I have not posted on this site of Maria’s in way too long! She worked so hard to secure the name, Design To Live, that I’m certain I must continue in some form to keep postings up. This is Maria’s site, so I feel I must honor her dreams and wishes. I’ll do my best. She has left so many notes, journals, etc., and it continually increases my joy and gratitude in being her mum! I heard this statement a couple of days ago on the radio and I actually stopped and wrote it down. “It’s not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy”. It was so profound to me. A year ago, right about now, I realized my precious most amazing daughter was at a point of departing this physical place very soon. Within hours of my sharing that with my dearest friend, and Maria’s dearest friends, they were all texting and booking tickets to Pittsburgh. No words are adequate for my gratefulness to have Tia, and those 9 young, beautiful amazing friends of Maria’s drop their personal, professional and family lives for 3-5 days! They came from around the country and Europe to be with Maria and to support me. They were so present, joyful and loving. There was music, laughter, chanting, eating, lots of tears and so much kokua (loving help) for me! I am grateful. Maria wanted me to be happy, I am happy. So, perhaps she orchestrated so much for me to be grateful for that happiness is a given? Hmmmmm…that would not surprise me! It’s a lovely thought and a lovely place for me to be as the year near begins. The article from the MidPac Today, posted by Sachie, is a perfect example of the kind of friends Maria was blessed to have at MidPac in Hawai’i. Mahalo to all of you, and to all of her New Zealand friends, and Pittsburgh friends, who continually give “likes” and comments on her Facebook. It is healing to me to feel your love of Maria! She for sure was a “Force”. Peace, Love and Blessings for 2017. ~Suzi (I love this picture of Maria leaping into the sky. She is at peace.)

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Eternal Beauty

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“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.” ~ Rumi As I reflect on a life filled with such beauty and tenderness ~ sweet amazing Maria ~ I’m reminded of this simple quote by Rumi. My heart is … Read More

A Journey Completed

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It’s been one week since we took sweet Maria out into the beautiful Hawaiian waters for her final paddle. There are few words to describe the sacred magic of this day for me. It will forever be etched in my … Read More

Maria returns to the ocean in one week

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Aloha everyone ~ We are one week away from sweet Maria’s celebration, and I’m figuring so much out…especially technical stuff! I call upon Maria constantly for HELP and miraculously I seem to get it:) I have many dear friends supporting … Read More

Maria and Bella~Soon to merge with the beautiful Hawaiian waters

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Aloha all ~ I took this picture the other day waiting with a friend under a shower tree outside the Diamond Head Mortuary while sweet Maria was transferred from a “travel friendly” container back to the lovely brass one with … Read More

Sweet Maria ~Home in Hawai’i

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I have now safely arrived in beautiful Hawai’i with these two precious girls, in my carry on, traveling with me.   I felt Maria’s enthusiastic, joyful energy throughout the trip.   Miraculously, from San Francisco to Honolulu, I was asked … Read More

A Hero and the “wind beneath my wings”

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Recently, amid a beautiful thunder, lightening, and rain storm, I spent a afternoon listening to my sweet Maria’s playlist on her laptop, scrolling through multiple photos and numerous draft blog posts she had started.  What an amazing young woman she … Read More

Happy May Day

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Maria always loved being in Hawaii on May Day.  May Day is truly lei day in Hawaii Three days ago this sweet soul turned 37.  I am grateful for every moment I had with my beautiful daughter! She would want … Read More

A True Companion

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Greetings ~ This is Suzi, Maria’s mom, posting to let all know sweet beautiful Bella has joined her Maria today. I know Maria talked much about little Bella.  Bella was the perfect,  most devoted companion one could ask for.  I … Read More

3 Months Ago ~

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Aloha all~ I sit this evening contemplating 3 months ago today,  which marks the  day that sweet Maria left this physical plane.  I continue to feel, and miss, her every moment of every day!  I am deeply grateful and filled … Read More

Celebrating a Beautiful and Courageous Life~ Maria

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Aloha all~ It’s Maria’s mom, Suzi, posting particulars for beautiful Maria’s celebration and final paddle into the ocean she treasured. On July 31, we will take Maria out from Magic Island, Honolulu. If you are planning on flying in, and … Read More

Celebrating Maria

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Hello all~ It’s Suzi, posting this favorite picture of beautiful Maria and her sweet Bella as a puppy. Maria left this physical plane 2 months ago. I miss her every moment and continue to feel such gratefulness for being mum … Read More

In the Arms of the Angels

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“In the arms of the angels” Honoring Beautiful Maria— Feb, 2016  Aloha all~ This is Suzi, Maria’s mom, sharing that Maria merged into the light on January 13.  She is now free of the pain and complications from her transplant, and … Read More

