Week in the Life/Thursday.

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7:34 am. Woke up anxious today. I have so much to do and planned to do on my day off. But, this cold is really getting the best of me. Yet the sunlight is beautiful this morning and the perfect spring chill is in the air. I decided to slip on my writing sweater and head into the kitchen. 

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Saw the aftermath of yesterday’s laundry fiasco. I was so tired last night that I just left the laundry bags strewn on the floor. 

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Last night’s dishes in the drying rack still. They’ll probably stay there all day. 

Brewed my coffee and ready for some morning pages and checking emails, Facebook and Instagram. BTW thank you for all the kind words about this Week in the Life. It has been so much fun, but yet challenging. Trying to not get focused too much on the things I need to change.  

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My kitchen table view. Thinking of my Mother so much lately. Especially with Mothers Day approaching. It’s always a bittersweet time not having her around. This little brass picture frame was from my childhood bedroom desk  now has a place again. To remind me of the gratitude for moments and people in my life that are no longer with me. And why documenting matters. 

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Finishing up yesterday’s week in the life post and doing some extra proof reading. I type so fast sometimes that grammar takes a back seat:) also loving the sound of the fan, the birds chirping and fully bloomed trees. Spring is truly here in Minneapolis. 

12 Noon. Laying in bed. My cold is finally letting up a bit. Enjoying a little MarieTV videos. She is worth a check out if you have never heard of her.  

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And playing around also around with A Color Story-Photo Editing App. This is what I exclusively use now for all my photos. One stop shop for filters and adjusting. 

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What’s your favorite photo editing apps and online inspiration? 

Afternoon. You guys I really had no energy to do anything and actually felt frustrated that this would be today's story. I had such high hopes to tell a better one. The reason being in the past year for the first time in many years illness has finally taken a back seat. I wanted to celebrate all the things I can do now with ease that I had struggled with before my heart was fixed. 

But, Right Now had other plans. And I finally decided to go with it today. Feel the Feels and find the gratitude. It's only a cold. Not like last year this time sitting in bed recovering from open heart surgery. Yes, anytime I feel under the weather now it causes anxiety. Rightfully so... just a huge heaping dose reminder of self-care and the need to slow down. 

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So, I gave myself permission to stay in Bed. Taking turns between napping and finishing up my homework for A Beautiful Mess's on-line course, Up your Instagram Game. 

Creativity and on-line learning is something that has carried over with me from my Modern Memory Keeping days. And doing this Week In The Life is so reminding of how much I enjoyed this hobby. Now Dreaming and scheming for new ideas:) 

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6:23 pm. Yes, a salad (spinach, tomato’s, shredded carrot, sprinkles of cheese, olives and bacon) was eaten. Hopefully it will boost my immunity somehow. 

PM. Worked on Back Taxes after my divorce. Wrote this post and being OK with not having a on day of documenting. Night. Night. See You back here for Friday. Love, C.

Week in the Life Thoughts: As Ali Edwards says about this project, "It's not a Sprint, but a Marathon. Learning to pace myself and go with the curves that everyday life brings. I'm gonna lose steam and it's OK to slow down. But, not give up if the stories are not remarkable or challenging. Remembering what another Social Media Darling Awesome with Alison says, Done is Fun and it will be. 

  • Planning how I am going to tell this story in a Album. I am excited to cut, paste and write/type everything out. It's been a long time since I played with paper and printed photos out. 
  • So loving the community of individuals in the closed Facebook group. Your Stories are awesome and inspiring. 
  • FYI Also can't believe I haven't thrown in the towel. If your on the fence. Let's keep going:)

Week in the Life/Wednesday.

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8:34 am. Sleeping in for me. Day off and still under the weather. Fighting it big-time, but also reminding myself you can't plan out everything including sickness. 

Also realized while laying in bed, its my half birthday. Does anyone else celebrate quietly this little half milestone? My Momma always did and I celebrate in honor of her:)   

So, today I am 43.5 and also don’t feel my age at all. I never imagined myself at 43. That’s for my parents and whoa it does seems wildly different from  them:)

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8:52 am. I don’t waste time getting my coffee ready. And always ‘cheat the pot’ as my friend John says:) *When you pour before the coffee is finished brewing. 

Not feeling like the lady of the hour as my favorite coffee mugs says:) this Spring cold kind of sucks.  

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9:02 am. Morning prayer pages begin. * 3 longhand ledger pad anything goes free for all writing exercise. It's been in my daily routine for over 20 years. Always beginning with Good Morning Jesus. A way to center myself. And yes I still drink my coffee with grinds floating in it;)  

AM spent it also catching up on all your stories for WITL. So, inspired and love what we are learning about each other.  

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11:20 am. Laundry day equals messy bed. And does anyone else use a toilet paper roll for Kleenex as easy access when sick?  

12 Noon. Caught up with my old friend Christian on the phone. Love talking with him. Never dull and Making plans to hang out tonight. Though I know I should stay home and rest. 

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1:34 pm. Procrastinating and Facebook was in my diversion from doing laundry. Needing something from the store. So, I Paused to take a picture of the window by my apartment door. Love the light. Radiator and these mid-century curtains.  

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I really adore my corner studio apartment and the timelessness of the history of my building. Even the original 1920’s wool carpet that is lumpy to walk on. Because back in the day they used horse hair to insulate. Who knew? Gross kind of:) But, I still like it. 

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The corner store. Love this place for quick things and they do such awesome job of stocking organics and Minnesota local items. It’s located in the basement of the apartment building next to me. It’s been owned by the same family since it opened and It’s one of the only ones left in downtown Minneapolis. Bygone era still kicking it.

And I love how the little chalkboard sign plays tribute to our famous local legend- Prince. The Purple Rain lyrics are perfect for this drizzly day. 

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2:44 pm. Back home and enjoying Poor food choices;) But, cold pizza is yummy when your not feeling the greatest. Right?

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2:58 pm. Finally getting to laundry. 

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3:14 pm. And IKEA bags are where it’s at in transporting laundry;) And BTW Tide Pur detergent in Honey Lavender is the best. You don’t even need to use dryer sheets and the smell lingers for days.

Laundry fiasco. I was a little zealous with shoving too much in and with way too much soap. It was like a scene from my childhood favorite re-runs of The Brady Bunch. Soap everywhere and ridiculous drying time. Again a reminder that I need to slow down today and stop doing too much.

4pm ish. Chris texted me to cancel. I was a little relieved. I don't want to be getting others sick. 

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5:16 pm. In between perpetual Laundry drying. Swung down to see Robert at the Store. He is such a fascinating character in my little life story. Love our random conversations about creativity and everything under the sun. Today's topics were me sharing this project. Photography. Morning Pages via The Artist Way. He is currently reading the book and I am so excited to know someone else doing them. He also shared his plans for his annual neighborhood Farmer's Market on Franklin/LaSalle beginning again in July. I can't wait to get Local fresh flowers and produce. 

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Yes, you can get anything under the sun here. And as Robert said, "the store looks cool in Black and White." I think anything does:) 

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7pm ish. The laundry is finally flipping done and my bed with freshly clean sheets is calling me big time. 

PM Spent the night making myself eat something. Breakfast bagel and guzzled water. Watched a little Netflix and worked on writing this. 

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8:31 pm. 

Cheers to 43.5 with a shot of NyQuil Severe. Wednesday your done. Night. Night. 

Week in the Life Thoughts: I definitely got more in the groove today. I did forget my phone for certain things. But, I'm OK with it. I felt overall I told the stories I wanted to today. This project is so reminding of how much I miss Memory keeping. It's such a catalyst to mindfulness and being present in the moment. It also is reminding me how important our connections with others are. Even On-Line. Other Take-a-ways:

  • Like our unique lives. We all tell our stories differently. 
  • That my current life is far richer than I imagined. 
  • It's OK to tell the boring stories.
  • And things don't always go as planned. 

