Archives for February 2015



I worry that I’m not doing enough.

I have an incredible baby book for Grayson where I have documented so many tiny details of his first year. But I still worry. Did I document enough? Did I take enough pictures? Enough videos? Did I keep enough?

Why is it that we so often feel that we aren’t doing enough?

We aren’t working hard enough. We aren’t successful enough. We aren’t giving our children enough attention. We aren’t giving our partner or spouse enough of ourselves. We aren’t giving enough to our family and friends. We aren’t giving enough to ourselves.

Who decides how much is enough? Why is it that enough seems like an unattainable marker of a successful life? Do you ever hear anyone say, “I give 100% to every area of my life and I am so proud of myself.” No. We never hear that because we don’t think like that. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all stopped beating ourselves up for the areas we feel we are lacking and instead just applauded ourselves for doing our best, for trying our hardest, for giving it our all? Why don’t we flip the script and applaud all of our extraordinary efforts?

No, I will never be as perfect as some of the women I see on Instagram with their perfectly “pinnable” lives. I will never throw a birthday party that could be featured in Martha Stewart LIVING. I will always have mismatched paper cups and plates. There will be clutter in my house no matter how many organizational bins I purchase. My hair will be messy and I will most likely be wearing the same yoga pants I wore yesterday. But I will always know that I have loved with every fiber of my being and I have appreciated every minute of my perfectly messy life. It is filled with moments of beauty and wonder, sadness and fear, hope and happiness. It is chaotic and disorganized and full of mistakes but it is also perfect and magical and inspiring. My life, and everything I do in my life, is enough.

{image via Emily McDowell}

The Fringe Hours



I have recently been consumed with the idea of time; how little there seems to be to get things done. And what about time for doing things we love? It seems that is the first to go.  I’ve always felt extremely “busy” and constantly pulled in many directions. Elise Cripe recently wrote about our obsession with being “busy.” She wrote about a period in her life when she felt she had lost the ability to process information (after having a child) and I can completely relate to that (hello, 13 month old). So what do I do when I feel like I am spinning in circles and getting nowhere but still so “busy?” I try to organize and schedule my time better. I love structure and have always been a huge fan of paper planners, so I document my days. This helps for certain tasks (phone calls to make, client meetings, producing reports, etc.,) but it doesn’t help with the time I want to devote to myself, my creativity, my personal passions. Why? Because writing on my calendar “work on blog” or “creative writing” seems frivolous. My personal writing doesn’t bring me any money, there is no “point” to doing it, it’s a waste of time. This is what my inner critic says and I really need to work on silencing her, but still she persists.

I truly believe that the right guides and messages find you at the right time. I’m always amazed when this happens. Today Ali Edwards posted a snapshot on Instagram of a book she was reading. A book called THE FRINGE HOURS: Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner. Wow! Talk about perfect timing! I checked out her book and read all about Jessica’s inspiring message. I was then directed to Jessica’s website, The Mom Creative, and learned that she is a working mom who works full time outside of the home and still found the time to run a popular website and write a book! Jessica writes,

In the fringe hours, I escape this little corner of the web to write. The Mom Creative is all about creating a life well-crafted, which means different things on different days. Sometimes I like to write about my latest memory keeping endeavors, while other days I write about my favorite online deals. The Mom Creative isn’t one thing. Its a host of many topics that make up my crazy, beautiful life. Regardless of the topic, it is my sincere hope that together my words encourage and equip women.

That is what I am hoping to do with this little space. I want to give myself a little corner of the internet to explore my own creative endeavors, to voice my opinions, ask questions and, hopefully, provide answers, relief, or that blessed feeling of camaraderie. There are so many of us out there – busy women, working women, working moms – and we have so many worries and concerns and wishes and hopes and fears. The problem is that we put ourselves dead last. We stop asking ourselves what we want to do with our days and instead think about what he have to do with our days. It’s time to change our way of thinking. We have to honor ourselves and give ourselves the gift of time. Yes, we are still going to be busy. Life is busy. Busy is good and productive and empowering and can make you feel accomplished in so many beautiful ways. But being so busy with other people’s demands or needs or wants and not giving back to ourselves is a mistake. Make room for you in your busy, busy life.

We over-yes and over-commit and go from morning til night with little margin. Pushing our passions aside seems like the easiest way to keep our heads above water.

But I promise, there is a better way. You can find time for yourself in the fringe hours of the day. And when you redeems those hours for yourself, not only will you be happier, but you will thrive in every other area of your life.