Happy Valentines! XO

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, well Valentines weekend I suppose, seeing that I’m a day late posting this.  It kind of fits when I think about it, seeing that I believe every day should be Valentine’s Day… in the sense that … Read More

The Renovation Begins: Short term rental to help others

HAPPY SUNDAY!  or, according to today’s astrology, I should be wishing you a happy “SWEET” Sunday… but I think we all know what the majority of the nation would be saying, and that is Happy SUPERBOWL Sunday! 🙂 That said, I’ve … Read More

Tech Tip Tuesday ~ A helpful Use for Your Smartphone

After what turned out to be the hardest weekend physically, since September and all the craziness of the hospital and the awful side-effects of the medications I was given… I’m so happy to be able to get back on-line, to … Read More

Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! ~ Good Entertainment Is One Of The Best Medicines

So, I’m going to write this as best I can, hoping that it makes sense through my already foggy state of mind … but this link is a perfect first example of how Entertainment is one of the categories of design on … Read More

Tech Tip Tuesday ~ Getting Organized with Evernote

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I can’t believe how fast 2015 has already been passing us by!  How we got to January 14th I honestly don’t know… it feels as if I’m in a coma somewhere, meanwhile there’s a puppet master out there pulling the … Read More

HAPPY NEW YEAR! ~ Welcome 2015

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I Love the ROSE PARADE!! It’s so beautiful what they do with flowers and roses, such amazing colors and creations… leaves me smiling no matter how awful I feel! It’s a perfect example of what I mean … Read More

Merry Christmas! ~ Now Happy Boxing Day!

posted in: Blog, Movies, My Life | 3

MERRY  CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!  …or back home in New Zealand… Happy Boxing Day!  I started this yesterday, meaning for it to be a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) of last years Christmas… but since I didn’t get it posted (or even finished) on … Read More

An #Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away ~ UEBoom

I have discovered a new love for the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Taking that thought outside the box, I’m even turning it into my #TechTipTuesday for the week… although I know it is Wednesday already … Read More

Natural Stress Relief ~ Click Here

I’ve meant to share this with you guys for a couple of weeks now, thought it was the perfect video for the day when mum and I found it on a #SpiritSunday 🙂 .  That being said… I know it’s … Read More

What Is The Most Important Element When Making A Video For Your Website?

It’s An Inspired Tech Tip Tuesday! Surprisingly, when you’re making a video for your website, whether it’s for a personal blog, a business, or maybe an interview series for educational reasons… there are literally endless possibilities for making a website … Read More

What Makes Someone An Inspiration?

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Hi Everyone 🙂 Happy Spirit Sunday! Since I can’t figure out how to attach this post as more than a link… as in, with the picture embedded as well, the way you will see it on the Facebook post below… … Read More

The Tool That Can Help You Read Minds

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First of all, Happy Belated Thanksgiving to All! I didn’t get my intended Thanksgiving blog posted, the main reason being that I was working on the tech side of my website as well 🙂 … I at last got my … Read More

Becoming Your Own Best Friend

This deserves a lot more attention than just a short post, but for now I wanted to at least share this quote that I came across in my inbox this morning.  It’s from one of my favorite quote sites, positiveoutlooksblog.com.  … Read More

How to Embed Facebook Posts on Your Website or Blog

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It’s Tech Tip Tuesday Again! As much as I could simply tell you how to “Embed” a Facebook post onto your website or blog myself, this tip also became a BIG tip on how to make sure you don’t have … Read More

Footsteps In The Sand

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I wanted to post this as my Spirit Sunday entry … now that I’m so excited to learn about embedding Facebook posts!  Only the entry that I did get posted, didn’t turn out so easy after all. It all worked … Read More

Water ~ The Diamond Of Liquids

I found the following post earlier this week, on my favorite local Organic Spa’s Facebook page 🙂 .  I shared it immediately on FB via the “share” button, but it was here that I wanted to share it most.  I … Read More

What is the Best Way to Build a Website? *Infographic*

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HAPPY TECH TIP TUESDAY!   A couple of weeks ago I posted my favorite 3 WordPress themes… but what if you haven’t decided on WP yet?… And how do you even know if WP is the right option for you? … Read More

I Am Not My Body

Today, it’s DOUBLE FEATURE day!  Two Blog topics in one… Before anything, don’t think I forgot… TECH TIP TUESDAY! 😉 I found this fun… and informative… A blog post I recently came across that is more of a social media resource … Read More

Canva! ~ My Favorite Summer Find

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Happy Tech Tip Tuesday 🙂 I think most of you will agree with me that your eyes are drawn to color and pictures far more than plain grey text, or even text of any color, if it stands alone.  Take … Read More

