A tale from the messy desk

Here’s the latest from my messy desk, along with a big facepalm moment.

This painting is called, “Smile Sunshine” and it’s what happens when I actually put on noise-canceling headphones and zone out to some good jams for a bit. In fact, I got so in the zone painting it that I didn’t’ realize the sun had set, it was dark, and I was pretty much painting with zero light. It happens.

So I worked on it a little here and there, added some stuff, then stepped away before overdoing it.

Boom. Done.

Except for…I left it on my messy desk for a few more days, and Levi decided he wanted to add a little flare to it. With a sharpie.

I wish I could say this was the first time this has happened. It’s not. And I’m wanting to bang my head against a wall repeatedly since I am so angry at myself.

But I want to turn this into a positive, and still love this piece, so I’m GIVING IT AWAY. A one of a kind original, with a little extra love from a 3-year-old.

To Enter: just leave a comment on this post with how you or someone you know turned a negative into a positive. Could be a quote too. I dunno, just amuse me. Winner will be picked in a week.

*The Winner is: Sadie O! Thank you all for your entires. I never knew I could cry (good tears) from reading giveaway entries, and each and every one made me smile, cry (good tears), laugh or just be so incredibly grateful for such amazing people who read this blog. Thank YOU. ( And if you need a mood lifter, I suggest reading the entries!) Y’all rock.

And if you want a non-scribbled on print, you can find them (and more) over at goldfishkissgoods.com

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  • Negative: my little sister grabbing a paintbrush and dabbing it all over my wall while we were re-doing my room (many years ago as a kid)
    Positive: my mom turning them into little wildflowers on my wall. Go mom creativity! Always makes for a good story and I love seeing yours about Levi!

  • i got my favorite quote tattooed to help me through some negative times it says ‘the best is yet to come’ 🙂

  • A few years ago I lost my best friend, my mom. She went through hell. Ever since, there’s almost nothing that’s worth getting upset about. Every once in a while, I’ll lose focus of that. Like you, I also have a beach loving, long, surfer-haired little boy. Watching him always brings me back around to the big picture & what matters.

  • Love it! and the painting with or without a couple of extra breezy lines….
    I am known for being a cockeyed optimist so can name many times a negative was turned into a positive. One of my favorites, I pulled into the parking lot at work and my car died half-way into a parking place. Some co-workers helped me push it all the way into the space and debated about what might be wrong. One said “you are so unlucky.” I said “Are you kidding me? I am the luckiest person around. I could be sitting on the side of the freeway instead of here. I made it to work, on time, where I need to be. I will deal with the car later.” I was a newly single mom with 2 jobs and little money, but I never thought nor lived like I was unlucky. 15 years later I have 2 healthy happy adult children and a fantastic job.

    Love your beautiful blog…..I check it out weekly.

  • Negative — silly I know but it has been SO rainy in Kailua for the past week! They gray and drizzle starts to bum me out after a couple of days, and it’s easy to get a little down when you haven’t seen the sunshine in a while.

    Positive — I took this time to get back into writing, reworked my website, and just plain RESTED with some home-cooked meals. Making the most of being inside helped bring my spirits up AND i got back to blogging to boot.

  • Rebekah, this is beautiful!!!!! Scribbled and all ❤️❤️❤️ Little dude wants to be just like mama I’m sure🌺💕

  • I’m a little OCD as well as a perfectionist, but accepting the little “messes” my kids still leave (they are now 20 and 22) reminds me how truly blessed I am and makes my heart so very happy ☺️
    I love seeing you with Levi…

  • You guys rock!! And this painting is still killing it even with Levi’s special touch… I’m lovin it💖🤙

  • Finding a common denominator with someone who didn’t like me now we work together and we are friends!

  • Negative, when I got stung by a jellyfish 7 times in one day while in Pensacola 😂 Kept getting in the water like an idiot but I love the water. Positive is now I have the nickname “Squishy” (from Nemo) and I love jellyfish, from afar 😆

  • I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my first (a little boy!) and he already seems to know how to turn my negatives into positives. Any time I’m feeling sad or tired, he seems to know and he kicks! He’ll wiggle around and kick me until I giggle. And it makes me giggle every time (: I’ve been a fan of your paintings for years and I would LOVE to win this!

