March Reflections – More

There are very few distinguishable differences between seasons in South Florida and for the most part, they blend, one into the next. The notable exception is Spring when the intensity of color is so brilliant everything comes alive with new energy and optimism.

Join me as I take a look back at March….

My end-of-month recaps have always provided an opportunity to reflect upon the things that went well and what fell short throughout the month. I always learn from both. This year I selected a WOTY (word of the year) to guide my steps with more purpose. I selected the word More because I needed a reminder that personal growth and contentment can only be achieved through intentional living. I identified what I needed more of in January when I chose the word. Since then, I have tried to keep those goals in the back of my mind. I didn’t hit the mark fully this past month, as life has its ups and downs, but I do feel good about my choices.

Cultivating Relationships

Getting together with new friends for a wine tasting was a highlight this past month. There is no better way to get to know people than over a few bottles of good wine and some delicious food. Malcolm and I contributed baked Ricotta cheese and his famous Flan to the table. Follow this link to the Flan recipe. It is always a crowd-pleaser.

Our friends lived in California and cultivated a taste for Pinot Noir. They treated us to three tastings – all delicious. When pressed to choose a favorite, I would have to go with the Kosta Browne. Notice the clever way the host marked our glasses on the stem so as not to confuse the wines. I am definitely stealing this idea.

Creativity

Sometimes my photography hobby produces an opportunity for a ‘paying job’, and I had two this past month. The first was a formal evening in which I shot entry portraits for 45 couples. With the location pre-determined and only three shots per couple, I was done in about one hour. No brainer, but still fun.

The second was a beach, maternity shoot. It was a lot of work, as I spent about three hours with the couple in four locations (all within a quarter-mile radius). Editing took another three hours. This one I would have done for free, just for the experience. It was that much fun!

Learning Something New

I have always delivered photographs to clients on a flash drive, but this time I used a free service called WeTransfer. It was quick and convenient and I am a forever fan. If you are in need of large file transfer capability, I highly recommend this service.

Escaping

This past month I decided to check out the buzz about ‘Inventing Anna’ on Netflix. The nine-episode series is based on the true story of Anna Sorokin aka, Anna Delvey, who duped New York society and conned them out of more than $250,000. She portrayed herself as a Russian-born heiress with a ‘currently unavailable trust fund’ to gain access to power and influence. It is a remarkable story of deception and greed and I am not just talking about Anna.

I also watched the first season of ‘Outlander’, which was originally broadcast on Starz in 2014. A bad case of late-night Netflix surfing brought me to this six-season epic drama and I am somewhat regretting that I didn’t decide to pass on it. The first season has sixteen episodes. Around episode ten, I decided to do a little research to see what I was up against. There are currently nine books in the series, written by Diana Gabaldon. That’s a lot of TV time.

This series won’t appeal to everyone as it is based on historical fiction set in the Highlands of Scotland during the seventeenth century. The time-traveling heroine is torn between two worlds and two men. Nudity, explicit sex, and violence are the norms for this fast-paced drama.

Quality Reading

I have attempted to read a book several times this month, to no avail. My attention span is currently shortened to blog reads and current events articles. The latter is mostly depressing, so good blog reads are much appreciated. I love reading blog posts that inform, educate, and uplift. Below are a few of my favorites from March.

Playtime and Exercise

Tennis, Pickleball, biking, and strength work in the gym have been my exercise of choice this month. The goal is to do something every day, even if I don’t want to. My motivation to exercise is as absent as my desire to read right now.

Preparing for Another Move

We’ve spent some time this month preparing to move into the apartment we have leased for the next year. This move won’t be nearly as stressful as the last one, but there are still details to be tended to. Even though this is another temporary move, we are excited about regaining our autonomy and having a place of our own. Who knows where this decision will lead us next, but the possibilities are exciting.

Feeling Satisfied With More

  • Meaningful connections
  • Energy through exercise
  • Creativity through photography
  • Springtime colors and nature

Linking With

Nathalie’s Weekend Coffee Share

WOTY End of Month Link Wrap-Up

54 thoughts on “March Reflections – More

  1. Looks like you’ve had a busy spring. It was interesting reading about the photo shoots. Our daughter did some photography for weddings and maternity, also in odd locations. I understand that is can be fun.