“Women need real moments of solitiude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away. ~Barbara de Angelis



Nautical Themes

I love all things nautical. I live by the sea and I think it influences my style. I love greys, blues, whites. Neutral colors with many variations. I’m loving these shower curtains from West Elm! How cute are they?! What is it about the sea that is so calming, soothing, and healing? Does everyone feel this way or is it because I associate the ocean with carefree, childhood days? Either way, there is no way you can go wrong with adding the ocean to your life, in any way, shape, or form. It also helps to have summer reminders when you are faced with three feet of snow outside your window. It reassures you that summer will return again…someday. Right?


Whale Shower Curtain img25c


Anchor Shower Curtain


Thanks Erin for bringing these to my attention! Now I just have to decide which direction to go…whales or anchors? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Inspiration for Action

typewriter Image via WeHeartIt


I am a blog surfer. One of my favorite things to do in my down time is find a blog, a writer, a voice that speaks to me and scroll through the archives. I have a list of favorites that I check pretty regulary (Hi Elise, Ali, Joanna, Aidan, Lindsay, Jordan!) and what I have found with these women and their writing is that I am so often inspired and motivated by their ideas, their words, their creations, but then I click off and go back to my regular life; to work, to responsibilities, to daily routine. I’m not doing anything with all of that inspiration. I don’t want to say it’s wasted because I honestly believe nothing we learn is ever wasted, but it’s just not used. It’s a lot of consumption with no creation. But today was different. Today, as I was scrolling through Elise’s list of her 29 Favorite Things (to correspond with her upcoming 29th birthday), I decided to take action.  I have recently committed myself to this online home and I am now constantly on the lookout for possible topics. What a great outlet for this dose of inspiration! I decided to write – and will soon post – my 36 things (turning 36 on March 2, yikes!) and what this year has brought me. I made a list of the 36 things that made my year great (although I feel like Grayson would be #1-36) and it got me thinking in really positive, creative, fun ways. It also made me really think. Not just a passing “cool idea!” but a dig deep and really try to understand and capture my year. Whenever you are going to make anything public, it changes and evolves into something real and tangible, clean and crisp. You take your ideas and your words more seriously when you are putting them out there for public consumption…and that’s a really good thing. You are paying attention to the details and you are bringing them to light. You are changing your own perception of your “regular” life.

This is why I think the online world is so beautiful and inspiring and fun. There is so much negativity about the internet and the decline of social interaction, but if anything, I think it’s improved our social lives. We are “meeting” people we never would have connected with if not for this online world. We are getting ideas and thoughts and dreams and inspiration. Our world is so much bigger because of this online world. So stay tuned for my 36 Things (thanks, Elise!) and keep searching for your own inspiration. It’s out there, it’s everywhere, you just have to decide what to do with it.

PopSugar Must Have Box: February Edition

I am obsessed with my PopSugar subscription! I think these boxes are the best subscription boxes out there. I gave my sister, who is the hardest person to shop for, a subscription for her birthday and she loves it. The best thing about these subscription boxes is the feeling of receiving a surprise gift every month. PopSugar boxes feel like gifts from someone who knows you really well. This month was definitely one of my favorites. Check out the items below to see what I found in my February PopSugar Must Have Box.


The card that comes with every PopSugar Must Have Box includes information on all of the products included. Here is what it said inside:

“What inspired us for February?

One Love

Hearts & Arrows

Red Hot

Devine Desserts


~Lisa Sugar, PopSugar Founder & Editor-in-Chief”


BaubleBar Mini Arrow Pendant Necklace


ACME Party Box Company Bamboo Heart Cutting Board & Cheese Knife


Sally Beauty Finger Paints Nail Color


Figs & Rouge 100% Natural Balm


U.S. Apothecary Rose Water Bubble Bath


Chuao Chocolatier Ravishing Rocky Road Bar

Let me know if you subscribe to PopSugar Must Have Box or if there is another box subscription service that you absolutely love (or hate).

DISCLAIMER: I am in NO way affiliated with the PopSugar Must Have Box or Lisa Sugar. I paid for my own subscription and have received absolutely no compensation for this post. These thoughts, opinions, and feelings are 100% my own and genuine. 

Random Bits

In my goal to continue posting daily, I thought I would share some cute and interesting things I found online today.


Cute bag.


Habit forming.



