summer love & literature

I do love summer - I love being able to walk around in skirts and sandals and going to outdoor cafes, looking at blooming flowers, hearing the sound of water in the public fountains, enjoying the morning sunshine! Do you know what I put at the top of my "July Goals" list? "relax, take care of my body, sleep a lot, lie in the sun, have picnics, start doing yoga again, enjoy summer fruits, laugh, explore, write, draw, paint, collage, meet with friends, celebrate our birthdays, and read inspiring books."

There are other more boring, organizational type goals on my list as well - but these are all at the top of the list in July, and I am feeling a need to rest and recharge my batteries lately. Something that always helps me get new ideas and inspiration are creative books. I ordered several during the past week, and I will be sharing a few highlights from my own personal "summer reading list" with you this month :)

Many of you are probably familiar with Keri Smith - I had visited her blog before and liked it very much, but I had never read any of her books. I chose "Living Out Loud" which is one of her earlier books from 2003, and I found it to be a delightful little read this week. Note: Keri has a new interactive website - you can draw your own image and submit it to her gallery - be sure to check it out, it's the neatest thing :)

In this book, she illustrates several activities to "fuel your creative life" and help you manifest your dreams. One of my favorites is her "wish jar" - which I have been using in a slightly different form - and I find it helps me focus in on what I really want, and gets me closer and closer to realizing my personal dreams. You can see an older photo of my wish jar here.

There are lots of fun stickers and games sprinkled throughout the book

and the last several pages are tear-out postcards of famous quotes painted boldly by Keri.

The quotes from Anais Nin and Thoreau are two of my favorites!

I'll leave you with this quote from Keri on How to Make a Living Doing What You Love: "Your life is too rich, and you are too powerful, to have anything less than what you truly deserve. You have a responsibility to do what you love every day, to become your most authentic, powerful self, to share your passion with the rest of the world, and live up to the spirit that is in you. The universe is waiting..."

Oooh, I almost got goose bumps typing that! Thank you Keri for the boost :) What are you waiting for, what are we all waiting for? Do what it is that you love with your life, and enjoy this process!

Happy celebratory weekend!