switching focus for the summer

2013-06-03 14.52.18

See?! I haven’t even found the time to edit pictures! But for the record, this is Parker showing off the pillow that she made for her baby cousin’s birthday this week!

Oh, hi there lovely bloggy friends! I MISSSSSS you! I hope that everyone is starting to slowly drift into a new sort of normal for the summer. You might’ve noticed my absence by now. Being the people-pleasing sort of girl that I am, I probably would’ve apologized for not being around in the not-so-distant past. But really, I’m pretty forgiving of myself these days.

In my hours away from the computer, I’m soaking in extra time with my precious ones while they are home from school, sewing and working on new ideas for fall markets and craft shows. I feel like it hasn’t left me with a lot of extra time to put all of my thoughts into words. So for now, please just know that you are loved and that June, July and the first part of August will probably look different around here. Thankfully, I think that I can just enjoy the ebb-and-flow for now. And I hope that you do too. What makes me a better mom, makes me better able to be honest and real in this space too. In not trying to do it ALL, I find that I do the things that I am focused on just a little bit better. And sometimes that just means being better at getting the dishes done or the laundry put away.

All that to say: I love you. I haven’t forgotten about you. And I’ll check in as much as I can this summer!

Enjoy the sunshine friends!

5 Minute Style Switch-up

Last week Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy posed a little challenge of sorts for her weekly “What I Wore Wednesday” post. Some mornings just don’t give me too much time for primping given that I need to get the kiddos all ready for school and usher us all out the door to get there on time. Apparently, she has the same dilemma. To make herself feel a bit better, she took the gist of what she was wearing and did a quick 5-minute style update to set her on a slightly more “fine tuned” route for the day.

Well…today was field day at my kiddos school and I wanted to join them, so I threw on a decent t-shirt and a pair of shorts. I {kinda} did my hair and makeup and off I went for a jam-packed day. Only when I got home and looked in the mirror, my style was in sad SAD shape. I’ve lost some weight since last summer {which I am NOT complaining about}, but I think I can now firmly attest to the fact that clothing that doesn’t fit just doesn’t look fantastic. Wanna see?

052213 WIWW 5 Minute Challenge Before

Blah. Blahbbity Blah. {earrings and lipstick would’ve made it better– I should ALWAYS listen to my mother}

So I kept the shirt {which is still a li’l big} but in a 5-minute switch, it’ll do…

And:

052213 WIWW 5 Minute After Full 2

Better. Although I quite doubt that I’d pair active wear with a pencil skirt. But stranger things have happened, right? It’s about making it look cute. Even if it’s a CRA-ZAY kinda cute. {P.S. I wonder if a cinched that shirt with a belt if it would create a faux peplum? I feel like I run to my closet and try. I could pretend that the “activewear” logo was just there for some flair. Ok, ok…I digress…}

052213 WIWW 5 Min after Shirt: Old Navy//Skirt: Old Navy//Necklace: Pick Your Plum//Earrings: Francesca’s//Lipgloss: BabyLips//Hair: Kayla LaGrange at the Hairspa {She’s fabulous!! And a miracle worker as we’re working on growing out this crazy choppy mop!! I may not have the grow-long-hair endurance anymore so we’ll see if it sticks around.}

052213 WIWW 5 Min BW

These? Well, they were just too fun not to include.

052213 WIWW 5 Min Collage

Have a fabulously joyful Wednesday! I’ll be holed up in my studio working on these Zippy Envelope Wallets ALL-DAY-LONG! Someone bring me an Igloo {diet vanilla with extra ice} — pretty please?!

pleated poppy

The Purpose for Your Creativity {Balancing Creativity and Responsibility- Part 2}

Balance-Blog-Image-Series

Last week I began this little series on how to balance our creative nature with the demands of our daily responsibilities. If we’re honest with ourselves, I think that as a wife and mother {especially once you are in charge of other little humans} it can feel like we’re skewing too far one way or the other in a moment’s notice.

So let’s talk about this one question that might help you work out that delicate balance:

What is the PURPOSE of your creativity? 

Really take a few minutes to noodle on this. Meal planning, gardening, sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, blogging, decorating…each and every one of these things {and more} can have multiple purposes. You might find that your reasons are intrinsic:  Perhaps your creativity thrives because you are feeding your family well, creating a calm living space or arming yourself with the world’s most fun list of summer crafts for you to do as a family. Maybe your reasons are extrinsic: Your creativity provides extra income. Sharing on your blog gives you a platform to connect with other bloggers who have turned their creativity into a career. Maybe you even just need a little escape from your responsibilities and that is why you dive into creativity.

I don’t think that a single one of those things is wrong. But they can be out of balance. I can always tell in my life when creativity has overstepped its proper place in our home because I find myself more grumpy than normal and usually with a few extra loads of laundry to catch up on because my family hasn’t had the best of my efforts and attention. If you’re married, ask your husband to help you create a healthy balance. I’m sure that he will if you already have great communication. Don’t be afraid to ask him what you can make a priority in your home that will bless him. Some husbands will answer that they want you to dedicate the bulk of your attention into your creative outlet if that provides your family with income. He may well even vacuüm, cook dinner and bathe the kiddos too. Other husbands might say that they would be overjoyed to walk into a calm peaceful home at the end of a long day, so putting aside your scrapbooking an hour or so before he comes home might bring peace to your family. If you both work outside the home full-time, then maybe your time for creativity is at night after the kids go to bed– but be careful that neither of you is feeling like your relationship is suffering because of your dedication to Pinterest. You read me?

Also, hear me loud and clear– there is not a single one-size-fits-all answer to this question. But perhaps if you can start to nail down YOUR purpose in leading a creative life, then you can start to discover what balance looks like for you personally.

Maybe you can begin by simply answering these questions:

1. What are my creative hobbies?

2. How much time per week does each one take?

3. Does it create intrinsic or extrinsic value?

4. Can my creativity benefit my family and/or others?

5. Does my creativity or lack thereof cause stress to myself or others?

6. What would I like my creative life to look like at this time next year?

And if you want to share, I would love to hear your answers to any of these questions in the comments below!

Hopefully by discovering the purpose behind your creativity you will help find a happy balance in your life!

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