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    1. Dan, kudos to Faith for having the courage to shoot a wedding. That’s way too much pressure for me. The maternity shoot was a lot of fun, mostly due to the couple’s relaxed attitude. Beach shoots are mostly like that though since people expect them to be casual and fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She did a few weddings that were in non-traditional settings. She did not do the traditional wedding package. The couples had just asked her to attend and take the photos she would like to take. They were fun, but a huge amount of work.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are right about spring, about the only difference are the colorful blooming trees. We just finished watching ‘Inventing Anna’ last evening and enjoyed the series. Thank goodness for Netflix, there isn’t much on regular TV with basketball in full swing.

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    1. Karen, it was an interesting series, wasn’t it? There were times when Anna seemed like a sympathetic character and I had to remind myself that she was a criminal. Leave it to Shonda Rhimes to weave ‘social commentary’ into the story at every opportunity. Brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tamara R

    I get positively antsy reading about your changing living arrangements. I do believe it is solely your fault that I’m trying to convince Mike to sell our home in two years and hit the road for a one year RV adventure! 😆

    The irony, Suzanne, is that we really do live in our version of paradise. And yet, that burning desire of wanderlust is still there.

    Sincere congratulations on your expanding photography career. You have worked diligently and hard, and this is such a wonderful and well deserved outcome.

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    1. Tamara, I feel your pain. The big difference is that your paradise is still relatively new to you, while ours was already 20 years old and counting. It was a lot easier to walk away from. I can’t imagine ever leaving Florida and the next step will definitely be nearby, but in the meanwhile, it is fun to experiment. I had in mind a little RV adventure when we started all this, but Malcolm is a hard NO on that one. I’m still chipping away at every opportunity, so we will see.

      I’m curious about Mike’s hesitation. If there were ever two people born to wanderlust, it’s you two.

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  4. Hi, Suzanne – Thank you for joining us for the Monthly WOTY LinkUp. Just glancing at your photos shows that your month of March was beautifully filled with More. Good luck with your upcoming move. I look forward to following your adventure.

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  5. Hello,
    Your photography gigs sounded and looked like a lot of fun, and the maternity shoot was very nicely done. I share your inability to focus on books right now…I can’t get into them either. I use Spring Fever as an excuse. Good luck with the move and your pickleball matches! Joe

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      1. Suzanne,
        I forgot to thank you for the mention, but I do appreciate it. Also, The girl who wrote the book for “Inventing Anna” lives here. She got conned out of $60k before she knew what happened. She says the movie is mostly fiction. Enjoy the Spring down there!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Dobbins

    Hi Suzanne,
    Loved the “chatty” post…lots going on, “more” seems appropriate! Have to admit I am an Outlander fan, I’ve read all the books and enjoy the series, have very much gotten into the characters.

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  7. More certainly describes March at your house. It sounds like you really enjoyed yourself on several fronts. Your photos are wonderful, but I did smile remembering the old days when we wore maternity clothes trying to cover up the fact that we were pregnant. Good luck with the next move. March was pretty brown here so I’m looking forward to some green.

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    1. Judy, I knew going in that the mom would likely be dressed in something that revealed her belly. I honestly didn’t know how I would feel about it until I saw how she ‘owned’ every pose. This generation of women (god I sound old) is so confident and uninhabited. good for them, but yes, I remember thinking, ‘there is no way I can exit the house looking like this.’ Different times, indeed.

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  8. Suzanne, you’ve had another busy month. Good luck with your move. We started watching Outlander and gave it up after a few episodes. However, we loved “Game of Thrones” and binge watched all 8 seasons. Have a great April!

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    1. Beth, Game of Thrones was superior to Outlander in every possible way. I don’t think this drama will hold my attention for all six seasons, but I am already invested in the characters and may have to skip ahead to see what happens to them. I just wish I had started watching it before we went to Scotland. Then I would have known what all the hoopla was about – there were so many tours taking folks to film sights.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That flan looks fabulous! Thanks for the link to Malcom’s recipe. Your spring colors are beautiful! Unlike South Florida, we have very distinct seasons here in the Panhandle (as I’m sure you know). Our winter was very chilly, and now spring is glorious with all of the azaleas in full bloom. I’m enjoying working in the yard before the hell of summer descends.

