• Gratitude

    I created this page over the weekend to remind myself of all the things that I’m grateful for.  I’m grateful to be alive and have a chance to live a life.

    It’s always on my mind….which is why I’m  constantly striving to live a healthier and happier life. I’m a true believer that the best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice things I’m grateful for daily.

    As a writer in the publishing industry, I especially need to surround myself with positive people and positive beliefs. Sometimes I get entangled in negative thoughts because of all the pressure I sometimes put on myself.

    I truly believe practicing gratitude makes you happier and healthier. It’s an important habit to live. Gratitude is all about feeling appreciation for what we have in our life.

    So this artwork I made will act as a simple positive affirmation in my journal.

    A gentle “self-talk” reminder for me filled with positive words.


    Be grateful.

    Be mindful.

    Be positive.

    Ending this off with one of my favorite quotes:

    “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
    ― Epicurus


  • Out Of Bullets from “Spectre” soundtrack

    Film score composer Thomas Newman is one of my favorite music genius. It’s amazing to view his Imdb credentials and well, I can’t help but notice that he does not have an Oscar yet. Why not? He’s conducted so many mega films.

    So when I watched Spectre last weekend on Hulu, I was reminded why his work inspires me. Of course, all the scenes in the movie were clearly intense, but have you ever paid attention to the music composition that goes along with it?

    It’s not surprising that my favorites from the soundtrack coincide with some of my favorite scenes in Spectre. This one in particular…Out Of Bullets, where Bond is lovingly gazing into the eyes of Madeline when she tells him she can’t stay. She can’t be apart of his world. It’s such a heartfelt moment for these characters (sigh).

    The ending of Spectre is also one of my favorite and perhaps the best in all of the Bond films. That’s my opinion.

    I love this track so much. I just wish it went on longer.  Listening to this song reminds me of Iceland also, especially during the dark winter season. And I’ll admit to you that I actually meditate to this as well. Yes…it’s that relaxing. So put your headphones on and close your eyes for this one.

    Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!!



  • Washington D.C

    A week ago I had the opportunity to visit Washington DC.

    I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments from this trip and how much I’m grateful for the history in  our nation’s capital.  There were so many amazing historical sites and museums to visit, so it was really difficult to tailor it down in one blog post.

    The weather in D.C was a bit chilly at…42 degrees. I’m glad I brought my down winter coat with me because it would later snow in the week. On the day I arrived it was actually very beautiful and sunny. I spent a week there, and had approximately three days before the snow would arrive. That meant I needed to plan ahead and take advantage of the warmer weather and visit as much of the outdoor sites as I could. I’m a big cold weather chicken.

    My first stop was the Vietnam Memorial. I went there early in the morning where it was less crowded. At the Vietnam Memorial, it was a sad moment, mixed with a reverent and peaceful feeling. The names on the wall…were those who sacrificed their life.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to  pay my respects to them. It was a very humbling experience for me.

    The Lincoln Memorial.

    Walking up the steps towards a beautiful Greek style temple gave me a sense of historical nostalgia. Inside was the statue of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. The first thing I noticed was the expansive space that surrounds Lincoln. It’s an incredible site to see the massive stone sculpture up close.

    On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you face the Washington Monument, which would be an even more beautiful site had the Cherry Blossoms bloomed. I can only imagine.

    I also managed to visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The architecture design was breathtaking as well.

    A visit to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Just as I got to the top steps for this photo,  I managed to witness the changing of the guards.

    I spent my last few days visiting the Smithsonian and of course, my favorite…the National  Gallery of Art.

    Sketches by Pablo Picasso.

    There are so many museums in the city, and they are all free. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Washington D.C, be sure to also check out the African-American Museum, The Holocaust Memorial Museum,  Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the United States Capitol.

    Before I left D.C though, I managed to get one more final glimpse of the Washington Monument…this time with snow falling. Beautiful!

  • Five Things I Loved This Week


    It’s officially Spring! In my neck of the woods, I’m seeing new flowers blooming and the grass turning green. It’s a welcome sight. This time of year also means that I’ll be cleaning and freshening up my living spaces. I can’t wait!

