The Choice – Og Mandino – Be Inspired


I savor inspiration when it comes my way. I think to be inspired is sort of natural high for us as humans. I find inspiration in so many places. Nature, music, books, people, conversation and prayer are some of the first places I look to  find inspiration. The forest and its fragrance are something that inspire me.

rustic, woodland art home decor
Little Pink Trailer in the Forest MollysMuses

Years ago I read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It is a very short but epic book. Mandino is well-known for writing books about being inspired, successful and happy.  While thrift shopping a few weeks back I came across, The Choice, also by Mandino.

While reading The Choice, I felt convicted about my time and how I Choose to spend it. My  husband’s favorite author,  Annie Dillard said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

Let that sink in. Does what you do really matter or make you happy? I have been pondering that a lot lately.

Forever Young, Bob Dylan lyrics Shellieartist

In the book, Mark is a young father and husband who climbed the corporate ladder successfully, fast and strong.

Mark realized  he was missing precious time. One of the big ones, he missed seeing his son pitch his first no-hitter.

When we are the super stars at work that the boss depends on, there is a price to pay. The same goes for being the over spent volunteer, coach, tireless artist and of course the stay at home mom who feels like she needs to be superwoman to add up. It feels almost unfair that if one thing is going Amazing; chances are something else is suffering. Having it all… what does that even mean?  At this point in my life I have changed my definition. I think to have it all is to find balance among all of the things that are important to me. It forms a perfect circle. The hard part is then being able to drop the things that are not.

We think our kids want stuff. And they do. But if we dig deeper,  what the people we love really crave and need is  TIME.  Time cannot be bought.  Time cannot be returned and time cannot be redone.  The moment is the moment. We try to manipulate time. But as the saying goes, “it is what it is.” You are either present or you aren’t.

time, be present
Vintage Seth Thomas Carriage Clock

Mark was inspired, by what my friends and I like to call a “God moment.” His son ran down the driveway to embrace him on Father’s Day as he was leaving to golf with work buddies.  Right then and there, his life would change forever.  He made a choice to put what really mattered first. He chose to leave the corporate world completely. What did he decide to do instead? Become a writer of course;)

His family embraced the change and moved to a property with a lighthouse. This  lighthouse becomes a background for the writing in the story.

LightHouse Art Print by NicoleFPhotography

Mark’s book is written in the lighthouse and typed on an old Underwood typewriter left by the previous author;  a beautifully interwoven piece to the story.

The book Mark writes, is about living a successful life and it takes off an incredible journey straight to the top. He is once again at the top of his game. And there are some struggles that come along with it.

This book was written in 1984 and there is a story within a story. It is a mystery of sorts and in the beginning really had an old school Scooby Doo vibe. I don’t believe that was his intention. It might just be part of my childhood amusing me while reading. There was No Mystery Bus!  But this mystery takes a turn in style,  almost a premonition to the writing style  of, “The Shack,” which will soon be a movie.  The shack is an excellent book and if I may suggest, Please read it before the movie comes out.

Mark is given a profound choice to make and he does. I won’t divulge that here. I will say  this, I think most people will initially  think the title of this book was based on, “The Choice,” he is given in the mystery part of the book.  I don’t agree.

I believe the greatest choice, the hardest choice was  the one Mark made  in the beginning when he listened to his heart and dumped the corporate world to live a life of meaning beyond just money.

A definite worth while read.

Dale Carnegie, Og Mandino, Vintage Books Psychology
Vintage Self Help Get Inspired Books



Old Ford Truck Show


Do you love the timeless feeling of classic automobiles and trucks?  What if you could go to an event that was specifically an “Old Ford Truck Show?” I know I would go, with my camera in hand.

Walking through and seeing all of the high polished colors and sleek designs is something that draws most people in. And for me, I also like to see the owners of the vehicles. It’s funny sometimes to see how much they match their “ride.”

