Artist behind the Art

55 Random Facts About Me

If you buy from small businesses, it’s probably because you want to support your community. After all, it’s nice to know that who you are supporting is not just another big-time CEO purchasing their third holiday home! Shopping local gives you a sense that you are helping someone that could easily be your mother, sister, brother, cousin or friend who is just getting by on their side hustle.

So for this reason, I’ve decided to write a spontaneous blog with fun facts all about me! It’s easy to rally behind your local entrepreneur when you know who they are. Here are 55 random facts helping you to get to know the artist behind Ave Mariabell Designs!



My work-life balance values. 

Top 5 Career Values

  1. I value the ability to use my creativity and share my art.
  2. Being my own boss means flexibility to choose my own hours.
  3. I want to travel frequently so the ability to work remote is important.
  4. Having a variety of roles – marketing, design and sales, keeps things interesting.
  5. Proximity is important – I love being able to walk to work, even if it is a stroll to the nearest cafe!


Top 5 Life Values

  1. High quality relationships – I love my friends and family dearly.
  2. Education – access to resources to continuously further my knowledge and skills.
  3. Give back to the community – participating in volunteer projects so that I feel like a valued member of society.
  4. I crave versatile experiences in different places – I’m always getting the travel bug!
  5. Money – I believe money is not the root of all evil but it is the lack of money (and ignorance!) that is the root of all evil. Money helps to support my health and well-being, as well as my family’s.

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Now for some fun facts!

“Like” Facts

  1. My favorite ice cream flavor is cookies and cream.
  2. My non-alcoholic drink of choice is lemon-lime & bitters – unfortunately this is not a common mix in North America!
  3. My alcoholic drink of choice is either Baileys or Apple Cider. 
  4. The thing I find most attractive in a person is someone who is confident but who can also be vulnerable at the same time. I think this quality makes them genuine and authentic.
  5. My favorite season is Autumn because of all the beautiful colours. I think this is because I grew up in a place where the trees stayed the same all year around, so I truly appreciate all the colour changes in Toronto’s fall season.


Random Talent Fact

  1. In my first year of University (Bachelor of Design) I made a wooden jewelry box completely from scratch. It had gold hinges and delicate marquetry design. I think this is why I love my laser-cut skylines so much. Because it resembles the intricate wood-work that I created when I first began designing!



Travel Facts

  1. If I had the ability to teleport I would frequently travel to Australia.
  2. I have never been to anywhere in Europe. It’s next on the bucket list!
  3. The first time I traveled solo was when I completely relocated my life to Canada!
  4. The scariest moment of my travels was when I was mugged in Costa Rica – someone took my phone!
  5. The most amazing travel experience I had was white-river tubing in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. There is nothing like being in a fresh body of water surrounded by lush and tropical scenery.
  6. I love travel so much because it opens my mind and gives me unforgettable memories and stories to tell.
  7. The one thing I am always reminded of when I travel is how small my world and problems are – there is always a bigger picture that we as individuals are not always acknowledging.
  8. The most remote place I have ever been is a small town called Jabiru, in Northern Territory, Australia. Home to Kakadu National Park and 171 km southeast of the city I grew up: Darwin.
  9. My next travel adventure is hopefully to Bermuda with my boyfriend!


Education And Work Facts


  1. My favorite subject at school was art.
  2. My dream job is being an artist and designer.
  3. But when I was a child, I wanted to be a dancer.
  4. My first ever job was working as a cashier at KFC!
  5. My first job after graduating was an Architectural Assistant at an Architecture company in Brisbane, Australia.
  6. While working on my business on the side I am a part-time Interior Design assistant in midtown, Toronto.
  7. The thing I like most about my job is the opportunity to be creative.
  8. I have an architecture background and I am a qualified architectural technician.
  9. I have volunteered as a construction worker in Costa Rica.


Random, But Interesting Facts

  1. My nationality is Australian. My ethnicity is Filipino.
  2. I have a sweet tooth and I am addicted to all things sweet!
  3. I am an introvert and enjoy curling up with a good book or movie more than a night out.
  4. My guilty pleasure is binge watching Netflix series like Stranger Things.
  5. The achievement I am most proud of is: starting my own business.
  6. My idea of Heaven on Earth is a secluded beach-side house, close to hiking trails and long boardwalks by the water.
  7. The book that has inspired me the most is “Big Magic,” by Elizabeth Gilbert.” It was this book that me unafraid to share my art with the world.