See you Thursday.

Love, C. 

Week in the Life/Tuesday.

    7:19 am. Still feeling under the weather. And a little vulnerable. Sickness brings about so many emotions for me. Even a little cold. But, I strangely find comfort in it too. It could be like last year and by the grace of God it’s not. A new Gratitude for everyday illness.    My daily ritual of picking out a coffee mug. Each carries a story. And also makes me realize it’s time for some new ones-new stories:)  

 

7:19 am. Still feeling under the weather. And a little vulnerable. Sickness brings about so many emotions for me. Even a little cold. But, I strangely find comfort in it too. It could be like last year and by the grace of God it’s not. A new Gratitude for everyday illness.  

My daily ritual of picking out a coffee mug. Each carries a story. And also makes me realize it’s time for some new ones-new stories:)  

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10 am. Setting up meds for work today. I take a lot.  One for diabetes. One for slowing my heart down to keep my sweet pig valve pumping:) One for hereditary High chloresteral. Two for mental health. Speaking of Mental Health. It’s awareness month. A reminder it’s ok to ask for help and struggle. No stigma here:) I am all about being grateful for all these pills. It helps me pursue the best version of myself.  

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10:45 am.  Shower time. I love showers! It’s actually one of the most favorite times of my day. Love the ritual of it.

Putting down my little bath mat as I turn the water on. Jumping in and the quick rush of the cold water hitting me before the hot hits. Washing my face first with Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate daily cleanser that smells like pumpkin, papaya and pineapple. Then using exfolikate gentle Exfoliating treatment next.  It’s all about the glow:) Then Shampoo, Condition. Body wash and jump out. I was running late so my other routines were on over drive. 

What’s your showering routines?  

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11:21 am. Heading out the door. Pausing in the stairwell of my Downtown 1920’s apartment building. Love the wear and tear of cement floor. I often think of the people that lived there and walked once the same places I did.  

11:23 am. Stopped next door at the old corner store to see if my friend Robert was working. Nope not until 12 Noon. That visit will have to wait until tomorrow.  

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My City. My Life. I live in Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. It’s old and charming. And a predominantly Gay neighborhood and love being a straight girl in such a rich, colorful neighborhood. Adore the sense of community and how welcoming it is. The perfect place for me right now. 

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On my daily walks to the bus stop (I could do a transfer, but I adore my 15 minute jaunts)  I see so many things and this poor bike is one of them everyday. It has sat here through the seasons and today I decided I wanted to take a photo of it’s twisted tire. I also pushed through my anxiety of photo taking when others were around. Do you have that?!? It’s so odd:) Actually most people don’t care. Especially the homeless guy that was rummaging through the trash as I did.  

    11:43 am. The bus came right on time today. It’s usually a few minutes late or early. I really love my commutes to the suburb. And enjoy the eclectic group of people the city offers and the bus is no different. Where every walk of life still hang out together in a world where most don’t. I truly feel everyone should take public transit once in their life. 

 

11:43 am. The bus came right on time today. It’s usually a few minutes late or early. I really love my commutes to the suburb. And enjoy the eclectic group of people the city offers and the bus is no different. Where every walk of life still hang out together in a world where most don’t. I truly feel everyone should take public transit once in their life. 

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11:50 am. I usually listen to podcasts on my commute or read a book. But, today listening to rainy music. Peter Gabriel’s Hero. Goyte’s Hearts a mess. Amber Run’s Hide and Seek. And my favorite now, Unraveling by Violents and Monica Martin. 

 Rain, Rain you can stay. It’s perfect for Spring. And especially when I bring my umbrella.  

Rain, Rain you can stay. It’s perfect for Spring. And especially when I bring my umbrella.  

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12:21 pm. Arrived at work. Heading down the escalator to hustle to the employees entrance.  

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12:23 pm. This is what greets me everyday. A reminder to leave my outside work shit at the door:) and be on:) I am a business manager for Estée Lauder. I get paid very well to make others feel better and take care of themselves. Yes, it’s much more than mascara. 

    12:30 pm. Clocked in. The Store is quiet and I tell my amazing co-workers about my Week in the Life  project. One of my favorite girls (actually they all our my favorites). Angelica steps up to the plate for some portrait mode shots.   I call her Jel Jel. We’re kindred spirits despite her being 19 and me 43. We have so much fun together. And actually our parents our the same age:) she is a old soul. Amazing girl I am blessed to have in my life:)  

 

12:30 pm. Clocked in. The Store is quiet and I tell my amazing co-workers about my Week in the Life  project. One of my favorite girls (actually they all our my favorites). Angelica steps up to the plate for some portrait mode shots. 

I call her Jel Jel. We’re kindred spirits despite her being 19 and me 43. We have so much fun together. And actually our parents our the same age:) she is a old soul. Amazing girl I am blessed to have in my life:)  

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1:00 pm. Self-portrait. Jel Jel took many and I decided on this one. Yes, we’re all critical. I know I can be. But, I am who I am right now. Puffy eyes and needing a dye/cut badly. But, so grateful to be here now:) 

3:46 pm. Headed home from work early. Not feeling good. 

4:o1 pm. Bus arrived. Packed to the brim with commuters. 

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4:44 pm. Got off on 12th and Hennepin St. Stopped at Lund’s & Byerly’s for cold medicine, pizza (comfort food) and my breakfast bagel of choice. Reminder I need to work on my food choices. Totally have been slacking. Eating very little, but crap. 

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5 pm. Walked home despite feeling cruddy. Drizzling a little. Last picture of the day. 

PM: Spent the night in bed. Talked to my Boys. My best friend Jeff. His cousin Philip. Dear John from ATX. and my Daddy in Alabama. Ate some pizza. Got a awful coughing jag and took some NyQuil and dozed off by 9:30 pm. 

Week in the Life Thoughts:  

Today I got more in the groove of Documenting. Yes, there was some miss opportunities.

  • I hope I become more bolder with taking photos while others around and not caring.   
  • Being ok with setting the camera down.  
  • I really loved how the words came out today. Telling more of the story of my life right now.  
  • Being more vulnerable.  
  • I really loved telling the stories of the people that our apart of my life. Want definitely do more of that tomorrow.  
  • Wondering how when I am finished how to put it all together. Any ideas.  

Love, C.  

Week in the Life/Monday.

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7:18 am. Climbed out of bed with a raging sinus/headache. But, still documenting. Slipped on my flip-flops and headed to the kitchen. 

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Morning Table View. Which I didn't straighten up from the night before. I'm actually pretty good (OCD) about it normally. Everyday Things I want to remember... Anatomy of a table: Left to Right. Home manicure stuff. Nail Strengthener (Butter of London), Nail Lacquer (Dior, Pandore 754) and Apricot Cuticle Oil (Essie). New iPhone 8 plus Box. Empty coffee cup from the morning before. Nearly empty cranberry juice from the night before. Grocery store flowers in their last days of pretty in My Great Grandmother Dova's Flower vase. My Beloved Olivetti underwood Studio 45 typewriter. New iPhone ear buds. Cheap, yet awesome H&M Spring Shades. My Journal that I am trying to finish out from 2014. 

Now what's on your own Morning Table?

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Half-Caff. 3 scoops of each one (my current favorite coffee bean blends, Caribou's French Roast and their signature medium roast decaf. Whole bean always and I am sure my neighbors hate the sound of my grinder so early too:) 

What's your morning coffee routine?

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8:06 am. Morning Pages. My Sinus Meds are kicking in a bit and Called out to work. But, still attempting my daily Morning Pages ritual though a cold wash cloth is calling out to me big time.

