Odell Brewing

Give Light Giveaway

Things have been rather bleak the last few weeks. I don’t want to get into a political debate, and I don’t want to argue.

Instead, I have been asking myself over and over again how can I, one little person, make a difference in this heated political climate? How can I choose to influence my small portion of the world? How can I choose to continue seeking positivity when the world feels uncertain and hesitant?

My idea requires a bit of participation and I would like to invite you to participate in my….. drum roll please…… Give Light Giveaway! Let’s join together in an effort to share our small beautiful portions of the world and bring some positivity to our spaces.

announcement-1

Here is how you can play.

Compile the following and email me at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com between November 16th and December 15th.

  1. Email me 5 things you find to be beautiful in your world right now. They can be in list format, or if you prefer to write more, you can expand on your thoughts. Your top 5 beautiful things will then be shared as a post on my blog between now and the end of the year.  If I receive an overwhelming amount of responses, I will continue to share the content I collect past the deadline of December 15th.
  2. Include pictures of your items, quotes, and links that are appropriate to your content. (Please keep your photos and links appropriate – I will censor if necessary)
  3. Include a small bio about yourself and a fun photo of you. Optional –  include links for how you can be contacted – ie. email, Instagram, or Twitter feed.
  4. Be willing to share the post I create with your content with your network – share on your Facebook, send an email blast, work with others to promote sharing positivity for the rest of the year.

By submitting your materials you will be entered into a drawing to win a basket of local Colorado goodies – some of my favorite things. So far I’m thinking coffee from Bindle, beer goodies from Odell Brewing Company, and treats from The Cupboard to start. On December 15th, I will put all the names in a hat, and draw one winner who will later be contacted. You need not live in Colorado to win.

So there it is! Will you join me in creating beautiful content that can generate and spark a wave of beauty as we close out 2016.

Email me with questions. I can’t wait to Give Light!

“Give Light and People Will Find the Way” – Ella Baker 

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Turn that Tone Upside Down

I have a side job helping write monthly newsletters for a doctor’s office here in town. I love creating content, and deciphering notes and pulling together a multitude of sources into one space that serves as an educational resource for those seeking to improve their health.

A couple of weeks ago, feeling rushed to meet a deadline, I ticked off a quick couple lines of introduction copy for this month’s newsletter and sent it to my colleague. “How is this for an introduction?” I typed in the notes, and waited for her feedback. My tone had been pessimistic – February is a drag – something to get through – too much snow – and every once in awhile – we need a boost.

No sooner had I clicked send did the doctor call me, with kindness and laughter in her voice. “That intro was a drag Katie!” she exclaimed. “Let’s turn that tone upside down.” At first I was a little offended, but as I sat and listened to her vision for her correspondence with clients, my defense softened. The doctor went on to encourage me to encourage others – to find the joy and beauty in this month of February. Her redirection inspired me in remembering that our words are what create our reality – our intentions and tone are powerful. When we choose to share that writing, we have the power to influence other’s moods, attitudes, and perceptions. This conversation changed my month, and it changed my heart.

I’ve sense rewritten the introduction, and while it felt a little cheesy to try to find the positive, the doctor’s words continue to reverberate through my mind. We can find beauty and optimism when we go looking for it, and maybe, even more powerfully, when we create it.

IMG_3470This week I attempted to create beauty in several situations. Call it simple, but for Valentine’s Day I made my very own cheese danish pastry. While the holiday was on a Sunday, and we chose not to over indulge in any romantic dates, I did want to create a little festivity in my own house. I rolled out of bed, and followed this recipe to bring a little bit of celebration to our lazy Sunday morning routine. Routine? Does sleeping ’til 10 am count as a routine?

Cream cheese and sugar, vanilla and raspberries – when these ingredients blend together they create beautiful flavors and a sense of fancy that just made me smile.

Sunday also presented us with the choice to run errands, and use up gift cards lingering in our junk drawers  from Christmas. I went to Nordstrom Rack and got a pair of pants for nine dollars. NINE DOLLARS. I love a beautiful bargain. I tried Maintenance Moment at my favorite brewery – which perfectly pairs the light flavors of coffee with beer. Their full description is so much more delightful. Hello Colorado! You’ve achieved a combination of my favorite things. Is it bad to proclaim craft beer as one of your favorite things on the internet? Not sure, let’s take a beautiful risk.

