Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Want to Get Creative? Try Paint By Number


I have a passion for being creative.  It fills me, it is a total energy booster, it is calming, it makes me happy.

I like finding little projects here and there that I can do, make, recreate.  However, at the end of last year I looked deeper into it.  I want to simplify things around my house, inside and out, in me and my flow.  But I didn't want to keep accumulating physical items from my creative side.  But I knew I needed to find a creative outlet to build into my day, the week, the month without it needing to take up a lot of space.

One thing I know I love to do is to color.  So for Christmas I asked for mandala coloring books and some markers to go with it.  I have a coloring book that I pulled back out as well.  Both are easy things I can pick up at any point in the day.  I can spend five minutes on it and feel the benefits of getting creative time.  If I have more time, then I can do more.

Down the road I am going to give hand lettering a try and see where that leads.

I also found this awesome app for my ipad.  It's called Happy Color.  Simply said, it is a color by number.  You have thousands of pictures to choose from.  Then you tap on a number, those spots turn gray, and you color them in with a simple tap.  When you have filled all the spots with the color, it checks off the color circle.  Then you move on to the next color.

I love it because it is easy, but can get intricate.  I can take it anywhere.  Anyone can do it.  My oldest has been enjoying picking a picture to color with me or finding a simple one that he can do by himself.  Any theme you can think of to fit whatever mood you are in.  When you finish it you can watch it animate how you filled it in, which in a way is fun and yet sometimes calming. 

Anyone can be creative.  We all have it in us.  Sometimes it gets buried or lost, but it is there.  Once you tap into it though, there is this flood that comes with it.  You have to find what works for you, what direction you want to head in, what fills you.  Then open your heart, let go, and delve into the possibilities of where being creative can lead you.

How do you like to be creative?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Health & Fitness, & A New Year


It's part way through January as this post goes live, but I want you to think back to end of the year, or to New Years.  Did you set any goals?  Any resolutions?  Any going to stop doing  xyz or let go of xyz?

I know some out there started the new year, the month off strong.  While I know some will keep going with what they set, I also know some (a lot) that now just a couple short weeks have given up, let it go, or haven't thought about it since.

It is just how some of us run.  Some of us run on setting goals, laying them out, and working towards them.  I also know some just do a resolution because, well because isn't that what we are supposed to do?

I encourage you to try to set a few attainable goals and really put forth the effort in reaching them.  I love the quote, "what can you start today that your future self will thank you for?"

Well, what can you start?

It takes time to get where you are going and want to go.  But you have to start where you are and actually take that first step.  Because that first step can lead to another, and another, and so on.

It took time to get to the point where you are at  now and it is going to take time to change, grow, and get to where you want to be.

So, how does this play into health and fitness?

Well, simply put, you have to do it little by little.  Being consistent, checking in, adjusting when needed are just the basic part of changing and reaching your goals.

It takes 28 days to create a habit.  So it can also be said it takes 28 days to change a habit.  If you keep persisting and adjusting, you can change those habits, creating new ones.

But also remember, just throwing all in at once may not get you the end result you are hoping for or looking for.

If you are looking for, hoping for lasting change and better habits then you need to remember it takes time.  So give yourself the time to get there.

What are you health and fitness goal for this year?  What habits do you want to change or create?  What do you want "to start today that your future self will thank you for"?

*Photo credit: google search for quote

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Calendars, Planners, Lists & More ~ Simplifying, Streamlining, & Setting Up My Planner


A few posts back I talked about my planner and laying things out just a little bit, but said I would come back around to a blog post just about my planner.

I typically have a planner for out at home, a wall calendar, a calendar for the diaper bag (and don't forget the week calendar on the fridge).

Holy cow, that is a crazy amount of calendars to keep up to date.

Here's my reasoning.

The planner for at home was to be a monthly one where I would write down all the happenings.  It is also broken out by week where I can write the day to day stuff.  My focus on it in the past was primarily the day to day side of it

The wall calendar is up for month to month planning and hung where all can see and add to it.

The calendar for the diaper bag is just for that.  It is small, easy to take a long, always there to be able to check open days and to schedule things while out and about.

To keep going.  There is a dry erase board on the fridge that I write out that weeks specifics for activities and dinner menu plan.  My thought, it would be the one actually seen.

Even as I type this, I am thinking it's a bit much.  Why, if I am trying to simplify other areas of my life, why would I not try to simplify this and streamline it more.  But I am left with how and then also trying to remember to take calendars when they need to go with.  And quite frankly, I  am tired of the dry erase boards falling off the fridge.

