Blank Pages…

Hi Friends!

Warm greetings from the wintery Midwest! Tiny snowflakes are dancing down as I write. A long string of cloudy days has us all dreaming of sunshine here! The first four weeks of the new year have flown by quickly.

Quiet moments of stillness during January often found me daydreaming…

As we rang in the New Year, I was really looking forward to my third year of bullet journaling and couldn’t wait to carefully unwrap a brand new Rhodia dot grid journal! Keeping a Self-Care Journal has been such a positive, inspiring way to create purposeful days over the past two years. Just a few quiet moments each evening spent reflecting on the day have taught me so many important lessons! My Self-Care Journal has become a powerful teacher, a place to set new goals, celebrate special moments, count my blessings, and track my healthy habits.

The time spent setting up my bullet journal each month always feels like a special, little gift ~ to me, from me! This January, however, felt very different. The blank, dot grid pages waited patiently while I relished several different creative thoughts…

Hmmm…Β  Was it procrastination or laziness that slowed me down this January? Not at all! I truly treasure the time I spend on my Self-Care Journal. So, why were the pages in my journal blank during the first half of January?

Those blank pages were cherished, day after day, while I relished the possibilities!

I was simply taking the time to honor my ‘word’ for this year. πŸ™‚

For each of the past eight years, I have focused on a ‘word.’ Throughout our home, there are visible reminders of each word. Last Summer, I created Word Stones for my Friendship Garden to carry this mindfulness practice into the garden, too! πŸ™‚


It feels so lovely to have a new ‘word’ to guide me this year…

2020 ~ savor

This Spring, I can’t wait to add a brand new ‘word’ to my Friendship Garden. πŸ™‚


It felt simply luxurious to take extra time to savorΒ several creative thoughts before beginning this year’s bullet journal. In my past two journals, I added bright color to each page. Using colorful markers kept me motivated all year long. Perhaps this year, it would be fun to try a more minimalist journaling style? Lately, I’ve been inspired by black and white pages, with pale, gray, drop shadows. It might be fun to create a completely new look in my 2020 journal! Oh, the possibilities! Day after day, I delighted in my creative thoughts until it felt just right to put pen to paper.

My 2020 Self-Care Journal will feature monthly spreads with soft colors and habit trackers in black and white, with the palest gray lines to chart my progress. Handlettered quotations will keep me inspired throughout the year. It felt like such a blessing to intentionally slow down and take time to savor the creative possibilities!

I’m so grateful that the ‘word’ savor chose me this year! It will be the perfect reminder to slow down a bit and take the time to fully appreciate the special moments sprinkled throughout each busy day. I have already noticed subtle changes! At a recent WW Lifetime gathering, we each created a Mind Map for the new year. I wrote savor in the center of my map, and set my intentions to savor time for Self-Care, Family, Creativity, Growth, and time in Nature. This Mind Map will be a visible reminder to slow down a bit and savor the joyful, meaningful moments in each and every day. πŸ™‚

In January, one of the inspiring books I read was Seeking Slow, by Melanie Barnes. The author offers so many thoughtful ideas for living a slower life focusing on the simple pleasures in each day. I took notes as I read and look forward to making time to savor her ideas throughout the year.

I have been noticing and honoring the “slow moments” in my days ~ listening to music, writing in my journal, brewing a cup of herbal tea, watching the snowflakes fall, writing a long letter, and walking in nature. Melanie Barnes has also inspired me to create a “Quiet Corner” ~ a calm, relaxing place to savor at home. Now there is a small space for Yoga practice in a corner of our living room. I have been taking time to enjoy the plants blooming in our sunny dining room, noticing the vibrant Christmas Cactus blossoms, the pale pink Cyclamen blossoms, and the fragrant Lavender blossoms. It all feels very comforting and healing!

My blank pages are slowly filling up…

as I savor the quiet moments tucked into the corners of my days.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today!

What things have you been doing to nourish your heart and soul?

Do you have a special goal or ‘word’ to guide you through the new year?

What have you been reading lately?

Hope you will share with us…


Warm, cozy hugs!

β™‘ Dawn




18 thoughts on “Blank Pages…

  1. I was much inspired by your post today. I have kept a journal for years and since the passing of my husband I have been on a ‘journey’ of self-discovery and self-growth. I have several favorite books that I have made copious notes from and read those often.