Here is a little virtual Old Ford Truck show, that you don’t have to leave your house to go to and you can shop without having to build a new garage.

I thought I would start with a BAM! Because who knew food trucks were around in 1919? And it was a Ford.

Old Ford Truck Show
First Food Truck 1919

And what goes better with a food truck then an ice cold Coca Cola?  I had no idea that their delivery trucks were Ford. This old Ford truck is from 1935.

Black White vintage photo
Old Ford – Coca Cola Delivery Truck

These Old Ford Trucks that were at one time new, also served our country. This is Priscilla Taylor, next to a 1943 Ford truck. She was an African American truck driver serving in the Women’s Army Corps

Womens Army Corp Truck Driver
Old Ford Truck 1943 Priscilla Taylor

Why am I drawn to Old Ford Trucks? I am not a man and I wasn’t alive when these trucks were new on the road.

Well, my daddy’s first truck was a 1951 Ford International. When he saw one, that was just like his, I went back to take photograph’s so that he could enjoy reminiscing that experience daily with them framed on his office wall.

Old Ford Truck Photo
Rustic Ford International Truck Photography
Ford trucks are of course THE classic for the USA. The trucks from the 50’s were nostalgic, big and everything a good country song looks like.

In writing this post and searching for old Ford trucks, I had the wonderful discovery of this black and white documentary photographer, William Gedney. I cannot believe as a photographer, I did not know his work before.  But doesn’t this vintage photograph, “Boy in driver’s seat of truck,” really give a complete picture of life as a country boy behind the wheel of one of these brutes in the 60’s?

Old Ford Truck Photo
William Gedney Boy in drivers seat
 These classic Ford International trucks, Custom Cab, have been preserved with a shine and luster that would no doubt make their original owners smile. I love the turquoise blue and white together. It’s nostalgia and America all rolled into one.

Custom Cab 1960's Ford Truck Photography
Ford International Truck Prints

Did you or do you own an Old Ford Truck? I would love to hear about your love affair with this classic object in American history.

Happy Popcorn Day – Get Popping


Happy Popcorn Day!~

Did you even know there was such a thing as National Popcorn Day? I am diving into some of these less known but indulgent holidays this year on my blog and I have to admit, popcorn is one I can get in on.

My 40 year history of popcorn goes something sort of like this.

It was the 70’s when I first remember eating popcorn., And I remember it because it was an event. It was Jiffy Pop on the stove. If you have never tried it, it’s amazing for a kid to watch the foil grown into a balloon and for me it was equally entertaining to listen to the shake of my moms hand back and forth on the stove and then the sound of the popcorn popping.

Jiffy Pop Popcorn
Happy National Popcorn Day

Next I remember our family getting an air popper. It was awesome, there was even a place on top to put your butter and melt it (this was before microwaves). This meant that instead of a family sharing one little Jiffy Pop popcorn pack, there was almost like an endless supply. I vaguely remember hearing my dad say to my mom one night after I inhaled a bowl, “where did she put it all?”

When I was tween, growing up in Daytona Beach our mall had a gourmet popcorn stand where you  could choose a box of your favorite. My daddy always got caramel. This was good stuff. The smell wafted down the mall and it was visually stimulating to look at all those popped kernels with the added deliciousness.


Happy Popcorn Day



The next popcorn wave – trend that I remember is when the fun tins with puppy’s and kitty cats on the outside became a thing. These were super fun to receive as a family gift, there were dividers inside for 4 different flavors and at the end, my fingers were always orange from chowing down on the cheddar.

When I was a teenager we got a microwave and the next huge cool way to cook the kernels. And it didn’t just become a thing, it was the thing. It almost seemed like every air popper vanished. It was pretty good, I ate it because it was there. And then, it became a “healthy food” or so the diet guru’s said and so you could smell bare naked popcorn, which to me smells more like burning hair, cooking at every office around lunch time. And they said you could “eat the whole bag”

We got rid of our microwave a few years ago and I am so glad. It forced me to get out the air popper (which I think is the one my mom got when I was younger) our popcorn is so good. And now, we buy sprinkle toppings. It’s a thing if you haven’t tried it, butter, cheddar, ranch. You can even have buffalo style.