  1. My first car was a dark green Toyota Starlet.
  2. Although I am Australian, I have never tried kangaroo or crocodile meat.
  3. I have 0 tattoos and 0 piercings. (Even the piercings in my earlobes have closed up because I almost never wear jewelry.)
  4. If I had 1 hour to live, I’d spend it on the beach, on a kayak in Australia with my family.
  5. My favorite childhood toy was my crayons.
  6. My favorite color is purple.
  7. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me is taking me for a ride in a light aircraft plane over Morton Island, Queensland.
  8. I spend far too much money on Starbucks iced coffee!!!.
  9. My first thought when I wake up in the morning is normally “I wonder if I can stay in bed all day long today without consequences.”
  10. I would most like to learn how to speak a different language. I’ve self-taught some Spanish, but only very little. 
  11. My worst habit is drinking too much sweet drinks – I love my lattes and iced coffees!
  12. My favorite artist is Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.
  13. If I could live anywhere on the planet, it would be on a secluded, private island with beautiful beaches and waterfalls.
  14. I wish I had a private jet plane so I could travel to and from Canada and Australia when ever I want.


What are some random and fun facts about you? Care to share it?





“Creativity is the only worthwhile endeavor.” -Unknown-

Creativity can come in many forms – not just artistic forms such as painting and writing, but also in how you live your life. Adventure is a way of being creative, and maybe you are a prolific traveler? Or maybe you are venturing into entrepreneurship for the first time? I am always trying to find new ways to be creative. Not just with life, but with all aspects of my art and business.

One of the ways I keep my mind open to creativity is participating in collaborations. Collaboration to me is important – connecting with other artist helps me to explore my own creativity.

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My most recent collaboration is with part-time artist and Fire Fighter – Mykhail Bear – also known as Bear. Together we created my Toronto Skyline design on burnt wood.

Bear uses a CNC machine to carve out designs on different mediums. For this collaboration piece Bear has carved out my skyline design on a burned pinewood piece. Such a fitting technique for an artist who is also a fire-fighter, don’t you think?


I think that the burnt wood achieves a “vintage” appearance. Bear’s finishing touches paired with my minimalist style also creates a very rustic look.

From collaborations, commissioned art, and to customized designs. These are ways I love to stay creative in my life.

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You can find more of Bear’s work on Instagram @bearcustomwood. Our collaboration piece is also available for purchase at 1114 Queen Street East in Leslieville.


What are some ways YOU like to stay creative in your life? Adventure? Travel? Art? I am always open to collaborations and commissioned art pieces – so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me!




Clean space. Clear mind.

Is minimalism just a fad? With the popularity of minimalist advocates like Marie Kondo and The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus), many will think minimalism is just another trendy hashtag on Instagram. But I think it is more than that – minimalism is a movement and a mindset.

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As an artist, creating a space for creativity and focus is so important.  Jim Qwick a self-development coach quotes that, “Your external world is a reflection of your internal world. It is important to have a clean and tidy external environment: when your environment is clean, you have less stress and more clarity of thought.” A clean environment means a clear mind! When we empty our spaces of clutter, we make room in our minds to be inspired.

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I am inspired by Scandinavian and Japanese home decor, designs which are exemplary of minimalist spaces for many generations. If my art was displayed at a fine art gallery – it would be very minimal, visually pleasing and yet each skyline is rich with stories of every city and its monuments. My art gallery wall would be an ultimate travel inspiration and bucket list for all visitors who come to view it. Oh what a dream to have this happen one day!


I feel at peace when my desk is clutter-free with a pop of colour. I am always accompanied by my minimalist art. Whether it is my laptop decal or skyline prints that align along my wall and table – being surrounded by my minimalist art can be very calming.

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I love bright, white, clean and open spaces with contrasting bold and geometric shapes. Simple designs without overpowering the room too much. Here is my bedroom where I originally drew by Toronto Skyline design.  This image shows how my art is complementary to the Japanese shoji screens on the right.

22. My bedroom edited

Japanese and Nordic design characteristics are similar and both very minimal. Japanese architectural and interior design in particular has THOUSANDS of years steeped in tradition. I love the consistent, linear lines of the shoji screen, paired with natural materials of wood and paper. Minimalism in the western world started in the early 20th century with an architecture movement. German-American architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe was one of the first to advocate principles of minimalist designs who popularized the term “less is more.”

From thousands of years of Traditional Japanese Zen philosophy, to the pioneers of modernist architecture such as Van der Rohe, and the popularity of design consultant  Marie Kondo – it is clear that minimalism is here to stay!


Until next time, we hope that you are also decluttering your homes and office spaces to make room in your mind to focus and be creative. Be part of a movement that not only encourages you to clean your space, but also to clear your mind.




