Final Photo Challenge: All-Time Favorites

Every moment was a precious thing, having in it the essence of finality.

-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

It was incredibly sad to read that the Daily Post blog posted their final Weekly Photo Challenge. When I joined WordPress about five years ago, I wrote my first posts with inspiration from these challenges. It encouraged my photography soul to branch out into all different directions. I’ve learned how to take photos from different angles to give them a different feeling or meaning. I always thought it was spectacular to see how people would interpret the same picture in various or contradicting ways.

I’ll always find meaning in my photography now that I’ve exercised my creativity in the field. In honor of this meaningful challenge, I present to you two of my All-Time Favorite photos I shared for this challenge:

“Close-Up,” 2015

“Wall,” 2015



The roads in Manhattan were often twisted with another carriage or a cab in its bends. We visited in the fall of 2012 to march with our college band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


DIY: Spooky Flower Arrangement

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Hey, friends! Happy Friday. I stayed home from work today (much to my dismay) nursing a migraine. Alas, I hope your Friday was much more enjoyable!

One of the best parts of Halloween fun is decorating the house. Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays, and it is also fun to cook and munch on festive snacks amidst the ghouls and vampires haunting every corner of the house. A dining room table, whether or not you are entertaining, is a great place to spook up the room! Everyone seems to meet at the dinner table for food/snacks at my house.

Flower arranging is also one of my favorite hobbies, so why not combine flowers and Halloween? Not the usual combination, but I’ve seen some arrangements that are to die for! In this segment of the Autumn Lovin’ Series, I’m giving you some easy ways to spook up your bouquet.

If you’ve missed any stops on our autumn adventure, visit the series page!

For your basic arrangement, you can buy your own flowers to arrange, or purchase one from a florist. I used fresh flowers because I just prefer them. It is helpful to put your greenery first, if you have lots of it, but because most of what I was adding were flowers, I just accented with a few pieces of greenery from the yard.

Also, when adding your flower or greenery, point the stem toward the opposite side of the vase, and stick it in the vase at an angle.

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I found long, spindly stems of fake vines and branches, two of which were orange and black–perfect for that Halloween-spooks vibe! After trimming them a bit, I poked them in sort of haphazardly to give the arrangement a whimsical, uneven appearance. These stems will provide an excellent space for cobwebs.

Yes, you read that right—cobwebs! I learned this next trick from a demonstrator at a florists’ convention (sorry…Halloween jokes…I just can’t help myself. #corny).

First, you’ll want to heat up your hot glue gun and get an extra stick of glue just in case (I used a lot). I used two pieces of floral foam for silk flowers. Then squirt the hot glue all over the styrofoam and quickly rub them together. When you pull them apart, you’ll see delicate tendrils of glue that resemble nasty spiders’ webs!

Next, you’ll just wrap these sticky strings around your arrangement, however you want them to look. Some will clump up and be uneven, but that is perfect. Cobwebs are clumpy and weird-looking. This is nasty and full of Halloween spirit, okay?! Make it creepy! Make your arrangement in a skull like I wanted to! Cobwebs are just the perfect touch.

Do you enjoy decorating for Halloween, too? We used to deck-out our old garage to be one of the scariest in the neighborhood! I’ll be decorating my beau’s apartment door next week for a contest, so I’m psyched for that.

I’ve also been up to a Write 31 Days challenge. See my Instagram account in the sidebar to catch up on everything Coffee Thoughts!

And if you’d like some more hauntingly great inspiration, visit my Pinterest board, Autumn Lovin’!

‘Til next time,

❤ Michelle

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Photos of the Season

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Welcome back to the halfway-point of the Autumn Lovin’ Series! I take lots of photos (as my phone told me this morning I have run out of storage), and this season especially encourages me to capture every special moment. Mostly I’ve taken pictures of the sunset, but I love taking photos with my family and at events like festivals or other outings that I enjoy particularly in the fall.

There are so many opportunities to take pictures at home. Our back yard is beautiful, and our neighbors’ cat blends right in.

When I’m away from home, I get even more inspiration! We don’t get a huge view of the sky where I live, so when I see a huge sky, it makes me want to take as many shots as possible so I can remember it.

What inspires your creativity? Photography, art, writing, or otherwise? 🍁📷🍂

❤ Michelle

Pumpkin Sweet Pumpkin

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Good afternoon, sweet readers.

I hope you’ve been taking advantage of every moment this week and had new adventures along the way.

Thanks for catching up in the Autumn Lovin’ Series! If you’d like to start the adventure from the beginning, visit the kick off post.

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A couple of cake toppers I made at work for today’s baking schemes

Not to my surprise, I had the urge to bake. There was a can of pumpkin in the pantry that just had to be opened! I thought, “maybe cupcakes?” But in reality, I wanted to do something a little more special than just…cupcakes.

Wracking my brain for ways to make them a little more special, I thought of mini bundt cakes; and then—what if I put two bundt cakes on top of each other? You know, to make a pumpkin!


I enjoy decorating and making new things each year because it’s as if I’m going on little adventures, expanding my horizons. There are so many ways to bake a pumpkin cake, and there are even more ways to decorate it! Because autumn is my favorite season (and unfortunately our shortest), I try to fit in as many autumn-feeling activities as possible each time it comes around. It’s amazing how adult life makes it harder to do anything besides sleep, though!

This cupcake recipe was on point. If you’d like to try this easy, from-scratch recipe, visit  The Cake Blog! These cakes come out insanely moist with a delicate texture and powerful, spicy pumpkin punch. What other recipe could  you need?

For the stem, I used melted chocolate morsels to pipe the shapes I wanted. I just popped a few different designed into the freezer for a bit and chose my favorites to decorate. As for the leaves, I used a leaf piping tip with green candy melts.

Not only are these cakes a festive addition to any fall party, but they also make a Pinterest-worthy tablescape.

I used the tiny leaves for miniature cupcake toppers!

Thanks for stopping by; I hope you’ve been inspired to bake and decorate with an autumn-fevered passion! Here’s a link to my Pinterest board, Autumn Lovin’ for more seasonal ideas.

More pumpkin is coming your way, so be prepared~

❤ Michelle

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Ooh, Shiny

I’m always distracted by the sky, be it sunny or rainy, daytime or nighttime when the moon is bathing the yard in blue. Yesterday a magnificent phenomenon happened in the sky—a total solar eclipse! The media wouldn’t let anyone live under a rock about it, either. When I saw these photos from two different friends, I thought, “Ooh, Shiny!”


At around 1:20pm, the light grew dull, though it was still sunny, and the temperature seemed to cool. The visible shape of the eclipse was a crescent from our location.

❤ Michelle


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I collected these images from my vacation this summer in Nebraska. What an adventure it was! After my cousin has visited us for 20 years, I finally was able to join her in her childhood home. She showed me all the things I’d only heard about for years over the phone (and eventually Skype).

Air – When driving through Oklahoma, I was amazed at the hundreds of peaceful windmills lining the horizon.

Water – My cousin and I drove to Lincoln one evening, and she showed me the beautiful Platte River. I wanted to jump into my swimsuit and run to its current!

Fire – In Omaha, there are so many hills–many more than we have in Louisiana–so every evening while we were driving we had the most magnificent view of the fiery sunsets.

Earth – On the 4th of July, I folded a few origami animals I wanted to make, and this little bunny was one of them. I loved my aunt and uncle’s rock bed in their backyard. I even found a piece of amethyst crystal amongst the granite!

Comment a link below to your elemental photos so I can see them, and visit the Daily Post’s page to join the #postaweek community!

❤ Michelle