A Holiday Gratitude Journal

November generally signifies the beginning of the holiday season. No matter how you celebrate, the holidays can be stressful. Normal schedules instantly over fill with holiday activities, extra school events, party invites and family obligations. During all the hustle and bustle, focusing on the fun part of the festivities may seem difficult. Consider creating a gratitude journal.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

Basically, a gratitude journal is a diary. Unlike normal diaries, the gratitude journal focuses primarily on the positive aspects of each day. Even the most chaotic, stressful days have a positive moment. Being thankful and focusing on the special moments can help ease the stressful days.

Creating the Gratitude Journal

The gratitude journal does not have to be anything fancy. A simple spiral bound notebook or composition notebook will work. Other types and styles of journals are available. Pick one to inspire your journal writing time. As you begin to order holiday gifts online add one to your cart. Or get creative; make your gratitude journal into a cherished memento. Later on in life, you may find the entries funny, heartwarming or unbelievable.

Writing in the Gratitude Journal  

One of the most important aspects to consider in keeping a gratitude journal is making the time to write. Getting into the habit of writing journal entries may seem difficult in the beginning. After a few days, the urge to write may surprise you.

  • Make your gratitude journal time part of your daily schedule
  • Allow yourself at least 15 minutes to write
  • Try to expand on your journal entries by adding extra details
  • If you have children, ask them about their best part of the day
  • Expand on your children’s thoughts of the day

Remember there is no right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal. Focusing on the positives may help reduce the stress of the holiday season.

Many people decide to keep the gratitude journal just for the month of November or just the week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. Other people decide to keep the gratitude journal throughout the entire holiday season right into the New Year. Some find the journal entries inspiring and decide to continue. The length of time depends on your personal desire.



Happy Thanksgiving

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey


From my house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving. If celebrating today, I hope it was filled with good food, family and friends. I will be celebrating tomorrow with my family. We had to delay a day to ensure everyone could be there.

I know I have been behind on my days of thanks challenge. I must confess, I have been ill with a cold and cough. But my days of counting my blessings were never gone. I have so much to be thankful for, life is pretty amazing right now.

Until next time….peace….


30 Days of Thanks- Days 19 & 20-History & Vintage Negatives

For the last two days, I have been lost in old negatives.

So, today, I will play catch up on my days of thanks. I am thankful for my love of history and vintage photography. When I receive a box of new negatives, I tend to get lost in the faces and places which is why I am behind on my Days of Thanks challenge. I love the old photos; the small glimpses into the past. I wish I had more knowledge of places.  If I knew local geographically places better, I could possibly identify some of the photos.

I thought, I would share a couple of my recent finds. I cannot wait until I get through the entire box.

I do not know for sure if the photo is a father and daughter. But I like to guess.
I do not know for sure if the photo is a father and daughter. But I like to think, they were out enjoy the day together.

Have a great night.

Until next time…peace


30 Days of Thanks-Day 18- Rainy Days

Today, November 18, 2015, I want to say I really thankful rainy days. Today was windy, cold and damp. I could complain but I actually enjoyed my entire day. The morning stated with hot cocoa and toast with my mom. There’s just some enjoyable about chatting over trivial matters and planning the Thanksgiving menu for next week.

My father loved the Indian pudding I made the other day. ( https://rebeccaswritingsandphotography.com/2015/11/13/national-indian-pudding-day/ ) He’s always ready to try any new recipe I attempt prepare or attempt to prepare. He said the pudding actually reminded him of his childhood. The old school use to have picnics especially toward the end of the year. Apparently, there was an elderly woman who always made the same dessert every time a picnic was held. The dessert was exactly like the Indian pudding, I made. The only difference was the topping. I used a frozen whipped topping; he remembers a heavier whipped cream. Of course, the cream was probably straight off the farm. Now, I need to come up with something new for Thanksgiving.

So, we sorted through various cookbooks. Some were really old. Despite my lack of cooking and baking skills, I actually own a lot of cookbooks. I still haven’t found anything exciting to try to make. Any suggestions?

After my mom left, I spent the rest of the day doing what I love- writing. And what I really dislike- laundry.