Celebrating Milestones at Ave Mariabell Designs

The bad news is time flies. The good news is that you’re the pilot. (Author Michael Altshuler.)

It has been almost 5 years since I made a big move re-locating my life from Australia to Canada. This, and the launch of my skyline art series have been some of the most defining moments in my entrepreneurial journey so far.

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Time sure does fly, and that is why I love to celebrate unconventional anniversaries and many business milestones – it is what makes the hustle worthwhile! Business launches and life events are to be cherished, even the seemingly insignificant events.

This newsletter outlines and celebrates five of the latest and greatest milestones at Ave Mariabell Designs in the last few months. Why five? It seems fitting for our five-year anniversary of living in Canada!


1. Our new e-commerce website has been launched! Independent of Etsy, we are now selling on our own domain. Sign up for the newsletter and receive exclusive offers.

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2. We are still at Billy Bishop Airport! You can find some of our items (including these beautiful laser-etched and hand-finished coasters,) in Hudson News at Billy Bishop Airport – so if you’re on your way out of the city on Porter Airlines, make sure to pick up a gift and take a piece of Toronto with you! Perfect also for someone special you are visiting, who may not live here, but still shares your love for this city!

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3. I love it when small businesses support other local businesses! This is why having a range of items available in locally established gift stores means so much to me. Get your Toronto Merchandise from Old’s Cool General Store and Arts Market!



4. We are looking for influencers! If you are on Instagram, plus love to travel and adorn your home with travel decor – please get in touch with us! To increase our global outreach, we would love to collaborate with international influencers, however it is not a requirement and local talent is welcome. See a range of our influencer collaborations below, get inspired and email us at for more details.

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5. New Stockists and Distributors! We have been working on new partnerships in key locations, not just in Toronto but globally. As we are a small business, it is still a long road ahead to achieve an “international boutique,” status. However we have a number of potential partnerships brewing and hope to announce them soon. Make sure you are signed up to our Newsletter to be the first to know! Although it is a work in progress, it is still reason to celebrate as a small milestone – because optimism breeds results!

Until next time, we hope that you are also celebrating all your wins in life – big or small! Because time flies, and celebrating makes it memorable and worthwhile the hustle!



Bucket List of Cities (Part 2)

Humans are endlessly curious and always wanting to explore. My minimalist art tells a story of not only the places you have traveled to, but also places you want to go.

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It started with a simple, but large-scale mural of the city that changed my life – Toronto, on my bedroom wall. With more skylines drawn in the same style, it has now become the ultimate bucket list of cities I want to visit. From Toronto to Paris, and Sydney to Moscow, I have created for myself a never-ending series of beautiful cities in my minimalist style.


So many cities that I want to visit! It has made me wonder, what do some cities mean for other people? What does your city mean to you? Which city do you hold dear to your heart? For most people it is their home and the place that they grew up: that is the city they hold most dearly. Cities people revere are also places they have visited – such as significant travel destinations. Which cities do you have on your wall? Places you have visited, or places you have only dreamed of travelling to?

Wall of Travel AveMariabell Designs Skylines

As the list of cities I have created in my minimalist style grows, much of my art has become a tribute to places I dream of visiting. Living in Toronto has brought me closer to the possibility of traveling to places that once seemed way too far and too expensive to afford – I especially thought this as I grew up literally on the other side of the planet – Australia.

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What is the meaning for travel for you? Where is next on your bucket list? One of the top cities on my bucket list is Chicago – this city is considered by some as the Architecture capital of the world!  Having said this, the next city I want to travel to always changes. Rome, London, Paris – the possibilities are endless!

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Never forget where you are from, the cities that changed you, and places that influenced you. They helped create the person that you are today. And may the next travel destination also influence you for the better!


Until next time,



Bucket List of Cities

It is a sad day in art and architectural history today as the iconic monument, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed by a fire. Although I have never personally visited this beautiful architectural masterpiece – it is an icon that makes part of the silhouette in my Paris Skyline design, and an icon I will always regret never having visited before this tragedy.

8 x 10 frame Paris

These sad events have me thinking about how I haven’t traveled nearly as much as I would like to. I’ve become so obsessed with building and sharing my art, that travel has dropped on my priority list. Yet it has been my art and series of skylines that has become the ultimate bucket list of cities I want to visit. I have created almost 40 cities in my skyline style, and I’ve barely begun ticking them off my list.

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However next month, I am making my way for the first time to Quebec city! Perhaps visiting this French-speaking city will dampen my feelings of lament for never seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Although far from the likes of Parisian streets, Quebec city is still known for their beautiful architecture and European-like cobblestone streets. As a former architecture student and graduate, this makes me SO excited.

