The Road Less Traveled

Thinking you might be off the beaten path, lost, or wasting time?

Take the road less traveled

Take the road less traveled

Don’t turn around, keep going. Chances are, you may be feeling uncomfortable, confused or anxious about taking the scenic route when you knew the old way was a sure thing. Sit tight – these feelings are temporary and will pass.

“Life is a journey, not a destination”

Only travelers who have an appetite for adventure will benefit from the this kind of road. Others you might pass on this route are probably dreamers and risk takers. They are not in a hurry nor fearful of what lies ahead. Their radios are blaring and the windows are rolled down. The patrons of these roads are not deceived by the familiar patterns of life that disguises itself as a false sense of security robbing them from the true panoramic view. Instead, these roads less traveled are pathways of opportunity to be embraced, dreams to be realized, and spirits to be awakened.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”.

The popular, busy, heavy traveled road is frequented by the most. I wouldn’t call it a “happy trail” since most of the drivers are rushing and multi-tasking. How could it have expectations of an interesting journey when it’s referred to as the “beaten path”. Even when overhead flashing lights are blinking for caution and attention, the need to keep up with the pack is the only unction realized. So we stay with the pack, bumper to bumper, fearful of losing our place or God forbid – someone jumps in ahead of us. These drivers are all about following the traffic and conforming to the mundane meaningless trips. Sometimes even ignoring the rules, trapped in the comfort zones and blocked in on every side. Ignoring the danger signs all around them and insensitive to all the open exits available.

Highways choices

Highways choices

Occasionally it’s the detours that force us to the roads less traveled. Other times, it’s the crossroads that changes up the familiar route and provides a much larger view. A view that stirs up a tapestry of images that awakens the soul. Suddenly, in sight is “hope street” that leads to “dream avenue” and merges with “freedom lane”. The views are intoxicating and the everyday mundane becomes a distant memory blinded by a blue sky so big  it conjures up heavenly thoughts. Simple scenes like horses grazing in a field become images burned in our memories. Oceans and rivers absorb our beings with curiosity of where they begin and end. The smell of the salty sea absorbs our senses and releases memories of past vacations and childhood days of building sand castles.

Scenic lavender field

Scenic lavender field

It really doesn’t matter what road you are traveling. What really matters is if you are inspired by your daily view. Are you having fun? At the end of the day when you reflect back on your day – did it contribute to your life or take away. Consider these thoughts;

  •  Be open to take an occasional side road
  •  Be mindful of crossroads
  •  Be aware of the intersections
Use road at own risk

Use road at own risk

The road less traveled takes courage to explore and – know this  – most travelers never return to the mundane highways, but instead, become addicted to the lure of the journey on the road less traveled,

Happy trails

Scenic Route plate blue

Scenic Route plate blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a Winter Wonderland in the Smoky Mountains

The beautiful white snow fell this weekend and it was the first snow of the year in the NC mountains! The landscapes changed from the fall palette of oranges, reds, and yellows to a beautiful “Crisp White Winter Wonderland“.

1sr snow storm 2014

Snow storm blankets the Smoky Mountains

1st Snowfall Smoky Mountains 2014

Season’s first snowfall 2014 Smoky Mountains

Christmas Tree covered in snow

Christmas Tree in the Smoky Mountains covered in snow

This is one of the Christmas Trees at the entrance to my driveway in the Smoky Mountains. The trees were white, crisp, and beautiful, resembling a postcard you would see at Hallmark.

Wooded snow

Snow weighed down the tree limbs

Woodys snow

Glistening pristine snow in the woods

Snow storm 11/14  Smoky Mountains 2014

Snow in the Smoky Mountains

I am always excited to see the snow and never get tired of it. It’s like a special bonus when we’re visiting our cabin and the snow comes to make everything sparkly and magical looking. Here’s a photo of the cabin nestled in the snow.

Cabin in the snow

Cabin in the Snow

Snowy day at the cabin in the Smoky Mountains

Snowy day at the cabin in the Smoky Mountains

Smoky mountain view

Beautiful view of the cabin in the snow

And finally, the last minute snowman. His mouth is a little sad, but stands happy just the same :)).

Us with the blooming snowman

It’s me, with my husband Charles – posing the blooming snowman

So the Halloween weekend ushered in the snow, but our best friends, Ernie and Donna made the weekend complete!

friends with a snowman

A slightly different version of the snowman

Snow in the Smoky Mountains is a treat for your soul, sharing it with friends is a blessing.

Extraordinary days to you ahead,

Donna George

http://www.facebook.com/reflectinglife

Gorgeous Colors of Peak Leaf Season Change, in The Blue Ridge Mountains of NC

Last year I posted photos of the season change in the Smoky Mountains and I was flooded with emails requesting more shots, so I decided to post again this year. The views were majestic and the colors of the landscape were a tapestry of oranges, reds, burgundies, yellows and purples. All under the big beautiful Carolina Blue Sky. Here are some of my favorites.

Blue ridge mountain view

View from my deck

Parkway

Blue ridge parkway view

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway Blowing Rock

Sunlight peeks through the woods

Sunlight peeks through the woods and treetops

The trails were gorgeous with the sun squeezing in through the tree tops.