    Reading about current events is anxiety provoking, and I have to consciously choose every day to look for the positive in a world gone mad. The only books I’ve been able to read for the past two years have been novels…and nothing dark or depressing! Thanks for the recommendation for the Netflix series, too. We’ve been looking for something new since we finished Monk (we were a few years behind, LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurel, Inventing Anna is very entertaining and has only 9 episodes, so pace yourself and enjoy the ride. She was something else! Do try the Flan recipe. It’s creamy delicious. I am picturing the blooming azaleas and dogwood trees in your area. Springtime in Tallahassee is the best. We had another ‘Chamber of Commerce’ day today – perfect.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Suzanne, Thank you for joining us for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup. Glad to hear you’ve got a satisfying March. The yellow trumpets sure bring fresh energy of spring. Good luck with your upcoming move. Cheers to new beginnings!

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  11. I love your newsy wrap-ups! How nice that your photography skills have been rewarded with paying gigs. We enjoyed Inventing Anna, and especially liked the main actress – so different from her role in Ozark. As far as Outlander is concerned… we endured the first season and a half then decided it really wasn’t enjoyable enough to devote the time. Happy spring to you and Malcolm!

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    1. Janis, I am probably the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen Ozark, but I will eventually get around to it. I think you may be right about Outlander. I am tempted to race ahead with the remote and catch the highlights. I condensed the wrap-up to highlights this month – we’d need a bottle of wine instead of a cup of coffee for the rest of the story.

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  12. Hi Suzanne – I read and loved all of the Outlander books, and the TV series two lead characters were great choices. I found that I couldn’t watch it though because I find it easier to read about sex and graphic violence (where I can skim or skip bits) than watching it in all its ‘naked glory’ on TV. Congrats on the upcoming move – you’re going to love being on your own again, and I liked your reference to “More” which was my #WOTY from a few years ago for the same positive aspects you’ve referred to. x

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    1. Leanne, the sex scenes are a bit much. I find myself skipping forward during those. I definitely skipped the entire scene when Jack tortured and raped Jamie. I saw an interview with the producer when he was asked about all the sex and rape scenes and he answered that he was just ‘following the book.’

      After living under a cloud of Covid for two and a half years, I thought More was the perfect word to help me regain a sense of balance. I am having good results so far.

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  13. I loved seeing the photo shoot. Gosh they are so great now, parents of this age and stage. Back in the 1970s we “hid” most of us! A great way to remember how they started as a family. Congratulations on a new place to live for 12 months. I admit, even though we have to pay $90 a more in rent per week, our lease here continues into our 5th year. The house and area suit well. Take care, Denyse

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    1. Denyse, I think the photos will provide a sweet memory of this time in their lives. I hear what you are saying about being ‘covered up.’ I gave birth in 1990 and believe me, I was ‘covered up’ most of the time.

      We honestly don’t know how long the lease will be for. We assume at least one year, but possibly more. We will see where life takes us. Five years says a lot about your comfort and contentment. Best wishes.

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  14. I’ve enjoyed this glimpse into what you’ve been doing. I like Pinot Noir, but have never done a tasting of it. I’ve read many reviews of Inventing Anna and need to check it out; opinions have varied. I don’t follow any of the bloggers you mention, so I’ll give them a gander. Your spring looks so much brighter than ours has been. Thanks for the photos.

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    1. Hi Ally, the Pinot Noirs we tasted are all from California. It was interesting to drink them side by side while trying different foods. We had cheese, spicy meatballs, shrimp and veggies on the table to pair with the wines. Each one of us had a different method of tasting. I preferred sticking with one food item while tasting all three wines with that food. My preference for the wine changed depending on which food I was having with it. Try it sometime with a few friends. After a while, they will all taste the same anyway!

      Inventing Anna is good for a rainy weekend binge. You will definitely come away with a strong opinion. Please do check out the bloggers I mentioned. They are all very different, but good writers with interesting stories to tell. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Those spring yellows are gorgeous! Interesting to read about your photo shoots. I discovered WeTransfer last year when I joined an online camera club – they used it for competition entries. And a good idea to feature some favourite blog posts from the month 🙂

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    1. Sarah, I have never been one to keep good blogs a secret. Share the wealth, as they say. WeTransfer was a godsend for me. The dad in the photos told me about it when he realized how ‘Oldschool’ I am. The Yellow Trumpets are beautiful but are wreaking havoc with my sinuses right now.

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  16. The get together with friends sounds wonderful. That baked ricotta and flan look so good. Cute and simple idea for marking glasses. Your photography adventures sound fun and those maternity shots are beautiful. I find that while I am getting books read, I enjoy spending time reading blog posts…usually the weekly challenges or link parties…someday I’d like to venture to read more that just those weekly posts from some of my favorites. I enjoyed catching up with you.

