Real Neat Blog Award

I want to thank you to Invisibly me (check her out!!) for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award.  You put me to work on answering some of the questions.

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The Rules…

1. Post the Award logo and answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you.
2. Thank the person who nominated you in your post and link to their blog.
3. Nominate and link to some bloggers you’d like to see respond.
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer & let them know they are nominated in a comment on their blog.

Okay here are my 7 questions to answer:

  1. What would your perfect day look like?  It would start with not setting the alarm the night before.  I would get up, make a pot of coffee and sit at my desk (which is my mother’s linoleum and chrome kitchen table) do emails and check out my favorite blogs.  Leisurely morning before getting ready to meet friends for a late lunch downtown.  I would get home earlier enough to crash and watch a Netflix show or two.  Currently on Netflix I am watching Shetlands.
  2. What is the first thing you do in the morning?   Jump in the shower as I work full-time.
  3. What has been your biggest challenge?   Not second guessing myself.
  4. When does the festive Christmas season start for you?  It usually starts when a good friend and I start our Christmas shopping usually last Saturday in November.  We have our lists and make a day of it.  Of course we stop for lunch.  For me the whole month of December is the Christmas/Holiday season so I put the tree up first weekend in December and enjoy!
  5. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever spotted lying around anywhere?  You would think this question would be easy.  I don’t own a vehicle so I walk or take public transit everywhere.  I have been thinking about this and nothing stands out – I don’t even find change lying around.  I would love to hear in the comments anything wild from anyone!
  6. What do you wish you had learned earlier?  To let go of past hurts and not let others define who I am.  I guess be comfortable in my own skin.
  7. What has been your highlight, positive or negative, of 2016 so far?  2016 has been a good year.  So highlight….I think going to Ireland this summer.  Did a few firsts like stayed in an AirBnB and hiked the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.  It was a great trip – beautiful country and well worth seeing.  Loved Dublin and could see writing a few posts in a pub!

My 7 questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What book(s) or courses are on your 2017 list to take?
  3. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
  4. What is one thing you would tell your younger self?
  5. How/why did you get into blogging?
  6. What is your favorite decorating accessory?
  7. What are your favorite Instagram accounts right now?

Nominations … I nominate the following for the Award :

The story files

Cookie Crumbs

A Wandafulthing

DIY Passion

 

 

 

Ideas for a less stressful holiday season

thinkoutsidetheboxLaptop or paper and pen, coffee (or something stronger) and time.  Okay, I’m thinking the time one might be hard to achieve with the busiest time of year soon upon us.  So I think we should strategy how to make this easier.

♥    Take your laptop and/or paper and pen and leave now or soon and head to a coffee shop alone. Treat yourself and just sit and take a few deep breaths.  Okay paper & pen out.  Start making your lists of people to buy for, groceries, events to attend or host.  Remember NOT to let your coffee get cold.  Sip, breath you are doing fine.

♥   If you work full or part-time outside the house start taking advantage of lunch hours.  You can do a duck in and grab, even if only for one item it is one less you have to worry about.  Or lock yourself in your office and do your online shopping – remember it your lunch break.

♥   Can you delegate?  Or share?  Do you have a friend who is heading in one direction and you in another?  Are there easy items you could pick up for each other? Say wine? Stocking stuffers? Chocolate?

♥   What about baking – yes baking.  It is not for everyone but if you hate it how about having a friend do some baking for you and you do some wrapping for her?

♥   A few years ago I decided to give my nieces and nephews pewter Christmas ornaments.  Is there a gift you could give yearly? Maybe a magazine subscription, ornaments, flowers, baked goods or good coffee?

♥   If you send cards put them on the coffee table and write out addresses while watching television.

♥   Maybe this is the year you decided to do a family gift exchange instead of individual gifts.

♥   Purchase pretty napkins and have on hand for quick and easy hostess gifts.

♥   Consider gift cards – now those you can pick up on your lunch time.

♥   If you have a Farmer’s Market or Craft Market grab a coffee to go and head there.  Buy local it is a win/win for you and your community.

♥   Breathe and realize people remember experiences and how you made them feel more than anything material you give them.

Happy Holidays

You can always start now ! 

Winter Blog Party – Guest Post

winter-blog-party-invite

This party is being hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Wanda over at A Wandafulthing.  We participated in a blog party over at Suzie Speaks and it was great, so Wanda decided to host her own blog party.

So please head over to A Wandafulthing for the party on Sunday, November 27th.  Over there you will find all the details.  We can share our favourite posts, check out new blogs and of course do what we do best as bloggers – be supportive and courageous.

See you Sunday over a cup of tea or coffee.  Looking forward to it!

November craft challenge – wreath

This past year Wanda, over at A Wandafulthing, and I have been doing a craft challenge the third Monday of the month.  We have used mason jars, frames, puzzle pieces and more.  This month was make a wreath.

