January 25, 2016

Choosing Wisely

This month is passing more quickly than January usually does and I feel a little bit like I've lost control of it. It's been brutally cold but there has been much less snow than I prefer. I really like this time of year, although my still healing lungs aren't especially fond of it. It's the perfect time to spend more time at home getting things done as well as snuggling. Apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way.

January is such a good month to get organized, although honestly at some point in the last few years I've come to love organizing and have apparently become unable to so much as open a drawer without feeling an overwhelming desire to paw through it while asking myself if I really love and use each item in it. It's a blessing. And a curse. Right now I'm currently obsessed with capsule wardrobes and have set a deadline for myself to make some hard decisions...you know, like getting rid of clothes that haven't really fit in a couple of years but are so cute you hate to get rid of them! In other news, is there even such thing as a pair of shorts that fits girls with generous thighs, and that doesn't make them feel like they have sausage legs when they sit down? Is it called a skirt?!

I have discovered that my love of organizing feeds my love of containers which is dangerous because quite frankly I probably have more pretty containers than I have stuff. I can't help myself. It's genetic. Just ask my girls. Boxes, baskets and bins...give them all to me!! I often find myself in the unfortunate situation of lying to myself and saying I.WILL.NOT.BUY.ANY.MORE.CONTAINERS. The shame that follows the inevitable cute box purchase is ugly. Ahem, I'm talking to you cute aqua and silver foil box.

This month has seen a lot of nest fluffing and project starting. I'm pretty sure nest fluffing is more a way of life than a mood in these parts. I am trying to behave myself and stay out of the stores as much as possible and only spend money on things I truly need. I am mostly successful at that but it is clearly something I need to practice.

I've been working on being more mindful of my spending lately and that has meant me putting myself back on the envelope system. It can be very eye opening. It's a great way to train yourself to stay on budget. Want a budget tip? Don't even open all of those emails you get trying to convince you that you need the exact thing they are selling. For instance that Anthro tablecloth you've had your eye on that is now on clearance with an extra 40% off. Oops. I guess I figured this one out a bit too late. Life is just easier if you don't know what you are missing. Now if only we could quit loving eating so much because the amount of money we are spending on food each month is borderline criminal.

This month has been much busier than I had anticipated. For a well documented introvert, my calendar has been full of lunches, brunches, dinners and drinks. Every single time I have to push myself out of my cozy little happy place and every single time I end up having more fun than I thought I would. I'm sure there is a lesson in there but I'm not ready to learn it yet. The life of a social introvert is complicated.

For now I feel like I'd like to lock the doors and pull the shades and spend about a month catching up on all of my projects. There is an ottoman to slipcover, a couple of needlework projects to finish, a gallery wall to finish up, photos and recipes to organize and a crochet blanket to start. Oh and books to read. Lots and lots of books.

As much as I love and crave a quiet simple life, the thing I'm realizing is that no matter what you put on your to do list or how you plan, life has a way of just showing up and taking over and you can either fight it or embrace it. One will make you crazy and one will give you peace. These are the choices. Choose wisely.

January 12, 2016

Living in Creativity

About this time last year I decided to make 2015 my most creative year. I have to say that without a doubt, I did what I set out to do. And while I couldn't have been more wrong about it being my best year yet, it absolutely was my most creative year yet. And that is no small accomplishment.

As a matter of fact, being creative is on the list of top 5 things that saved me this past year. Dramatic I know, but 2015 deserves some drama.  I learned a lot of things last year and one of those things is that the more you create, the more creative you become. If you have the desire to be more creative, then I urge you to just start...somewhere. Anywhere. It changes the way you think. It changes the way you see the world around you. It changes you.

When I made the statement "The idea isn't to create masterpieces every day, it's to bring loveliness to all the corners of my life." I had no idea just how much that change would shape my days and year.
*Mini quilt made by my friend Renee at Sewn with Grace

I chose creativity, maybe not every day, but I'd say it's darn close. Even when it was hard, even when I was drowning in the chaos and fear that was 2015, choosing creativity kept me from going under- gave me something beyond myself and my problems to focus on.

Now here I am, at the beginning of 2016, hoping that this year really is my best year yet, but knowing that even if it isn't that I will survive and knowing that there is beauty in all of it, even the struggle.

Whether it's photography, writing, baking, painting, sewing, journaling, doodling, decorating or any other thing that fills you with joy and makes your creative heart beat faster, start doing more of it and see how it changes you. See how it shifts your attitude to a more positive one and brings little sparks of joy into your life.

Today, like the many days that have come before it, I will live in creativity and the beauty that accompanies it because now it has become a part of me and is no longer a choice I have to make.