Awesome 365


Remember back in mid-May when I was so ready for summer and everything was coming alive and it was like ice cream and sunshine and happiness all over the place? Then before Memorial Day could even hit, I found myself headed to the ER with a collapsed lung. I’ve spent the past six weeks struggling with serious health issues, and three of those weeks were spent in a hospital bed.

I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon who removed bits of my lung, and I’m thrilled to tell you my chest x-ray looks good, and I’m officially on the mend. It’s going to be a long slow process. I’m still in a bit of pain, and my energy certainly isn’t what it used to be, but I think I’m ready for a take two on this summer.

During those long days in the hospital where everything is hushed and colorless, I found myself constantly checking my Instagram feed looking for something, anything beautiful to feast my eyes on. It was then I decided I needed more inspiration in my own daily life.


I’m challenging myself to seek out the simple beauty that’s all around me by posting a photo each day with the hashtag #awesome365. Being in the hospital made me feel hopeless and helpless, and that’s no way to live. Life doesn’t have to be exploding with excitement or overflowing with lavish things to be truly awe inspiring. I don’t want to forget that. Not for one second.

You know why there are so many cliches about life being short and precious? Because it’s true. I want to look at my life differently, so for the next year, I’m pushing myself to find something mind-blowingly wonderful about my every day life. 

I hope you’ll join me. Okay, maybe you don’t have to play along every day for a year, but when you see something that makes you happy to be alive, I’d love for you to share it with me by tagging your photo #awesome365, then posting it to Facebook, Twitter,or Instagram. Who knows? Maybe we can spread a bit of joy. That can only lead to goodness. 

flowers from a neighbor

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what kinds of awesomeness I find along the way. Who knows what a year may bring? We’re here to be happy, but we can’t just wait around for joy to fall in our laps. We have to open ourselves to the wonder in the universe. Come on, kids. Be awesome!

DIY Camera Bag | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

DIY Camera Bag

DIY Camera Bag | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

You guys, I will never ever ever be crafty. It seems I will also never stop liking pretty things that I can’t afford like expensive trendy camera bags. At around $160 bucks at the low end, I won’t be a person who owns an Epiphanie bag any time soon. Those are meant for rich kids. 

But I still don’t want to walk around with the bag my camera came in. There’s nothing cute about that. It seems the only logical choice is to make my own camera bag. So I did. Sort of.

DIY Camera Bag | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I bought the actual bag. I chose a cute but cheap backpack from Amazon. We walk a lot, so I wanted something that was ultra functional. Then I bought some foam padding and some stick on velcro from the craft store. Finally, I picked up a yard of fun fabric at the fabric store and got to work.

If you’re good at crafting, you’ll probably carefully measure out your foam pieces and your fabric. You’ll do all that crafter geometry that I have no patience for. Basically, I used my existing camera bag as a template to cut out top and bottom pieces four sides, and an extra piece for the inside to separate the camera body from the extra lens from the foam. I had to trim them down a bit from my first pass, but basically, I eyeballed it.

Next, I used my horrible gift wrapping skills to cut out pieces of fabric to cover each foam triangle. I used a simple whip stitch to sew each piece on to the foam. I stuck some velcro on the covered foam to help the pieces stay in shape.

Finally, I found an old make up bag I received as a gift but never had a use for. I popped all the cords, lens covers, and other bits and bobs inside. 

Now my camera is well protected in a bag I’m not embarrassed to carry around. There are pockets for my phone and other necessities and plenty of space still left for whatever else I need to haul around.

DIY Camera Bag | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

And in case you’re wondering, I spent less than $40 for all of this, half of which was the backpack itself. Sometimes we want things we can’t have. If you get creative, there’s a chance you can get what you want. Well, almost. Can’t buy it? Just make it yourself.

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