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My Quebec skyline design features iconic and historical buildings; Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Parliament Building, Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. I hope to visit all of these and more!

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Next on my bucket list of cities to visit in Canada include Vancouver and Calgary.  And although I have been to Montreal once before, it is definitely a city I want to visit again!

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My 5-day stint in Quebec follows from a trip to New Jersey where I will be meeting my family for my cousin’s wedding. After New Jersey (and of course touring the city of New York), I will travel with my family to Orlando, for a fun trip in Disney World! Lastly, we will fly to Toronto, and my family will visit me on this side of the world for the first time in five years!

This 3-week vacation will cover 5 different cities, only two of which I have not yet traveled to. As my small business grows, and more opportunities arise, I hope to continue to share my art and travel the world while doing so.011

Some might say that the dream to build an internationally recognized brand is as ridiculous as trying to make millions. But how ridiculous can it be if that brand is all about the love for travel, and visiting beautiful cities around the world? Something we can all relate to! While I ponder the careful balance of being an aspiring hustler and remaining humble, – I remind myself that “making memories” is more important than just “making it.”

Perhaps this nice reminder will keep me motivated to tick off all the cities on my bucket list, and visit all the beautiful monuments on my skylines designs while they still exist in the world today.

Until next time…






Art Launch Anniversary

When I first moved to Toronto I followed Art communities like, Toronto Art Crawl, and Celebrate Toronto – wishing that I could one day be part of it. At the time I was working full-time, paying a mortgage and I had never imagined that I would live in Canada long term. 2 Years later I launched my online Etsy store, and 3 years after that, I’ve built my own little community of artists through “Love Toronto And Friends” and the “Love Toronto Creatives Meet-Up.

Now living as a permanent resident of Canada, I am celebrating the 3rd year anniversary of launching Ave Mariabell Designs! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine to be living on this side of the world working for myself as an artist! I believe that creating abundance in your life starts with appreciating what you already have, and celebrating every small victory along the way. Here is a look at some of the best of our skyline designs, collaborations and achievements over the past 3 years.


1. Skyline designs.

I have over 30 designs, however a few of my favourite skylines I’ve created are Chicago, Moscow and of course Toronto. I love Toronto for the ultra minimal look of the buildings against the sky dome and CN Tower. I love Chicago because (apart from Dubai -a skyline I am yet to draw), it is considered by some to be the Architecture capital of the world, and it is next on my bucket list – especially to visit Cloud Gate.

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I love my Moscow skyline designs because I think it really captures the unique building forms that occupy the city. It is also my dream to one day visit Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral.

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Ottawa is the most recent skyline I have designed, and it is released here for the first time on my blog!

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2. Collaborations.

I have collaborated with many influencers over the past 3 years, and here is one of my recent collaborations with Instagram influencer @my_norfolk_nest. Alicja and I share the same enthusiasm for Scandinavian inspired spaces. Take a look at my prints which suits her minimalist kitchen perfectly!


From bloggers to interior design gurus, I am so grateful to be able to share my art with people who are equally enthusiastic about their love for the cities they have travelled to.

3. Achievements.

In the last 3 years I have been so fortunate to work with corporate companies such as Square Up and Google Canada. It has also been a delight seeing my designs in small local boutique stores such as Brimz on Queen West.


Although we are largely based in Toronto, it is my goal to have Ave Mariabell Designs internationally recognized. A boutique gift item store to rival with high-end brands, selling cherished mementos of cities you love, in cities all around the world!


Ave Mariabell Designs is locally established but made for the world. Share the journey and take a piece of the city you love home. It’s been a crazy three years and we anticipate a lot more in the years to come! We are continuing to grow our global outreach and invite you to follow us on our journey – follow us on Instagram and Facebook!


Until next time,




Travel is a Universal Love

Today, like every year on this day, I am celebrating an unconventional Valentines Day. I am celebrating my love affair with art. And my love for the tiny victories I have had with my art venture – see below some of the latest and greatest news and art at Ave Mariabell Designs.


My biggest 2019 victory so far- my art on display at Google Canada Headquarters!
I have many skyline designs in my minimalist style, and it would be an honor to have these displayed in the Google offices around the world. Above is me pictured with my design displayed at the Google office in Toronto.  Don’t you think my minimalist art and skylines that would look right at home in Google offices around the world?


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Above is my design at 9 feet long in an Airbnb Rental in downtown Toronto. The minimalism of my art creates a level of versatility – hence my skyline designs look great in both corporate and residential settings.




