I was stuck. A huge pile of laundry to do, with all my pants that fit trapped inside them. It was cold and rainy outside, strange for Southern California in May, so I was even more unprepared. I wanted to wear a pair of jeans so I could tuck them into my rain boots, and the only pair that would work were my Gap skinny jeans I hadn’t dare try on in months. The last time I did, at about 4 months postpartum, I felt defeated after I couldn’t even get them past my hips. But I had no other choice; with no time to do a load, and nothing else appropriate to wear, I took them off the hanger… Read More »
Brenda Ponnay instruct attendees at the last Craft Cabinet on watercolor technique, but I was too busy running around refilling water bowls to have one moment to sit down and really play myself. But between listening to Brenda instruct, and seeing Taylor and Syd work with the medium with my Mother In Law (who by the way is a very talented artist), I got the general jest of what I was supposed to do. You can visit the Craft Cabinet blog for a great tutorial Brenda and Jules wrote, outlining how to watercolor in 6 easy steps. Yesterday I used a combination of Brenda’s technique of first wetting the paper with water before applying color, and I also just applied water to the palette and applied color directly. I can’t really say I love one technique over the other, I suppose it’s personal preference. For supplies you do want to get actual watercolor paper, as the colors and water just work better instead of sopping up regular paper. For palettes and brushes you can certainly get fancy ones, but I just used the Artist Loft series from Michael’s and the brushes were $2.99 and the palettes were $4.99. For my still life inspiration I used this lovely orchid I picked up at Trader Joe’s last week. Leslie Sherwing’s pieces she doodles out like it ain’t no thang. Something to definitely aspire to!A Creative Mint
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Before I proceed, let me just get the ugly truth out there that I feel like our community often tries to brush under the rug. Not all bloggers are nice. Just like not all other moms in your kid’s school are sweet and supportive, or not every coworker will bend over backwards to lend a helping hand, not all bloggers are supportive and encouraging; they all have their flaws no matter how perfect their life appears online or how smart and nice they seem. Great crafts and witty writing does not take away the asshole in some of us. I know I am not perfect and have been snarky and rude at times too. I’m human after all, but for too long I have at times sat up on a high horse wagging my fingers at some instead of quite frankly, just minding my own business. I have had my work stolen, I have met people dozens of times and yet they still don’t find me important enough to remember my name, and I’ve had bloggers act like they are a celebrity. News flash, you are a blogger, not a celebrity. I know this sounds terribly negative, and I promise to get to the part about “peace” soon enough, but I wanted to get that out of the way because it was a big obstacle I had to overcome in order to find some sort of peace with blogging. I found that peace this weekend finally, when it occurred to me that I am responsible for me, and only me. In order for me to continue in this business, I had to realize that I am the only one responsible for my success or failures, and begrudging people for one reason or another only contaminates me. Deep thoughts right there I know, but truly it is so true.
Point 1: First realize that not everyone is going to be as nice as you want them to be, and then let it go. Negativity towards other bloggers (or moms, or coworkers) only hurts yourself, your inner peace and your work. Only follow those you respect, admire, and have positive relationships with and eliminate the rest. The only thing to be gained by following someone who annoys you is more annoyance.
The other side to the coin though is that for every 1 asshole blogger, there are 100 amazingly supportive and genuinely nice bloggers out there, and I think this can be said for most of humanity. We tend to focus on the negativity and only remember the one person who was a jerk instead of the other 50 people who were nice. I met and discovered a great amount of amazing people this weekend who were genuinely supportive, nice and gracious. People who inspired me and gave me so much to think about. They are the ones who are the core of this community and have helped and led in doing so many wonderful things in this online world.
Point 2: Try to surround yourself with people who will be as supportive and positive as possible and use their work and successes to inspire you to push forward with your own work. If you aspire to their success or think you have something to learn from them, ask them to be a mentor. I developed a deeper respect for someone this weekend after meeting her in person, and in exchange for me writing for her on occasion, I asked her to mentor me. We have yet to iron out the details, but if it works out, I think I have a lot I can learn from her. And of course always return the favor and be as nice as you hope others to be.
So once you’ve found some people online who are genuinely nice (or at least seem that way), and you have sort of a tribe of blogging peeps, people you can trust and bounce ideas off of, make a list of what you really want out of blogging. This would be similar to making a career path or outlining some parenting goals for how you aspire to raise your kids. Include goals, big dreams and little, and plans or ideas of how to get there. Ask yourself what you truly want out of it. Is it just to make some extra money, to get some perks like free stuff, grow your handmade shop, or do you wish to someday write a book or appear on TV or in a magazine? Once you’ve outlined what you want, it will better define the path you will take to get there. It will also allow you be free to celebrate the successes of your peers without negative feelings of jealousy. I used to get that yucky feeling in my stomach when I heard another blogger got a book deal, but then I stopped doing that when I realized I had no desire at all to write a book. So how could I begrudge someone’s success when my idea of success looked so different?