8:33 am. Paid Internet Bill. Exciting stuff I tell ya. 

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9:44 am. Morning Hair and Don’t Care.  Teeth brushing and face washing done. Wearing my favorite t-shirt. Another reminder that I need new clothes. I love style, but I hate clothes shopping. Would much rather buy books. Now for that Cold wash Cloth. 

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As cold as I can get it. And I love the stories that my 1920's sink tells in it's porcelain cracks. 

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10:01 am. Wash Cloth relief. 

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12:00 pm. Noon time view of Spring in full swing out my window. Yes, I need a bookshelf. 

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2:30 pm. A Screenshot of The time I woke up from my 2 1/2 Hour Nap. Ridiculous. But, my head must of needed it. 

2:36 pm. Made myself eat something. The only thing sounded good was my favorite bagel from St. Paul Bagelry. No Cream Cheese, just buttered to the edge.

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3:16 pm. Chatted with Tari K in ATX.  45 min. 

 6:48 pm. Waking up from another nap. Enjoying the Spring evening light and the perfect temperature. Also slowly feeling my head decompress and rest. Time for more decongestant.   7:36 pm. Supper. Cheese Burrito and apple. Watching Netflix Documentary, Bobby Kennedy for President.  Episode 1. 

6:48 pm. Waking up from another nap. Enjoying the Spring evening light and the perfect temperature. Also slowly feeling my head decompress and rest. Time for more decongestant. 

7:36 pm. Supper. Cheese Burrito and apple. Watching Netflix Documentary, Bobby Kennedy for President.  Episode 1. 

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9:46 pm. Back to bed. Phone charging lights out.  Reflecting on how much today I enjoyed the process of documenting through photos again. I currently focus so much on writing in this little life of mine that I forget how passionate I have been about photography. Such a cool rediscovery in the creative life that I really want to get better at again.

So, now can’t wait to see what Tuesday Week in the Life brings. See you tomorrow:) Love, C. 

Week In The Life Details:

Camera: iPhone 8 Plus. 

Black and White: I decided to challenge myself this time around with Doing all Black and White Photo's. Inspired by my childhood fascination with Old Life Magazines and the street photography of Vivian Maier. 

Editing App: A Color Story. I love their B&W Filters. So, Rich with Depth. My Favorite go-to's are Laura, Audrey and Coffee. I'm also really digging the new Texture Packet and I decided to exclusively use the Power filter for a little bit of Golden. 

1//Five Things You Should Know.

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First Things First before we begin. I want to tell you a little about my own blogging journey. It began in 2007 over here on Typepad. At the time I had just discovered Scrapbooking, before you scoff at me:) Realize as a child I loved writing, photos and vintage Life magazines. I would create elaborate stories this way.  Even cutting and pasteing my own magazine covers. I was straight up obsessed with mid-century design, fashion and a now by-gone era of celebrities. It was seriously so much fun. Then my teenage years happened and moved onto to a vibrant social life. I still  wrote and took photos for years. But, craved telling stories the way I had as a child and that is when I discovered Scrapbooking and soon after-Blogging. It was definitely my jam. Then I started incorporating my love for design again and  MAD MEN-the show came into popularity. My childhood love of Mid-Century really Blew up in style scene and so did my Blog. I was easily then getting 1000 of hits a day and Big Brands were even reaching out to me. I mean really  Big ones like Kate Spade. It was crazy. And even got crazier when I started up a little side blog project called Avant Garde Crafting Association. I had a feature that was a spin off of a old AMEX ad, My Life. My Card and called it My Life. My Craft:) Super In genius I know;) And then I started interviewing some pretty heavy hitters that our now rocking it out like nobodies business. It was exhilarating and all the stuff Blog dreams are about. 

But I stopped. Life happened and I was overwhelmed. I took a significant break from blogging and when I finally came back. I really struggled with the guilt for jumping ship when the tide was rolling high! But, I discovered a peace eventually that My Blogging was solely for me again and actually I truly learned to love my craft in a way I never did before. I am still in that happy place and I want to help you get there too. Let’s begin. 

First I want to ask you a question... Why do you want to Blog? Really think about it. Is it to share with family or friends? A love of Writing and Design? Or a bigger motive? To market goods to potential/existing clients? Or Share your Faith and Passions on a larger social scale. Or even more Gigantic goals? Maybe being a Blogging Influencer? I am not here to judge. But, I want you to really figure out your motives before you read any further. It will really help you Brainstorm with the stuff I will be sharing. And another thing first. 

Blogging is Constantly Changing. I know it has since I began. The Blogging Platforms, Style, Social Media and Readership is a whole new other ball game now. I still honestly long for those glory days when Blogging was simple and uncomplicated. All you did was show up, post photos, write your heart out and be happy with the few readers you had.  But, times have changed and Blogging is definitely always evolving. And right now's trend is a major upheaval phase (social media overload, decreased readership to name a few) and I know this isn't a easy time for someone beginning a blog. I feel for you! and that is why I am writing this series. Though at times it might still seem 'easy' with all the wealth of info on Pinterest, Tutorials and Social Communities. But, it’s misleading too. We are currently in a era of Selling. Selling ideas to get readers and even blogging services. I see it all the time on my Instagram and Pinterest feed as Ads. I know you do too.  That's a Blogging change/approach I hope goes away soon! Yes, Blogging does constantly change.  But, they're are a few fundamentals that never do. And I am here to help with that. So, maybe you can find your own Secret sauce for beginning blogging YOUR way, Now to the Meat of the Blogging Sauce. 

1//Blog Like No One is Reading. This was/is the BEST advice I ever got in my 1st year of Blogging. It allowed me to focus on my craft and not the comparison game. And Now the Comparison game is even more of a heavy hitter then before. I know you see all these polished blogs, amazing photos and your blog envy might get  the best of you. BuT, DON'T LET IT.  It's not a good place to be in... I have so been there and done that myself. Ugly I tell you. It truly steals your joy and that is why Blogging like No One is Reading helps. You begin to enjoy the process, find your own style in the meantime and learn to focus on the things you love to write about. And eventually something magical happens: readers do come. They enjoy your unique voice, love your vulnerability and eventually come back again and again. But, if they never come. It's OK too. Your being creative, In the end is what matters most. And If you are busting your ass for only readership. You have found the wrong niche. You gotta love what you do alone to keep doing it. Sometimes only a few people read my posts now and it doesn't bother me. Seriously it doesn't. Because I know I wrote and created for me. Try it, I promise it will be transforming:) 

2//Be Confident Even in the Beginning.  My first few years of blogging was a Hot Mess, yet I embraced the learning curve. I enjoyed overcoming my mistakes and learning new things. It was so much fun now looking back. But, the ONE thing I would of changed is being more confident in that process. Stop doubting my passion. I notice now so many new bloggers on Social media doubting themselves and even putting out a desperate kind of vibe. It makes me sad when I see on a Insta-Story with a tagline, "wrote another blog post. Though I am sure you don't want to read it." Actually now most people won't. If you are not confident in yourself, why would others want to be? We get what we put out there. Remember Your voice, thoughts and ideas do matter, even if it only reaches one person and in the beginning that one person is only YOU. Don't sell yourself short. God has given you this passion for a reason! 

3//Authentic. It's definitely a buzz word right now. But, with how saturated the Blogging world is... Authenticity is Key. I challenge you to Find your most authentic story and tell it. Dig deep and let it flow. Make a list of what is truly unique about you and build from there. In a world where people just skim what they see and read. Give them the beautiful guts of what makes you tick and they too will be inspired. Blogging can be such a gift if we use it to help others by being more of own Authentic Selves.   