    Here are my 5 links I love for this week. Have a great weekend!



    This is fascinating : The Remarkable Life and Legacy of Child Inventor Louis Braille. Guess what he invented?

    I discovered these healthy slow cooker recipes. Perfect for busy or just lazy days.

    Take a tour of this beautiful studio.

    What are your thoughts on this: Money Can’t Buy Happiness via Gretchin Rubin

    5 Common Meals with a Dangerous Amount of Added Sugar.


  • Favorite 5 For This Week

    @Copyright 2017 Katie Orse

    Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week and you worked hard on your goals.

    Here are my favorite 5 for this week. Have a great weekend!



    1. One of my favorite writers. Explore her website and see her work.
    2. I love Fragrance combining and it’s easy with Jo Malone. This week I’ve been wearing English Pear & Freesia with Peony & Blush Suede Cologne.
    3. Currently reading this book.
    4. Testing this recipe and hoping it turns out as well as it looks.
    5. This is such an amazing video.

  • The Psychedelic Furs :: Music + Writing Inspiration

    One of my favorite writing hero John Hughes once explained, “Don’t just write about what you know, but what you care about.”  This is perhaps why I connect with him,  besides Hughes writing about teen angst and the Chicago setting, which I love.

    John Hughes also loved music and while watching one of his many films you’ll come across well known new wave classics. One of them is from a band called The Psychedelic Furs. Their song, Pretty In Pink (1986) became an inspiration for John Hughes’s hit film by the same name.

    Today I’m sharing this cool band with you as one of my favorite classics and a song listed in my writing playlist. I think many have heard Pretty in Pink before, but a few may not remember their other hit song,  The Ghost In You, which I will admit, tops higher for me than Pretty In Pink.

    I hope you’ll enjoy my selection. Let me know what you think!



    A man in my shoes runs a light
    And all the papers lied tonight
    But falling over you
    Is the news of the day
    Angels fall like rain
    And love, love, love
    Is all of heaven away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade

    A race is on, I’m on your side
    And here in you, my engines die
    I’m in a mood for you
    Or running away
    Stars come down in you
    And love, love, love
    You can’t give it away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade

    Don’t you go, it makes no sense
    When all your talk and supermen
    Just take away the time
    And get in the way
    Ain’t it just like rain?
    And love, love, love
    Is only heaven away (Love, love, love, love, love)

    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves and she don’t fade
    The ghost in you, she don’t fade
    Inside you the time moves

  • 5 Things I Loved This Week

    Photo: ©2017 KatieOrse

    It’s Friday and I’m excited for this weekend. I’ve been very good at keeping up with positive habits… such as sticking to my office hours and learning to relax when I’m away from writing and researching. It’s interesting to see these habits become real changes.
    Also, the weather is getting warmer and I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors. What about your weekend plans? No matter what you plan to do this weekend…make it a great one!



    1. Spring is almost officially here. I can’t wait! I’m already wearing my favorite  floral scent.
    2. Loving this beginner’s guide to meditation.
    3. I’m going to be trying out this healthy recipe: Mediterranean Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
    4. Your eyes will dance when you watch this Vimeo video.
    5. I added this  song is on my writing playlist. You can listen to it here.

    Image credit: Katie Orse LLC

  • 5 Ways To Spark Your Creativity

    As a writer and creative business owner, I’ve had my share of writer’s block. It’s sometimes difficult to stay focused, motivated, and inspired. I’ve read many resources on how to combat this and unblock creativity for my business.

    One of my favorite author and creative artist Austin Kleon offers this advice…practice productive procrastination. He suggests having 2-3 projects going on at one time, so that when you tire of one project, you can jump onto another. This is a great idea to help reduce that negative feeling when you’re feeling stuck and not producing anything worthy. Keep in mind though, everyone’s process is different and what works for one person may differ for another.