I have to admit I feel I cheated as I didn’t create my wreath from scratch.  I just added pieces to one I bought at the dollar store (along with the ornaments).  My excuse is I am participating in National Novel Writing Month.  Fast summary – we are challenged to write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. Check it out as it is a world-wide event and great support.

So without further ado my wreath.

wreath2

Everything was bought at the Dollar Store.  I just added ornaments.  The poinsettias have clips on them so great as the wreath is a plastic base so easy to tie and clip items onto it.

The crafter of the group is Wanda over at A Wandafulthing– check out all her challenges.  She painted a picture frame, hung ornaments and a bow.  It looks fabulous on the white door.

wanda-wreath

Our other monthly challenges are below.  Next month we are using a wine corks.  Your imagination is your only limited.  We would love for you to join us.

October craft challenge recycle containers

September craft challenge – mason jar

August craft challenge – terracotta-pot

 July craft challenge – fabric

June craft challenge – embroidery hoop

May craft challenge – picture frame

April craft challenge – kitchen utensil

March craft challenge – yarn

February craft challenge – puzzle pieces

January craft challenge – canvass

Angel Card – Strength

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I started my weekly post on Angel Cards on February 10, 2016.  Some Angels Cards just seemed to type themselves and others were a bit of a struggle.  I tried, for the most part, to make the post – or my take on that word – positive.   Starting from the word freedom to delight to healing I hope some of my posts resonated with you and maybe started you on a path of exploration.

On my journey I am trying to capture some of the feelings those words gave me.  To bring more joy into my life, heal from past hurts, learn to let go and more.   This is my last Angel Card and the word is strength.

I think the majority of us will recognise strength as a tool to get us through hard times.  I think the main thing is learning to tap into it.  I do believe we all have it, it might be hidden under layers of baggage, but it is there.  All we have to do is look at the struggles around us from individuals with chronic illness, loss of a love one or the global community as a whole.  I recently read a book on gratitude.  It said keeping a gratitude journal helped with resilience and isn’t resilience part of tapping into that strength to carry on during difficult times.  We can also work at tapping into our strengths to push our boundaries.

We all have strengths in different areas from public speaking to knitting.  I feel we can strengthen certain areas we feel we are weaker in with practice.  So are there any areas in your life you want to strengthen?  Use that muscle?   It might be to acknowledge you can’t do it alone or to reframe an event and learn from it.  It might be to just let yourself be sad and acknowledge that is okay.  We all have an inner strength and are tougher when put to the test than we realise.  Tap into your strengths to help you get to the next part of your journey.  We are all in this together so sharing our strengths will make us all stronger!   We own this people!

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me through my Angel Cards.  Check out categories on the right hand side for all my Angel Cards posts.  I would love to hear what these words mean to you and what resonated and/or actions you took from them.   Let me know if there is something else you would like to explore – maybe we could do it as a group.

You can always start now!

 

Embracing shorter days

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The clocks have been turned back and the days are getting shorter and shorter.   I was leaving for work in the dark and now I am barely getting home before dusk.  Turning lights on as soon as I come through the door.

People are starting to complain about the weather, lack of daylight and what is to come.  Short days, cold and damp weather.  November is upon us.  If you live anywhere that has four seasons (I have three as spring not so much) and you want to be happy more of the time than start to embrace November and what it comes after.

Embrace November and the cooler days and the crunch of leaves under foot.  Fall is one of the best times for hiking or even walking around your city as no humidity and all that is required is to put on a slightly warmer jacket. Starting in November I no longer feel I have to be outside enjoying the good weather and running around.  I can curl up with a good book, get my crafts out and plan my winter projects.

fall3

What house projects or projects period have you put off all spring and summer as you wanted to take advantage of the weather. Go to the cottage, beach and vacation.  If you are a crafter start checking Pinterest, or no doubt you already have a few boards full of ideas. Well now is the month to start picking up supplies and trying them out.

Think of November as the month you start making plans for the holidays and winter in general.  Head to a coffee shop with phone or paper and pen and enjoy a latte and make that November to do list.  Check out your local library, city recreation, community college, museum or art gallery.  With the shorter days embrace new activities that don’t rely on sunshine and being light at 9 pm.

Think of November as the start of a new social calendar. Getting together with friends for supper, theatre, crafts or hiking.  Lighting candles and being home curled up and enjoying shows you missed during the summer months.

Embrace what November (and winter in general) has to offer.  Different outdoor activities (skiing, skating, curling).  If that doesn’t rock your boat tackle those books you have on your reading list or crafts you put away.

Life is to be lived and that means all seasons and all months.  Don’t get caught up in everyone else complaining and wishing their life away.  Embrace every month as it does have something to offer – you just have to explore and make it happen.

You can always start now!