    • Oh, Latane! Many thanks for your kind words! It’s always lovely to chat with a journaling kindred spirit. 😊 Have you read β€œIt’s Never Too Late to Begin Again” (for Retirees and other Creative Souls) by Julia Cameron? She inspired me to begin writing Morning Pages. Although I haven’t kept up lately, whenever I take the time to savor writing about my creativity, it really helps me grow! I also enjoy keeping a Garden Journal. It’s a sweet way to enjoy my perennial and herb gardens on a cold Winter day!
      Wrapping my arms around you, Latane, as you journey through this new chapter in life. Self-discovery and self-growth are key to many happy, healthy years ahead. You truly inspire me, Latane! Thank you for being here! πŸ’—

  2. I love your word, Dawn, and how you’ve painted all your yearly words on rocks. I always get wonderful ideas when I visit your blog. I’m reading the new updated edition of Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance and blogging about it weekly on my newest blog West Highland Creagan. I’m also reading Judith Orloff’s Thriving as an Empath–365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People and blogging excerpts daily on Another Perfect Day 365. Both books have the undercurrent message of savoring….savoring all of life and letting go of the things that clutter up and get in the way of doing so. May this new year bless you with more love and joy and creativity.

    • Heartfelt thanks, Cathy! I have always kept my ‘words’ on display throughout our home as visible reminders that each word will always be an important part of my journey. Just last Summer, it dawned on me that it would also be meaningful to have my ‘words’ on display in my garden! River rocks and a paint pen… and voilΓ‘! A few moments later I scattered them around a bee bath in my Friendship Garden bed. It makes my heart smile every time I see them. I’m looking forward to adding my 2020 ‘word’ to the garden in the Springtime!
      Thank you so much for letting me know that there is an updated edition of Simple Abundance!😊
      I have my well-read original edition and have just been thinking of rereading it. I’m looking forward to reading your posts on both blogs, Cathy! So happy that we are kindred spirits who met through the blogging world. I think we first connected through Susan Branch so long ago! Thank you for always sharing your wonderful ideas with us here, Cathy! Sending many blessings across the miles!πŸ’—

  3. I do not journal nor have a special word, but I applaud your efforts and know how much enjoyment you get out of it. I guess my gardening and sewing are my journal efforts. I find satisfaction is watching things grow and taking pieces of fabric and making them into something. Hope your year is off to a great start. πŸ™‚

    • We both love creating handmade, homegrown happiness, Judy! It’s so true that you journal with needle, thread, and colorful fabric. Your entire garden is the perfect seasonal journal.😊 Hope you are enjoying every day in the a South Carolina sunshine! I’m looking forward to catching up with all of your posts soon, my friend. Busy days here! My special ‘word’ reminds me to slow down and savor the special moments in each day. Today we had bright sunshine all day and temperatures around 50Β°. What a delight! Winter returns tomorrow. We are both looking forward to nurturing our gardens when Spring arrives! Wishing you a fun week ahead, Judy!πŸ’—

  4. As I finally find time to read my favorite blogger, yours is the first that I vowed to set time for this wintry morning, Dawn. I am so glad that I did, for you have centered me on a busy day ahead in what has been a busy February (and it only the 5th day). πŸ™‚ Your word, savor, is perfect and your purposeful journey with it this year is as commendable as it is inspiring. While I do not have a word or resolution for 2020, I did make a promise to myself to read more this year, and I have, purposefully taking the time to sit, be still, have a cup of tea and let the pages of books take me places. The Feather Thief is a riveting, true story that reads likes novel, and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much equally riveting and true.

    • Your kind words always fill my heart with warm sunshine, Penny!πŸ’• I have already noticed a more peaceful feeling as I make time to savor self-care, family time, creative time, time to learn and grow, and time in nature. Life is very busy and hurried these days. Slowing down a bit and being fully present in whatever I am doing at the moment feels sooooo good!
      I love the way you are intentionally savoring your reading time, Penny! You always choose such fascinating books. Cherish every moment of reading time tomorrow as the snowflakes fall. A cup of tea, a cozy sweater, and a good book are some of Winter’s gifts! Love you, dear heart!πŸ’—

  5. I love your choice of word for 2020, Dawn. It slowed me down just reading this blog about it and how you have already allowed it to influence your actions. A cute story: One of my daughters is very mindful of not allowing her children to have too much sugar. One day when I was watching her oldest daughter (6 years at the time) and brother, we attended a birthday party for one of their cousins. Suddenly, I realized I needed to make sure the children did not get too large a serving of dessert. Her brother had already been served, but I was able to oversee her portion. I saw her at the table a while later, still enjoying her dessert, though it had been a smaller portion than the others’, who had already left the table. She smiled at me and said, “I am savoring it.” πŸ™‚ In this case, moderation (minimalism) encouraged savoring. I really admire the beauty of your journals, and I hope you share a page with us now and then. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Paula

