Happy 14th Birthday Lillian

To a being who is one of my greatest teachers in this life … May you have the most amazing 14th journey around the sun. You have helped teach me more than I ever thought possible, the meaning of life and why we are here …. Love and Kindness … xoxo

At 11:27 pm tonight the next journey begins for you, Lillian Darnell. I wrote a birthday post for Lillian’s 12th birthday detailing how she flew into the world. She continues to spread her wings and fly with her amazing imagination and the wonderful stories she shares on her blog. You GO Lillian!

aka … MOM!

Heartfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

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I Am An Artist

As I completely lean into writing and blogging, I am tweaking the website a bit to bring more clarity to the type of content one can expect to find here.

“Be Mindful … Super-sized thoughts with a wee bit of photographs, recipes and tips.” (And, possibly soon, some other type of art. We shall see where my experimentation leads with this.)

This website and blog bring together all the pieces of my life, like a snapshot. I am a writer, author, blogger, photographer, an artist, and a life coach. I am Mom to 8 year old Thomas and 12 year old Lillian. (**Update: Lillian is 14 years old now and Thomas is 9 years old.)

Lillian has a chromosome abnormality simply called 18p-. This means she is missing a piece of the short arm of chromosome #18. Her younger brother, Thomas, is an amazing and loving helper!

I love taking pictures with my mobile devices. Currently an iPhone 3G and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (mine is a Model gt-p3113). I purposely shoot all photos with these devices as I don’t choose to invest in a fancy camera and/or deal with and learn all the details involved and to show others we can easily and economically capture the beauty and awe of nature anywhere and anytime. (**Update: Now using an iPhone 4G and I have an instagram account for posting pictures as time allows … @camilladowns …)

I love writing about mindful, inspired, simple living as it relates to the choices I make, daily living, being a parent, experiencing nature and …. food.

I am inspired by this place I have chosen as our home … Reno, Nevada. When he was 7 years old, my son, Thomas, summed it up with one beautifully crafted comment. “It’s like we are at an art show and nature keeps changing the art for us.”

I freely and openly share my journey as I sail through life. The ups, the downs, the loop the loops. I have good days, I have bad days. I share in the hopes that you will find at least one nugget to take away and apply to your own life. My wish is that you become inspired, your own passion to simplify life is ignited, or a path to mindful living is illuminated.

I am available for freelance writing opportunities and guest blogging. I’m a life coach too! Contact me here to inquire further.

**Disclosure: I am not an expert on how anyone should be or could be living their life; except for my own …. and that’s only sometimes! I attempt to be non-judgmental and to allow others to BE! Go forth and BE MINDFULLY YOU!

(To help support my blogging I will include an Amazon link to items I use or you will see google ads from time to time. I LOVE sharing my journey and choices with you and this just helps to keep me going!) 

Deeply Relaxing: Reiki Testimonial

“This was my first time experiencing Reiki and it was wonderful. I was so deeply relaxed and comfortable I was in and out of sleep! During my session with Camilla I even got a vision of a beautiful image I want to paint. Camilla had just the right colors and scents in the room too, catered just for me! I’ll definitely be doing this again in the near future. Please give her Reiki sessions a try, she’s got a gift. :)” – Natalie Gorden, Reno, Nevada – 8.30.13

The Team TLC Bucket Lists

Some people call them bucket list. I choose to give it a different spin. Team TLC is calling ours an Adventure List! That’s right! Last week I gave a map book to Thomas and Lillian and told them to make a list of everywhere in the World they want to visit. Then I told them to make a list of everything they want to have, be or do.

The following is my Adventure List. It’s continually being added to so I will designate a dedicated page on this website for our Adventure Lists.

This is a list of experiences I want to have, be or do. They are in absolutely no particular order. I simply write them down as inspired.

Let me be clear. I make this list with detachment. If I get to experience these items then WooooHooooo. If not, then WoooooHoooooo. I’m still a happy and peaceful person. The way I see it, my happiness comes from within.

Camilla’s Adventure List:

  1. Dance in a theatrical play
  2. Look for 4 leaf clovers in a beautiful warm meadow with a light breeze
  3. Vacation or temporarily live in a house on a quiet lake with warm non-humid temperature
  4. Have my own garden and grow food
  5. Learn to and play a woodwind instrument
  6. Experience a natural/mineral hot spring
  7. Dance in the street … perhaps to Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” ;)
  8. Have honeysuckle growing in my yard
  9. Vacation in Tahiti – Done
  10. Receive in the mail a legitimate check made out to ME for 6 figures or more
  11. Live in a bungalow over the ocean in the South Pacific for 1-3 months or longer
  12. Go on a tropical cruise with Thomas and Lillian
  13. Learn how to paint and create at least one inspired painting
  14. Experience natural child birth – Done … Twice!
  15. Live or vacation in a cabin in the woods for at least one month if not longer.
  16. Start a flash mob dancing to Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way” and “We Are Family”
  17. Milk a cow
  18. Visit England and Scotland – Done
  19. Be on a stage in front of thousands of people and at the least inspire and encourage them to ponder how they are choosing to think and at the most create a positive shift in their life
  20. “For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” -Judy Garland … Be in a relationship with a man who is travelling a similar path as mine
  21. Live on a boat for at least a month or longer
  22. Pick apples in an apple orchard
  23. Live in Reno – Done
  24. Collect fresh honey … visit a bee farm
  25. Live in a beach cottage on the beach in southern California and Florida
  26. Learn and practice yoga
  27. Anonymously and randomly share with and help others
  28. Get a degree – Done
  29. Picnic in a field of wildflowers
  30. Have morning coffee on a beach while watching the sun rise
  31. Have a full and uninterrupted month to myself to read and write … if not longer
  32. Make stretch bracelets that mirror food, flowers and nature – Done
  33. Experience a cross country train ride with Thomas and Lillian
  34. Visit Greece
  35. Own an almost new Cadillac – Done
  36. Go kayaking in Lake Tahoe and Washoe Lake
  37. Hike the Tahoe Rim trail with Thomas
  38. Live in a luxury hotel for at least a few months
  39. Visit as many libraries as possible in the United States
  40. Spend at least 3 months exploring California
  41. Be a Paralegal for 10 years – Done
  42. Learn and play lawn bowling
  43. Learn and play shuffle board
  44. Have orange, lemon and lime trees in my yard
  45. Live in a tree house for at least 3 months – Swiss Family Robinson style
  46. Live on an island in a hut for at least 3 months – Gilligan’s Island style
  47. Have an Airstream. Travel to beaches, lakes and campgrounds for a while.
  48. Live in a  town that’s so small you can walk to and from anywhere you need to go
  49. Visit Walden Pond
  50. Own and live in a 3 story house – Done
  51. Have a comfortable chair swing hanging from a nice big shade tree
  52. Stay or live in a place that has an outdoor living area with a view of the ocean
  53. Stay or live in a place that has an outdoor living area with a view of a meadow
  54. Attend and have fun at a luau on the beach
  55. Anonymously gift a vacation or some sort of respite/relaxation package to a family or person
  56. Vacation or live in a lighthouse for at least 3 months
  57. See our Team TLC Bucket Lists page for further updates …

Thomas’ Adventure List:

  1. Make new Lego thing
  2. Plant my plant
  3. Find proof to see if aliens are real
  4. Find cool car
  5. Write a book
  6. Decorate sandals
  7. Laugh at beach
  8. Make lock
  9. Make device
  10. Receipt Machine
  11. Nintendo
  12. Northern California – Beach, Hotel and Sunset
  13. Las Vegas – Performance and Lights
  14. Florida – Disneyland
  15. China – Cool!
  16. Texas – Hot!
  17. Hawaii – Hula Dance and Water
  18. Georgia
  19. Louisiana

Lillian’s Adventure List:

  1. California – Lake Tahoe
  2. Florida – Sunshine
  3. Georgia – Dolphins
  4. Hawaii – Hula Dancing
  5. Indiana
  6. Maine
  7. Helena, MO – gemstone
  8. West Virginia – Marbles

Thomas and Lillian are still adding to their lists. They’re still getting the hang of all this!

This article is now part of my inventory in Inspired Living.

I enjoy taking the time to share information with y’all that I think is helpful and give you ideas to live an Inspired Life. So, if you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip bowl on the way out of Inspired Living.

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If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this article along to others who might get some help from it. Thank y’all to everyone who has donated and shared in the past. I don’t always get a chance to respond, and the donations, shares and comments are my indicators that what I share is helpful. Thank YOU!


Grace – D iz for Different Amazon Review

(Tele at her Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed 50th birthday party with Noreen Leary on the far left – May 2012)

★★★★★”Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer …. This is the premise for Camilla Down’s message in her book “D Iz for Different.”

Taking sets of circumstances that could be seen as devastating and looking for the good and building on that for her strength. These lessons can be applied to everyday life and everyday challenges shared in heartwarming words of wisdom from years of getting back up, dusting herself off and moving forward with Grace. You owe it to yourself to read this book. – Tele Raack – March 25, 2013

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.

Bravo – D iz for Different Amazon Review

★★★★★ This personal journey is full of courage and encouragement. I am challenging myself to live a life of acceptance and joy with the help of this wonderful resource. How brave of Camilla to put herself out there with the hopes of improving the lives of others. Bravo! – Ian and Susan Moran – June 16, 2012

If you would like to write an Amazon review of D iz for Different go here (amazon affiliate link). It’s not necessary to have purchased the book through Amazon. If you have an Amazon account, you can write a review.


I Love the Smell of Fresh Honeysuckle


This gallery contains 2 photos.

Tweet Just some random personal stuff about me … I smile at myself in the mirror. I use organic extra virgin olive oil to remove my make-up and also use it as my facial moisturizer. When I choose to feel … Continue reading

KOLO 8 Daybreak News Segment – January 4 2013

On Friday, 1.4.13, I was on KOLO 8 Daybreak News with Annie Goni-Stewart, eWomenNetwork managing director. Had to be there at 6:00 am … How exciting to be dressed and outta the house at such an early hour! We talked about eWomenNetwork Reno/Carson/Tahoe/Vegas/Sierra Nevadas Chapter and my book, ‘D iz for Different’.