Point 3: Make a list of what you want to better define your goals and how to get there, but to also release any possible negative feelings towards others and their successes.Craft Cabinet event was featured in Mingle magazine! My business partner Jules had an online relationship with the editor of the magazine, and when we pulled off the first event, she shared the photos with her and they liked the event and concept enough to feature us in an 8 page spread! I think this is a perfect example of surrounding yourself with the right people, who are kind, supportive and respectful of good work. We are quite proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and are now forever grateful to Mingle Magazine for appreciating our work, and the work of our talented photographer friend Mary of Yung Bean Photography who with her pretty pictures from that night, helped us even get featured. I never dreamed that anything I ever did would be in a magazine, nevertheless get featured, so this was a huge honor.
Point 5: Bottom line, no complaining if you’re unwilling to make some changes. From here on out I make a vow to not complain about blogging. I will no longer concern myself with what others are or aren’t doing, and focus on my own work and my space here, and instead will try my best to be as positive and supportive of a light as I can be.
I think everyone’s 5 step process to finding peace with whatever it is you’re working on is different, but this here is mine. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of these things resonate with a lot of you though, because I believe many of these feelings are common results of our human nature. Some of us have to fight hard against feelings of resentment, jealousy, and annoyance. But those negative feelings can be toxic and start to filter though to other parts of our lives. This 5 point list is very big picture and is void of any real “practical” advice, but I think big picture is where we often have to start.
This past weekend was a big eye opener for me. I always learn something at each conference I attend, but was especially thankful for the things I came to realize this past weekend because it truly is going to bring a lot more peace to my writing. Now it’s about putting these things into practice, which as we know, is always the hardest part. So if you catch me being annoyed, do me a favor and remind me of this post?
What have you had to commit to doing in order to find peace? Did you find once you made the list and made yourself conscious of it, it was easier to put them into practice, or did you still struggle?
Last Saturday Art and I had a wonderful opportunity to go and see Chris Tomlin at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, going to see a worship band. Would it feel uptight, would it feel like an extension of church, would it feel good or awkward? I really honestly didn’t know if it would feel strange to worship outside of church, because essentially that’s what we would be doing. I’ve talked before, how Art and I sort of have a private relationship with Christ, whereas I pray on my own and he prays on his own, and rarely do we really pray together. During church we hold hands and he hands me a tissue when I inevitably start to cry, so I wasn’t sure what the evening would be like. Would it be like all the other concerts we go to together where we sing our faces off and lose our voices by the end of the night, or would we sort of stand side by side holding hands, similar to what we do in church? Maybe I’m over thinking this, I know, but I have a feeling some of you out there would be thinking the same thoughts, right? When we got there though and saw the DJ onstage, leading us through a dance song with high energy and awesome beats, I had a feeling it would be all good. Turns out we did a mixture of singing and dancing our faces off, and also standing side by side.
The night turned out to be beautiful. Art and I had just celebrated 14 years of marriage a few days before, so to be outside under the stars on a beautiful California night, singing praise and feeling the energy and presence of Jesus in that auditorium was nothing short of awesome. Chris (it’s totally okay to call him by first name after spending an evening with him right?) and the band’s energy were incredible, and their stage presence pretty magnetic. Art admired the drummers beard, I admired their overall fashion sense, and we both admired their skill level as musicians, singers and songwriters. The way they connect with music and the audience is something special and a beautiful thing to see.
It definitely was the most energetic, yet peaceful concert I’ve ever been to, and we left there feeling a sense of just happiness. That’s the most simple way to put it. If you’re a long time fan of Chris Tomlin, or even if you’re new to his music, and not sure how you’d do at a “Christian concert”, I’m here to say that you’ll love it and be very awesomely surprised. There will be a few posts being published online today talking about our Chris Tomlin concert experience, and while I’m not sure the perspective that everyone else will be coming from in their writing and experience, I’m here to represent the girls who didn’t grow up in the church, who don’t have their scripture perfectly memorized, who goes to church but sometimes still has lots of questions, yet for whatever reason, connects with Jesus through music on a level she never thought possible. I’m representing that girl who is curious and wants to try out something like a Christian concert but may be a little hesitant and afraid. Afraid if you’ll fit in, have a good time, connect, feel good while doing it. Try it, push yourself, and I can almost guarantee you’ll come out of it not only glad you did, but also inspired and humbled in the process.