Green tree

A lone green tree in the mix

Linville Trail

Woodsy Trail as Linville Trail

Gigantic tree root

Gigantic tree root

clouds and colors smoky mountains

Clouds and colors

Trees

Trees

The New River winds around western NC, VA and much of WV. With 3120 elevations, it’s one of the nation’s American Heritage Rivers and despite its name – New River, it’s one of the five oldest rivers. Oh, and there is plenty to do on the New River: fly fishing, white water rafting, swimming etc.

New River

New River

New River

New River

The trees are simply beautiful, Look at the brilliant colors.

Changing foliage

Changing foliage

Salmon foliage tree

Tree with salmon pink foliage

Red trees

Red trees

Golden trees

Golden trees

Shades of fall

Shades of fall

Blood red spotted foliage

Blood red spotted foliage

And here are a few photos of Linville falls that you loved last year. Unfortunately it was foggy the day I visited, but still breathtaking.

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Liville Falls

Pristine waterfall at Linville Falls

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Happy Autumn from my house to yours :)).

Happy Autumn

Happy Autumn

Have an Extraordinary Day! Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Trails

Donna George

Tips to build a wardrobe, without a stylist

Tips to build a wardrobe, without a stylist

Loose fit tank
blackfive.com

Mango black pants
$25 – mango.com

Jane Norman pants
$64 – janenorman.co.uk

Hello Summer!

2014-06-06 16.13.22

Summer 2014 is here! There is something about summertime that stirs up the nostalgic, awakens the spirit, and sparks the desire to head outdoors. For some of us, it’s a trip to a lake, or a walk by the river, but for most of us it’s the beach. And this is where the fun begins and memories are made. Summer days at the beach are like silent tongues in my head, reminding me of the nostalgic smell of the air and the feel of liquid velvet as the ocean falls over me.

My most vivid memories have always included the beach as a backdrop, simple things like floating on the waves, spending hours in a beach chair with my buddies, even the Coppertone suntan lotion in the brown bottle that reaps of coconuts and oils. Being surrounded by surf boards, huge blankets, coolers and radios blasting sounds from the past like Journey, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Oh, and the competition of who would catch the most rays that day.

The seagulls. The pretty compact white and gray sea lovers that continue to mesmerize me with their song and beauty. I never tire of watching them or feeding them snacks from my hand. BTW, they love Cheetos.

 

photo (74)

seagulls

 

Summer is about getting outside in the sun, experimenting and creating new interest. Unplug from social media and get outside with a camera. I take a camera everywhere I go, there’s so much I want to remember and journal. If you don’t like to explore with photography, use your phone. There are great apps available to add creativity and depth to your pictures.

Here are 3 of my favorite ones.

overgram – this application allows you to add text on your photo. (Color and font options).

Pixar Express – filter, overlays, borders, images with a professional touch.

diptic – build amazing collages, jumbo, fancy, classic, fun shapes and designs.

Still not interested in taking photographs, that’s okay, save it for a later day.

 

It’s all about “hot fun in the summertime”. Here are some fun things to do in the summer.

  • Ride a bike on a new trail. Explore.
  • If you have the room and a dog, set up a doggie spa area to pamper your pet.
  • Go to an outdoor movie under the stars.
  • Eating outdoors with friends
  • Swimming, skiing, paddle boarding, motor boating and boating – anything on the water.
  • Amusement parks and roller coasters.
  • Read a book in the park.
  • Go somewhere and people watch.
  • Try belly laughing.

The list is endless! Try something new and have some fun. Do you have any summer favorites?

 

Summertime has a way of firing up the taste buds for sweet treats. Some of my personal favorites, cotton candy and funnel cakes with white sugar on top, candy apples, watermelon, hot dogs and many more. I bet you have some too. What’s your summer treat favorite?

 

2014-06-11 19.49.06

 

Hello Summer! So glad you are finally here. Enjoy your summer and make every day count!

 

Here’s to the Extraordinary Days Of Summer

Donna George

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Best Selling Books On Happiness: To Recharge Yourself

Image

With Springtime here and Summer close on the radar, I gathered a list of the best selling books on Happiness for your consideration. Everyone desires to be happier, and to seek personal improvement in one way or another, so maybe a tittle on this list might interest you.

Whether your reading preference is hardback, paperback, downloading to Kindle, Nook, or audible – here a few options.

1. Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises. July 2012, by Steve Andreas.

2. Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional. March 2012, by Dale Archer.

3. Awakening Joys: 10 steps That Will Put You On The Road To Real Happiness, 2010, by James Baraz & Shoshana Alexander.

4. The Creativity Cure: A Do It-Yourself Prescription For Happiness. May 2012, by Carrie Barron & Alton Barron.

5. I Can Make You Happy. 2011, by Paul McKenna.

6. The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets,Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And         Generally Have More Fun. 2009, by Gretchen Rubin.

7. Flourish. 2011, by Martin Seligman.

My personal favorite is The Happiness Project. I stumbled upon this book in the airport one day and since then, I have recommended it to many friends. The author, Gretchen Rubin does a great job sharing her personal pursuit of happiness while engaging humor on her process. The book is packed with tips and offers a manifesto to follow. 

Of course we have our own way of pursuing joy, but occasionally a good read can help shed a light on ways to enhance our thinking and behavior patterns into habits and nudge us along our merry way. 

Have an extraordinary day

Donna George