    • Oh, Paula! Your story is pure joy! Savoring the small pleasures at six years old is so sweet and will help bring happiness throughout life.😊
      My second grade classes kept Gratitude Journals throughout November each year. They discovered that giving thanks lasts more than just one day! We also shared special Letter Writing journals. Each day, they would write me letters telling me one thing and asking me a question. I still remember sitting on my porch swing in the evenings replying to each letter. 😊Such a delightful way to learn that writing is communication and using good grammar and our best handwriting helps others to understand our thoughts. Whenever I cross paths with former students, I love to ask what they remember most about second grade. Very often, they remember our journals! πŸ’•Some still have them!
      Thank you, Paula, for your sweet words about my journal! I look forward to sharing a bit more from month to month! Journaling always feels like a little ‘gift’ of time that I give myself. My journals teach me such important lessons. It’s so nice to look back over the past few years! (If you search the blog archives for bullet journal, Self-Care journal, or Garden journal, you can peek at many journal pages.)
      Are you a journal writer, Paula? I’d love to hear more about your journals, too. Warmest thanks for visiting and being a special part of our blog! πŸ’—

  6. Oh, what a fun teacher you were! I love that you taught your students to write letters. You gave them a lovely gift, no wonder they remember them and that they saved them. Another gift you gave them was to show them the power and joy of gratitude. Well done, Dawn!

    I made a point of sending homemade post cards to my grandchildren beginning when the oldest, now 25 years old, was 18 months. I wrote their name in the center and decorated with stickers around their name. I have 49 (yes!) grandchildren to date, and all of them that can control a pencil, have written me something or drawn me a picture. This past week I organized my “received correspondence” from each of my eight children’s families in small see- through bins, several of them. It was so fun to stop and read some during the process. Our second granddaughter to be married moved from Oregon to Kentucky when she married, 13 months ago. I sent her a copy of one of the newsy letters she had written me when she was 13 years old. She had so much fun reading it with her husband and sharing her childhood with him. Knowing she would soon be out to visit her family, I gave them a copy of another letter she wrote when she was 11 years old. The entire family was there when they read that letter, and they all had fun reminiscing together. πŸ™‚

    I do journal. I try to write in my journal daily, plus I keep a separate correspondence journal to keep track of letters, birthday notes, sympathy letters, gifts, etc. that I send. Otherwise, sometimes I think about writing so much that I do not know if I have, in fact, written or not! Before keeping the journal, I sent one grandchild two birthday letters! I am quite sure I also thought I wrote some things that I did not!

    I also organized and labeled my journals this past week and lined them up on a shelf. Last evening, I read aloud to my husband from a travel journal about a trip we took with four of our unmarried (at that time) children. It was delightful to have the memories come back to mind. We pulled out the photo album from that trip and laughed when my husband noted that he currently had on the exact shirt that was in a photo taken at our youngest son’s 6th birthday (celebrated at a restaurant in Wyoming)! Said son is 31 years old now, and the shirt still looks good! My husband has often asked me why I write in my journal, but after reading the one last night he is a fan! πŸ™‚

    Thank you for directing me to the blog archives so I can savor some more of your journal pages, Dawn!

    • Oh, Paula! Your family stories make my heart sing! What treasures to have sent and received (and organized!) all of your family postcards and letters! They truly are ‘pages’ from unbound journals.πŸ’•I know that every grandchild feels special to know that you have saved all of the letters! I really think that we can know one another’s hearts so deeply through letters written over the years. My niece, Nora, and I have a very special connection through our letters from the time she was eight years old to today. Each letter is a treasure!

      Kindred spirits, Paula! I also keep a correspondence journal for all of the handmade cards that I send. I want to be sure that I use different supplies and techniques for each card. It’s so funny. Very often, when someone thanks me for a card, I have to look back in my journal to see which card I made especially for them! It’s fun to look back at the end of the month and remember the cards I’ve sent off to loved ones near and far.

      You are much better at keeping a travel journal than me! I always bring one, but never write enough. I think I write better for an audience! After my earliest travels, my mom gave me a wonderful surprise. She saved my daily postcards from Europe. They were so descriptive as I shared memories of the people and places. When I returned home, Mom gave me all of the postcards ~ a surprise travel journal! Such a treasure!!

      Paula, you would LOVE Susan Branch’s beautiful, watercolored, handlettered travel diaries as she travels the English countryside. So inspiring! Perhaps you found my blog through Susan’s lovely blog at I’m always so curious to know how friends find my little blog.