  • The words I use to commence reframing after a negative event and the reactive negative thoughts that always follow…
    “You are under no obligation to be the person you were 5 minutes ago” from there I make the decision to pick the positive – because we’re all human and not always optimistic ✌

  • I have a scar on my lip from when I tripped as a baby 👶🏼 which means that as I grew up and the scar stretched, my bottom lip is 2 different colors. I used to always wear tinted chapstick or something to cover the fact that my lip is half dark pink, half light pink but now I super embrace it and wear a ton of sheer glosses and embrace my weird two-toned lip and the fun it brings to my face

  • Oh sweet Mama. So much yes.
    First, love your style. Loved it before I moved to HI, so maybe you helped get me here 😉🌺🌴.

    Negative: when I left my can of gold spray in the garage (painting awesome reclaimed pallets into CO flags for Christmas presents) my little nephew (this is before I had minions of my own) snuck in there. He came back inside in a cloud of gold spray paint. Ummm. At his exact arm level, around the entire inside of the garage was a strip of gold spray paint (including the both doors, bicycles, tools, camping gear, my brother in laws costom motorcycle…) yup. I was in trouble. (I was pregnant at the time so we decided that day we wouldn’t have nice things for a few more years. Lol.)
    Positive: everyone LOVED their custom CO flag pallets, with a strip of dripping gold paint to make em classy.

  • Damn right, I like the life I live
    ‘Cause I went from negative to positive
    And it’s all good – The Notorious B.I.G.

    This painting looks and reminds me of my sister. She is my best friend and one of the greatest people you could ever meet.

    Your work is incredible! Keep it up!

  • Hi so I am a second degree black belt and I have been doing karate since preschool. I am 17 years old now and I have been taking hapkido (a form of martial arts) for 6 years now. 🙂 for my second degree black belt test I had to take 3 pre test. I passed my first but failed the last two. When I was told that I failed my first test I was absolutely crushed. In being a senior in high school and having volleyball practice, act tutoring, hw, working out, and studying I had no idea how I was ever gonna achieve my black belt. I was so confused the first time I failed but I had to put my feelings aside and focus on the importance things like school but also study whenever I could for my black belt. I took the retest and passed! 🙂 when the last pre test came I was so scared and went into the test so fritened. At the end of the test my teacher told me I failed again. I was so heartbroken and my spirit was absolutely crushed. I thought that through all the 6 years I’ve been practicing I couldn’t pass this next test to finally achieve my second degree. My teacher asked me if I wanted to give up and try again next year. I told him no. I told him I will retake this test andI will get my second degree. With the help of my mom and my own will I gathered the strength to study even harder and focus more. I retook the last pre test and passed with no mistakes. When it came to our final exam I took the test with no mistakes. I was so proud of myself because I proved myself wrong. I proved to myself that I am capable of taking those failures and turning them into one big success. As of last December I have been a second degree black belt and have been helping younger kids how to believe in themselves through my karate teachings. I help kids achieve their next color belts and help push them to believe in themselves. I never would have thought failing my test would help shape me into the young women I am today.

  • I got a stain on my white shirt yesterday and then realized it didn’t actually bring me joy so I thanked it and bid it farewell. Extreme form is #konmarimethod ??

  • I love it and have an idea to complete Levi’s artistry.
    It takes more work being difficult or angry then just going with the flow and appreciating we all have our own way of doing things.

  • My daughter had a favorite book titled “Beautiful Oops” by Barney Salzburg. It is a book all about “mistakes” that are turned into art. The message is art is expressive and give you a passion for life if viewed in the right light. This reminded me of this. Such an amazing memory of such a tiny touch of time. Cherish it!

  • “Even the worst of beaches will never let you down…”
    -Jimmy Buffett

    I love your paintings! This one of a kind original would be perfect for my home! ❤️

  • My 6 year old has type 1 diabetes, and with each crappy blood sugar we turn it into a positive and have a special little treat, because she is a rock star ⭐️

  • My daughter Macie was going for her black belt and had to pass a series of test leading up to her final exam. The last test before the final she failed and was really upset. I could see the battle going on in her mind and hoped she chose to fight for it, move past the failed test, retest and go on to receive her black belt. We all knew she could do it, she had to believe she could. She practiced every day for hours and retested 2 weeks later and passed with flying colors. A month later when she received her black belt she was so emotional. Afterwards I asked her why she cried during the ceremony and she said that when she failed her last test all she wanted to do was quit. She questioned her knowledge and if getting a black belt was really worth all the stress she was feeling. But she said something inside her told her to just keep going so she listened. She dug in, focused and earned her belt. She was crying because she had proved to herself she could. Never been more proud than at that moment.