4//Post when the Creative Spirit Moves you. I know you have read all over Pinterest, The How-To's on Posting 2-3 times a week. But, Posting to just Post kills interest even for yourself. Most People don't want to see hum drum filler posts and heck neither do you. Yes, done is better sometimes. But, when you really want to connect with others use your intuitive spark to creating content. Putting that 100% in maybe two post for a month is better than having 10 posts that talk about your dog or the new blow dryer you got (unless you are dog blog or hair blog:) It's better to post Less with awesome enthusiasm than More with Mundane. 

5//Have Fun. Yes, I did say that. But, listen to me. Enjoy the creative process. Get out there and find your fun. I love Mid-Century, Jackie Kennedy and anything French. These are my most favorite topics to Blog about and most of the time people could give two shits:) reading them. But, damn I loved researching and writing them. Bringing me Joy!  And maybe someday my future child will stumble upon them and think, "Wow, my Mom was creative and really Weird." Both is a win for me:)

Now my first of the series challenge for you. Is to pick one of these topics and write a post about it. Remember bring your Authentic, No One is reading Attitude to the page! Email or tag me on IG. @storyboardc I wanna read! Please know you can also email me any questions. I am here for you!  Love, C (Cynthia)

Next up in the Blogging for Beginners: Blogging and Social Media. Let me know if they're are any specific questions you have. 

 

Longing.

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Do you ever long for a certain time in your life? Miss who you were? The hopes you had? The joy you felt?

I am having that kind of moment right now after recently finding this picture of myself at one of my most happiest of times. I just flown into Dallas to see one of my childhood Best Friends in Austin, Texas for a week. It was my first adventure in a long time and I rented a car so I could stop at Dealey Plaza to visit the Museum and site of President Kennedy's assassination. I know a weird place to be excited about going. But, being a lover of History. It was amazing to go finally be there. As sobering as it was, I really enjoyed my time there. Doing what I love best, chilling by myself and checking out the awesome Gift/book Store as well. Yep I am know I'm a total geek and love every minute of it. 

 But, this picture is more than a memory to me... A reminder of one of my most tranquil times in life.  I was feeling confident and adventuresome. I had the comfort of home and doing a job where I felt like I really was making a difference and that I mattered as well. I had the financial means to pursue my creativity. Most importantly My Faith life was so abundant.  Yes, it wasn't all perfect. I worked many hours and was still deeply grieving the recent deaths of my Mother and Step-Father. I was also challenged by being single again after my recent divorce. But, despite all those struggles God had blessed me immensely with comfort, security and joy to walk through it.  

Though this time in my life was only a couple of years ago, it seems like 20 million instead. But, I am bringing this current Longing in prayer right now to God. Because I truly believe he has placed it here NOW for a Reason. Maybe as a reminder that HIS plan is far better than mine. That He brings me to certain seasons to Grow in ways I never imagined. That those life-altering moments, like I have experienced this last year bring us to our Knees so he can transform us even further. And my Longing is the only we He can reach me to go forth and be the Person He too Longs for me to be. So, I pray...

“Jesus Help me understand this Longing in my Heart for Moments gone. It was such a beautiful time of Love, Joy and Faith. Though I Thank you even in my Longing for it NOW. But, I pray for answers to know what would you have me do with it now? What is it's purpose? 

In this past year through my surgery and recovery. You brought me so many miracles in the people, places and things that have been a part of this health journey. I am blown away by it everyday and my gratitude is immeasurable. But, also there has been pain, struggle, loneliness and heartache.  Leaving me raw and exhausted still. Whirling with Restlessness in the wondering's of it's purpose. And a major need to repay you somehow. Please allow me to rest in you and find that longing replaced with your love and guidance. Find Hope and Joy again.  In your Name I pray." 

Love, Cynthia. 

Faith/40 Days.

 A Lent Reflection. 

A Lent Reflection. 

It's a quiet morning around here. The coffee is brewed even before the sun has risen and there is a new blanket of snow on the ground outside. A reminder of the weariness of long winters and the unexpected nature of seasons. This Lenten Season has had it's snowfalls for me too. But, it was a good thing. 

Today being Holy Saturday, I thought it would be a good time to reflect after reading this, "There is a great silence on Earth today, A great silence because the King is asleep. GOD has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear." -From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday via Bishop Barron.

So, I too sit in Silence reflecting on what this day means in the eternal story of Salvation and how this Lenten journey has transformed me. It all began with a Post and deciding after 10+ years of Blogging under my belt to change my focus. Letting my Faith be the numero uno of my On-line Presence. Initially I was full of fear that I would lose readership and feel alienated. Now I giggle at what I thought was such a Bold move, actually it was the natural thing to do and throughout Lent I kept coming across that famous St. Augustine quote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”  I don’t think it was a chance quote happening:) God’s way of saying I gave you this creative passion and I would love for you to use it to bring others closer to me and celebrate the love I give you. Reminding me, If we aren't Honest and Authentic with the Promptings of our heart in Him. Our creativity can feel shallow and hollow. Especially when it comes to sharing our passions on Social Media. Where chasing the likes, followers and validation of others feels fruitless and desperate. Now when I put content out with God in mind. All of that falls to the wayside. Letting His will work through the creative gifts he has graciously bestowed on me. 

So, These 40 days of starting over has opened my eyes more than I ever imagined to my initial intentions of creative refocus. Reminding me that God many times answers prayers we don't even ask for or know we need. 

She Who Believed Lent Devotional/Journal. I used the Blessed Is She Digital Download throughout Lent and wrote down my Journaling on my usual Ledger Note pads. I was blown away by my daily walks with Christ and the Women of Scripture through this very special devotional. It opened my heart for a new love of the Scripture and finding my own story among these well-known and lesser known real-life Women of the Bible. My relationship with Christ has been forever changed as well. Each morning it was as if He sat beside me, helping me to understand my own times in the Desert. And how my suffering is united ultimately with his. Not for punishment, but for full dependence and love in him. Yep that $15 bucks was worth it:) and I plan next year to buy the Print Copy. In the meantime, the journaling I have done from this year will be forever treasured and I am sure to be revisiting it again and again throughout Ordinary Times. 

The Catholic Feminist. I have been listening to Podcasts for a couple of years now. Usually enjoying them on my daily transit commute to the Suburbs where I work.  But, while beginning again with a whole new Instagram Feed this lent. In those first few weeks, I came across Claire and The Catholic Feminist. And whoa I found much more than a Kick-A*% Podcast, I finally felt like I belonged for first time since I was a little girl in my Catholic Faith. Spoiler Alert, It's no secret I am not your stereotypical Catholic Women-as many of us aren't. But, we have these ideals planted in us somehow. But, as a single, divorcee (who was married to a nice Muslim Man for 6 years) and no children (yet). I have lived a lot of time away from my faith chilling in the secular world and when I did finally come back I felt many times I didn't belong. I pushed through it of course:) But, I have struggled with not fitting into the Catholic-ey Women mold. Still Challenged at times for needing to have one foot in the real world and the other in the Holy Life. Seeing daily the struggles first hand of poverty, homelessness in my Downtown Neighborhood.  I just don't want to be the Church Lady that sits in a cozy in a little box of piety, instead I want to get dirty, be real and evangelize Christ's love to all not just a select few. And The Catholic Feminist has given me permission to be/do just that and I finally feel not alone. Knowing that out there many other like minded Catholic Sisters exist learning to see and embrace our unique voices and worth... it's really a mind-blowing blessing and call. 