Walking into my very first eWomenNetwork event in July 2007 was one of the most positive life enhancing decisions I had made up to that point in my life. I am blessed with such amazing friends and support. I have a very long list of how I’ve been blessed by being a member. The car I own came through an eWomenNetwork connection. The teaching I did at UNR Extended Studies came through an eWomenNetwork Connection. Seriously, down to some of the clothes I wear and food in my fridge! And what I didn’t get a chance to say in the interview is that the two BIG endorsements I received for my book came through eWomenNetwork. I was fortunate to meet the Ziglar family at the 2010 International Conference in Dallas. I stayed connected with Julie (Zig Ziglar’s daughter) and DeDe Galindo(his granddaughter) and that friendship let to Julie Norman endorsing my book. Another eWn Member, Debe Fennell, connected me with Jim Stovall, author of the book and movie, The Ultimate Gift. That led to his endorsement of the book! When we bring our authentic selves to this amazing group of women and come with a give first, share always philosophy ….. Wishes and Dreams Come True!!!

View the segment here … http://www.kolotv.com/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8132638

Susan Hill facilitated all of this, so the three of us went our for coffee afterwards. Cheers!!

30 Day Journey of Life: Giving


“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.” -Mother Teresa

And so it is … I accept and realize that to become enlightened and enrich my own life I must stop searching, trying so hard, and waiting for some “thing” to happen. I must be that which I seek. I am embarking on a Journey of Life on this very day. For at least the next year, I plan to dedicate myself to a different 30 Day Journey of Life at the beginning of every new 30 days.

The first 30 Day Journey of Life begins today …. GIVING. I will give of myself like I have never given before. I will help those who need it, I will spread kindness, I will do whatever is in my power to help anyone who asks. I will live my life with this being my priority for every day for the next 30 days. I will do this for my kids (Thomas and Lillian), my family, my friends and complete strangers.

I will do this and expect nothing in return and ask for nothing in return.

I will write and share about this Journey as it unfolds …. (Go here to read how the first week went …)

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” -Lao Tzu

That Moment …

That moment when your six year old son finally understands all the things you have been telling him about happiness … That moment when …. that moment when time stands still …. That moment is when you acknowledge to yourself that YOU are the one that helped him understand and to turn his thoughts around.

For the past few weeks Thomas has been struggling in school. He loves the school, loves the playground and generally liked being there. But, every morning for the past few weeks he’s been unhappy with going to school. Says he doesn’t want to go, there’s nothing to do, it’s no fun, so and so isn’t being kind to him, the teacher won’t answer his questions. After I did some investigation, listening and chatting with the teacher, I came to the conclusion that this was coming from Thomas’ thinking. He had decided to be unhappy with his lessons in school, unhappy being there … just unhappy about the whole thing. He kept saying he was unhappy and it was no fun. I have been kindly and gently discussing with him that the way he is thinking about his day before he even gets there is why he is not happy. He is putting off an unhappy energy and being grumpy. I told him it is his choice whether he has a good day or a bad day at school.

Before I dropped him off this morning he told me that yesterday, he was happy and kind with everyone in his classroom. He said, that’s how it works right? When we are happy and kind, the people around us are too. I told him “You got that right!”. It starts with YOU first. Once we decide to be happy and be kind, it spreads to those around us and …… Then …. it comes back to us! I told him how proud I was of him for figuring it out!

This morning he got out of the car happy and smiling …. That moment when …. That moment when you are filled with so much joy that your eyes begin to sweat as your drive off …. That Moment!


**Update 9.27.12**

Yesterday when I picked up Thomas he was happy and smiling and the teacher made a point to speak to me. She said, “Thomas has been really happy the past 2 days, he’s been participating more in class, choosing more responsibilities, and he even told me today, He likes school.” Choosing what one works on is the Montessori teaching method and he had been struggling with it a bit. I LOVE this as he is learning NOW while he is 6 yrs old how to make choices instead of when he’s 46 and the consequences for “not so good” choices can be much worse! Having said that, he did take one step back today. However, I am still proud of him. Learning that we are in control of our own happiness and getting into the habit of remembering that is hard work …. which I also told him as I tucked him in tonight. I told him I was proud of him. Told him he was so lucky to be learning this now. I explained to him I’m 42 and still working on it … that I had began working on it about 14 years. Told him he’d be a pro at it by the time he was my age!! I tucked a Happy Young Man into bed tonight …..

This article is now part of my inventory in Inspired Living.  

I enjoy taking the time to share information with y’all that I think is helpful and give you ideas to live an Inspired Life. So, if you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip bowl on the way out of Inspired Living.

PayPal Tip Bowl

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this article along to others who might get some help from it. Thank y’all to everyone who has donated and shared in the past. I don’t always get a chance to respond, and the donations, shares and comments are my indicators that what I share is helpful. Thank YOU!