  • So the first Thanksgiving I decided to cook for me entire family my oven decided to go kaput and do middle of getting everything together (also while having a mild panic attack because of said oven problem)I had to improvise and throw everything on the grill. To my surprise sides turkey and all turned out better then I think it would have otherwise. Also learned there’s a lot more things you can make with a BBQ grill!

  • Hi Dear ! What is done is done no need for me to shout scream or punish my kids (4 of them and as much as
    « Mistakes ») .. recently I try not to turn mad when things are not done « my way » or broken or destroyed by mistake ..total waste of time as it’s done .. it’s better to turn out positive on having a nice conversation between us for things to be better next time .. hope my English is understandable 🙄 your drawing is beautiful because of you and because of your son it’s has his own story that’s how I see it 🌸 much love from France 🇫🇷

  • 2 years ago I lost my dad to cancer. It was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I was only 26, my dad was only 60. That moment I lost him I changed. I have never been more grateful for life. Like really grateful, not just the kind of grateful people say they are… but seriously grateful. Sometimes people need to go through bad things to really understand this deep gratitude. My perspective on everything changed. I thought the acronym YOLO was the dumbest thing ever… but now it’s my favorite thing to say. I have traveled to 4 different countries in the last 2 years, quit waiting tables full time, grew my business to support my family (Hoa Kai), spend way more time with my husband and young boys, all because I really embrace YOLO. Unfortunately I don’t have my dad anymore, he was one of my best friends, the first person I called after something exciting happened, and the one I always looked up to… a HUGE loss for me. BUT, I have learned a lot at such a young age, things most people don’t learn until they’re much later in their life. For that I will be forever grateful for.

  • Car battery was dead today.. Turned it into a positive, by teaching our 3 boys how to jumpstart a car.. In the DUMPING rain of upcountry Maui! Worth it all 🙌
    I love your paintings, beautiful & inspiring!

  • Negative… three weeks ago at 61 years of age I was boxing, doing power cleans and deadlifts and also did my first unassisted pull-up. I am now recovering from shoulder surgery and can barely hold a cup of coffee. It will be at least a year before I can lift again!
    Positive… using my time to reset and appreciate all the things I am blessed with. And although I feel like I am losing the strength I worked so hard to gain, I will be coming back with a stronger shoulder with no limitations!

  • Negative… three weeks ago at 61 years of age, I was boxing, weightlifting and did my first unassisted pull-up. Today I am recovering from shoulder surgery and can barely hold a cup of coffee. It will be at least a year before I can lift again.
    Positive… as a 10 year breast cancer survivor, I am counting my blessings that I am here and cancer free! This is just a little bump in the road. Although I may feel that I will lose all of the strength I worked so hard to gain, I will be coming back with a stronger shoulder with no limitations!

  • Whenever somethihg doesn’t go my way or I’ve just had a bad day my dad says, “sometime you get the tiger by the tale and sometimes the tiger gets you.” Whenever I’m having a good day he always says “remember this day when you think times are bad.” He’s been saying those two sayings ever since I was little.

  • This life we live is truly amazing. This earth that has the perfect elements to sustain life. Us humans can play, surf, dance, communicate. We have incredible conveniences like memory foam beds, heated car seats, Netflix. Our most precious resource (water) rains from the sky. We are a walking, living miracle made out of stardust.

  • “In the wild of her unknowns she found endless, boundless grace.
    She found the courage to keep going at a slow and steady pace.”
    – Morgan Nichols

    A few months ago we had to leave our life in Maui because my hubby couldn’t get the medical attention needed. But that means we GET to be in Florida founding a new way with intention and hope. 🙂

    (I’m sure it is challenging to stop your mind from continuing to replay the moment you left this piece out on your desk, but don’t forget to be gracious with yourself too. Maybe this moment will lead to some beautiful unforeseen one in the future. hugs)

  • “In the wild of her unknowns she found endless, boundless grace.
    She found the courage to keep going at a slow and steady pace.”
    – Morgan Nichols

    A few months ago we had to leave our life in Maui because my hubby couldn’t get the medical attention needed. But that means we GET to be in Florida founding a new way with intention and hope. 🙂

    (I’m sure it is challenging to stop your mind from continuing to replay the moment you left this piece out on your desk, but don’t forget to be gracious with yourself too. Maybe this moment will lead to some beautiful unforeseen one in the future. hugs)

  • I always try to look for the positive in every situation! You can’t control everything, but you can control your reaction. The world is full up grumpy people, and there’s no sense in adding to that energy! There’s always something to be grateful for. While the beautiful painting you created got sharpied, it’s great that now someone’s home will be blessed with it!