Blessed is She. Blessed is she community of Catholic Women has been a complete game changer for me this Lent as well. Travelling this Lent road with Women of all walks of Life has been amazing. Learning so much about Scripture via they're daily devotionals delivered to my inbox and the vibrant, authentic and aesthetically pleasing (hey I am design freak:) Instagram feed. "Meeting" many like minded women on their feeds and Ista-Stories. It's been empowering and beautiful to say the least. I look forward to hopefully bringing those on-line connections into my Daily life with their upcoming Blessed Brunch in my neck of the woods (Twin Cities) the end of the month and Wild//Blessed is She Regional Retreat in August. 

OK now it's your turn to share with me how this Lent has transformed you. And how you will be bringing it with you into this Awesome Easter Season and the Ordinary/Extraordinary times of your life? 

Love, C. 

 

 

Sunday Best//One.

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Since over the last few weeks of really focusing on living my faith more boldly via Social Media. I have come across some pretty amazing inspiration and resources. I just want to share my personal favorites finds this week with you. I know many of you are already enjoying them😊 In that case join me in celebrating the Better part of Instagram:)

1// Pillow Talk. More a divine version😇  "Prophetic Dreams Happen Here" Pillow Case. Via @jenessawait. As many of us know by studying Sacred Scripture. God shows up through Night Dreams in pretty profound ways as warnings or heralding Good News usually through his Angels. I know in my own life I have had some pretty profound sleeping dreams as well as everyday dreams inspired by God. And this pillowcase is a sweet reminder of that. Available HERE and back in stock.

2// Mass Journal. Created to help celebrate the Mass in a beautiful new way. Via @everysacredsunday. I love how this began  between two friends and a Kickstarter program. Check out the Kickstarter HERE

3//How Dating should be inspiring instead of settling. Via @verilymag. I think we often get caught in the settling for what we think we deserve or someone that has potential. But, instead we should focus on finding and dating a Man that inspire us and likewise be that person for him:) 

4//How Lent can be a big Yes from us. Via Me @storyboardc

5//@beaheartdesign. This. Here. Now. Love her recent blog post on, “How to Love our bodies as they are and not compare and despair.” I myself work in the Beauty Industry and am constantly bombarded with not being Ideal. But, through my Faith... I have taken the not ideal to a place of Blessing. That our differences are truly not flaws. But, signs of True, Authentic Beauty. 

9// @theCatholicFeminist and originally posted via @beaheartdesign. Reminding us sometime in our faith we are not flowery and polished. Ha, me most of the time:)  We are called to be Real. Stopping the facade of fruitless focus on exterior things like what the scales says or that our hair isn’t perfectly coiffed- yes I said coiffed:) But, the Real S#*t.   Bringing our Authentic, sometimes messy part of our selves to Christ and in turn doing the work he has called us to do. 

6//A Spiritual Eye Opening Devotional on Vocation and Longing. A Must Read. Via @blessedisshe__  and written by @simply.sarahs

7//You might get sick of me posting about #shewhobelieves Lenten Devotion/Journal. But it is that Good! @blessedisshe__ Enjoy here my LINK for 20% off the Digital Download Version. 

8// The Sea of Galilee via @jamesmartinsj Love what Father James Martin Shares on his current pilgrimage to the Holy Land via Instagram and if you have never read his Book, Jesus: A Pilgrimage. Order it now:) It is one One of my all-time Spiritual favorites. 

9// @theCatholicFeminist and originally posted via @beaheartdesign. Reminding us sometime in our faith we are not flowery and polished. Ha, me most of the time:)  We are called to be Real. Stopping the facade of fruitless focus on exterior things like what the scales says or that our hair isn’t perfectly coiffed- yes I said coiffed:) But, the Real S#*t.  Bringing our Authentic, sometimes messy part of our selves to Christ and in turn doing the work he has called us to do.

I hope you enjoyed and please leave in the comments or email some of your current favorites on IG. And I hope your having a Blessed Second Sunday of Lent too. Love, C.

Faith Space.

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I have decided to widen my Faith Space beyond the walls of my little studio. To encompass more of my everyday life including my online home of StoryboardC. and social media. After much prayer and promptings of my heart, I know this is the 'Better Part'. A calling to share what means the most to me- My Faith. It’s a big scary for me, but over the last year or so... I have so inspired by the #FaithMovement on-line. Especially on Instagram where everyday Women are sharing their Faith openly and honestly. I love seeing the community it is creating and I feel really called to be a part of that.  

As many of you have know, I have been blogging for 10+ years. At my old Blog home here, I saw some pretty awesome success at times in the Lifestyle Blog niche. Thanks to my initial hobby of scrapbooking and then sharing my childhood love of all things Mid-Century (Thanks Mad Men for making that possible). But, with the success came pressure to continually be on trend in content. I couldn't honestly keep up with it back in the day. And then something changed my focus... my Mother's illness and death. I still blogged sporadically, but lost that momentum and passion.  All the while my Faith became stronger, but on the blog it always took a quiet seat in the back. Fast forward to this last year with my own Open Heart Surgery (due to a childhood illness) at 42. I woke up to a whole new approach to faith and life. Knowing I needed to share without fear of being too Catholic-y on-line. God gave me these experiences and passions for creativity for a reason. And I needed to share it. 

And Now I am Here doing it:) It feels so right to share what awakens my heart each day. And I am ready to be more open with you as well and ask that you might share your faith with me too.

Maybe together we can choose 'The Better Part',

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary [who] sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

(Luke 10:41-42)

I don’t know if you have ever read that Bible passage. But, it has become a sort of spiritual guide each day for me. To stop busying myself with the everyday and be more like Mary... being bold and Bring Faith to all parts of my life. Taking the time to sit at Jesus's feet in Prayer and listen. Then go forth to share his Love. Even on the Internet. I know it is not a comfortable place and I might even lose long time readers because of it. But, many of you are doing it already and have opened me up to that possibility. Thank you!  Especially now when Faith today is looked upon by so many as a Weakness or even a Deterrent from Fun.  But, I know from my own experience. It is my greatest strength and a priceless gift. And I do still have fun loving and serving God:) Its a far from being a boring existence. I am sure you will agree. Actually, it’s a big, beautiful daily challenge to be the Women Christ calls us to be. We might make mistakes, say the wrong things, find ourselves impatient and judgmental. But, also we see the never ending hope God gives us while we live out our Faith authentically.  

Truly I am so glad you are here with me as I begin. Thank you for coming by, supporting and joining me. I am so excited to share our Faith Stories together:) And Please Pray for Me as I will Pray for our #FaithMovement and #ChoosingTheBetterPart. 

Love, C. 

StoryboardC. Notes:

If you are interested in Knowing more about The Better Part. Below is a talk given by Fr. John Bartunek. Father Bartunek is well-known for being one of the consulting Priests for Mel Gibson's Passion movie and the Author of my favorite Devotional aptly called, 'The Better Part' available at your local Catholic Bookstore or Amazon.  It is 48 minutes. But, once you begin watching and after the introduction.  You will love his message. P.S. Grab Tissues too or a spare Toilet Roll like I did:) It is tear inducing.

Power Lines.

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I asked you once what was the most beautiful thing you had ever seen... "Power Lines at Sunset". And Today I remembered you. Our Morning coffees, sharing secret uncool things. Oh the writing and your perfect lyrical tongue. I met you on the verge of your pursuit of happiness and regretted many years for not being braver. 

But, Today I am full of gratitude. Summer nights. Driving in the Volvo, peeling through parking lots. Listening to music I never imagined. Being OK with not being the good girl. Letting down the layers. Puke inducing laughter. Beautiful Spins. Ah youth. Thanks for the short time. I hope I told you how wonderful you were. I think I did. If not, sending it your way wherever you are now. 

Love, C. 

PS I still write nearly everyday and yes I am still the coolest girl:) 

Shake It Up.

