Journaling 101

My goal is to write every day. I can’t say I have a perfect record, but the process has become so ingrained, that if I don’t put pen to paper, I really feel out of sorts.

A few years back, I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and started a habit of what she calls “Morning Pages.” Her suggestion is to get up early each day and write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing. To help you be a better artist, she asks that you use these pages to rest, to dream and to try.

I have to say, making a commitment to this habit has been nothing less than life changing for me. I sincerely believe all the research on journaling and have even experienced some of these incredible benefits:

  • Improves immune function. Expressive writing can strengthen your immunity and decrease your risk of illness. It’s even been reported to help wounds heal faster.
  • Reduces stress. Journaling can make it easier to unwind, and feel more optimistic.
  • Keeps memory sharp. It helps your brain function at its best, improves memory and comprehension.
  • Boosts mood. It gives you a greater sense of emotional well being and happiness.
  • Unlocks and engages right-brained thinking. This can bring better balance to your life, spark innovation and enhance problem solving.

You might want to give it a try. Just think about setting aside a time and place to start your journal. Give a voice to your dreams and aspirations and a safe space for all your hurts and disappointments. It’s very powerful.

Believe it or not, as a result of this daily habit, my husband and I started our whimsical stationery line, Hooray For The Underdog!, that celebrates and supports rescue animals.

How To Write A Great Thank You Note

We all want to be seen, heard, loved and respected. What better way to express that to someone you care about, than through a sincere thank you note. In a world filled with texts and emails, I just love getting something handwritten in the mail. And I believe, most of the people in my life feel the same way. I was asked, how I go about writing a thank you note. Here are a few thoughts.

Thank You Cards From Hooray For The Underdog!Picking The Perfect Card

First thing I think about is the person I’m writing to, and pick out a card based on what they like. For me, as co-creator of Hooray For The Underdog!, it usually involves whether they’re a cat or dog person. Do they like big or little dogs? Are they into bright colors? Or do they like black and white?

Once I’ve picked the card, I start with a short opening sentence, that says thank you, without actually using those words.

For instance:

  • I’m so grateful to you!
  • Nothing makes me happier than having lunch with you!
  • You are, by far, the best at choosing the perfect gift for me!

Then I add another sentence or two about the gift (or what they’ve done) and why I love it so much.

For example:

  • How did you know that I’m such a fan of Pink Peonies? I have loved them all my life.
  • The grilled cheese sandwiches at Toulouse are to die for!
  • I can’t think of anything that I like better than beautifully scented candles.

I usually close with another “Thank you.” and something that lets that person know how important they are to me.

Perhaps:

  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the best friend I could ever hope for!
  • You have such an exceptional gift for making me feel loved and special.

Notepad From Hooray For The Underdog!Don’t forget to review your spelling and grammar and be extra careful to spell his/her name correctly. I always write everything out on a scratch pad first. This may seem like it takes too much extra time, but it saves me from crossing stuff out on the actual card.

In the end, I concentrate on writing something sincere and straight from my heart. When it comes to thank you notes, honesty and a real effort to show your appreciation is all you really need.

SHOP THANK YOU CARDS

The Importance Of A Handwritten Note

I just got back from the mailbox and was sorting the piles; shred, recycle, bills and wait…drop everything…a thank you note from a friend.

You would think I would be totally blasé about getting note cards or greeting cards in the mail. But it’s a personally meaningful gesture and stands out from all the mass produced, push-a-button correspondence I normally receive.

Thank You Note Card Set

I like writing thank you notes. Really. The thought of someone getting something good in the mail and knowing how appreciative I am, really drives me. Philosophically, gratitude and focusing on the positive is something I feel strongly about. Sharing my thoughts, using my favorite pen, on an interesting card, made from really nice paper, conveys that appreciation better than anything.

Spelling names correctly is a thing I’m always careful to get right. Nobody can stand to see their name misspelled. I’m also very fortunate that my wife Janet doesn’t mind proof-reading my notes. She’s a grammatical genius.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love email and computer produced correspondence, but it just can’t beat something handwritten on an interesting thank you note.

Find A Dog A Home Photo Shoot – October 2015

Cookie - DogNKittyCity.org

Here are all the dogs we photographed for their ad.

Every month, we invite rescue groups to bring their hard to photograph dogs into the studio. I shoot a ton of exposures. Volunteers squeak toys, blow whistles, and stand on their heads. Treats flow at the rate of a fire hose. Fabulous trainers keep the dogs on set, facing the correct general direction and from having a meltdown. Janet art directs, edits to find the best poses and is a host without compare.
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Find A Dog A Home Photo Shoot – September 2015

Maximus - DogNKittyCity.org

Here are all the dogs we photographed for their ad.

Every month we invite rescue groups to bring their hard to photograph dogs in to the studio. I shoot a ton of exposures. Volunteers squeek toys, blow whistles,and stand on their heads. Treats flow at the rate of a fire hose. Fabulous trainers keep them on set, facing the correct general direction and from having a meltdown. Janet art directs, edits to find the best poses and is a host without compare.

After retouching the leashes away we create a nice advertising piece to find these guys a home. It really helps generate a ton of adoption interest and happens to be the best part of our jobs.
Except of course when cats show up!

BIG THANKS to all the volunteers Art Ortiz, Mari, Amber, from Dog and Kitty City and Rockwall Pets.

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Start 2015 off right!

New Notecard Sets

Send a note of gratitude that’s guaranteed to make friends and family smile.

Introducing our new, note card sets, right sized and the perfect little way to stay in touch. Just $15.95 for a set of 10. We’ve left them blank inside for you to really express your appreciation or just let someone know you’re thinking about them.

All our models are certified heart breakers. And despite their rough starts, they now live in loving and caring homes.

To adopt more wonderful dogs like these, visit your local animal shelter.