Watercolor Butterflies from Shalavee.com

Jane Barry of That Curious Love Of Green tagged me to continue the game of blog tag and post the A to Z of Me, an alphabetical roundup about myself. So here goes. It’s a wordy one but I think it’ll be a great way for you to get to know me if you don’t already.

blogging means selfies in toilets on Shalavee.com

Art – I grew up surrounded by art. My sister was an art major, my Mom was a dabbler in the arts, and all of our family friends were artists as I grew up. Seems I was one too but didn’t know it. I have no formal training for the practice or study of art. However I have proclaimed this to be the year I finally accept my self-definition of artist. I know you already knew but I had to find my way to it on my own. I’ve decided art is the only physical proof of emotion and the perfect way to express your heart.

Beet Salad on Shalavee.com

Blogging – Quite honestly, I had no idea what a blog was when I started one. Typical me diving head first before finding out how cold and deep the water is. But it turns out that after suffering through the technical and emotional growing pains of blogging, I think it’s one of the best things that has happened to me. It has allowed me to become a better writer, make new friends, discuss ideas, take pictures, and be hired to do a blogging workshop. And decide to be me. All are opportunities I never foresaw and am overwhelmingly grateful for.

painted dresser on Shalavee.com

Cuisine – My Dad is a gourmand, which is to say he values eating, drinking, and entertaining. And I was a kid who tried anything once. I developed a zeal for quality food and found myself in the restaurant business for a good twenty years of my life. I’m always cooking and mostly from scratch. I’m the Mom who makes homemade pancakes even on school days and my kid has no idea not all mothers do that. My ideal vacation would be eating and drinking my way through the South of France and Italy. You get the picture.

Eamon July 4th 2014 on Shalavee.com

Design –  I’m not up on the current design trends but I love and appreciate good design when I see it. I especially like it when interior design takes into account the living needs of the inhabitant as well as aesthetics and comes up with a super-duper out of the box solution. I aspire to my house being well designed and peaceful and effortless before I die. And until I can have pretty ads here on the blog, there will just be none.

Fiona in the tub on Shalavee.com

Eamon – My first-born, whom I had when I was 38 years old, is named Eamon (pronounced Ay-mun). Yes I had to give him a screwy Irish name too since I have one. He is a delightful funny creative young man who gets along with everyone. Except maybe his parents because he has just turned 10 and that’s the age of obstinance.

Mother's Day Flowers on Shalavee.com

Fiona – She is my two-year old and my miracle baby. She got the leftover girl’s name, also an Irish one. I had her when I was 46 years old. I didn’t know the odds, I just knew another child was high on the list of life’s necessary items. But OMG, this is a challenge. She’s a girl and a toddler and I’m constantly being emotionally terrorized. Ooosh is the sound of the wind being knocked out of me. She’s also really smart, funny, and photogenic. And a redhead with hazel eyes.

Homemade on Shalavee.com

Garden – When we moved here from the big city, one of my criteria was a house with dirt I could dig in. I ended up with a lot of dirt, dare I say too much dirt. And the story and the progress has ebbed and flowed with our gardens as our learning curve has caught up with us and is now laughing at us.

Homemade – I am such a huge fan of homemade probably because I love unique. Creativity and hard work and thoughtfulness go into handmade items and homemade food and I’m filled with pride and support for anyone endeavoring to make, no matter how bad or good the results.

Chair pile up selfie in May '15 on Shalavee.com

Intelligence – There’s both the learning kind of intelligence and the emotional kind of intelligence. The first comes from books and schooling and I admire that but emotionally intelligent people get to me more. Because the work that you need to do to get there requires self-evaluation and honesty and living the pain that graduates you from it. I admire that process of becoming emotionally intelligent immensely.

Joy – Laughter is my fuel. I am always finding the joy in the everyday and laugh constantly. Children are good for helping you find random joy and life is a daily source for happiness if you are willing to push aside your fears to find it.Fear steals joy by clouding your brain with anxiety, anger, and indecision.

laughter daughter from Shalavee.com

Keep On Keepin’ On – Perseverance is one of my big modes. One of my first posts was on this subject. What the heck else are you gonna do anyway? You just pick it up and keep going. And if you are smart, you ask others to witness your journey with you.

Laughter – If there’s a day when you don’t find me laughing, worry about me. I have a signature big belly loud laugh. Just like my Momma, you can find me at a State Fair by following my laugh.

Mark and Fiona out for Sushi on Shalavee.com

Mark, Marriage, and Music – This is the second marriage for both me and my husband Mark. He is the father of my children. We had parallel childhoods in row houses in Baltimore and were both middle children with low self-esteem and bad first marriages without children. We met through very close friends and that was that. We make each other laugh and will celebrate our 14 year anniversary this year.

Music is also a great love of mine. I am a fan of Alternative but I don’t have as much time to catch up on new music as I would like to because when I find new music I adore, it’s like making a new best friend. And when I work out, I love listening to Funk. I’m kinda diverse that way.