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    1. Hi Kirstin, thanks for stopping by for the March recap. It was an interesting month, mostly filled with friends and lots of tennis. The photo shoot on the beach was a blast and the kids were so sweet. Reading (a book) is still a challenge for me. Maybe soon.

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  17. Good luck with your upcoming move, Suzanne! And thank for sharing your experience with WeTransfer. This is good information to know. Your maternity shot pics look so beautiful! I bet the couple were thrilled.

    Deb

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  18. March was busy, busy, busy for you. Some fab photos depicting your great times, Suzanne! How cool to get a paying photography gig and you deftly captured their bliss! Oh boy, moving! Having spent the last year in our home, I still feel a bit of anxiety for you. Glad it won’t be a big production for you! I can finally enjoy Netflix again after waiting a year for decent internet. We now have fiber, one of the few areas in rural WA. I loved Outlander (my Scottish roots, I suppose). I will have to purchase the last season on Prime, oh well. Keep up the exercise, my friend, I can tell you from experience that at our age, it gets so hard to stay fit with any absence. Strength training is key even a few minutes a day!

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    1. Terri, you are so right about exercise. Even a few days off results in a major setback. The stops and starts aren’t good for my body, so I try my best to keep moving.

      I am a mix of Scottish, Irish and English, but I didn’t know that when I visited Scotland and Ireland a few years ago. Now, I want to go back and revisit that trip with renewed interest.

      The hardest part about the move is deciding which boxes to leave behind in the storage unit. We have pre-sorted for the movers as best we can. I’m sure there will be a few trips back and forth within the weeks that follow.

      It was nice that the couple in the photoshoot seemed to forget that I was there. Relaxed and natural translates to beautiful every time….

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Your look back at March is making me think about my own month. In my journal the other day I noted how fast this month went, probably because we traveled for over a week of it. It was our first big time away from the house since we moved, and I really missed being here. Your photo shoot looks lovely – I like the white outfits they both wore!

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    1. Hi Pat, I hope you will share your travels in a post. I’m nosy that way and would love to hear all about it. It’s nice that you missed your house and sounds like you are thinking of Florida as home. That’s a good thing.

      Wearing white at the beach is always a good idea! I was very happy with their choice.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Astrid, thanks for stopping by. I did have a pretty good March and I attribute that to focusing on the things that create balance in my life; family, friends, fitness, hobbies. The positives give me energy and help me cope better when the negatives come along.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sounds like a pretty packed month to me, Suzanne! Maybe not as satisfying as you wished for, but quite busy nevertheless and with some fun moments.

    I often use WeTransfer, mostly because sending big files by email (photos to go with articles and interviews) is impossible. But, it requires (expensive and reliable) internet. So, right now, if I share photos with friends along the way, a USB stick is just fine. 🙂

    That maternity shoot is incredible. I knew photography is one of your passions and talents, but I had no idea you actually did it as a side job. How cool!

    And, an apartment! Exciting to get your own place again for a little while…

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  21. Hi Liesbet, I don’t actively seek out photography work and I only work for ‘friends of friends of friends’ if you know what I mean. Their expectations are manageable. We are excited about the move, even though it won’t be final. Our little threesome is becoming tedious…..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Christie Hawkes

    It sounds like you had a busy March, Suzanne. The wine tasting sounds fun, and it’s great that you were able to work your hobby and make a little money. The photos you shared are beautiful. My husband and I watched Inventing Anna too. Pretty interesting stuff.

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  23. Awesome news about the shoots. The pictures look great! Getting paid to do what you like is icing on the cake. Good luck with the move. I tried Outlander for a season and got kind of bored so l abandoned it. I always find that the greed of the people conned is worse than the perpetrators. How many times has this story played out? I remember the Sidney Poitier´son poser story. People!

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    1. Kem, I didn’t feel sorry for any of the people Anna used. No one in that story was innocent. I booked another photo session for Easter weekend. Go me! The move has been pushed off until the first week of May as the building has not received its CO. I’m getting antsy.

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  24. Very nice post, Suzanne. Congrats on the paid photo shoot. It is so nice when one’s hobby brings in some pocket money. I have had similar experiences with my writing! So fun!
    Wine tasting and a visit to Trent’s Weekly Smile post is always a pleasure too. Exciting possibilities with your upcoming move! I started to watch Inventing Anna, but maybe I didn’t persist for long enough and instead watched a Toni Colette, “Pieces of Me.”

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