photos that make them appear other worldly.       …


Way back in January I posted about the book I plan to write. You can see the details here and here. Well as it does, time has raced away, and it’s time I got serious about the whole process.

I’ve had lots of interest in the project and can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. I know each person has their own story to tell, and I’m so honoured to be allowed to share these with those who may need to hear them.

I know that at different stages in life, we all need to hear what may have shaped others’ lives. They may be stories of struggle and victory, courage and determination or tales of the happiness that has made a difference.

So, if you’ve thought about joining in, now’s the time to go for it. I’m hoping to have all submissions in by the end of August, but if you need a little longer, that’s fine. If you have any questions, either ask in the comments or send me an email to lisa@zendesigns.com.au.

I was asked the other day if I’m still enthusiastic about this project, and I have to say I get more excited each time I think about it! I would love to think that others are just as excited to have a platform to share a story of zen in their life.



On Monday I was lucky enough to share my walk with a pod of dolphins, cruising through the cove. Sadly, each time I took a photo, they disappeared, so I may as well have been getting images of the Loch Ness Monster!

At least the pelicans further up the beach were more co-operative, and happy to pose for me.





Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

You Can Or You Can’t


1939 Ford truck in a field in Southern Alberta


We all want to succeed at things, and do as much as possible to make this happen. There’s no way we would ever do anything to jeopardise that right? Well, maybe not always. As strange as it sounds, sometimes we do things that aren’t completely conducive to success.

I know that I can hold back sometimes, if I know everything won’t be as perfect as I want is to be. And that starts the cycle of not achieving, because I never really get started properly.

Naturally we would all like everything we do to be 100% perfect first time, every time. But life’s not like that, and sometimes you just have to get started on something and make adjustments and improvements a you go along.

Imagine if everyone held back from doing things, until they knew it would all run smoothly and be perfect. Nothing would ever get done! The whole mindset of “if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing” can be easy to fall into, and in my case has a lot to do with lack of self confidence.

Ideas pop into my head, and if I don’t think I can bring them to life exactly as I imagine, I can easily sabotage my own efforts. I have to make myself realize that everything I do doesn’t have to start out as I hope it will finish. Sometimes I’ll need to adjust and change things along the way, and that’s perfectly OK.

I’m trying to be kinder to myself, and not expect stellar results from the word go. Some things are even better when they’re left to develop at their own rate, with a disaster or two thrown in along the way.

As that clever old Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.


Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

The Other Side Of Fear



Just Jump!


heartbeatoz+tumblr.jpg 427×640 pixels



Into each day,

Into life.

Sitting around, just waiting.

Making excuses for not doing.

Thinking everyone else has it easier.

That’s not living!

Get out there and chase it.

No excuse is good enough.

It’s as easy as you make it.

It’s there for the taking.

Every morning a new challenge,

So many possibilities.


Into each day,

Into life.

Just jump!


Waving on Pinterest


One thing I remember from my childhood is going to sleep to the sound of waves crashing, when we would go on holidays to the Gold Coast. I love that sound so much, and hope one day it will be the regular soundtrack to my days. Until then, I can make do with the beautiful images on my Waving board on Pinterest.





Beautiful and Powerful!


The powerful crash and churn of Lake Michigan waves against the lighthouse at St. Joseph, Michigan.


Rough Sea by Giovanni Allievi @ 500px    Rough sea n12 / Giovanni Allievi-


No.99 wave crushes


Love That Movie!


sad when a man has better legs than you do !!


Last night I watched The First Wives Club for about the hundredth time, and I loved it as much as the first time I saw it. Seriously, with that fabulous trio of Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton how could you go wrong? I love how they all start out sad and downtrodden, then break out to show the strong, positive women they really are. It always makes me think anything is possible. Even though I know it’s basically a fairytale, I still love how it makes me think and feel happy. Those girls can do anything and so can I!

Over the years I’ve gathered a long list of titles that evoke emotion, whether they be happy, sad, outrage or awe, and they are the movies I could watch over and over again. Here’s a few that always get me, in absolutely no particular order. They’re not reviews, just reasons why I love the movies.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show. My favourite of all time. How could you not appreciate a sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania? I know not only all the song lyrics, but every single word of dialogue. Sad, but true.

Beaches. Sometimes you just feel like a good cry.

Pulp Fiction. Tarantino at his most outrageously fabulous.

The Sixth Sense. I honestly didn’t see it coming!

The World According To Garp. So many layers, and Robin Williams was just brilliant.

The Godfather. I’ve always been fascinated by the Mafia culture, and loved the darkness of this.

Swingshift. When Goldie met Kurt, and their chemistry was beautifully obvious.

The Colour Purple. As harrowing as this movie is, I think it was so well done without being melodramatic.

Casino. The smooth characters all fitted together so well.

The Life Of Brian. Monty Python at his best in my mind, and a great song too.