3 Favorite WP Themes! Free & Premium

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It’s Tech Tip Tuesday Again! 🙂 I don’t know about you, but when I first set up my WordPress account I naturally went with the default theme that WP gave at the time.  I believe it was theme Eleven then.  … Read More

WordPress Basics ~ Free Video Tutorial Series!

posted in: Blog, Resources, Technology | 2

Welcome to Tech Tip Tuesday! As promised on my Facebook Page, today is the start of what is going to be a fun weekly regular… Technical Tuesdays!…or what I prefer to call Tech Tip Tuesday! ~ It has a fun … Read More

Free Meditation Experience! ~ Energy of Attraction

Happy Sunday Everyone! 🙂 I just realized what time it was and told myself, “I better stop what I was doing and get this posted, or I was going to use up my energy window trying to learn the next … Read More

“I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

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The more this website comes together and the more consistent the posts and content, the more you will notice and get use to how much I love “the cinema” and movies! 🙂  I warn you now because the title of … Read More

Dreams Can Come True!

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I’m kind of doing everything backwards right now… when it comes to catching you up on posts I mean! 😉 … But I also like that I CAN do that, because that’s the natural, laid back energy that I’ve always … Read More

World Vegetarian Day!

posted in: Blog, Food & Drink, My Life | 0

I have so much to catch you all up on, but for now I’m skipping over it all to my newest discovery, that it’s World Vegetarian Day!! 🙂 I had no idea this day even existed, but absolutely love that … Read More

A Calming Presence

I apologize for taking these extra days to finally share my first two meditation posts from Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation Series… along with the affirmations I chose to go with them :).  Since the first two didn’t have the free … Read More

One with the Universe

  The last meditation in Oprah & Deepak’s series is Radiating Wholeness… https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience… today is the final day it’s available to listen to for Free :).  I chose the above affirmation for it, their centering thought being “My happiness is … Read More

I Am Fulfilled

Hey there! 🙂  So I’m doing a bit of blog shuffling at the moment, but I want you to be able to listen to the free meditation that goes with this affirmation if you decide you want to.  If you … Read More

Practice What You Preach…

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Frozen…that’s how I’ve felt these past days, that feeling that leads to people saying “earth to …. “.  After working so hard, doing the very best I can to follow my heart, to find happiness and keep on living even … Read More

The Best Medicine

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Most of the time you’ll hear people say that “laughter is the greatest medicine”.  I’d definitely agree that it is ONE of the best, but I don’t think I can say that it’s the greatest.  Like in medicine, it’s just … Read More

The Power Of Thought!

I continued to have tech problems last week, unable to get my blog posts to send via email :(… I’m sorry to those who missed my updates via Facebook instead.  Now that I have things working though…yay 🙂 !… here … Read More

Living Out Loud!

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YES YES YES! When mum suddenly paused and closed our conversation Monday morning with the words, “You’re Living Out Loud…”, it was like this lightning bolt hit me sending chills that gave literal chicken skin through my body! Have you … Read More

Ty Pennington & The #GiveBackChallenge!

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We Have a Chance for an Awesome Miracle!…of course, when is a miracle not awesome, right? 😉 We need your help to bring Ty Pennington to the Historic Mexican War Streets!…to help both our community as well as other patients … Read More

Happy Memorial Day!… Now That’s Family Love…

posted in: Blog, My Life | 2

I hope you all had a super duper Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I can’t say ours turned out quite as I had imagined, but you roll with the punches…                     Results … Read More

There is only NOW!

posted in: Blog, My Life | 2

  I’ve come to realize all I have is NOW… even if that means pushing through fear and reminding myself to hold on to COURAGE, to go after a dream no matter how vulnerable or nervous I might feel… This … Read More

Valentine’s Day

posted in: Arts & Crafts, Blog, DIY | 2

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.  They’re in each other all along.” ~ Rumi To all the Lover’s of the world… Happy Valentine’s Day!  Ok, so rewind a little and I didn’t quite get this finished and posted on time… so it’s … Read More


posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 3

We all know how much fun it is to give :)… and if you don’t, you are seriously missing out and should definitely give it a try sometime ;).  In all seriousness though… On Monday I got to experience a … Read More

Last Minute Christmas!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! So much for getting content up on a regular basis. 🙂  Sadly, my migraine turn low grade fever, became a headache that is now in its 12th day of rolling in and out.  Catching up on my … Read More

My Inspiration!…

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN SIGNS? The painting below will forever hold symbolic meaning to me, the story of it one that became my inspiration and strength, to keep following the dream of sharing my story in hopes of helping others … Read More