Transparent Productions is a concert promotion company who strive to bring Christian shows to Southern California and the rest of the nation. Transparent Productions has promoted shows and events with Hillsong United, Casting Crowns, Third Day, Mercy Me, Chris Tomlin, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Amy Grant, Delirious, Jesus Culture Band, David Crowder Band, and Tenth Avenue North as well as shows with Switchfoot, Family Force 5, Relient K, Owl City, NeedToBreathe, Anberlin, Red, POD and many many others. You can follow Transparent Productions on Twitter, Facebook and find them on Instagram.
Tickets for Fish Fest 2013 is on June 29, 2013 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and tickets go on sale today. To find out more and purchase tickets visit here. The Hillsong United show is on Friday June 7th, 2013 at my all time favorite venue The Hollowood Bowl. To get tickets visit here.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® andTransparent Productions but all my opinions are my own. Thank you to Pollinate and Transparent Productions for the wonderful experience, amazing seats, and for pushing me a bit out of my comfort zone.
here, and I’d love to get the patterns or party set.
Heidi Klum for New Balance leggings because they are a compression fit which means they will sort of suck you in a bit and smooth out and tone those legs, yet they are still really comfortable and don’t feel like you’re being squeezed to death. They are nice and long and have a really cute ruching detail at the ankle. Now the only problem with this look, for me, is when the tight leggings are paired back to a super tight top, especially when you’re not in tip-top shape. First, I feel really exposed with every lump and curve showing, and the tight top highlights my still bulging postpartum pooch area. You can also clearly see the where the waistband is pinching in at my waist because the top is so tight. Overall it’s not the most attractive look.
- Long and lean true workout bottoms that have a slight compression fit that molds to my curves and that fits slim all the way to the ankle or knee; no bootleg type openings.
- Longer and loose tops that cover me up a bit more and glide over the postpartum pooch, don’t hug and squeeze it.
- Ankle athletic socks that are hardly visible inside the shoe helps creates a longer silhouette to your legs
- Functional coverups for staying warm that are long and loose to comfortably fit over clothes.
Next week we’ll talk about shorts, because I know they’re the bane of many women’s existence, especially workout shorts. I hope this has been helpful for some of you. I’ve continued with my Pop Physique workouts 2-3 times a week and I’m now down about 9 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’d love to get to the gym more in the coming months as soon as we’re out of cold and flu season and I can feel comfortable taking Hayden to the gym daycare. Until then I’m happy with the progress I’ve made!
New Balance has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. The Heidi Klum for New Balance partnership combines New Balance’s expertise in fit and form with Heidi Klum’s commitment to sophisticated style, to create a versatile collection for women that is both everyday wearable and chic. Learn more: http://www.newbalance.com/Heidi-Klum/heidi-klum,default,pg.html New Balance encourages you to submit your own Heidi Klum for New Balance looks via Instagram or Twitter using the #hknb hashtag.
Compensation was provided by New Balance via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of New Balance. I personally have been a fan of New Balance for at least 15 years and have exclusively worn their shoes for all of my workouts. I was more than thrilled and honored for this opportunity to share these active wear pieces with you all and can attest to how awesome they are.
Holy hell I was wrong.
Sleepovers, as it turns out, are a lot of work. 7 young girls in our house for 16 hours straight, minus a very short window of time when they are actually asleep. Other than that, it is full on girl craziness 100% of the time. I loved it, Taylor loved it, and I’m glad I did it. All I’m saying though, is if you think a sleepover is going to be somewhat easier because you can do simple kid food and play simple kid games and just throw them in the room, you’d be wrong my friend.
The feelings of responsibility alone were enough of a burden to make me question having another sleepover for a couple of years. I found myself counting the girls over and over again, between pool time and bed time, I would count over and over again to make sure all the girls were accounted for. Is that weird? I also checked in on them about 5 times throughout the night. And counted their heads. One girl’s little head was tucked under her sleeping bag so I went over and lifted it up, just to be sure. I am crazy, right? Ha!
But aside from all the self-inflicted stress of hosting a sleepover, it really was a great party and I did limit myself on the decorations and “theme”. A couple of days before the party I had Taylor take a trip to Target with me and let her pick out the paper plates, some party accessories from the party aisle, and then we went and ordered the cake. Between the random, mismatched party decorations and paper goods, the galloping horse cake, and the activities planned, including a Princess Leia pinata, we dubbed the party a “favorite things” party and we sort of just went from there.
The only thing I ended up decorating was the actual table the girls would be sitting at, and hung a lettered banner, which I’ll share later this week, and some balloons as the backdrop. The table setting and the crowns the girls all took home as favors, were all made and thrown together in about 2 hours time. No joke.