Want to read this book! It’s getting some fantastic praise!


Currently reading this book and it HOOKED me last night. I couldn’t put it down. Mhairi (pronounced “Var-ee”) McFarlane is SUCH a talented writer. The book comes out in the US on May 19th and I think it’s going to be a hit.

And a few more found gems…

Best Books for Boys

Take a walk.

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda…


Four days in a row, people! This is HUGE!

Today I have some helpful news from a recent study. I was flipping through SELF Magazine and found an article in the Personal Best section. I really find that SELF Magazine provides some of the best life skills and advice for improving your happiness.

Sometimes making the smallest change in the way you turn a phrase or approach a situation can having lasting benefits.

Replace the word “should” with “could” and see if it helps increase your optimism and overall outlook on life decisions. We tend to tell ourselves that we should do something or we ask advice from others, asking what should we do? A study from Harvard Business School suggests that swapping should for could can help you make a better decision. “Saying should may limit you to thinking of one possible solution and force you to make a trade off, ” says reseacher Joshua Margolis, Ph.D. “Asking, ‘What could I do?’ can unlock your creative capabilities and help you come up with a wider range of possibilities.”

Who knew that changing one tiny word can leave such a lasting impact and change the way you face the questions in your life.

The Missing Piece


I’m always looking for the perfect book and it seems to be a lifelong quest. I don’t know what makes the perfect book, perhaps it correlates to specific times in my life, seeing myself in various characters, or just becoming so enamored with a plot that I am utterly consumed. It’s amazing the way books can fit perfectly into our lives, like a piece of a puzzle that has been missing for far too long. An author’s voice can also fill these holes. Maeve Binchy is one of those authors for me. She is a soothing balm. Her easy, effortless way with words calms me. Last night I was churned up. It was cold and late and I was worried about the baby waking. I had been reading a thriller but it seemed to make my pulse pound. So I picked up my kindle and scrolled through the purchases I had made but had yet to tackle. There she was, Maeve. I had downloaded a short story, A WEEK IN SUMMER, and decided to take a look. What better story to read when we are currently buried under three feet of snow than one set in summer? I told myself I would give it a page or two and then retire for the night. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Nothing earth shattering happens in this story, it’s simpy about a couple planning a vacation, and yet I was mesmerized. What is it about her writing?, I thought. Why is it so calming, so engaging, so real and honest and true? I haven’t finished the story (even though it is quite short) because I don’t want it to end. I want to keep flipping the pages and falling deeper and deeper into the lives of Brian and Kathleen. I think what I love so much about Maeve Binchy is that you can tell through her writing that she LOVED life.  She loved the quiet moments. She loved the surprises. She even loved the sadness because it was a testament to a full and real life. I’m sad she’s gone because it means there will be no new Maeve stories to lose myself in. Maybe I will have to create them for myself? Once again, I’m inspired and excited about life. Maeve would be proud.


Begin Where You Are


“We begin right where we are with what we have right in front of us at any given point in time.” – Ali Edwards

Sometimes the right words find us at exactly the right time. Today is my first official day doing my “morning pages” (Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way) and following my plan to blog every day. I want to do this to loosen up my writing muscles, get into a flow and learn who I am as a writer, a thinker, a doer. Remember that whole 10,000 hours thing? Well, it starts here for me. Day one. Hour one. Ali’s post was particularly poignant because, as she writes, “It takes a willingness to be bad at it in the beginning. We all have to start somewhere.”

I couldn’t agree more and yet it’s something that I seem to forget every time I begin a new practice or try a new skill.

“Learning a new skill or sport or art form or way of being takes time and repetition. It takes doing the same move over and over and over again. That move may involve a paintbrush or a pen or standing on your hands or lacing up your shoes or yelling kiai or sitting at a wheel or looking through the lens over and over and over again.” (Ali Edwards)

I wrote in my morning pages, “It may seem self-indulgent to take this time to write three pages every morning, especially when I have a baby and a business that demands so much of my time. But maybe I need to do these pages because I have a baby and a business. I need this creative expression just for me.” Julia Cameron backed up my thoughts perfectly when she wrote, “It’s not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

We all need to put the time in if it’s something we want to learn and do well. We don’t start off as experts, we start as beginners and that’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s exactly as it should be.