    One of the biggest challenge for me is to allow myself time to just experience activities that allow me to experiment with creativity. Again, this process doesn’t always look productive. Because of this I feel like I’m not really making any progress and just wasting time. If you’re feeling the same way as I do, here are a few creative strategies that have helped me:

    1. Schedule Time To Explore.

    I really believe in scheduling time to explore. Make an appointment for yourself. Select a time and day in the week for this. If you’re worried about your time, set the timer on your phone so that you don’t go over limit. It can be twenty minutes each day or even an entire day just for creative exploration such as visiting a museum, going for a walk, working out, painting or just going on Pinterest.

    1. Browse Through Random Books and Magazines

    I love reading materials of all subjects. Since I tend to favor fashion and photography, I enjoy splurging my time in magazines. Not just for reading, but just taking in all the beautiful photos. It’s amazing and very useful, especially if you find yourself in a bookstore that carries different magazines from various countries. If you’re not able to get to a bookstore, go online. This process really helps me explore different possibilities and visions.

    1. Keep a notebook and take notes.

    This wasn’t a habit for me several years ago, but now I carry a notebook with me everywhere. I religiously take notes. I write down quotations I like, overheard conversations, tidbits of information, articles or drawings, photos, anything that I find interesting. I know we have Pinterest for this as well, and you can create boards for these ideas, but it’s always wonderful to have a notebook filled with these notes for those times that you’re stuck somewhere without Wi-Fi. Trust me, when you don’t have Wi-Fi, this is the true test of patience. You’ll be surprised what a notebook can do for you.

    4. Allow yourself to splurge modestly.

    With your budget in mind, go out and enjoy a modest purchase that supports your creativity. Discover something at the thrift store, flea markets, or craft store. It can be anything from a new watercolor set, markers or a cool thrift store find to enhance your workspace.

    5. Create an idea mind map.

    This is similar to creating a brainstorm cloud. It’s my favorite process. I begin by taking between twenty to thirty minutes to sit and just brainstorm ideas using a large sketchbook. It can begin with a word, sentence, image, or a symbol and then spring off associations from there. Think of this as a brain dump but with a strategic purpose. It’s fun to see where your thought process leads.

    In the end, sometimes it’s best to just temporarily walk away from your creative project. Take time off from what you were creating, and just let it sit there for a day, a week, or even a month and then come back to it. You’ll have fresh eyes and a clearer perspective when you return and you never know what you might come up with from just taking a break.

    What are some ways that spark your creativity? What works best for you?


    Image credits:

    1. @dallasshaw 
    2.  @sasha_zeen 
    3. @dallasshaw 
    4. @emerson_fry
    5.  @lifeonthepaper
  • Finally Friday! Five Things I Loved This Week

    Copyright@2017 Katie Orse

    Yeah it’s Friday! Time to clean up my desk and relax.

    Here are my 5 favorites this week. Have a great weekend!



    Something To Read: Check out Bruce Lee’s never before revealed Letters and Unpublished Book Drafts. I always knew Bruce Lee had a way with words, and now we discover that he was indeed a prolific writer. I’m looking forward to discovering more of his literary works!

    Something To Eat: I’m always on the look out for new recipes to test out.  Japanese Food Beyond Sushi  sounds very enticing . This is a great article from Whole Foods.

    Something To Buy: I’ve been putting this on my dry, frizzy- fried hair and so far I love it. Kristin Ess hair products are now available at Target.

    Something To Do: If you’re ever in Alabama and in search of a beautiful hiking and recreation park, be sure to check out Cheaha State Park. They have one of the best scenic restaurant that overlooks an incredible mountain view.

    Something To Make: This is a powerful + uplifting personal story. Saving A Life With A List





  • 10 Things That Make Me Happy

    I’m not a perfect person. I strive to become one, and I know it’s impossible.  Trying to be the best is better than not trying at all. Today I’m sharing a few tidbits about myself with you. Blurry picture of me and all.

    10 Things That Make Me Happy:

    1. Exploring a city.
    2.  A visit to the museum.
    3. Doing a random act of kindness for someone.
    4. Visiting a bookstore (vintage or new).
    5. A hike or walk outdoors (mountain or beach).
    6. Staying in bed in the morning.
    7. Listening to good music.
    8. A massage, manicure, pedicure, or other spa treatment.
    9. Buying myself fresh flowers.
    10. Cooking for others.