Tuesday Travel: Gullfoss Waterfalls, Iceland

Celebrating a winter birthday in New England is often with a prayer and good traveler’s insurance. Boston managed to miss the recent blizzard experienced in New York and Maryland so my brother and I, both celebrating birthdays in January, were able to fly off to, yes, Reykjavík, Iceland. Always on the alert for trip deals, TravelZoo’s package deal was very appealing especially as both of us expressed interest in visiting and crossing it off our destination “bucket lists”.

I always try to sign up for at least one all day city tour wherever I visit. The hotel concierge desk person recommended we reserve the eight hour Golden City Tour and Green Energy. Pictured here is me, in front of the absolutely stunning waterfall. Peeking through the snow squall was a beautiful tint of aqua blue water. I imagine it is a magnificent sight in the summer, however, it was still quite mesmerizing on a cold January morning. 🙂

January birthday trip
Winter travel from Boston to Iceland

Stock Photography Fail #1

Due to medical challenges,  retiring from wedding videography and editing was necessary and anticipated with joy and trepidation.  Joy, because I’m now able to fully focus on my  re-branding efforts of returning  to scenic photography. Having an additional 2300 hours per year to capitalize on creating and marketing photographic art on two of my stores, Zazzle and Cafe Press will hopefully bring what have been moderately successful efforts over the years to a very profitable replacement income.  Trepidation because, I’ve been reading about how to become a stock photographer since 2010 and finally took the plunge, signing up for an annual membership on the how to’s of breaking into stock photography.

My first attempts last year were met with success with 8 out of 12 photos accepted. Then later in the  year, the company revamped their site and their policies, declining all 8 photos including this one of the curious squirrel about to climb into my handbag.

Sharing stock photography fail #1 is my way of releasing the negative energy associated with it being declined due to “creative” design. My membership suggestion is to possibly submit it with a short article to the local newspaper or as fine art , an editorial image or even selling it on my websites.

Here’s to finding a positive outcome!


photo declined for stock photography
Venturing into the stock photography field

Anyone looking for a photo of an inquisitive squirrel? Contact me!

PopPop’s Custom Designed Cake PopPops

Cake Pops for PopPop’s 82nd Birthday!

Recently Zazzle.com began offering artists and customers the opportunity to create tasty cake pop desserts.

As a Zazzle designer, it’s important for me to periodically order my products as a type of quality assurance check. 🙂

Once an order is placed, Zazzle is fabulous with providing 15% “Thank You” coupon codes on your next order which I happily
applied to trying out their new cake pops for my Dad’s 82nd birthday.  For the inside filling I chose Vanilla,
dark chocolate for the icing and yellow drizzle .

The round cookie wafer is used as the base so I went into my computer graphic software program, selected a circle and designed
the birthday text to fit inside. Creating the wording inside the circle first helped insure it would fit properly and look great.

Once I was pleased with the final cake pop design, I found my coupon and placed the order two weeks before I actually needed them.
Not only was I able to use the 15% off coupon, they also had a promo sale, total savings – $20.96 – how fantastic! It gets even better,
The cake pops arrived perfectly packaged as noted below within 7 days. I was stunned and pleased.

  • Note: Between May 1 – September 30, Cake Pops are shipped in a food safe, reusable foam cooler with Koolit Gel icepack to ensure freshness and maximum protection. With careful packaging, your desserts are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition!

As noted above, they did arrive in perfect condition along with two gel ice packs. I gingerly opened the box and the packaging and took a peek
at the cake pops. Then placed the cake box in the refrigerator until July 29th bringing them on the road from Boston to Maryland by Megabus
for PopPop’s 82nd birthday celebration.

The birthday dinner was held at Teppanyaki Grill in Lanham, MD with 9 people wondering what type of “cake” we were about to enjoy.
LOL, imagine their amazement at seeing  cake pops! and they were absolutely delicious, moist and bursting with flavor.
One cake pop was just the right serving size for an after dinner treat.

Let’s see, whose birthday or event am I designing for next??

Cake Pop's designed by Khoncepts
Cake Pop’s designed by Khoncepts
Dad's Cake Pops 2014 created by Khoncepts.com
Actual Cake Pop

Childlike wonder

59 years young and I hope and pray I always keep my childlike wonder of Mother Nature and her awesome sights. Earlier today, while inside a Boston high rise, I enjoyed watching a fast moving downpour with blue skies and puffy clouds visible in the background. It’s difficult to photograph landscapes from inside a corporate building due to ceiling lights and windows reflecting me in the picture. So I was excited and fascinated to see, while walking home, this one enormous white cloud formation.

Once I was inside the house, I turned on the TV just in time to hear the weatherman commenting on other spectacular cumulus clouds in the area. Super! Saved me from going online to find out what type of magnificent cloud it was, lol.

What brings out the childlike wonder in you?


Home Decor inspiration and two Bahamian conch sea shells

My first ever solo vacation was to Nassau, Bahamas back was in 1990. My parents agreed that Mom would come to Boston to stay with my three children (that I had at that time) for five glorious days. I stayed in the British Colonial which was right in town and on the beach. Each morning was spent at the crack of dawn sipping their  complimentary coffee located in the lobby. While most of the guests were sleeping, I was collecting seashells along the beach before the women raked them up with the seaweed that washed in during the night.

