Saturday, April 25, 2015

"V" is for View

Nothing beats a spectacular view - no matter where you are at the moment.
I thought I would share a few of my favorite views with you!
Sunset at Ocean Beach - San Francisco
Monterey Bay
Coit Tower - San Francisco
AT&T Park - San Francisco
Fitzgerald Marine Reserve - Highway 1
Alta Vista Point - Highway 80

Never miss a moment to enjoy the view around you! 
What's your favorite view? I would love to hear from you! 

Friday, April 24, 2015

"U" is for "Underneath"

"Underneath"
We all have layers to our personality.
Events in life either add layers or peel them off.
But, underneath all of those layers is our true essence.
We need to pay attention to it and listen to its needs.
Feed it when it seeks nourishment.
Console it when it gets hurt.
Rejoice with it when times are good and all is well.
If we don't do these things, our essence gets lost, frayed and withers.
We end up staring at the calendar wondering
where time went and why we didn't celebrate the small things.
Underneath every one of us is a soul singing, sometimes in complete silence.
Beneath the gritting smiles hiding the tears,
beneath the deafening silence hiding the frustrations,
beneath the "oh well" attitude is a soul yearning to burst forth
with discordant sound, frantic motion and a shattered voice shouting, "Enough."
Underneath it all is me.

Original Poem by Gina Karas April 23, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"T" is for Teaching

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a teacher. I would put my stuffed animals at my little red table and teach them what I learned in school. Sometimes, even my sister, was my student. I have always had a passion for learning and passing on my knowledge to others. I loved reading and writing too. I devoured books as a young child and couldn't wait for the next book club order. My writing was always descriptive because I was always reading about new places and exciting characters. In junior high, I discovered a love for journalism and was recommended by my English teachers for College Prep English starting in my freshman year. My good grades in that class led me to be recommended for Honors English for the rest of my high school years.

Then I was off to college to pursue my major in English and continue with my credential to become a full fledged English teacher. I graduated with Honors and achieved my Bachelor's Degree in English after a very intensive course of study. My credential year had me taking classes and student teaching at the junior high and high school levels. I got hired at my old high school as an English teacher and the Yearbook Advisor. I only taught for four years. Then, I chose to change direction and enter the private sector. I still use my degree every single day when I communicate with my customers through phone calls and emails. My education has never been wasted.

Although my career took a different turn, I still love to teach. I have even taught some small scrapbooking classes. I enjoy seeing someone take what I have taught them and branch out on their own with a burst of creativity. I know that I've done my job when I see the spark being ignited. I absolutely love that feeling!
Ladies picking out embellishments at my mini album class - July 2011
 Mini albums that I taught in July 2012

I'll never give up learning and teaching. My soul needs to be nourished in so many different ways and feeding it with knowledge is the best satisfaction. Passing that knowledge on to others is truly icing on the cake! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"S" is for Sister

My sister and I are six years apart. Being an older sister means setting a good example in life for her to follow. We both graduated with honors from high school and both went to college. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class, so she outdid me there. She has a very successful career and I'm so proud of her and the series of promotions that she has earned over the years.
She has a sparkling personality and can make everyone laugh. She has a generous heart and a warm smile. She also has a sensitive side and has neverending patience with kids. She has a passion for music and you can usually find her with her headphones on dancing around the house. She truly is a free spirit. Her laid back attitude about life is one of her best attributes.
We've been through our ups and downs, but nothing will ever change my unconditional love for her.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"R" is for Reading

Ever since I was a kid, I loved to read. My childhood room was filled with books ranging from Dr. Seuss and Clifford the Big Red Dog to Shel Silverstein and the Littles. Later on in life, my favorite authors were Judy Blume, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Carolyn Keene. I spent hours reading the Nancy Drew books! High school brought me the wonderful worlds of John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau. I truly fell in love with literature and decided to pursue it as a major and ultimately ended up teaching high school English for four years. Although I decided not to remain a teacher, I have never given up on my love of reading!

These are the last three books that I have read:
1) The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
2) 29 Gifts by Cami Walker

3) Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
The next three books on my reading list are:
1) A Million Miles in A Thousand Years by Donald Miller
2) Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
3) The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry

I would love for you to share what you've recently read and what's next on your reading list!
Leave me a comment with your favorites!

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Q" is for Queen


The name "Gina" is known to mean "queenly ruler" and "well born." Although I am not truly royalty, I would classify myself as the Queen of the following categories:

Queen of Insecurity - I am always second guessing my talents and my strengths. I always worry about being good enough when it comes to taking on something new.

Queen of Unfinished Projects - I have a million unfinished crafting projects! My mom and my scrapping sisters can vouch for me on this one! I'm trying really hard this year to complete my pending projects before diving into new ones. But, it's so hard when I have a million ideas in my head!

Queen of the Pack Rats - I have gotten better at getting rid of things this year with my decluttering projects, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pack rat. I have a basement full of crap to prove it!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"P" is for Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to learn about new things or to keep yourself motivated. I listen to quite a few very different podcasts to keep me in the creative mode. Here are my Top 5 picks:
1. The Accidental Creative - Todd Henry
Todd Henry's podcasts are very motivational and he frequently interviews many inspiring authors.

2. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin just started her podcasts with her sister, Elizabeth Craft. They are a great tag team to get you thinking about ways to be happier in life.

3. Paperclipping Roundtable - Noell Hyman
Noell Hyman has the pulse of the scrapbooking world with her hour long podcasts. She addresses the current trends by interviewing many of the leading scrapbooking experts.

4. I Want What You're Having - Maruxa Murphy and Therese Sparby
Maruxa Murphy and Therese Sparby discuss a wide range of topics that will get you thinking about what matter most to you and how to achieve it in life.

5. Scrap Gals - Tiffany and Tracie
Tiffany and Tracie discuss all of the latest trends in the scrapbooking world. They keep you inspired to create and to never stop learning something new!