Every year our son, who is on his way to Eagle Scout, sells at least $500 worth of popcorn, pre-popped and flavored, microwave and air pop kernels~! We are never without.

Vintage Boy Scout Popcorn Tin

I think popcorn has stood the test of time and always will. Why, It’s Cheap, fast and super easy to make it into anything you want.

You don’t have to go all out, but it would be easy to make a little buffet tonight for National Popcorn Day.

DIY Popcorn Bar

Friday the 13th Freaky or Not?


Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Freaky, weird, scary or not?

Industrial number 13
Vintage Metal Numbers

When I was in junior high, I remember a big hoopla around the date, Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th wasn’t just a date, it was its own character with a title,  a villain of sorts that everyone tried to avoid, which pretty much is an impossible task if you are a breathing human.

I remember if someone had something special planned and then realized it was falling on, “Friday the 13th,” is was an OH NO moment.

If Friday the 13th is a villain, his twin brother is Murphy. And they are both in the business of passing out excuses.

Car ran out of gas? Got ketchup on your shirt? A Pop Quiz?  Bad Hair Day? 

Everything is Friday the 13th’s fault.

Friday the 13th
Murphy’s Law Sign

And the legendary fear is not just limited to the United States. It  is alive in many different countries. There is even a technical term for people afraid of Friday the 13th – – friggatriskaidekaphobia – “Frigg”  

Okay so really, what the frigg?

The truth is the fear of Friday the 13th has many different legendary beginnings, the one that strikes me (although I am not afraid of Friday the 13th anymore), I found on National Geographic’s website. Judas, was  the 13th guest at the last supper. If you are a christian, you know that he betrayed Jesus and that Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

2D Christian Religious Art Decor 13
Vintage Last Supper Painting

I can see why this would become a fear for many. But as a christian, I know that it was all God’s plan and it was actually a gift and he allowed Judas to give him over. I don’t  believe LUCK had anything to do with it.

Some other more odd beliefs of the “holiday,” are that Cain slayed Abel on that day and I even read some people believe it was the day Eve gave Adam the apple.

I am trying not to laugh, but I am a little.

If you decide to stay home in bed and avoid the day all together, make sure you have a good Netflix show to binge watch. I recommend watching an  X Files  marathon.

sci fi binge
The X Files coloring book

But you should know:  That’s exactly what New Yorker Daz Baxter did in 1976. He was so afraid, of Friday the 13th he decided to stay safe in his bed,  However, Mr Baxter was killed when the floor of his apartment block collapsed that day.







How to Bake Christmas Cookies like a 50’s Housewife


Have you always dreamed about baking Christmas cookies like a 50’s housewife? I have dreamed about doing many things like these amazing women of the past. But I admit I have never come close to the perfection I have seen in photographs and on television. Even if the food comes out delicious, I never look like they do during the process,

vintage kitchen baking
Women Baking Christmas Cookies in the 50s

Something happens to women at this time of year. Do you feel it yet?  Have you already felt yourself tempted to call off work for important things like decorating, cleaning, shopping or baking Christmas cookies. Something about this time of year seems to draw a straight line from the heart to the head when it comes to nesting and nurturing. Even if it is something we are not good at, it all seems to go on our to do list. And for me, that’s my fun to do list!

Last week we watched A Christmas Carol with Jim Carey. It was perfect, we even had home-made sugar cookies with little Christmas Tree’s next to our freshly decorated tree.