I am already menu planning a month out and that goes on the fridge.  So off goes the menu white board.  I am going to move the wall calendar into the kitchen for on the fridge (if there is enough room).  The calendar in the diaper, came out and when a calendar needs to go with it's my planner.

So that brings me down to my planner.  This year I am going to really utilize it.  I have my usual appointments in it, scheduled activities, birthdays, holidays, etc.  I am going to continue to use the day to day section to plan out my day a little bit more.  I am using this part to schedule my quiet times, workouts, creative time, and writing time along with more details about the plan during that time.

I know, that may seem a bit over the top to some.  But something I have learned is that if I put it to the calendar, I save a spot for it, and it is more likely to get done.  So, I already put in appointments and the other stuff, why not add the things that I want to do or need to do personally.  The things that fill me up, my hobbies, my energy boosters, self care, etc.  I put the flow for my day down on paper.

I also added in my word for the year and my monthly word.  Lastly, I added in my goals for some areas and the end result by when.

Now I have it all in one place and see it regularly.

I took some time at the end of last year to really clarify my goals, routines & rituals, what makes my day go better so I can be my best for those around me.  So why not give those things a space of their own on the calendar?  And why not put it all into a place where it will continue to be in my line of sight, right?

So that is what I did.  I transferred all the important dates from the wall calendar to my planner.  Consolidated calendars where I could.  And built up my planner to make it truly work for me.

I even took inspiration from my friend Nor and got creative with my planner.  Added some color, more organization, filled in the sides and not it's ready to go.


What do you make sure to schedule out?  How do you use your planner or calendar? What type of system do you have in place to help you plan, schedule, etc?

Have you ever thought about adding in a space on your calendar for your hobbies, for quiet time, for just the simple things?

I would love to hear more about how you set it all up and keep track of it, as well as make room for all that needs to get done and wants to get done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Back at the end of 2011 I was given the challenge to come up with a word to carry me through the next year.  I say challenge because at the start of 2011 we lost our daughter Samantha and as I went through the grief process I found a wonderful course called Illuminate by Beryl Young to be a part of.  We used photography to process our way through our grief.

For those who may not know, I love taking pictures.  Give me a DSLR camera and I am in my element even more.  I love capturing the moment.

We also had journaling questions to answer with each lesson.  The last one of the course, which happened to end just before Christmas, was to pick a word to carry us through the next year.  I don't typically do resolutions, though I will set goals.  But choosing a word for the year was what I needed.  It was something to carry me through, to step forward, to grow.

The word I chose? Trust.  I needed to learn to trust again.  Trust myself, my body, my relationships, and above it all to trust God again.

So each year I choose a word to carry with me for the year.

For 2019, I chose my word, but also added a little something to it.  From taking the Abundant Mama Course and being in the Peace Circle for a bit, I got to create Simple Clarity cards.  During my time in the Peace Circle we had a monthly focus (i.e. yes...to you, to ease, to joy, etc).  I decided to combine all three of these ideas into setting up a month to month  word as well.

For 2019 my word is rejuvenation.  While I am not sure quite where that will lead, it does resonate deeply and seems to fit well with the direction I am headed in.  I then chose a word focus for each month.

So my overall word will be rejuvenation, but each month will have an extra focus to help dig in a little deeper, to grow, to be grounded.  Here's what I came up with:

January ~ Open
February ~ Calm
March ~ Leap
April ~ Heal
May ~ Fearless
June ~ Soften
July ~ Brave
August  ~ Kindness
September ~ Ease
October ~ Journey
November ~ Support
December ~ Ritual

I have also been doing a series of 3 card Simple Clarity card pull sets to help me set myself for the season.  So each season I work through this, think on it, and pick a word to represent the season.  For the Winter season my word is playful.

I usually post my word for the year somewhere that I will see it most days.  I have yet to decide where around the house I may do that.  I say may, because I am not sure if I will post my year word yet.  But for each month's word I will write it and design a picture on a frame that sits on my kitchen counter and I will put my Simple Clarity card in a holder I have by my bed.

I also decided to add the words to my planner.  Each month has it's own word written at the top, as well as my 2019 word.

So how about you?

Do you choose a word for the year?  Or maybe the month?

If not, maybe it is something you would be interested in trying.  If you have, share some of the words you have used in the past, how you use the word, and if you display it anywhere.

What will your word be this year?

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Today is New Year's Day

I wish you a year full of blessings, joy, space, happiness.  May your heart open, be full.  May you find growth, strength, and courage.

Take a moment to think about the past week, past month, the past year.  Reflect, change, and grow.

Take some time today to rest and just be.

Take some time to think forward, to dream, to set goals.

Merry Christmas! 

And a Happy New Year to you!