Caught up

It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing (which usually means, for me, that I’m not happy with what I’M doing …). But I know I’m not alone in this. There’s a reason self-help books, organizational and inspirational speakers, and classes/conferences do so well.

There seems to be a cusp I walk right up to, look over the edge, see the success (or whatever it is my vision of success might be) but the fall, maybe the climb, to the destination is too unknown. Or it’s entirely too much to chew all at once. So I sulk backwards. To safety. I gather my goals and we cheer each other on (hooray!) and then, together, we hold hands as we seek comfort underneath our blanket of voices telling us we’ll never get that far.

Saturday's at Good Earth

Sometimes it feels like this inside my heart; a mess of colorful ideas strewn about my wakeful moments … none of them in order, most of them out of focus.

Last week I had the privilege of hosting a meeting in my home with a few other bloggers. (86 Lemons, Girl Meets Paper, Stacey Says) We shared links, got excited, encouraged one another to go further … to lean in.

Then, as I was going through the backlog of posts in my Reader, I came across a few different ECourses, some great posts on pushing yourself, and I wanted to share them just in case you’re there too.

Snow days at Good Earth

Some of these links are geared towards the blogger-minded. Take what you can from them, pass it on.

I haven’t read this yet, but I want to: 31 days to a better blog

The “Treasure Hunt” e-course caught my eye, got me thinking about color and how much I crave it when I’m hiding: SuperHero Life Courses

Young House Love does an amazing job of being a two-person team. Not all blogs that are successful take time/energy from resources so often outside of our reach. Their honest approach to being “just two people” really inspired me to think big(ger): Young House Love breaks it down

This site was passed around as a great resource, one I’m excited to start to use: Blogging with Amy

Another link passed around: How to pitch blog campaigns

These classes are $10 and not limited to members, this was another link passed around I hadn’t seen before – but the topics (and price point) are worth a second look for me: The Influence Network

Lastly, this blog (mega information/inspiration) and the courses offered are highly recommended: Braid Creative. I actually took their first course (I think) but didn’t get what I should have out of it. I was in transition and thinking through my creative process or dreaming big was such a chore for me at that time. But as I gear up, I’m excited to check back in and see what I can gain from their community.

What pushes you when you feel like the only person at the dance without a date? How do you keep yourself from becoming the wallflower in the abyss?

Spring Break 2013 {ideas}

There was a possible vacation in the works for Spring Break, demoted to a day trip away, demoted to Tourists In Your Own Town! hashtagexclamationpoint

(This may feel like deja-vu)

Today I’ll make the kids each a “passport”…

Source: thespottedfox.com viaJodi on Pinterest

Places to see, things to do

on a cultural adventure in our backyard:

  • Study Egyptians! (Embalm a chicken!) (Place to go: Library, grocery store)
  • Holland Museum, take a step back in time.
  • GR Public Museum, Planetarium show. Out of this world! (har har har)
  • Frederick Meijer Gardens, butterfly’s!
  • Host a High Tea – English style. (Places to go: Goodwill, costumes. Library, books/ideas)
  • Adventures of Pippy and Huck! Spend the day navigating local trails, making maps, climbing trees.
  • Big City Adventure. (Use public transit to get everywhere for one day, bikes too)
  • Pick a country: make a flag! (Library or computer time for research, Home for art making)
  • On the job: explore different options. Construction? Let’s build. Food industry? Let’s cook. Engineer? Let’s plan.
  • Great Wall Of China: make eggrolls. (Jessica’s always been fascinated with China)
  • Become an advocate: adopt a species, then raise awareness.

I’m sure I’ll add a few more ideas, less involved ones, or even small outings to a park or playdates. Not all of these ideas will make it into our passports but it’s fun to get the ideas flowing so we’re sure not to miss the many opportunities around us.

If you’re headed on vacation, tell us where! And have fun.

[how to] make shaped marshmallows

marshmallows

You first make the marshmallows but during the boil sugar/water part – you add coloring. I dumped A LOT of red in mine.

Red marshmallows.

Then you recruit help once the mallows are set, sugar up the counter and hand out some cookie cutters.

Pink marshmallows, let's make out.

Pink marshmallows, let's make out.

Pink marshmallows, let's make out.

As you can see my very RED simple sugar turned a nice pink once all was said and done. Perfect for Valentines Day.

Pink marshmallows, let's make out.

makeout

We used: heart, star, crown, flower and clover shaped cookie cutters. Our cookie cutters weren’t quite as deep as the marshmallows so it took some arm strength to push it all the way through – after it got tiring for the kids I went to just making 1 inch squares.

Pink marshmallows, let's make out.

I think about these floating in hot cocoa and I smile without knowing it. Pink marshmallows, it’s the little things.

May your Saint Valentines Day be just a little cheerier.

xoxo

Holiday Open House recap

Last month, last year … a while ago: I hosted a Holiday Open House in our charming shed outback with ReKnew. The weather was perfect and the night was magical.

Holiday Open House

Holiday Open House

I think we had fantastic prices on one of a kind items, and almost everyone who came left with something to call their own. We had workshops and food and dance-off’s with the motion lights above our garage. It was a rip-roaring good time. So fun that I still haven’t completely cleaned out my shed or garage.

Setting up for the event was probably one of my highlights. Being able to finally “do” so many of the little ideas I’ve compiled over the years … like making a simple tree out of twigs and garland:

Holiday Open House

Cost me nothing: but it got people thinking and asking questions. Which was my goal. I wanted to share my ideas.

Holiday Open House

We ended up having a couple other talented women include their work in the open house and the variety of custom made works was especially fun for me to see. We all have a different idea or taste or execution and it was so fun to look admire and to shop around the creative spirit of the night.

Holiday Open House

I promised the recipes would be up on the blog – and those are coming in the next few days. I can’t wait to do another one – maybe the next one will be planned for Spring and we’ll have workshops on gardening or “freshening up your home decor” … the ideas are endless.

I’ve always wanted to (blank)

Print things.

And so I did.

Untitled

iPhone photos of an afternoon styrofoam block-printing in the basement with my kids.

Untitled

Jessica's

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

In other news: I think we’re going to put plywood down as flooring in the basement (maybe) craft/office area (where this printing took place) and we’ll seal it nice and shiny. I don’t want carpet and am looking for money saver, yet trendy options. I’ll take all the advice you want to throw at me.

Along those same lines – we’re looking for someone to come over and listen to our ideas, look at all the clippings and pins we’ve compiled and then help us draw out our vision for a remodel. Do you know someone? We could call our contractor – is that the best way to go? It’s probably 2 years off yet that we pull the trigger we just want something to work towards (visual) so … what would you do?