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I have been drinking my Breakfast for years:) It all began with my Mom back in the late 80's when she jumped on the Tofu trend train😂.  She would throw it in the blender with ice, fat-free milk and some kind of fruit. It was actually filling, fast and easy on the stomach in the morning vs. eating a typical breakfast. Fast Forward to now, I am still doing the Shake thing minus the tofu:) So, my most recent Nutrition Shake Powder find is pretty yum-tastic and full of all the Healthy goodies I have been looking for... I have tried so many in the past some awesome (Arbonne is pretty fantastic, but pricey ($76) and that dreaded having to wait to buy it from a direct sales site) or the icky ones that taste like you grabbed a bunch of twigs and dried leaves from the yard😂. So, without further ado I would like you to meet: 

Amazing Grass Protein Superfood Nutrition Shake:) I am really digging the New Pure Vanilla version, but they also have other flavors (Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter and the Original). 

This Shake you guys is seriously a powerhouse. When I first picked it up at Target. I was so impressed with how easy the back ingredient label read. No weird scientific sounding words. Very Straight forward and each Packet includes: 2 Servings of Fruits and Veggies. 7 Alkalizing Greens (If your curious as I was to know what that means. I will have a link below:) and 20 Grams of Plant Based Protein. 

When I picked up my first few packets, I was a little worried about the taste. But, when I made my first shake...I was pleasantly relieved. It tasted so darn good. It really mixed well with my usual ingredients of Vanilla Almond Milk and Frozen Organic Peaches. The Texture was smooth as well. 

It's definitely a Shake win for me and I hope you will give it a try if you're the liquid breakfast kind of person🙂. *And no I am not getting paid for this review:) **And also. for my Gluten Free or Vegan Friends is good for you too. Plus it's USDA Organic. Win. Win. 

Seriously Let me Know if you try it:) and Happy Healthy Day to YOU.

Love, C.

StoryboardC. Note:

10 Alkalizing Foods to Help Heal/Amazing Grass

FYI: The shake packets are less expensive than purchasing the 11 servings container. And it is a great way to try them. 

This is Why I Blog.

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It’s magical for me.

It's quite honestly what gets me up most Mornings.

It's my little corner of Passion in a sometimes mundane life.

It's my Creativity at work.

It's taking Photographs, Writing words and exercising my need to Learn.

It's where I Document this little life of mine. 

It's about sharing my Heart with others. 

It's where I tell Small and big stories. 

It's where I feel Confident.  

It's where I practice Mindfulness. 

It's where I find the beauty in Now.

It's where I dare to Dream. 

It's how I digest my Past and let it go. 

It's Fun. 

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It's my little Legacy in the making. 

It's my Hobby. 

This is why I blog.

Thank you for being a part of this creative endeavor for over 10 years♥️. 

Love, C. 

 

Better Than Before.

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I am Better than Before. Definitely not Perfect. But, yep Better than Before. Here is a little update where I am at on the Healthy train, certain actions I beginning to take and goals for the next three months. 

Pump on Girl. 

So, the other day on my commute to work, I listened to a Podcast that made my heart pump with Gratitude.  Oprah's SuperSoul Conversation with Geneen Roth- Conscious Eating. They hit on so many inspiring topics. But, One Statement Oprah made, "Pump on Girl" resonated with me on a level I had been looking for. She spoke about how our Hearts Serve us throughout our lives and make it possible to be HERE. I know this to be true, literally:) Since the Nine Months after having my Open-Heart Surgery (to replace my Mitral Valve from a childhood bout with rheumatic fever, if you didn't know:). Now with my Heart working so beautifully, I am gifted with a healthy life I had thought was not possible.  

I can physically do the things, I used to love so much again. Like going for walks and busting up hills with ease or Climbing up stairs like I own those bitches:) Even Running to not miss the bus. All because I can breathe! It's amazing thing, I cherish every moment. And I hope by reading this you do too:) 

Spring Forward Action. 

Barre 3. In the past week I started back up with Barre 3 Online. Exercise Motivation, even with my past heart issues was not a problem for me except in the last few years. I was limited on what I Could do. Now, I can plank without reserve:) When I was in recovery mode last summer. I had to limit certain movements with my open-heart incision. Now that it’s beyond healed, if you are wondering... the only time it still might be uncomfortable. Is if I cough, sneeze or if I am too cold. But, now I am back to fully enjoying Barre 3. It’s a great bonus to my daily walks.

Overall,  the Barre3 online program is so wonderfully designed and works magically during the winter months. I am already seeing results with my stamina and mood. I Look forward to the other benefits:) 

Well-Balanced Baby. No Whole30 or Keto for me. I am sticking to what works. Balance, Average Portions and Limiting my Carb-Sugar intake. I have spent too many years on those crazy fad diets. Before you jump on me with Stats and Articles. I know what I am doing:) I might even go back to this program. It really works (I lost 100 pounds working this program), while teaching you how to eat for Life not for a Diet. 

Nice Little Goals. Recently Listening to this Podcast, I was reminded of the power of little Goals and Keeping it Quarterly. So, for the next 3 months I am working on the above and Making my Bed daily too:) So, Far so good:) on all fronts. 

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Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the Internet and reading my health updates and goals:) Keep me posted if you have any:) Love you Guys. 

Love, C. 

Brave/One Little Word.

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I am just keeping with the New Years Theme this whole week:) Literally Chilling (it have been brutally cold up in these parts) with my One Little Word for 2018. It wasn't hard choosing it after last year, It kind feels like it "chose" me. Maybe a second act of some sorts. Whatever it is... I am ready for more Brave in my life. It kind of freaks me out even saying that:) But, Bring it:)  Remember, "If it ain't uncomfortable, it's not Brave." 

My Brave. 

I will take more risks. I will tell Fear to suck it. I will be Confident in my Inner Compass. I will take more unknown Roads. I will take Action, even if there is Resistance. I will Embrace the Unwanted. I will fail. I will get up again and again.  I will Say what is not Expected. I will Open my Heart. I will live my Creativity. .I will be BRAVE. 

Now for your word. Let me know below and why you chose it. And if you haven't yet check out One Little Word® Guru Ali Edwards and her 2018 WORD

Love, C. 

 

How New Year Resolutions Can Work For You!

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Happy New Years my Friends! and I might know what is on your mind this evening or morning... those Resolutions/Goals for 2018 (love or hate em:). I know they're on my mind as well and I hope you're excited as I am about the prospect of digging in and making it happen. But, then that little voice of doubt sneaks in (I know it so well) and reminds us of our epic fails or half-ass attempts of resolutions in the past. Maybe we started out strong in the first weeks of the new year and then found ourselves a couple months later back to old ways. Then fully immersed in those big ol' feels of failure. 

But, let me be honest here... We’re not alone. More than half of all New Years Resolutions fail. But, ours doesn't have to be one of the casualties. Over the years, I personally have been very successful in keeping resolutions going and eventually seeing some pretty profound results, like losing 100 pounds and writing a 430 page rough draft of a Novel! I know those were some big ass goals I accomplished and sometimes still I can't believe I did it. But, I did and they started out with ONE surprising step and then soon followed by a few other Key elements. And I am ready to bust open my Resolution Secrets with you and hope maybe they can help you kick some goal setting/doing ass too:) *I know I need a reminder myself.

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Thoughts Create Action.

Anytime I have been successful with a Goal. I thought about it first. I know what your thinking... duh I do that all day too, but nothing ever happens. But, this is where intentional thought comes in. Where it is not our everyday, fleeting, oh wouldn't that be nice thoughts. But, real thought. Visualizing thought. Where you 'Try it On for Size' in your mind. 