1 May Sick of My Story post

Nest – My home is my nest and I love to work on it, play with the styling, redesign the rooms, and can not see how I’ll ever consider it done. My nest keeps us cozy and it also allows me my playtime. And an incredible sense of accomplishment when I do a great job.

Jedo Fiona on Shalavee.com

Originality – As I said, I have a “thing” about being unique. I’m an artist and I praise and prioritize the different. I think it’s the best darn thing if I’ve never seen it before. I’ve got a constant case of out of the box-itis. And I like it that way.

Problem Solving – Like many, I like a challenge. I conceive of a design or an event and then I want to not only see it happen, I want to see how I figure out the solutions to the problems I may meet.I truly feel that there is an answer to any and all dissonance. It’s just a matter of thinking it through and sticking it out.

working hard on Shalavee.com

Quest – My life is a perpetual quest of knowledge and self-definition. I want to understand why and how and what. Self-awareness and self-actualization are good excuses to be on a quest and I really don’t care for an ending. Just a new Aha every day.

Reading – One of the biggest and most fulfilling activities I sacrificed to having a toddler who sucks up my brain and time, is reading. I read blogs and posts and blips and blurbs but I miss the in-depth reading and friendship and escape novels provide. Summertime may find me making amends for that.

My Family on Shalavee.com

Stories – Seems that we all are storytellers. Our stories are the narratives to our visions of ourselves. They are also how we tell other people who we are and what is important to us. And I’m coming to find that we also capable of being our best editors when the stories we tell no longer fit where we want to be. And we can make stuff up too because it’s our story to tell after all.

Travel – Only when my future husband and I went to England and Ireland 16 years ago, was I really able to understand the wonder and adventure of travel. I am a true homebody but for 2 weeks, I saw how vast and how beautiful the world is. And the excitement of that realization, the thrill of newness, and the kindness of people, that is what makes me want to continue to travel to meet new places, eat new food, take more pictures, and experience the world again and again. It makes the coming home that much sweeter.

selfie Shalagh Hogan on Shalavee.com

Universal Truths / Uncomfortable – My quest involves searching for my “Ahas”, universal truths that we bump into each day but may be too busy to name or claim. I watch for those because these are the keys to changing our choices. I crave the discomfort that comes from the acceptance that how I’ve chosen to see it or do it may be able to be upgraded. The uncomfortable realization will eventually lead to better choices that are leading to longer bouts of happiness and ease. They make me a more interesting person as well.

Writing on Shalavee.com

Value – Up until now, I’ve not ever thought about my value. I value art and effort and beauty everywhere else and by everybody else. But I truly did not perceive that what I do or make or offer had value. Now, I’m working really hard on changing that .

Up in the air on Shalavee.com

Writing – Writing was the very thing that I knew I wanted to do from way way back. The very thing that was so very important to me that when I thought about not doing it, it hurt. And it was the activity that I never allowed myself to truly pursue because it was a secret wish that I was afraid I’d spoil and ruin if I actually made it a reality. But then it became more painful to not write than to write and I began writing pieces and publishing them online on a writing site. And then I met someone who blogged and she suggested I blog. And then I thought about backing out of that I said, “Heck, if you want to be a writer than here’s your excuse/reason to practice. And I am a better writer for this blog where I publish a new piece every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

A to Z on Shalavee.com

EXercise – I have always liked being active just because I knew it was good for me. I like that once I’m done I don’t have to think about my laziness the rest of the day. That making exercise a priority means I’m prioritizing my health and well-being. My sleep and disposition are so much better when I exercise so it just seems the positives outweigh the negatives. Plus I get to have free childcare at the YMCA and I get to have music in my ears for 45 minutes straight. Heaven.

Yes – This is a powerful word. It embodies all that is good in the world and all things going well. Saying yes out loud will open possibility pockets in your brain that weren’t there before. Try it.

Zero – From zero to hero, that’s my journey. I want to zero out all the negatives that have run amuck in my psyche for all these years. I want to zero in on the good thoughts and habits and understandings that will rise me above the fear and the pain I lived a lifetime’s worth. And I have zero tolerance for the stuff that keeps us stuck. Zero patience for the I can’t s. Zeroing in publicly doesn’t bother me if I know that my process will benefit and inspire anyone else to pay respect to their journey too. I urge everyone to share their journey and allow for the joy of being in process with others like me.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

If you have any thoughts, please drop a word below in the comments. Or

Find and friend me on Instagram to view my daily pictures and art projects.

Find and Facebook friend me.

If you are interested in reading more of my thoughts on Creative Soul Living, place your name into the subscription box in the sidebar on the right and subscribe to my weekly posts delivered straight to your inbox.

And as always, thank you for your visit.


    1. Wow Lauren, I am so thrilled and flattered that you enjoyed the “all me all the time” post. It took me all of Sunday to whip up but I kinda liked doing it and well, I’m just me after all. Thank you so much for saying you taking a moment to comment that you liked it.

  1. Love this idea!! Thank you for sharing – I learned some new things about you. And, as a fellow foodie myself, anytime you want to eat your way through the south of France or Italy – Im in! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.