New Years Countdown, Tiara-style

Happy December, folks!  I cannot believe we’re at the end of 2017.  Where in the world did this year go?!??

I’m gonna get real honest…

A good chunk of this year was really rough.  I lost my way a few times and was no longer myself – my true, genuine self.  While I’m a pretty open book with most of my life, I don’t open up about the tough stuff at all.  So even some of the people closest to me didn’t know I was struggling on a very regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some definite bright spots throughout the year.  And I’m not blind to the fact that I am blessed in many, many ways.  But everyone has their challenges, right?

I’ve only started really being “me” again over the last couple weeks, which has felt awesome.  I still have tough moments, but I know now some of the triggers for them and am better at realizing when it’s starting to happen so I can try to head it off as much as possible.

Unfortunately, the timing for getting back to being me isn’t perfect – we’re heading into what for the last eight years has been my least favorite month.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little worried about regressing to a not-myself, unhappy place again….

BUT, to try to combat this, I’m going to do a New Years Countdown, tiara-style 🙂

Not only will blogging every day this month help ME focus more on the happy but hopefully it will bring a smile to your faces, too!

To kick things off, below is a photo of one of my very favorite things.  We caught this sunrise on Thanksgiving morning and is by far one of the BEST sunrises we’ve ever seen from our house.  The sky was beautiful, and the reflection off the pond was unreal.  It still takes my breath away.



Until tomorrow!




Creating Video Walls

About a month ago, my dad showed me a clip from a program on CBS that was by far one of the coolest things I had seen in quite awhile.  The show is “Innovation Nation”, and it featured the work of a company called Obscura Digital out of San Francisco.

Quick background via a description of the “Innovation Nation” series from their website:

The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation is a weekly Saturday morning show on CBS that showcases present-day change-makers from all over the world who are creating solutions to real needs.  The intent is to stimulate curiosity and to inspire audiences with entertaining yet educational stories about yesterday and today’s visionaries and turning points that changed the course of history, as well as innovations and inventions that are changing the world today.

Cool, huh?

Essentially, Obscura takes projectors and walls and turns them into digital art.  Not just generic walls inside a building – think the outside of the Empire State Building in NYC, the front of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.  It’s bananas.  Check out the video below to see more!  And pay attention to the end…what they do with a pool table is insane.



Sucker for Sunrises

…and sunsets, too 🙂

I always find myself reflecting in the beauty around me when I see a really good sunrise or sunset.  It’s like the world slows down and becomes more tranquil or peaceful.  They’re calming to me, in a way.  And they make me happy 🙂

Here’s one of the best beach sunrises e-v-e-r, taken from my hotel balcony in Cancun last year.

Make it a great day, folks!



Spring Blooms

Happy Monday!

I don’t know about you, but I had a fabulous weekend.  Lots of family time, lots of time outdoors, and a beautiful Easter Mass.

On Saturday, I visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art with my mom and grandma to see their Spring Blooms exhibit.  There’s something like 250,000 blooms on the property – what the WHAT??!?  It was so amazingly beautiful.  The gorgeous weather we had on Saturday didn’t hurt either, LOL.

I looooove flowers, especially tulips and gerbera daisies.  They’re particularly happy-looking flowers, in my opinion 🙂  But I also enjoy irises, hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses.  And I’m not picky – I equally love simple bouquets from the grocery store and elaborate arrangements from a florist.  Flowers make me happy.  Period, end of story.

Here are some photos from our walk through the Spring Blooms.

IMA tulip bench
Is this not one of the most precious places to sit and relax?  So pretty.






Beautiful weather, spectacular flowers, and family and friends?? Yes, please.

If you’re in Central Indiana before May 31, go check out the grounds at the IMA.  You won’t regret it!  🙂



African Safari Photos

My husband Rob is co-owner of a newer tour company, Sabrewing Nature Tours.  He and his business partner take people on bird watching and photography tours, and they often travel to new places to scout potential new tour destinations.

This past November, they both spent about two weeks in Uganda and LOVED it.  They actually just announced their inaugural bird watching tour there for November 2018 – and I kinda want to go myself, LOL 🙂

Rob writes for a couple other websites/blogs in addition to running the tour company and serving on the board of a couple non-profits.  One of those sites is the Nature Travel Network, and he recently shared a gallery of photographs from one spot in their Uganda travels, Murchison Falls National Park.  Check out the website link below, and enjoy!

Here’s a bonus photo 🙂


New Year and a New Challenge for Me AND You

Happy 2017, y’all! 🙂  I sincerely hope all you readers, friends, and family had a wonderful holiday season.

Last year certainly had it’s highlights, but I’m particularly excited for this upcoming year.  Why, you may ask?  Because I am more energized and excited than ever before to FIND the happy and SHARE the happy with as many people as I can.

My goal is to post something every day – whether it’s a reflection or writing of my own, a new story, a fun photo, a yummy recipe, YouTube clips that make me smile, etc etc etc 🙂

What I would LOVE to happen next is for this journey to find the happy spread to others!

You know the saying, “Smile and be kind to everyone you see, for anyone could be fighting some kind of battle”?  I fully believe this.  And it’s important to remember that not everyone’s battle is the same – some people may have just had  huge screaming match with a loved one, others are fighting cancer, and yet others may just feel ‘blah’ at the moment.

So – my 2017 challenge to myself is to find the happy and write the happy every day.

My challenge to YOU is this:  If you find a post particularly fun or smile-inducing, share it with someone.

  • Send them a link to the blog
  • Forward the email (if you subscribe to get posts directly to your inbox – see the sign-up in the side menu)
  • Re-tweet the link (SURPRISE! meandmytiara is heading to the Twitter-verse)
  • Share a post or tag someone in a post from the Facebook page 

Bottom line?  SHARE THE HAPPY, people.  Let’s do this…for ourselves and for others around us 🙂

I’ve been in Honduras for the past week accompanying my husband on a tour, and here’s a pretty cool dude I captured this morning – a Collared Aracari, a member of the toucan family.