Truth… They were Pillsbury slice and bake, except we didn’t even have to slice, they were pull apart. We all got to be together and they were gone quick.  We will still bake real home-made Christmas cookies this year. When we were first married almost 21 years ago, my mother in law gave us a book called Joy of Cooking, and the go to recipe each year is for:


Rich Roll Cookies
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cream: 1 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar.
  • Beat in: 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Combine and add: 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
  • Chill dough 3 to 4 hours before rolling.

Not everyone has the time to bake like a 1950’s housewife, but here is a guide to some of the vintage things you might need or want to do the best you can and make memories in the process, which is the real desire behind it all.

Of course you need an apron to protect your lovely, sensible dress.

A sturdy rolling pin, a flour sifter, cookie cutters, cookie press and baking sheet are all a must.

Don’t forget extra sprinkles and decorating tips.

And in case you only get as far as the grocery store for already baked cookies, remember presentation is everything. You can put the premade cookies on a vintage cookie tray or in a beautiful Christmas tin from the past.

A 50’s housewife always gets it done, one way or the other.

And may I add? A glass of wine, You deserve it and your 50’s husband is probably on his 2nd scotch already anyway.

Bake like a 1950's Housewife
Baking Christmas Cookie s



What are your favorite or must bake Christmas cookies each year?

We always make rich roll sugar cookies, ginger snaps (Robert E. Lee’s family recipe), snowballs and peanut butter blossoms. We have tried other recipes over the years but these are the must have’s for our family.

Sugar Cookie tips:

When we make sugar cookies, one of the things I learned early on was to try to roll the dough as even a thickness as possible.
Also, it’s important to let the dough chill completely.
And don’t be afraid to flour your surface and your rolling-pin, otherwise you will end up eating more dough than cookie.
I still enjoy them more when someone else bakes them and cleans. But, part of the experience I look forward to is getting all of the cookie cutters out. Two of the cutters I love the most are my grandma’s. One cutter is a tree and the other a bell. They remind me of my childhood. And they don’t break easily like some of the trickier ones like snowflakes.
Here are 2 additional vintage books for Christmas baking and cooking:
Baking Christmas Cookies vintage cookbook
The Christmas Cookie Book
christmas cookies
Vintage 12 Days of Christmas Cookbook


80s Flash Back


We love to watch The Voice with our daughter who is a singer. She was in her first musical this month called, “Emma;” all pop songs, many from the 80’s. And she had a solo, “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun,” by Cyndi Lauper.  This was an 80s Flash Back for me.  Her performance was one to be proud of.  Unlike the “dance routine” me and my bff did to the same song when we were in 5th grade. Our’s  was ridiculous and included forward rolls on a matt. That’ something to LOL about.

Back to, The Voice, I have been loving and getting so excited with the funky way out fashion that Miley and Alicia have been wearing. Lots of prints, bigger hair and this past week even a jumpsuit – Another 80s Flash Back Alert!

So, when we went to the city to shop this past weekend, and Ruby found a little leather jacket that she loved, I was thrilled. The 80’s has made a return. We were in Aeropostale where she found the jacket. And a couple of doors down in Charlotte Russe was an adorable pink, letterman style jacket (I secretly wanted for myself)

Flash Back Alert



Ironically on the way to the mall, she had asked me, why people like vintage? I can see why she finds it silly and weird. She sees me constantly bringing Old stuff home, carrying it upstairs to my office, taking photos of it, taking it back down to store and then bringing it back up to pack. It seems  insane to her. She is 13.

To her question, I could have come up with a lot of reasons, but the first thing that came to my mind and out of my mouth really rings the truest to my heart. I told her many people love vintage because when they see something from their own childhood or younger days, it brings back memories and if they were good memories, a time where they still felt invicible and felt like anything was possible and that those things  could bring back those feeling again.

And it’s so true. Finding authentic vintage that is from my younger days makes me smile and drums up so many thoughts of people, moments and feelings. And being a GIRL, of course the fashion was a huge part of how I expressed myself and so it gives me a huge energy charge now as a mom, who works from home with a great life, but is much less glamorous than I thought I would be when I sported pump heels in every color back in the day.