 

Angel Card – Honesty

honesty

Honesty is the Angel Card I picked this week.   Honesty should be an easy word to write about.  We all want to be honest in our dealings with others.  I am sure we all agree that honesty is important to us in our relationships and we value it.  But at times, I think honesty is about keeping your mouth shut and just listening.  We don’t have to give an honest opinion on everything.  Sometime people just want to rant and they know what they have to do.  They are just letting off steam.  I also think if something has already happened and the person knew they were not at their best and admits it, they don’t need us rehashing everything they did wrong again in all honesty.  Honesty at this point is working on lessons learned and supporting the person in doing better next time.

An area I have to work on is honesty towards me!  That sounds weird to write but what I mean is working towards honesty in my work and/or achievements.  For the majority of my life I have been more negative towards myself and my work.  But if I were truly honest and listened to my peers I would see a body of work that is worthy of sharing.  Not perfect but in honesty more than okay (OMG that was hard).   So let’s be honest about what we have to offer – I bet if we truly look within we will see a person more worthy than we thought.    Look up honesty and you will see a wide range of definitions from integrity, kindness to sincerity.  All traits we can cultivate more.

How does honesty come into play in your life?  Does the word resonate to you?  Or do you feel another word fits you better – if so what is it.  I would love to hear from you on this Angel Card or any of the others.

You can always start now!

What caught my eye – favorites from the past month

The year is flying by.  Hope you enjoy what caught my eye in the past month and maybe get a few ideas and some motivation.

Check out these cross-stitch installations by Raquel Rodrigo.  They are incredible.

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I have a new necklace!  Check out RitaVanTassel.

necklace-nov-fav

Over at Hative you can find some creative home organizing ideas.  I love the peg board.

Apartment Therapy has a post on budgeting for Christmas both gifts and travel. It is never too soon to start this.

The first blogs I started checking out where design/decorating blogs. So here is some eye candy for you over at Design Sponge .

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Let me know what you think or your favorites of the past month.  I am always looking for new ideas and blogs to check out.

Angel Card – Responsibility

responsibility

My weekly Angel Card pick this week was responsibility.  My take on responsibility is that our actions and words can often reflect how people see us.  So it is our responsibility to make sure our words and deeds reflect who we are.  We all know our responsibilities at work, family, community and ourselves.  We are responsible for our own well-being.   To me being responsible means stepping up to the plate and being accountable.  I think if we allow our responsibilities to falter and disappointment not only ourselves but others we will pay the price.  We will become that individual people cannot count on.

To avoid this we should be clear with what we can and cannot do for people.  Telling someone yes and not following through is more devastating than just saying no at the start.   It is our responsibility to let people know where we stand and what we can do.  We can’t do it all and that is okay, but we are responsible for following through even if it is so say not at this time.

So let’s look at our current responsibilities.  Are we faltering on any?  Are we just going through the motions with some that are no longer relevant?  Can we delegate?  Say no?   I want to be an individual people can count on – that means being responsible for my words and actions.  Becoming overwhelmed with responsibilities is not doing me or others any good.   Let us check our words and deeds and make sure they reflect who we are.   We are responsible for that!

 Let me know what responsibility means to you.

You can always start now!

Definition of what is good enough

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As I head into November I have started thinking about the definition of what is good enough.  This is because one of my favorite events of the year starts National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWri).

NaNoWri is about writing a novel (50,000 words is the goal) in a month.  To accomplish this there can be no edits, no going back or second guessing.  It is all about moving forward.  Perfectionism is out the window.  The attitude is write and we can so do this. Word counts, word sprints and a supportive community.

Hmmm…..that sounds good.  So why am I only applying it to November and NaNoWri?  No edits, no second guesses, moving forward, get rid of perfectionism and we can so do this attitude.  Really people, this can be applied to EVERYTHING.  What if I take my NaNoWri frame of mind and carry it past November and my 50,000 words?  What if I apply it to other projects?  Just start, don’t worry if they are not perfect (nothing is), enjoy the process and move forward.  No criticism until the project is completed and only then is it constructive criticism.  What can I take away from this?

We all know one coat of paint on a wall isn’t enough and you should not judge the true color at that point.  So why are we not applying that to our projects that are only half or one-third completed? I have done cross-stitch in the past and if I stopped when I finished cross stitching in all the Xs in the picture it would still not be completed.  It is when the outlines of the individual areas are  done that the picture pops.  So stand back and see if you have completed your finishing touches to make your project pop.

Who gets to define what is good enough?  Sometime you have to make a mess and that is okay as long as you are starting. If you are not starting you are letting perfectionism and what other people think is good enough to win.  If we have a positive experience, an hour of just creating and enjoying the process that is good enough.  The end result is not always the goal.  The journey there – well that is.

You can always start now!

 

 

 

 

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