how to set your dream free from its cage
words to live by: shake it out

happy thanksgiving + gratitude photo challenge update



For those of you living in the good ol' U.S. of A., today is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating in the U.S. -- and a happy day of gratitude to all of you around the world! Over the past 24 days I've been celebrating gratitude in my own small way -- by participating in the Positively Present Photo Challenge and pausing on a daily basis to appreciate some of the things I'm thankful for in my life. Not only have I been able to celebrate the things that I'm thankful for, but, through the Flickr group I created, I've been able to see what others are grateful for in their lives. Seeing the photos of others has made me even more appreciative of all there is to be thankful for in this life.

Every day when I post my daily photo and check out the photos of others, I feel grateful. I feel grateful for a community of people who also want to be more present, more thankful. I feel grateful for things both big and small that I am lucky to have in life. From leaves and books to nature and animals, there are so many, many things to be thankful for.

Above you'll see some of the things I'm thankful for -- the 24 photos I've taken so far this month -- and below you'll find their corresponding categories (just in case they aren't all that obvious). To see the full size photos, check out the Positively Present Flickr page.

Day 1: Favorite Food.
Even though I have quite a few favorite foods, I went with one of my go-to snacks -- Rainbow Goldfish. I also recently discovered Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish, which are pretty darn amazing.

Day 2: Smile. Okay, this isn't technically a smile, but it's a dog smile, which is even better in my book. When I spotted this happy pup online, I just had to snap a photo and share it.

Day 3: Happiness. My cousin sent me this necklace for my birthday and I love it. Every time I wear it I feel happy and I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have a cousin like her.

Day 4: Leaves. I snapped this photo while I was out walking Bella. Autumn is my favorite time of the year and I'm particularly thankful for the beautiful colors that paint the trees every fall.

Day 5: Morning Sky. The morning sky can have so many different looks to it -- fiery fuschia, pale gray, or a shocking blue. On this day, I was grateful to capture the sun peaking out through the clouds.

Day 6: Books. One of my favorite things in the world is being right in the middle of a book so good you never want it to end, which is right where I was when I shot this photo.

Day 7: Something Funny. Though you don't get the full effect in this photo, whenever Bella wants a treat, attention, etc. she does a silly little begging dance that cracks me up every time.

Day 8: Favorite Color. You may have realized that orange is my all-time favorite color, but just to confirm that fact, I've shared a photo of my bright orange couch, complete with adorable pup.

Day 9: Inspiring Person. I'm constantly finding inspiration in other people and, on the day I took this photo, I was feeling extremely inspired by Florence's "Shake It Out."

Day 10: Nature. This is a shot of the view from my balcony with a tilt-shift effect applied so it looks like it's much farther away than it is. I'm so thankful for this little quite nook outside my window.

Day 11: Something Old. When I was born, my grandmother knitted a blanket that I proceeded to take with me pretty much everywhere. As a kid I couldn't live without my Blankey.

Day 12: Hands. A while ago I found this photograph in a magazine and loved it. Something about the colors, the creativity, drew me to it and it seemed like a great hands photo.

Day 13: Written Word. I love writing. Whether online or on paper, writing is one of things in life I'm truly thankful for -- which is why this photo seemed perfect for this day's pic.

Day 14: Movement. Driving is something I do daily and something I often take for granted. I'm so fortunate to have a contraption that takes me so quickly from point A to point B.

Day 15: Technology. Anything Apple has made -- my iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac computer -- is pretty much amazing. I don't know exactly how it all works, but I love it and am grateful for it!

Day 16: Animals. This odd little photo was taken at my local Nordstrom, where I've been enjoying this painting for years. Every time I see it, I smile at artistic Nipper the squirrel.

Day 17: Memories. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in this house. A lot of memories were made there, which is why I went out of my way to snap a photo of it for this challenge.

Day 18: Something New. Shipped all the way from Australia, I recently received my new 2012 planner and I couldn't be more excited about it -- and about planning for 2012. See how cute it is?

Day 19: Best Friend. I couldn't narrow it down to just one best friend for this photo. In this pic, you'll see two of my best friends, my boyfriend and my Bella, cozying up to one another on the couch.

Day 20: Seasonal. As mentioned on Day 4, autumn is my favorite time of the year, primarily due to the wonderful array of colors suddenly brightening everything around me.

Day 21: Where You Sleep. While this might look like where Bella slept, it's actually a photo of my pillow. Most mornings she crawls up on it and snuggles in once I've stumbled out of bed.

Day 22: Clothing. I purchased this t-shirt years ago and have always been inspired by its saying, a phrase I've altered slightly and used myself here: Happily Ever After Now

Day 23: In Your Closet. This is a photo of my color-coordinated closet. Seeing a rainbow of colors when I go in to pick out my outfits always puts a smile on my face (even when I'm not sure what to wear!).

Day 24: Gratitude. Though I don't remind myself as often as I should, there is so much to be grateful for in my life. This photo is a reminder to be thankful for every single moment.


For those of you who have been participating in the photo challenge, I hope you've been getting as much out of it has I have. It's been such a wonderful reminder for me to stay present, to stay thankful. For those of you who haven't been taking part in the challenge, it's never too late to join in! (Learn more here.) And whether you're taking photos of the things in your life that you are thankful for or not, remember to pause to day and be grateful for all the wonderful, amazing things you have in your life.


Participating in the 30 Day Photo Challenge?

Check out the Positively Present photos on Flickr.
Join the Positively Present Photo Challenge Flickr group
Share your photos on Twitter or Instagram using #PPphoto


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Happy Thanksgiving!!! Thank You for continuing to inspire and share your thoughts and things in your life, that in turn inspire me. So grateful to have been introduced to your site so many moons ago! :)

Saggleo - Happy Thanksgiving to you too! And thank you for your kind words. I'm so happy to hear that I inspire you. I'm grateful to have you as a reader!

My digital camera broke and I have resorted to using my cell phone camera which doesn't do my photos any credit.

I have been shopping around for a really good digital camera but haven't found one that I really like yet.

When I do get a "quality" camera I want to add my own pics to flickr.

Justin - Bummer about your camera! I'm looking forward to seeing your photos whenever you can post them. You can start the 30 day challenge at any time so no rush!

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the awesome inspiration, and to let you know I took on the challenge! I won't be posting it on flickr (simply because I don't have an account there), but you can see my photos, and the mini book I designed, on my blog:

Thanks again!

Lindsan - I'm so glad you participated in the challenge! It was a lot of fun for me as well (so fun, in fact, that I started another holiday challenge!). I'm looking forward to checking out your photos and mini book.

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