I posted on the 80’s before but today I had to give a little round up that is a mix of Authentic Vintage – an 80s Flash Back and the new stuff available in stores now. I think it would be really fun to combine the two. When possible, true vintage is the best, IMO. The accessories included are all true vintage. Check them out.

80s Flash Back
Cyndi Lauper 80’s Girls Just Wanna Have fun on Vinyl

How do you Warm it Up in Autumn?


How do you like to Warm Up in Autumn?

orange white pumpkin photo
Pumpkin Patch Photography


I know some people who will hold out until the first snow to turn their heaters on. To my surprise, our’s already fired up once. We have it set to 68. And, I didn’t turn it off.

I like to embrace the morning chill with warm cozy socks and big sweaters and boots. Snuggling under the covers to keep warm just a little longer always feels good, unless it makes you late!

Drinking  hot beverages from favorite mugs makes the season even more special.  I also seem to be more inspired to look up recipes and cook. Crock pot recipes always appeal to me in the fall.

Homemade Hot Apple Cider
Warm up with Homemade Apple Cider
Warm Rust Beret
Chunky Knit Hat


A huge part of what makes the fall special is the warm colors


Multi Strand Necklace
Multi Strand Necklace



In September the colors are bright but now through winter, I am drawn more to the muted colors of the leaves that have fallen and are now crunchy on the ground. Colors like Burnt Sienna, Potter’s Clay or traditional Rust represent the leaves that are past their peak and a premonition of the bareness that is soon upon us.

Country Pumpkin Photo
Country Pumpkin Photo



We enjoy going to the pumpkin patch, finding our way through corn mazes (the older our kids get, the harder the mazes get), buying fresh picked apples, raking big piles of leaves to take pictures in. We also like to go bike riding on rails to trails where the leaves are covering the ground. What are some of your end of autumn favorites?

Warm Sienna
Hand Painted Silk Scarf




If you love to invest in permanent pieces and the warmth of fall color appeals to you all year long, here are so ideas to incorporate it.

Burnt Sienna, Warm Rust
Hand Thrown Ceramic Vessels, Autumn Colors
Warm Fall Colors 1960s Home
Vintage Glass Enamel Ashtray

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PA Wilds Art Invitational at Lynn Hall


Exploring the PA Wilds

Are you planning to enjoy the majestic fall foliage in Pennsylvania? Your timing is perfect. This weekend on the outskirts of God’s Country, there is a great bonus for the traveler.

The first PA Wilds Art Invitational at Historic Lynn Hall is having an artist’s opening on Saturday October 8th from 12-6. There will be over 15 fine artists displaying their works.

By Molly O'Bryon-Welpott MollysMuses
Lynn Hall

I am blessed to be included and  have selected 3 fall themed images to hang in the space. This invitational art show is made up of PA Wilds Juried Artisans and is being curated by Samila Sosic and Stephanie Distler.

Fall foliage by Molly O'Bryon-Welpott
Autumn Leaves – MollysMuses



If you enjoy architecture and seeing life breathed into the past, you will be stopped in your tracks before entering to see the artwork. Because Lynn Hall is worthy of a stop on its own.

Lynn Hall, built-in the 1930’s is an architectural marvel which brings Falling Waters to the front of most passerby’s minds.  This amazing space was not designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but by another talented designer, Walter Hall. There is a connection between the 2 buildings though. Because of the beautiful work done on Lynn Hall, Walter Hall and a select crew were chosen to build Falling Waters; Lynn Hall came first.

Lynn Hall Restoration Project
Original Watercolor Designs of Lynn Hall

This unique piece of history has been vacant for 25 years, but 26 months ago Gary and Sue DeVore purchased the home and have been working hard to bring it back to its glory. It is still under renovation.

The PA Wilds Art Invitational is a chance for the public to come in and explore the building while enjoying artwork from area.