Why am I obsessed with skyline designs? Travel and the love for cities is a universal theme. It is a universal love!


Here are some of the latest Ave Mariabell skyline designs, prints and greeting cards.


Someone Misses You Greeting Card



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Postcard 5″x7″




Spain, Madrid and Switzerland, Zurich



Japan, Tokyo and Venezuela, Caracas


Ave Mariabell Designs’ aims to create a tribe of advocates for volunteers to travel & participate in community service around the globe. Not only for the betterment of communities in need, but also because we believe in self development through the experience of travel. Which cities have you traveled to?

Proudly display the cities you have traveled to with our chic, minimalist skyline designs. They look fab in a space with Scandinavian or Japanese-inspired décor!

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Canvas Print mounted on Magnetic Wooden Frame
To all my other girl bosses out there who every day choose to love themselves first, despite a world that bombards them with picture-perfect fairytale love: Happy Valentines day! Don’t forget to love yourself first.


Ave Abellanosa

Owner and Artist


Letter to Google

So crazy thing… I recently discovered my Toronto skyline decal is on display at the @google headquarters in Toronto! Thanks to fellow entrepreneur @nastockcompany for recognizing my work and tagging me. Turns out it’s been on display there since 2017! I’d sold it to an individual, not knowing they bought it for Google! Now I’m on a mission to find more Google offices around the world who want my art! It is my dream to have my art internationally recognized. Could Google help me do it? I don’t know, but I’m sure gonna try!  If you are going to dream, you might as well dream big. Below is my letter to Google asking to collaborate. Who knows where it will go, it may even go nowhere? All that matters is that I gave it my best shot!


Hi Google Team!

My name is Ave, a local Toronto artist and my art was recently bought and displayed at Google Canada Headquarters! It is my dream to have my art internationally recognized and located in every large city in the world – From London to Paris and New York to Sydney, – Ave Mariabell Designs will be a household name for travellers and globetrotters alike seeking to take a piece of a city they love home.

I understand Google is very involved in small business initiatives such as, “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map,”  “Google My Business,” and “Get Your Business Online Program.” I propose that we elevate this idea one step further and have Google support the initiative of a small local business owner.


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I have many skyline designs in my minimalist style, and it would be an honor to have these displayed in the Google offices around the world. Above is me pictured with my design displayed at the Google office in Toronto.

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My designs look fab in both corporate and residential settings. Above is an image of a downtown Toronto Airbnb rental with one of my designs at 9 feet long.

NEW PROMO NY TO PARIS-01.jpgAll the big cities you can name – I have created in my minimalist style!

A minimalist style gives my art a level of versatility, and my designs have been adapted into many products. From large scale wall decals, to small gift items. They create the perfect travel memento.



The smaller items would also make wonderful corporate gifts for your staff who want to not only showcase love for their city, but also their support for small businesses.


TRAVEL THE WORLD AS A VOLUNTEER copyA portion of proceeds goes to the #PROJECTCITYLOVE campaign.

I would love a word of referral to any of your colleagues who could assist in connecting me with the right person to elevate my designs, and help spread the word about beautiful minimalist art – and skylines that would look right at home in Google offices around the world.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Ave Abellanosa,
Owner and Artist


Abundance through Minimalism

I have a confession. I’m scared. Scared that one day I’ll no longer get to share my art with the world. One day, the realities and expectation of society will come tumbling –  that I will have to conform back to the 9-to-5 grind. There is a voice telling me that there is no way I can do this for a living – that voice is usually my own. To change the negative voice inside my head,  my one word for the year is Abundance.


My default mindset is one of scarcity – to change this I plan on finding abundance through minimalism. If it’s not contributing to the growth of my highest self, my passion, my soul-searching and my well being, than I won’t be wasting my time on it. I believe if you cut out all the toxic, meaningless and materialistic things in your life, then only abundance of what you are truly searching for will appear.

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Here is an idea – what if we all start behaving as if we are millionaires? What if you start acting as if you have already won? No one wants the money itself – its what it can afford you, or the feeling it gives you. How would you experience life differently if you were a billionaire? I believe we would no longer act as if the resources around us are so scarce.




I don’t think we talk about it enough – money. Money is the root of all miracles. Money is a energy and tool, to manifest whatever you want to see in the world. Money is never the end goal – but what it can do for your life and those around you.


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As I enter into the New Year, I have so many personal and business goals I want to achieve. However if there is one thing I hope to achieve, it is to start experiencing life  every day as if it is endlessly abundant with everything I ever wanted in life. Because the secret to having it all in life, is knowing that you already do.

Come with me as I stumble my way through this crazy entrepreneur journey.