For the table cloth I just used a white linen tablecloth I already owned, and then placed colorful strops of grosgrain ribbon along the width of the table. The table was set with alternating pink and lavender colored watercolor inspired paper plates, and those beautiful blue Bell mason jars? I received those compliments of Bell and they were just the perfect thing to set the table off.
I added some colorful striped straws, bright paper confetti, and then placed a flower crown at each place setting for the girls to take home as favors. A beautiful and useful replacement to ye’ old goody bag, if I do say so myself. Oh! And those horse place-card holders? I found them in the craft supply aisle at Michael’s and bought them on a whim, thinking I could use them for a washi tape craft with the girls or something. You know, in case we got bored or something (ha!). At the last minute I decided to add the girl’s names on them and use them as place holders and they ended up taking those home too they loved them so much!
The decorations proved once again, that the less preplanning and stress, the better. For me anyhow. I seem to work the best and get the most creative inspiration when I just let go and don’t force it. It was colorful. It was all over the place. It was a bit much. But for Taylor, and who she is, it was PERFECT!
I had a couple of crafts planned for the girls, as well as some games, but it turned out they just had fun swimming and making their own games up. I purposely didn’t include any photos of the girls at the party because as they get older, I’m trying to be more sensitive to their privacy, but I wish I could share one of the games they came up with because it was so cute and brilliant! I bought these glow in the dark star glasses at Target, and after passing them out, they made up the glow in the dark tag game. We turned off all the lights and all the girls except the seeker, hid. The seeker then had to find the girls by finding their glow in the dark faces. It was really cute and creative and LOUD, but very fun. Needless to say lots of throw pillows and blankets were hurt in the process, but they proved no worse for wear.
Tomorrow I’ll share the process of making the very sweet and easy floral crowns, which the girls NEVER took off that night! I instagrammed some photos (@fourflights), and most of the girls were even wearing them the next morning. It was a great party and I’d do it again, in another 5 years maybe
Taylor, I am eternally grateful for the blessing you have given me and your daddy, by being in our lives. And I thank God for the chance to mother you. I love your kind spirit, your energy, your curiosity, and your silliness. I am proud that you have your own interests and pursue them, even if they are different than what some other girls at school may be into. I love your tender heart to animals, and your creative connection to everything from nature to art to music. At 8, you love to write songs, you love to paint, you love to be outside, and you love to dance. As you grew each year, I always prayed and hoped that you would be this lovely and special. And it seems God has answered my prayers.
There is no one like you, and you are the perfect piece to our family. You are the one who granted us the gift of parenthood, and you have taught us both so much. Each of us is a special part of this family, each of us has a unique role to play and spot to fill. For our family, you remind us to be curious, to be adventurous, to be kind to all living things, even if they’re pesky rodents, and you remind us to care for each other. Watching you take care of both your younger brothers is a lesson in servitude, in gratitude and in love. You love and care for them both without question, without asking and prompting, and always from the bottom of your heart. You my dear, show me what true, unconditional, unbreakable love is. I cannot tell you how much I love you, I value you and I appreciate you. I hear 8 is great, and my gosh I can’t imagine you getting much better, but I’m sure you will continue to surprise us all, and make us all very, very proud.
Happy birthday my sweet girl. We love you to the moon and back again. You are awesome, amazing and inspiring.
All these midi skirts and more can be found on my Pinterest board. Follow along with me as I pin my favorite Spring Style and Trends for women. And don’t miss a thing, like For The Love Of on Facebook to keep in touch!
I’ve been on the hunt for a lovely midi skirt lately. I love maxis, but once the heat turns up they can feel quite cumbersome, even if they’re light and airy. Midis though are a more modest, and functional version of a short summery skirt that look great with wedges, pretty heels and flat sandals. Perfect for pattern mixing, wearing back to chambray, and just a simple and easy tank, midis are on my mind, and here are a few favorites I wouldn’t mind having in my closet.
Floral ASOS 2. Pink Linen ASOS 3. Red Full Circle ASOS 4. Lime Green Ponte ASOSAbstract Jacquard ASOS 6. Green Striped ASOS 7. Black and White Check ASOS 8. Black and White Striped ASOSStrata Panel Skirt Anthropologie 10. Waverly A Line Skirt Anthropologie
As with maxis, I can just hear it now. Some of you more petite girls are going to be saying, “I can’t wear a midi skirt, I’m too short!” Nonsense! Focus on lengthening your proportions by adding a belt and tucking in a blouse or form fitting top. Then pair with wedges to give yourself some lift and you have a flowing, easy chic look that allows you to feel pulled together, season appropriate yet still functional. You aren’t tripping over your long skirt and you aren’t afraid a gust of wind or bending over to pick something up will reveal too much. I’m a fan of this length, and can’t wait to try adding a skirt or two to my current mix, which consists of just one skirt in such length, as seen below.