Here is a little exercise. This last year I came across this exercise and it has helped me immensely to understand how our thoughts do create action. Look around the room or where you are right now. Notice all the things that surround you. Pick one and focus on it. I'll use the table I am sitting at right now that my Grandfather made. I am sure what inspired to make this table was a sensible one. My Family needs a new Kitchen Table. I can save money and build one myself. Then he thought about the needs and design of the family. He made a mental note of supplies needed, probably thought about how he could craft a table and set of chairs with some simple design details as well. Then he went to the Lumber yard and hardware store. Gathered his tools and begin his project. See what I am getting at... Everything begins with a Thought. Even the Computer, tablet or phone you are reading this on. It's kind of mind blowing isn't it? But, when you break it down Thoughts create a plan, then a Action and then a Goal arises. 

What Thought (goal) keeps arising in your own Life? 

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Pick one Goal and really choose it.

When my Doctor diagnosed me 8 years ago with Type 2 Diabetes and told me I had no choice but to Lose Weight.    He then gave me two options: either lose the weight on my own or in his professional recommendation, Lap band Surgery. A couple days later still in a daze, I attended the Lap Band informational meeting. It was more like a infomercial for surgery (more on that at a later date:) But, I sat through the sale and left freaked out by all the possible complications and modification of my stomach. Right then and there in the Hospital's parking lot. I made my choice/goal.  To Wholeheartedly Lose Weight on my Own. 

So, what is your ONE goal? The one that really sparks your HEART? How can you really CHOOSE it?

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plan. plan. plan.

After I made my decision to lose weight. I found things really aligning. Their is really a blessing in deciding. God has a way of helping us, if we begin to help ourselves. I planned out every detail and did my share of healthy weight loss research after spending nearly a lifetime on fad diets. I even wrote out a timeline of where I would like to be in a year. Of course there were hiccups that came along once I began. But, I always kept my plan nearby and adjusted it to fit the challenges that came my way.  

What is your planning rituals? Do you write it down? If you don't, you should. It makes a world of difference. 

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Doable and bite-sized.

I am not gonna blow smoke up your tush. Losing 100 pounds was Hard. The pounds were easy actually once I found what worked for me. But, it was the mind thing and years of emotional habit that gave me and still does a hard time. But, breaking my goal into something that was doable and bite-sized (small goals within the Big Goal). I did it. 

Doable. What I mean by that is I made it realistic. I wasn't going to become the perfect picture of health overnight. I had to stop the madness of unrealistic expectations and time frames. I lost that 100 pounds over 2 1/2 year span. And from day one understand that my Goal had to be unique to me and not in comparisons to others. Like the ideal weight. I honestly never will be considered skinny, but I don't care. I want to find my own doable healthy:) How doable is your Goal? Is it Realistic? If not how can you adjust it to be? 

Bite-Sized. Or fun size:) You know those little candy size treats we get for Halloween. It's like that with Goals. I remember when I was over 350 pounds. Walking around the block was a bear or God forbid a hill came my way. But, my bite-sized goal was making that hill or block with ease and adding more mileage eventually. I remember the day when it happened and to be honest that little goal still is one of my biggest accomplishments. And since then every little goal met has become a celebration. What Bite-Sized Goal can you start with? 

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Be Present. 

I know I have spent most of this post using my weight loss as example, but there is something very special that I accomplished that taught me the importance of being Present with my Goals. My 430 page Novel Draft (actually I have written 2:) 

I had a story brewing in my head for years and when my Mother was first hospitalized for her Leukemia. I sat for days with nothing to do while she recovered. So, I wrote. It began with one page and in a week... I was finished. My Hand ached, but heart was present during that time. Only taking time to make her feel comfortable and loved.  Writing that draft allowed me to surprisingly stay present. Feeling the surge of life in my words. Now I read it and I see how it helped me initially cope with my Mother's illness. It helped me stay present. I know that sounds odd. Writing a novel while your most loved person is sick. But, when I put that pen down to be with her when she was awake. I was fully there. My mind was not filled with what if's. When we are Present with our Goals, We are truly living. We're making things happen Now instead of waiting for the right time.

How can you be Present with your Goals Now? How can you be Mindful of this Moment? 

Now it is your time. 

I would love for you to share your resolution/goal. I will share mine too:) below in the comments. Let's Share it together:)

Love, C. 

 

 

NYE/Page 365.

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Are you ready Today/Tonight to Type out that last page of 2017? I know I am. We made it People. I made it and You Made it. That alone causes for deep celebration. And Tomorrow we get to wake up to a brand new page! Number 1! How cool is that ?!? So, many possibilities and new moments are waiting for us! Such a beautiful thing.

But, before we get a head of ourselves... first let's write out our last page for 2017. Take some time to reflect, congratulate, mourn or confess what did or didn't work. Then create a ritual with that last page. Burn it or Read it out loud to yourself and maybe tuck it away. Whatever you decide to do. Just make sure to finish this year off with Gratitude. Because tomorrow is ours for the creating:)

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 We get to try again. We get to write things differently. Maybe even Better or at the least wiser.  We get to meet new People, Places and Experiences. Maybe, just maybe we get the chance for Hope to arrive in New surprising ways. 

I truly hope 2017 has served you well, even if it has brought lessons that seemed impossible. But, again. WE MADE IT.

Cheers and God's Blessings to you in 2018. And I will See You There :)

Love, C.

Bring your THING?

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What Thing am I talking about? Real Social Media Presence. That Authentic YOU. Being able to mirror who you are in Real Time and bringing it awesomely to social media. Sounds yummy right?!? 

Who are you on Social Media? Come on let's be honest... I know sometimes we put our best face forward for the feed. I think that is quite alright and it is a facet of who we are. Right? Like look at my picture above. One of my dear friends had just sent me a beautiful package of lovelies. Including that fantastic vintage brooch. I was over the moon with her kindness/love and I just had to take a picture to remember that feeling and moment. Do I have smile eye wrinkles? heck yes! and I am OK with that. And If I had pinned that brooch to my favorite sleeping t-shirt and called it good. Would it have conveyed how that moment was. Probably Not. So, now really take a look at Who you are on Social Media. What do you want to show of yourself? How can you reveal more? Or how to step up your presence to reflect all sides of your real self? 

Secret Sauce to Social Media?  This morning with my epic bedhead as I drank my first cup of coffee of the day. I listened to my new friend Jenna Kutcher's (OK, we are not friends in real-time, but she definitely is apart of my Creative Co-Conspirator Tribe. Meaning: Someone that shares awesome inspiration and if we met in person we would be fast friends:) Goal Digger Podcast, How to Find your Secret Sauce and Stand out in the Crowd. It had me scribbling notes like nobody's business. I don't want to share too much of what she said, so you can enjoy it for yourself. But, we all have a UNIQUE thing to bring to social media. We actually in my book...have a responsibility to share who we are. Times are a changing friends, social media is not going anywhere and it is one of the main ways we communicate with each other. So, how can you communicate your own Unique self better to others?

Who am I to Give Advice on Social Media? I am just like you, yet I might have 10 plus years of blogging under my belt and insane interest in studying Social Media trends and insights. But, I am just like you. I want to connect with people. I want to share my passions with others including how we can be more ourselves on social media. Not  just sharing to share. But, having that true meaning and authentic thought behind it. Bringing our Unique Thing to the feed:)  

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Now I want to hear from you! Yes YOU. What are your thoughts on social media? What is your posting purpose? And how can you be more authentic? 

Love, C. 

*And remember to Check out Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast, How to Find your Secret Sauce and Stand Out in the Crowd. You will love it. I promise:)

A Solo Christmas.