Mele Kalikimaka!

posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 4

It’s the day before Christmas and I am about four blog posts behind!  Go figure… I was about to finish a “flash back” entry, when I started to feel the triggers of a headache and sure enough woke Friday with … Read More

A Must See!!!

posted in: Blog, Inspiration | 1

This is the coolest thing I have seen when it comes to embodying the spirit of Christmas and what the holidays are truly all about!  It represents the joy of giving, the magic of the season, and most of all the idea of … Read More

Renovation ~ Stage 1

posted in: Blog, Design & Architecture, DIY | 3

I think the hardest thing right now is figuring out where to start!  There is so much to get posted, from the renovation to the “flash backs”, to new things that continue to unfold with each new day… and then … Read More

Thankful For Love!

posted in: Blog, My Life | 4

For somebody whose life has been filled with continuous heartbreak, always believing in the very best, only to have to let go of one dream after another as I watch doors close and opportunities pass by… tweaking them when I … Read More

Hugged By An Angel

posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 3

…That’s what this next little story felt like :).  Don’t underestimate the power of a single word or act, a small gesture or gift of kindness…to someone else it can mean the entire world! About a year ago, between medications, … Read More

The Thoughts and Feelings Behind My Mission…what led to helping others thru design

posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 2

A lot of the energy that I put into things this year involved writing, communicating and sharing parts of my story, as well as what was happening in the moment and the best action to take next.  What I have … Read More

Could it really be?…Floored by the Floors!

I almost can’t believe it with my own eyes!…but I couldn’t be happier unless it were a makeover surprise! 🙂  In all seriousness we have been trying to get these floors done all summer, not just the downstairs, but the … Read More

Vanilla French Fries Anyone?…

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Dad : Can you pass me the french fries? (he asks in a quiet, serious whisper…not wanting to interrupt the tv)  Mum: The vanilla ones? (equally as serious, knowing I’ve had a headache all day… until I start hearing the … Read More


posted in: Blog, My Life | 2

Butterflies… that’s the best way I can describe the feeling in my stomach as I sit here thinking of the many feelings going on inside of me.  The one thing I do know is that I’m so happy to have … Read More

I prayed for Ellen and the TV Cousins…

“A&E is filming outside my house!  I prayed for Ellen and the TV Cousins and got a serial killer instead! lol” … I did add (new series) to that comment to help it make sense 🙂 That was my tweet of the … Read More


posted in: Blog, My Life | 1

Long time no post I know :)… Not sure how to explain what my heart has been feeling recently, except to say… imagine working towards the biggest dream you have, something that is the passion you live for that gets … Read More

9 Years

posted in: Blog, My Life | 4

9 Years ago today I rode from Pittsburgh International Airport through the Fort-Pitt tunnels in a taxi; prepared for what I hadn’t a clue, but the site of the 3 Rivers, The Point, the City of Pittsburgh and the North … Read More

“Pin Your Turf”

This may immediately sound like a long shot to you, but PLEASE, let me explain why it stopped me in the midst of another entry and jumped itself to the top of my queue!  This “Pin Your Turf” contest is … Read More

The Circle Of Life

posted in: Blog, My Life | 2

As one life leaves this world another one enters, and so the circle of life continues… It’s interesting how timing works on occasion, a week that became a sudden heartache, a shock I honestly thought I had heard wrong at … Read More

MIA!~So Much To Say!~Mental ADD!!

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That last post is a perfect example of what I mean by Mental ADD!!  I was in the middle of writing this when I realized I had my dates wrong and no longer had 24 hours to finish my video … Read More

#3 Buena Vista ~ Fundrazr Update

I so hope this works!!! I’ve been putting together a video, that is coming soon I promise, walking you through the Apt. renovation at Buena Vista St. #3.  My “Diamond In The Rough” as I like to call it and … Read More

Dog Rescue!!!!

posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 1

So I got this e-mail yesterday from the WOWS group, a group of women that all live here in the Mexican War Streets (hence Women of the War Streets…hehe).  It’s pretty cool, they get together once a month for an … Read More

Coming Out of the Closet ~ (Facebook Post)

posted in: Blog, Medicine, My Life | 0

This is a copy of the Facebook message I posted on Thursday, something that turned into more than I expected, so I decided to make it a blog entry as well.  Although not quite the same thing, it’s somewhat my … Read More

Angels In Disguise!

posted in: Blog, Inspiration, My Life | 2

I swear, sometimes people in this world are really just angels in disguise, placed in our paths to make moments of happiness and love spread!  This may be off topic of design and renovation, or anything that has to do … Read More