This later evening, the rain is still lightly coming down. The wind has picked up immensely which actually howls through this old house of mine. In fact a few of the stronger gusts actually made my upstairs windows rattle. The wind is slowly going to die down over the next two days. But then the snow storm will be ushered into Michigan. The first one on radar for the season could drop a fair amount on us.

First snow falls are always magical…….

Until next time….peace

30 Days of Thanks-Day 17-Friends

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

Thomas Aquinas
Today, I want to say I am thankful for my friends.
  • I have friends who encourage my writing career. Even when I am contemplating throwing the entire book out the window. Or late to showing up for a girls night due to trying to write one more paragraph.
  • They understand my need to write down a thought before it escapes me.
  • I have friends who have been there every step of the way through out my life from switching careers to lows in my personal life.
  • Some of my friends have become my family.

I think life is a lot easier when you have friends to laugh and cry with at various points in your life.

Until next time…peace….

30 Days of Thanks-Days 15 & 16- Photography & Software

I am going to combine days 15 and 16 in the 30 Days of Thanks Challenge. For the last two days I have been working on photos for clients. Honestly, I am still in the process of finishing a project which is due tomorrow morning. I just needed to take a break from editing for a minute.

Day 15

First I would like to say I am thankful for digital photography. I mean, I started working with film. I was recently at a workshop and one of the young attendees did not know what the black 35mm film canister was. Yup, I felt really….old.

To add to the feeling of being old, I tried to explain the first camera I received. The first camera I ever used in a creative manner was given to me by my grandfather. The camera took 126 film cartridges. At the time, the camera was considered to be an older model. I was twelve; I thought I had everything with that old camera. Needless to say, digital photography is better in so many ways. However, I do still miss the film process.

Day 16

Along with digital photography, I love my photo software. Actually if you would have been in my house today, you would have caught me telling the program “That is not what I wanted to do”. Because, the program has a clear vision of what is in my mind. (Ha! Ha!). But at least with the program, I can save pictures that are not exactly the image I had wanted for my client.

Until next time…peace

30 Days of Thanks-Day 14-Work

Today, November 14, 2015 I am thankful for my work. When I graduated with my Master’s Degree in Business, I had different plans for a career than what I am doing now. But the jobs were not available in my area; I still do not have any intention of moving out of state.

So, I stumbled into writing to make some extra cash while I took part-time temporary jobs. One writing job turned into another, I have managed to build a steady client list. By working with different editors, I am learning new techniques and increasing my skill set. I am enjoying the  learning and research process.

I guess this is what I am supposed to do.

Until next time…peace…

30 Days of Thanks-Day 13-My Mom

Today, November 13, 2015, I want to give thanks to my mother. Over the years, my mom has become my best friend.

I can always count on her to accompany me to a local event or try a new recipe to help me further either my photography or writing. Today, she even helped me with a recipe which is coming up in my last blog for the night. I enjoy the fact that she lives next door to me. She simply wanders down the road to my house.

Until next time…peace


30 Days of Thanks-Day 11-Veterans

Today, November 11, 2015, I am thankful to all who have served in the military. I may not always agree with the politics. But I respect anyone who serves our country. My father served two tours of during the Vietnam conflict. He rarely discusses his time there. He always says, “when my country called, I went, and when I was done that part of his life was over.”

So, Happy Veteran’s Day to all who served including my dad!

Until next time…peace

30 Days of Thanks- Day 10-Music

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity.

It’s something we are all touched by.

No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

Billy Joel


Today, November 10, 2015, I am thankful for music. I know I mentioned music yesterday when I said, I was thankful for YouTube. But I wanted to expand on how much I love music. I listen to all types of music. I cannot pinpoint one specific genre. I listen to everything from opera to hard rock.

I actually listen to music more than I watch television. I tend to write for hours at a time; having music in the background helps with my creative thought process. If I am writing a sad or dramatic scene, opera and classic music help the story unfold. I use classic rock or anything with a thumping base for writing a scene filled with intense emotions.

For the most part, I do purchase my music online. The process is simple. I get my music instantly. Other times, I will be walking through a store and spot a new cd and I throw the item in my cart.

What is your favorite music? Do you have a favorite group or band?

Until next time….peace.