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I know It's not ideal, but I am learning to embrace that life usually isn't ideal:) And that is OK. Really it is OK folks and I am sure their a few of you maybe reading this and planning a solo Christmas yourself or maybe wishing you could spend it alone. Have time to reflect and just be. In our culture, being alone especially on Holiday's are looked upon as sad. Yes, it might be sad. But that is OK too. I know I am learning to feel the sad in my own life, instead of pretending it is not there.  I am not saying to wallow in sadness, but claim it. By claiming our most uncomfortable feelings sometimes, it allows them to wash over us and flow away. Making room for change. 

Family can be ONE person.  I am so grateful for all the invites this year for Christmas, but I would rather spend time by myself on this very sacred holiday. After my surgery and recovery I have learned the fine art of loneliness and how weirdly it has become a new companion of sorts. Reminding me I am my own family. Just me right now. My dear Daddy and Step-Mom are states away. My Mother and Step-Father are gone. These people are and were the closest souls to me.  Until I have a husband and maybe a child of my own. I am OK with loving from afar, hearing a Christmas wish over the telephone and loving my memories. Please know I love you my dear family and friends. Thank you:) But, this year I feel a little different. Wanting to just belong in my current quiet life. 

My Christmas Lights. The Eiffel Tower with it's white sparkly lights thrown on it and my childhood Nativity Scene with it's broken Joseph's head glued back on by my Mom is more than enough for me this year:) Maybe some goodies from Trader Joe's and Coldplay's Christmas Lights playing on repeat. Then trudging through the snow to Midnight or Morning Mass. Remembering what this season is really about... A baby boy born to a young woman named Mary in a cave since there was no room in the Inn and His birth would change the world, including mine and hopefully yours. 

God Bless you this Christmas. Love Always, C. 

 

Little Black Jacket.

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One of my goals for 2018 is to wear this charming Little Black Jacquard Bow Jacket from Erin Fetherston for Target. Technically I can wear it now, but I look more like a circus monkey;) Get me a petite hat, a pair of cymbals and I will be good to go. Wink. Wink. But, all jest aside I love this Jacket!!!! I picked it up years ago (2007 to be exact) on clearance after swooning over it on my many trips to Target. The Erin Fetherston for Target collection was one of the first partnerships with Target to bring high-end designers to Target at affordable prices. Now it is a staple of their Marketing Campaign.  

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The Jacket originally retailed for $44.99 and was a stylish steal on Sale. The craftsmanship is excellent and the attention to detail purely delightful. It did have a matching skirt counterpart and those two together... Looks like something Tony would suggest for Princess Margaret. You get my drift if you have been binge watching The Crown Season 2:). Very chic to say the least. I myself always planned on pairing it with a pair of jeans and white graphic t-shirt. A casual, yet bad-ass version of my affinity for lady-like with a dash of Courtney Love circa Live Through this era (minus the smeared red lipstick and tiara of course. Been there, did that 1994;) 

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Now I bet you want one too. You can't have mine! But, I am sure you can maybe find one on E-Bay. I mean how can you not resist, especially after seeing the detail of the liner. Maybe that's where I got my idea for my bangs?!? OK it was the inspiration;) 

Now as always I am curious if you have a Goal outfit? Something that motivates you to be your best healthy version? 

Love, C. 

This Story/Storage & Things.

StoryboardC. This Story|Storage & Things.

In October I was gifted the opportunity after 4 years of having a storage unit to finally close it out. It was a momentous task to say the least and definitely was not a solo project with my years of accumulated stuff.

It takes a village. My hometown “village” of friends came to my rescue. I sure needed their help with a lifetime of things in there which included my childhood, my deceased Momma’s stuff, my previous marriage things, and odds & ends of pieces that ended up in there before I moved to Austin, Texas. Now Home in Minnesota I was ready to tackle it.

Legacy of Life. So, I headed to my hometown with confidence. Confidence that it was time to plow through my little legacy of life’s stuff. I kept reminding myself on the drive down to Collect Memories, Not Things. It was time to become a minimalist and remember I had lived fine without most of the stuff for the past four years. My intention moving forward was to keep things with meaning and love, not out of guilt or ties to the past.  

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State of Storage Affairs. Once I arrived and opened that steel sliding door. I was confronted with a reality of things being in there for 4 years. There were layers and layer of dust, destruction from mice (eww) and climate change deterioration to furniture and exposed items (my unit was not climate controlled).  So, with that said. There was a lot of throwing away of things, but first some organization. 

Organization 101. My Momma years ago taught me to take bite-sized tasks to organization. First creating piles: (1) KEEP Pile. (2) Second-Hand Store Pile. (3) Burn Pile. (4) Recycle Pile. (5) Trash Pile. Once the piles were in place, then the discarding and sorting began.

Objects that Spark. Most of us have read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. If you haven’t-go get after finishing my post:) It truly is a life changer when it comes to organization and taking on tasks of decluttering your life. The main principle of keeping only things that spark joy is spot on. It especially resonated with me, when going through my mothers things. When she first passed away, I wanted to keep everything and whoa I did. Do I blame myself? No. It was a way of ‘keeping’ her with me and now I was ready to let go of her everyday things and hold onto only things that sparked Joy and Love.

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Layers and Layers of Loss. So, far reading this you might think, wow you really had this storage clean out under control. Actually it had its moments...crying, grieving and even anger. It was quite overwhelming at times. I am so grateful for my friends that would check on me as I went through the layers of my life that had gone before me.

Light my Fire. My friend Kyle offered for me to burn things that had been damaged at his property on the outskirts of town. Thankfully one of his careers is doing controlled burns, so the big pile went up into flames safely. It was also therapeutic,  burning things from my mother and childhood that did not serve me anymore.

Letting Go. My dear ‘brother’ Adam and I made several trips to Second-Hand stores in between the burn fest. We stayed away from For Profit Donation Centers (IE, Goodwill and Savers). So things would truly help others. Each of the numerous trips were bittersweet. But, as we left the stuff behind,  I knew I did the right thing by letting go.

3 Days. The whole whirlwind process was completed within 3 days. I honestly felt like a huge burden has been lifted, which included financially. Going forward now I don’t have to ever worry again about losing my stuff. Also in those three days I experienced such closure to my past and opportunity to look forward in a whole new way.

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Home Studio Home. Then by the last day of October. Adam graciously with another friend Ely up packed my things into a moving truck and Adam brought them to my studio apartment in Downtown Minneapolis. Once he arrived, we unpacked the truck quickly. At first once stuff began piling in, I began to panic. I have grown so accustomed to living so minimally and having boxes every where seemed like a clutter nightmare.

Settling In. So for the past few months, I have taken my time going through, cleaning and organizing things. It has been so nice to be reunited with my favorite things. It has been a blast styling my Studio to make it feel more like home. *And yes everything fits nicely. Don’t get me wrong, the boxes and piles got a bit much at times:)

What I Have Learned. I hope these tidbits will help you if you have your own storage war on your hands and might be looking towards that option. Collect Memories, Not Things. If it doesn’t create a spark in your life get rid of it.  Label. Label. Label. It so helps in the unpacking process and even if you are looking for something. I always write the room it goes in and quick list of most important contents.  Plastic vs. Cardboard Boxes. For Short-Term climate controlled storage cardboard is the way to go. But, in my case Plastic was Prime. If everything would of been packed. The mean mice and weather changes wouldn’t of damaged so many things. Always get a Climate Controlled Unit for Long Time Storage. You might pay a little bit more, but the piece of mind is worth it. I hope this advice helps:)

Again I am so grateful to my dear friends that allowed this project to happen. The daily joy I have of waking up to having my objects of affection around has been priceless. And I love having old, but now new again to me books to read:)

Now I am  totally curious to hear if you have any stories of storage and thoughts on decluttering your life?

Love, C.