      I’ve been working on the February pages in my bullet journal this morning, while peeking through our lace curtains, as big, fluffy snowflakes twirl down outside. So pretty! I’m savoring this quiet time… until my shoveling ‘meditation’ begins.😊
      Heartfelt thanks for being here, Paula, and taking the time to write! Feel free to contact me anytime through the ‘Say Hello’ page, as well. Wishing you a lovely week!πŸ’—

  7. Yes, Dawn, I did discovered you through Susan’s blog~girlfriends. πŸ™‚

    I do not always do so well at travel journals. I find that some of the extra special events and times leave me less time to journal about them. I sometimes leave space for those days in my journal, but I do not have a good track record of going back to fill them in. Do you find that if you skip a day, when you try to “catch up” you cannot recall well what happened that day?

    What a treat to receive the travel journal from your mother in the form of your own words on postcards; I love that.

    I, like you, try to keep track of the cards I send by rough sketching what they looked like, particularly if I made them myself. The others I try to describe so I do not send the same card to a person twice. In organizing my correspondence I noted that my husband gave me the same birthday card for three different birthdays. I think that one really expressed his heart, and I love that!

    Off to finish my craft room project!

    Enjoy your snow shoveling “meditation” ! πŸ™‚

    • Celebrating the wonderful sisterhood of SB Girlfriends!!πŸ’•It’s no wonder that we have so much in common, Paula!

      Yes, the very same thing happens during my travels. I’m always so grateful for ALL of my photos! Looking back at each photo brings back all of the special memories in an instant.

      I feel the very same way about making notes about my handmade cards for each beloved recipient, Paula! Since I create each card especially for someone, I often buy stamp sets with someone very special in mind. So, I make notes in my Correspondence journal about the stamp, sentiment, and technique I used. Creating thumbnail sketches are so valuable. For the past year, I’ve been absolutely smitten with Betsy Veldman’s stamps, dies, and stencils from The Greetery. Definitely check out this new, family-owned stamp company!
      I love your husband’s choice of the perfect card for you, Paula. So sweet! Wishing you both a wonderful week!πŸ’—

    • I think you will love them, Paula! There will be a Springtime mini Release, called Lily & Palm, announced on The Greetery blog on Thursday.😊 Enjoy!

  8. Dawn, it is so nice to find your post. I can easily picture you reading, writing and practicing yoga. You’re so good at honing in on what you need and seeing things through. I admire that quality. Savor is the perfect word. I didn’t know, or perhaps I forgot, that you painted your words on rocks and placed them in your garden. That is a charming idea.

    My word this year is more outwardly focused: vote. My hope is that folks who think their vote doesn’t matter, will vote and that folks that stayed home in 2016 will also vote. If I could wave a magic wand I would create The Common Sense Party. If it makes sense, let’s do it. If it’s harmful or hurtful or hateful, don’t. It would be a bit like kindergarten for grown ups.

    I think of you every time I sit down to craft. I’ve enjoyed my Greetery stamps, and hope to use them more often this year. For now, I’m stuck on the couch for another three weeks after major foot surgery. Hugs, Alys

    • Your blog visits always feel like California sunshine, dear Alys! I hope that this healing time will pass very smoothly, my friend. If you feel like a ‘visitor’ one day, we could plan a cheery, little virtual ‘visit.’ πŸ’• Savor this quiet, restful time as you dream your 2020 garden dreams.

      It was just last Summer that I realized there was something important missing in my garden! So, with a few collected river rocks and a white paint pen, I quickly created garden stones for each of my special ‘words.’ I placed them around a bee bath in my Friendship Garden bed. The stones are on display in my little Paper Garden studio during the Winter months. Can’t wait to add my ‘savor’ stone to the garden when the snow melts! Keeping these special words visible helps me to focus on their importance in my life.

      I just LOVE your word, Alys!! This year we celebrate 100 years since American women finally won the right to vote! Women can honor the hard work of the Suffragettes by turning out in huge numbers at the polls for the Primaries and on Tuesday, November 3rd. So very important!! The Common Sense Party makes very good sense to me!

      Wouldn’t it be fun to have some crafty time together using our stamps and dies from The Greetery? I’m dreaming of a bit of time to play with ink and paper. Although time has been very limited lately, I decided to begin a dot grid journal with pencil sketches of cards I’d love to make. I think it will be a way to maximize my creative time! Working from a limited number of card sketches and ideas might feel more productive than the unlimited inspiration on Pinterest. It’s so easy to savor the inspiration on Pinterest as the hours fly by! Perhaps you could make a few card sketches while you are resting on the couch. It’s a creative activity that will continue to inspire you when you are up and about again. Sending warm, squishy, healing hugs across the miles, dear heart!πŸ’—

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