So this week I give a nod to the universe as several loved ones have lifted my chin, and reminded me to look for the beautiful with optimism and hope in my heart. May you find and create beauty at every turn, even if it involves a roll of crescent dough.

 

Slow Down and Have a Beer

I did it. Bought a domain name. I wasn’t sure where this project would take me this year, but I’ve come to love these weekly reflections and so I wanted the title to be my own. For one more year, at least. Isn’t it odd how you basically lease a title on the “world wide web” for something you think you’ve created? Maybe it is more complicated than that, but I’m giving myself applause and say thanks to those who helped me figure out how to own the website http://www.52beautifulthings.com.  So, this is where you can type this blog into a browser to share my thoughts with friends, or follow along as I continue. Don’t be confused; it is still me, just sounding a little bit more “professional.”

My thoughts have been racing about what this blog could be. How do I seek out advertising? Do I want a separate Pinterest account? Is it my goal to have this develop into something huge? Don’t we all secretly, maybe, just want someone to discover us and to turn it into something grand? I can dream. This project started as a simply therapeutic exercise in processing a difficult season and has turned into such a wonderful place for me to express the journey as it continues to unfold. I think I’m going to continue and there is beauty in the fact that I still care about this project. I care quite a bit more than I thought I would.  Stay tuned for how it will develop. If you have ideas, or want to share, I would LOVE to chat.

Now, onto this week’s gifts. Coloradans are weird ok. I know we have all these wonderful reputations for being the fittest state in the nation, we are always somewhere on the top ten places to live, and people want to be here. They want to be outside, and in the breweries, and in the sunshine. The never ending sunshine. There is truth and wonder to that reputation, and every day I am thankful I live here.

But newsflash – it has been COLD the past two weeks. Under 30 and windy and snowy. Now, we are no Buffalo, New York and we are not anticipating 8 feet of snow, so I suppose I don’t have much to complain about.  However, I have been wearing layers and scraping my car, so I’ve been thankful for the beautiful thaw.

On Sunday, the sun came out for the first time in a few days (ugh, I sound like such a Colorado snob) and so we went for a walk, even thought it was cold outside. Now, we were in Boulder, so let’s back up and give you the big picture that the people who live in Boulder earn that “fittest state” title for me. I, my friends, was fine with going for a leisurely walk in the beautiful, sparkling snow. I love how my feet crunch under the snow pack, the dusting of white on the Flatirons, the sun’s rays beating down and warming me through my coat. However, the people in Boulder that I came across on our walk around the lake were wearing jogging tights, and really expensive trail shoes, and running fast, really fast, by me with their dogs. It’s people like that that make me think I don’t fully embrace the Colorado lifestyle. I like the leisurely walks at my own pace, soaking in the snow sparkles. And while their is so much beauty in a healthy lifestyle, I have to say there is beauty in “SLOWING DOWN”. Calm down all you outdoor people, you are making me feel bad about myself. There were some guys clearly over 60 doing their outdoor treks. I have no excuse when you people outpace me. Have a beer indoors – but please, please make it an Odell Brewing Company brew, perhaps a Levity,  or something from Boulder Beer.

Dylan and I frequently bicker about which town is better. We have an on-going list about which city, Fort Collins or Boulder, can outrank one another. I’m fiercely loyal to Fort Collins with its thousands of restaurants, the start of microbrews and a more grounded approach to reality. Dylan however, is fiercely loyal to Boulder with its Flatirons, and outdoor people, and love of the finer things. Stereotypes, I know, but let me tell you here today, Boulder is taking the cake on making me feel some outdoor guilt. I just simply, will never live up. I’m a Fort Collins girl, and I’ve got some hometown pride and there is beauty in being able to exist in both worlds.

Do you have hometown pride? Do you like being outdoors when the temperature dips below zero? Any ideas for the continuation of 52Beautifulthings?

Thanks for your support.