Caddyshack. Bill Murray’s determination to get that gopher was epic!

Fast Times At Ridgemont High. I so wanted to be a student at this high school. I also love it because I discovered the music of Jackson Browne because of it.

The Blues Brothers. The BEST car chase in any movie, ever!

Fargo. The convoluted plot of this movie gets me every time I watch it.

Memento. Very clever, as long as you concentrate. No chatting during this one.

The Disorderly Orderly. Jerry Lewis movies were a Saturday afternoon tradition in our house when I was little, and this is my favourite.

Mr. Mom. I just love Michael Keaton in this one, the vacuuming scene is the best! And I just couldn’t believe him as Batman because of it.

Play Misty For Me. Clint Eastwood was perfectly broody in this simple thriller.

Almost Famous. The mum character made the movie for me, and I thought Kate Hudson was gorgeous as Penny Lane.

Face/Off. Cage and Travolta played off each other perfectly in this, and were both equally creepy.

Superbad. Bad taste and lots of LOLing.

When Harry Met Sally. I loved watching them grow up through the storyline.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. The favourite movie I’ve seen with Bell.

Yours, Mine & Ours. The original with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Just sweet.

Father Of The Bride. I prefer the Steve Martin remake of this one. I would love a dad like this.

The Usual Suspects. Two words……Keyser Soze. Kevin Spacey nailed this!

Jaws. The ocean has always fascinated me, even more after Jaws. Plus, I wasn’t allowed to see it when it first came out, so it was even more exciting!

Raiders Of The Lost Ark. I love this almost comic book action movie.

Happy Gilmore. Just silly, just funny.

The Big Chill. So many great actors, and an awesome soundtrack. Every movie should have The Rolling Stones playing You Can’t Always Get What You Want as part of it.

Riding In Cars With Boys. This movie always makes me a bit sad, it kind of has a “what could have been” feeling about it. I love anything Drew Barrymore does, and this showed that she can do drama as well as comedy.

I could list hundreds more, but you know, boring. So, what’s your most favourite movie of all time?


Linking with With Some Grace for FYBF.

Man In A Hat


Staying together. #peace love this photo! would be a cute wedding pic and then years down road recreate!


A beautiful old hat-wearing man just made me smile, and I’m so grateful. My day so far has been kind of off kilter, and this sight has just tipped it back into balance.

This morning I had to take Violet to the vet for her vaccinations and check-up. Why I thought it would go well is beyond me, but my coffee definitely should have been stronger! I couldn’t get her in the cage, and after two very large scratches and much blood, put her in the car and took the empty cage as well. I knew the vet would be able to get her in for the trip home. Thank goodness it’s only three blocks away; that big girl complained loudly all the way there.

So, all the medical stuff was done, and the vet confirmed what I had suspected about Violet’s heritage; she wasn’t the medium sized breed we had been told she was when she was a few weeks old and came into our family. She’s a Maine Coon, the biggest breed of domestic cat, and would likely end up the size of our dogs! Poor love doesn’t have a weight problem, she’s just a giant.

We got home and I realized my shirt was covered in blood, so in the bin with that one. I was in the kitchen and could hear a weird shuffling noise coming down the hallway. I looked over the bench to see a foot-long blue tongue lizard slowly making it’s way to the couch with Violet following it!!! Thank goodness she’s not a hunter, I don’t think I could have dealt with a cat/lizard fight in my lounge room. But it did slither under the couch, and I didn’t know how I was going to get it out of the house. I’d already rung John at work to tell him about my not so fabulous vet trip, and knew he wouldn’t be home for at least a few hours.

I couldn’t relax, knowing that dragon under the couch could come out at any time, and about 30 seconds later, he did! I grabbed an old towel and picked him up, then freaked out all the way to the back yard. Eventually I managed to herd him through the yard, with Lola, Lulu and Violet following, and out to the driveway, where I knew he’d be able to get somewhere safe. If anyone saw our procession, it would have looked hilarious, all of us in single file with a blue tongue leading the way.

By now, I was feeling like today was going to be one of those days when only strange stuff happens, so was kind of on guard. I was driving to the shops when I saw him. He was walking with a beautifully dressed lady, his hat topped with a feather. I was stopped at the lights and watched them crossing the road. He reached for her hand and didn’t stop smiling as they chatted all the way. They had that comfortable presence that I hope John and I will always have together, and that single thought made my day tip back onto it’s axis and it all felt good.

Sometimes, just seeing a little bit of joy in someone else is all you need to get your balance back. Witnessing a simple thing like an elderly couple enjoying each others’ company made the craziness of my day disappear. I hope I can always recognize the good things around me, because when you look, they’re everywhere!


Linking with Maxabella loves, Life, Love & Hiccups, Sonia Styling and A Life Less Frantic for the Weekend Rewind.






Bell, John and I went out for afternoon tea the other day, and this happened!

I would like to say that I had none of it, but…….


Linking with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.