I wrote three pages this morning and most of what I wrote were questions and rambling thoughts but I did get one gem out of it. I wrote, “I want to feel my pulse through my pen.” That one sentence made the three pages of scribbles worth it. Because it’s exactly how I feel, I want to feel my pulse through my pen. I want to check in with myself and understand myself through the written word. I want to distill my thoughts and understand the events of my life better. I want to write my way to happiness. (Side note: Recent studies have even found that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory, according to the New York Times)

You know you are on the right path and doing the work you need to be doing if you feel a fire in your heart. That fire was ignited yesterday and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Hello February



I’m so excited about this month. February always feels like the turning of a corner. We are making the slow march towards spring and leaving the frigid temperatures of winter behind us. February is also a time when I start to really look at where I stand in the year. We are already one month into 2015 and resolutions are probably waning for most. Maybe some of us haven’t even attempted to embark on those resolutions. I am in the most confusing of positions. I couldn’t decide on a resolution. I had too many ideas floating around in my busy head. I wanted to write more. I wanted to exercise more. I wanted to simplify my life, streamline, explore minimalism. Ali Edwards has a One Little Word program that she runs where you focus on one word for the entire year. Couldn’t decide what I wanted my word to be. Do you see a pattern here? I have trouble making decisions (classic Pisces-two fish swimming in opposite directions).

Then something amazing happened. On a cold, snowy Sunday I stumbled upon a blog. Janice MacLeod. Janice is an artist, a writer, an explorer, a traveler, but also a girl, just like me, looking for her passion. She started a blog in 2010 in the hopes of documenting her ability to do 365 days of Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages from her wildly popular book, The Artist’s Way. Essentially, Janice wanted to change her life. The Morning Pages became a focal point and a way to channel her creative energy. What resulted is astounding. Janice quit her job, sold her belongings and traveled to France, looking for adventures. She blogged her way through everything and started writing letters and painting images of her travels to her friends and family back home. The blog took off and her creativity blossomed. She ended up writing Paris Letters: One Woman’s Journey from the Fast Lane to a Slow Stroll in Paris. The rest, as they say, is history. What fascinates me is that all of this was the result of pursuing her passion and dedicating herself to change. She ended her first post with these words, “I’m like a horse at the gate. Excited. Nervous. I’m also frothing at the mouth. Game on.”

As I continued to read on about Janice, I found that she, too, was inspired by another artist, Percy Kelly, who sent letters to a friend. Letters that were illustrated and told a story. It’s amazing to actually watch someone’s dreams begin to take shape, and this is what Janice’s blog showed. She hated her job. Hated the work she was doing. She wasn’t inspired. She needed to breathe some energy into her life and she did it in small, creative steps. Steps that resulted in a book that has hit the New York Times Bestseller list! All because she started thinking creatively and looking for inspiration everywhere. Now she is the one doing the inspiring.

I immediately had to get my hands on a copy of her book. I’m right around the age Janice was when she started her blog. I have a one-year-old son who is my everything. I want to show him what a good, happy, inspired life looks like and I think I might have found the way. Writing has always been my passion but I hide it behind press releases for other people, other writers, other creative minds. I write about their lives, their work, their passions. But what about mine?

The fact that I have just written more in the past few minutes then I have all year shows that I am excited. I’m inspired. I’m motivated. I want to see what happens to my life if I begin to follow my passion. I’m going to do what Janice did. I’m using her as my inspiration. I will start doing morning pages every single day. I want to see if the creativity will be sparked. I want to blog every. single. day. Even if it’s just one word. One picture. One thought. I want to check in here, with my thoughts, every single day. The morning pages will be used to spark my creativity, get my creative juices flowing. Like Janice, I, too, want to explore my creative side. I’ve been a scrapbooker for years. I document my daily life with words and photos in albums that no one sees. I want this blog to become a bit like my scrapbook. A place in this wide world where I can be creative and discover new facets of myself.

I have found a journal that I will use for my morning pages. I don’t know how different it will be then my diary, which I keep on a daily basis, but we shall see. I’m already 39 days into 2015 but as anyone will tell you, now is as good a day as any to start. So I will do 365 days of morning pages. 365 days of blogging. Today is Day One. Yes, this space will hold me accountable. I’ve made this proclamation before. I didn’t stick to it. Yes, it’s embarrassing. So here’s hoping that on February 8, 2016, I will have 365 posts to back me up.

As Janice said, “GAME ON!”

If you, too, are looking for inspiration, check out Janice’s book and blog. You will not be disappointed. Her artwork is stunning and her words are inspiring.