Bespoke Vintage Luggage with Hand Lettered Quote

Anthony Bourdain was a brilliant journalist who talked about the world through the lens of food and culture.

My husband and I were neither foodies nor were we particularly good cooks when we got married. I had worked as a waitress for several years and one of my husband’s best friends was a chef but neither of us had managed to absorb the cultural and emotional importance of food.

Then we moved across the country into a totally different culture and suddenly food mattered A LOT.  It was here that we discovered Anthony Bourdain and became (frankly) a little obsessed. Bourdain was the reason we were able to look at our new culture as an adventure and at foods like goat’s head as something awesome and exciting and inclusive rather than scary or problematic. He was the reason we had Food Network on a lot and he was the reason we started experimenting with cooking.

Cut to a decade later. Anthony Bourdain’s transparent battle with mental health is over. He fought long and very hard for his life and the things he loved. As tempting as it is to say that depression “won,” I think that kind of mindset overlooks such an important point that Bourdain himself made many times. Neither meals nor life are ultimately about the endpoint. The whole purpose of them is to be IN them – the experience. The way they end is not the point. The journey, the experience, the meal, those are the things that matter.

In the end, you’re just happy you were there, with your eyes (and mouth) open and lived to see it.

Slow moving… Progress

Last post I laid out the basics of my goal for 2018. Writing that post made me take a realistic look at my current practices and how they were (or not) contributing to that goal.

Currently, a lot of my time is spent doing things OTHER than creating and sharing art. If I want to make an income from art (or sharing about art) I have to have/make time to actually DO it. The time will not magically appear.

This turns into a domino thing. I have a toddler at home which really cuts into daily practices. Part time childcare would solve that issue, but paying off debt is where all the spare cash is going right now. My spouse has odd hours so a regular job for me doesn’t work – the hours would conflict all the time leaving us with no one to watch kiddo.

So I have two options right now. One is getting some art online to purchase – I’m working on this one.

The other option is to work when I can grab hours. So I signed up with ride-sharing companies. As I write this post I am sitting in a very clean car, in an empty parking lot, with a grand total of $22 under my belt for three hours of work.

Its lower than minimum wage. It’s not ideal in terms of how I want income to work for us. But you know what? I’m $22 closer to my goal. Twenty-two dollars I didn’t have this time yesterday.

I went from standing still to movement. That’s progress.

📷 by SOCMIA Fotografía via Unsplash

Goal for 2018

I’ve been marinating on how to do art for a living. I think setting goals and working toward them is a biggie. So here’s that…

Goal for 2018: Make $2k a month (gross)

This breaks down to $500 a week, $100 a day, $25 an hour if I’m working half time.

To obtain this goal I need to start dedicating 20 hours a week to art biz and work at consistently achieving that hourly breakdown in profits. Right now the most sensible way to spend my time seems to be to split art and biz down the middle, 2/2 per day.

I’m gonna try to stick to that for the rest of July and see where I end up.

Watch me! Join me! Wish me luck!

📷 by Estée Jansens vía Unsplash

Why FreeSouthJersey?



What’s in a name?

FreeSouthJersey – it’s memorable, easy to spell, and fun. But what does it MEAN?!

It turns out that Free South Jersey was my very first passion project! The video above is a short story, detailing the history behind my very first passion project.

Thanks for watching!


Freebie – Unconventional (New Year’s Word)


This graphic is free for personal use!

There’s this thing that has been coming up more and more in the last few years where folks choose an intentional word or phrase to guide their new year. I asked my social media community to share their words and phrases and this is one of them.

To download, just right click and choose “save image.”