A magical time as there was just me, one man jogging along the coastline and the women raking the sand. These conch shells were just two of my many trophies that I brought back to the states along with bags full of sand and shells. Ssssh! don’t tell anyone as I’m sure it’s no longer allowed.

Inspiration for my many home decor items  comes from everywhere, beach sand, shells, rocks even moss on trees. This lovely striped pillow features a soft color palette borrowed from a gorgeous conch shell found during a very memorable vacation in Nassau.


Conch shell decorator pillow
Home decor striped pillow inspired by Bahamian conch shells.
Conch Sea shells - Nassau, Bahamas
Home Decor – inspired by two Bahamian conch shells

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Detox – Day one

My really pretty digital bathroom scale has found a home in my daughter’s new apartment. Having a scale was a giant fail for me. I was not winning mentally and therefore when she asked I was happy to say yes!!! Each time the scale would show a decrease in numbers my brain gave me permission to indulge a bit. As mentioned earlier, a giant mental fail.

This body and I have been together for almost 60 years. We’ve had a mostly successful co-adventure with only a few missteps requiring periodic use of crutches and one six months stint of total bed rest due to my last pregnancy. So when it starts talking to me, I know how to take stop and listen. Right now the conversation is ‘Hawaii is six months away, it’s time to start today’. Which brings me to trying out this organic detox tea “supporting healthy liver and kidney function”. I’m not advocating this brand of tea, but I was able to include it in my online Peapod order food delivery order. It looks loaded with all types of great organic herbs including ginger root and Dandelion root.

Today is Day one and I’m happy to say it actually tastes pretty good using only one tiny spoonful of organic sugar. If nothing else, having a nice cup of hot organic tea on a lovely Saturday morning, at home of course :-), is giving us a break from our usual coffee, sugar and half and half cream. As the box states be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything herbal.

Day one and done. Checking back in next month.

detox tea with herbs
Detox Tea



Throwback Thursday – toys

Throwback Thursday - Toys

My oldest child is 39 years old and my youngest is almost 18. Nicely tucked away, in a huge bag, in my attic closet is years worth of kids meals toys still in their original wrappings. I always purchased a meal for them and an extra toy for me, especially the little beanie babies.

I promised myself that one day I would begin photographing and cataloging them all by year. That day was two hours this past Saturday. Sharing here for #tbt is a photo grid sampling of my efforts.

I honestly have no idea what I will do with the toys after it have them all sorted by year but I’m sure a great idea will come to me. 🙂

Throwback Thursday - toys
Throwback Thursday – toys

What’s in your closet!!!

Wearable Art Wednesday

Trendy, camouflage inspired one piece bathing suit design brings fond memories of being a military family. Cute one piece bathing suits also provides cover for moms like me who may have acquired a few loving battle scars after childbirth.

This creative swirl of army colored, green and brown spheres women’s swimsuit is definitely a conversation starter. Hand wash only and comes in a variety of sizes from extra small to XL.
What’s in your closet? 🙂

Military inspired army colors one piece women's bathingsuit
Military inspired army colors one piece women’s bathingsuit

Visit here for more bathing suit designs! And Mahalo for stopping by.

Black, white and red elliptical design

Yes, I do. I really do. Not only do I design colorfully gorgeous products, I buy them too.
Creating trendy gifts is only part of the equation. It’s also very important that I know my customers
enjoy a great buying experience. My first floor level is entirely black, white. After trying to find curtains online for my windows, I took the artistic high road and came up with this funtastic black, white and red elliptical shower curtain print design.

I immediately ordered two curtains to use on my double windows, yes, I know, I know, they’re fabric shower curtains however, they going to be used in my kitchen. The easy care material allows for machine wash and dry maintenance. Imagine your college student and think… dorm room.   🙂

My only concern was that they were packed in tissue paper inside a cardboard box which is ecologically sound. Thankfully the box was delivered dry and intact.

Can we say super happy! The colors were exactly right and the curtains were well made. “Conversational art” at it’s best. My 17 year old son, favorably commented on the design, the way I used the curtains and the fact that his Mom was so creative. LOL

Next, matching cloth dinner napkins to come.

What’s your situation? Is there a room that needs a special touch? Or is there a highly unique gift you are searching for?

I will be pleased to help you decide on the item and the colors using my contact form.

Shower curtains or window curtains
Gorgeous black, white and red graphic design shower curtains.

NuWave cooking salmon dinner

It died! kaput, trashed, my favorite cooking appliance ever, the large NuWave oven cooks no more. The mini NuWave provided a bit of breathing room as I weighed the pros and cons of buying a replacement. Several weeks of using the mini convinced me it was time to go online and find the best deal for a new unit.

Sears, not only had the best deal, but somehow I had some sort of points from previous purchases, who knew??, that they applied bring the price down and with an additional warranty.

I love the new black unit as it matches my kitchen colors and as an added bonus, the parts from the old unit i.e. the hood, base and racks will serve as replacements should I need them.

Quick note, the first time the unit is used it may emit a new smell while cooking. The delicious Asian salmon photo features what was left for me. LOL, I’m glad there was enough to snap a quick photo before enjoying.

Note, the salmon was frozen, I simply washed them, seasoned them, covered them and set the cooking time for 20 minutes x three for a total of 60 minutes. I like to check and cook, this way others are able to eat it the way they like it. Tanoshimu!

NuWave oven cooking salmon
NuWave oven cooking salmon