In addition to the fine arts that will be displayed on the wall, there is an artisan market from 12-6 with all types of arts and hand crafted works including pottery, soaps and jewelry.

Here are some samples of the artist’s that will be there. But to see them all you really must come join in.

PA Wilds Artisans:

Valente Farm - Samila Sosic
Valente Farn – Samila Sosic
Handmade Goats Milk Soap - The Muddy Moose
Handmade Goats Milk Soap – The Muddy Moose
PA Wilds artisan
Wander Copper Bracelet – Stephanie Distler
PA Wilds Artisan

Taste of Oktoberfest


The hot days are over, the days are shorter, it’s time for sweaters and boots. Whose ready for Oktoberfest?

When I was a senior in high school in Daytona Beach, Fl; I had the opportunity to waitress at Bernkastel Festhaus. I loved that job. Right on the beach, if you were serving outside you could watch the waves crashing and if you were inside you could smell the delicious food cooking and the delicious beer on tap.

It was an experience even for the locals who popped in for a deli sandwich. There was a couple who kept their glass boot mugs in the fridge for when they wanted a frosty brew. The beer  was served in pints, half yard and yard glasses! It was awesome. And during spring break, it was like Oktoberfest had come to Daytona.

Sam Adams brilliantly figured out the tastes of beer and it’s seasons, at least for my palate. In the summer, for me, it’s great to have something amber and cold. But in the fall, when the air is crispy, a dark beer is wonderful.  My favorite beer on tap at  Bernkastel’s was, Hacker-Pschorr –  Oktoberfest.

And if you look at pictures in Germany during Oktoberfest, it seems to be a timeless tradition, classic images that could have been taken today or 30 years ago. I thought it would be fun to put a little vintage Oktoberfest collection together. Our leaves have just started to change here in Pennsylvania, they are blowing and chilly so I am thinking a hot pretzel with mustard and a beer would be great tonight next to the fire.

Vintage Oktoberfest

Do you celebrate Oktoberfest or have a favorite memory or tradition? Would love to hear it in the comments.

Are You Feeling Hot Hot Hot


What do you do when a friend brings you a basketful of red-hot cayenne peppers? Don’t worry, this is not a hot pepper challenge post!

My heart was so full of joy. What a generous gift, grown with love and hand-picked off the vine. I didn’t want to let any of them go to waste.  Immediately inspired by their shape, color and texture, I could hardly wait for the next morning’s natural light to make some photographs.

I have always been deeply inspired by the Old Master photographer’s of the past. Especially the brilliant work of Edward Weston. This is one of his most famous pepper images.

pepper photography
Master Photographer Edward Weston’s Pepper #30

But, Mr. Weston was not consciously on my mind while I was shooting them and there is a stark contrast in our visions and sense of humor. And he was, well, Edward Weston. Sensual, moody and dark.

Instead, silly songs with HOT lyric’s from my past started playing in my head.

Songs like:

“Feeling Hot hot hot, ole ole… ole ole, ” Or the 80’s song, “Some like it Hot,” Even the Cure had a song, ” Hot Hot Hot.” These bright red beauties just make me feel happy. I enjoy bright colors in my kitchen.

hot cayenne pepper decor
Cayenne Pepper Kitchen Photography

What do you think of when you see a picture of a pepper or hear,  “hot pepper?” I think of Mexican food, salsa and chips, comfort food like chile and football game appetizers. But one thing all of these things have in common are Good times with Good Friends and Family. Most people don’t sit down to a spicy queso dip alone.

People have been using peppers to decorate their space’s for years. Here is a tiny collection of retro – vintage items I found to spice up your kitchen and your next party.

HOT Cayenne Pepper Vintage Items

What did I do with the cayenne peppers after I photographed them? I went online and learned how to dry them. They are still in the process and then we will have red-hot pepper flakes for cooking this fall and winter.  I found this guy, Pepper Joe charming and easy to learn from.