What adventures lie ahead of you?

“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream” – C.S Lewis

Why do I write?

My desire is to encourage people in their daily lives + spiritual walks and inspire them to love people, live with vision, and seek health through natural and chemical free living.

I believe that we can all learn something through other people’s experiences and perspectives;  I write not as one who has arrived, but as someone who is enjoying this incredible adventure called life, and wants to share her learning process with others.

What I blog about | Categories

In short, I blog what I’m passionate about.  That may make for a varied and non-cohesive theme, but I don’t think cohesiveness is nearly as important as sharing what a person is passionate about.  Any topic that I lack passion on, quite simply won’t be included on my blogroll.  With that being said though, here is a short, but non inclusive list of topics I blog about:

Photography – Pretty self explanatory. Contained in this category is everything from wedding photography to pictures from around the ranch.

 Maria’s Musings –  Basically deep thought kind of stuff:  pursuing goals, healthy thinking, challenges, learning to trust in God, and the latest thing I’ve been mulling over; these plus more are all topics you will find in Musings

Personal – Life updates; day to day life; progress on personal goals; how the Lord is working on me.

Healthy Living – I’ve grown up in a family that places a high importance on physical health and fitness.   Natural  and chemical free health and beauty are topics I’m passionate about and have invested a lot of time and trial and error into learning about.  Here on the blog I share my tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy and chemical free lifestyle.

What is in a name?

“The Smiling Place” was chosen for a couple of reasons. I wanted a name that I could identify and be identified with. The former name of “Northwestern Girl” just didn’t jive with me for the simple reason that I don’t identify or claim to be from the northwest even though that is where I currently reside and it really did not relate to my content in any way. “The Smiling Place” fit for a number of reasons.   As those who know me in person can attest, one of the things I’m known for is smiling, in fact, people ask if I’m ever NOT smiling.  I also wanted something that fit into my vision for the blog, but wouldn’t be confining or limit growth in topics.  It is my belief that a real smile is the result of being happy and, I also believe, that happiness is experienced when we are strong and healthy spiritually, physically, and mentally.  My desire is to bring you content that will address all three realms. After being here I really hope that you leave with a smile on your face and in your heart. Annnndddd the bonus reason: it goes with photography. 🙂


“Nothing is impossible, the very word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”   – Audrey Hepburn