  • This immediately made me think of one of my favorite quotes about positive thinking!

    “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

    Love seeing you and little Levi dude on my feed ✌️❤️🌺

  • ᴬᴷᵁᴺᴬ ᴹᴬᵀᴬᵀᴬ ᴸᴵᶠᴱ ᴵˢ ᵀᴼ ˢᴴᴼᴿᵀ ᵀᴼ ᶠᴱᴱᴰ ᴵᴺᵀᴼ ᵀᴴᴱ ᴺᴱᴳᴬᵀᴵᵛᴱ ✌︎ ᵀᴴᴱ ᴱᴳᴼ ᵂᴬᴺᵀˢ ᵀᴼ ᵞᴼᵁ ᵀᴼ ᴿᴱᴬᶜᵀ ᴮᴱ ᵁᴾˢᴱᵀ & ᶜᴼᴺᵀᴿᴼᴸ , ᵀᴴᴱ ˢᴼᵁᴸ ᴬᶜᶜᴱᴾᵀˢ, ᴵˢ ᶜᴬᴸᴹ, & ᴵˢ ᴬᴸᵂᴬᵞˢ ᴸᴼᵛᴱ. ᵂᴴᵞ ᴮᴱ ᴹᴼᴼᴰᵞ ᵂᴴᴱᴺ ᵞᴼᵁ ᶜᴬᴺ ᴬᴸᵂᴬᵞˢ ᴮᴱ ᴳᴿᴼᴼᵛᵞ & ˢᴴᴬᴷᴱ ᵀᴴᴬᵀ ᴮᴼᴼᵀᵞ ☺︎ૐ

  • My twin sister and I decided to get twin tats of our zodiac sign- Aquarius- for our 21st birthday. She opted for the double squiggly line symbol, while I chose the much more intricate (and painful) constellation. Hers came out perfect and mine… not so much. I was upset for an hour or two but quickly realized that I had a hilarious disaster story about my first tattoo that I’m able to not only share with my sister, but both of our now fiancés as well! We still laugh when we see it

  • Hi! This post is beautiful!
    2 years ago I was diagnosed with a medical condition that slowly crushes my heart as I grow. Because of it, I am very physically limited. But it has made me realize just how lucky I am. I didn’t appreciate the little things that make life fun, like running with my sister. But now I am so excited to run again because Lucky for me, it can be fixed ☺️. But I’ve realized that this condition has been a blessing in disguise — it showed me that every negative has a positive like this painting! Without this experience I don’t think I would realize how lucky I am!

  • Hi! This is such a beautiful painting, and I love Levi’s little flare.
    Two years ago, when I was 12, I was diagnosed with a genetic condition where my chest wall compresses my heart and lungs. Because of this, I can’t do many types of exercise, such as run. It made me realize just how lucky I was, and that every negative has a positive. I missed running with my sister so much, which I took for granted before this experience. But now, a few months before my surgery, I have a bigger perspective on how I want to live my life.

  • I am a nurse in the military and am stationed away from the ones I love the most and the places I love the most.

    Who gets me through other than my wonderful husband? That would be none other than Jesus Christ!!!!!!

    Philippians 4:6-9 is my go-to “turning a frown upside-down” verse and it can seriously help anyone in any situation, positive or negative!

    Thank you for always making me feel at home with your blog, photos, and paintings. It means the world.

  • Love how you are turning this into a positive! Absolutely love your art. My grandma is my inspiration. When my grandpa passed she was very sad, but she hasn’t let it stopped her. Instead of being sad and just remembering all the trips they would take together she has kept traveling. She travels now as a reminder and takes all these trips to places she has always dreamed of. I don’t know if that is negative enough, but when I feel negative I always think of her and how you can’t focus on that but focus on this one life you get and making the most of it.