Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: project life

Valuing My Life

For over a week now, I’ve been walking around gunning to create a scrapbook page.

I know – who am I?

But seriously, I don’t write about it much here, but I do randomly create project life pages. At times it can feel overwhelming to print photos & document my life, but I love the finished pages. Going back through the pages I made for the weeks of 2013 and the (very) few weeks of 2014 make me happy.

And I’ve been listening to a lot of Paperclipping Roundtable. So I assume that also has something to do with it.

Saturday we slept in as much as one can with the usual LA September heatwave. We originally planned to go to the climbing gym when it opened, but the heat + void moon had other ideas.

We decided to take Carter down to the beach path and eat breakfast at our new favorite place, Amelia’s.

When I think about scrapbooking, I usually feel overwhelmed with the decisions – which pictures to print, what sizes, what papers, what stickers, what’s the story I’m trying to tell, etc – and then I give up that idea and write a blog post or worse, do nothing.

But I really do want more creative actions in my life – and these supplies aren’t going to use themselves up – so as we went about our morning, I took a few pictures.

We got stuck in traffic on Abbot Kinney due to hundreds of motorcycles lining the street. We sang along to Jimmy Eat World on H’s phone. We parked, got the dog out of the car and walked him over to Amelia’s. We waited for a table, ordered food at the counter, and watched the parade of motorcycles go by. We ate our food and sipped our foamy drinks. After eating, we walked the dog down to the beach and out on this wooden path they put on the sand. At the very end is a bench we like to sit on b/c it allows us to be near the water and still have Carter with us on the sand.

Carter was howling away in frustration at us, restless that he wanted more exercise. We looped back up to Main Street and back to the car.

The whole little adventure took less than 3 hrs but it is the epitome of a perfect morning for me. Music, going out for breakfast, delicious chai, walking the dog, the ocean, wearing a sundress, and quality time with H. Each one of these days feels like a dream, but it’s my actual life.

And I know the whole only thing constant is change, so it felt important to me to capture this morning on a page. To print some photos, write a little story and have it as a reminder, as a reflection, of the awesome life we’re experiencing.

“We live 3 miles from one of the best beaches in the country and we have the time and freedom to enjoy it. Our little family, and my life, is pretty rad”

Making this page was a creative act, and allowing myself creative acts feels like the ultimate way to value life. Just in the way that I go for a run or take a nap because I value my energy, or say no to dramatic people because I value my sanity, creative acts are a way to value my being. To hold it in high regard. To honor what I’ve built as a creative person – my marriage, my awesome dog, my talents. Documenting is something I’ve always done, but I’m finally beginning to understand that telling my story is a way of valuing ME.

{More Info}

I started memory keeping with Project Life.

Some of my very favorite memory-keepers:
Ali Edwards
Kelly Purkey
Amy Tangerine
Shimelle
Pink Ronnie
Elise Blaha Cripe

 

Advertisements

Recently

Finishing up work emails and projects before our vacation tomorrow.

Rolling with the lack of routine. And up and down energy. And weird heat + humidity.

Going to the beach path on Saturdays for a run while H takes Carter on a walk via longboard, then heading to a new coffee shop called Amelia’s.

Creating more Project Life spreads – so fun to spend weekend time printing photos & playing with paper.

Buying sorely needed gym clothes, running sneakers and hiking boots. Much of the clothing and the running shoes (above) are hot pink. Not my usual color but seems to be the cheaper option most times.

Becoming more in-tuned to my over-done strength of being good in a crisis. And saying no.

Watching Orange Is The New Black Season 2

Reading All The Light We Cannot See (finished), The Giver (for fun) and books about Alaska & the Iditarod.

Quitting devaluing my own projects / creativity for things that aren’t the work I’m meant to do in this world (that’s the goal, anyways – probably will be more of a transition than cold turkey).

Learning so much about inspiration & design from the Here & There class at Big Picture Classes.

Smelling the surprise of rain in LA this weekend.

Celebrating OH MY GOSH OUR ALASKA TRIP STARTS TOMORROW.

Loving having H home for summer break with time to talk and be together. And life coaching sessions with Heidi.

Working on our money goals with a financial planner. And co-working with Billye.

Eating healthier and a little less at times, trying to fuel my body with good things.

Drinking less alcohol (win) and enjoying coffee more and more lately. Like, a lot more.

Wearing my hair a bit too short. And new clothes / boots (see above).

Listening to H play video games, to the drizzle of rain outside, to Carter clickety-clacking around on the vinyl floors (he needs his nails cut).

Feeling TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP

Obsessed with AnnMarie’s blog (and baby watch) and Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska, Alaska

Quick Re-Focus

The internet is wonderful.

I found Kristen via Instagram, I’m sure by way of Project Life or some other paper crafting topic. She has a little process where she jots down her “right now” on these adorable Currently cards.

Back to the work grind this week – it’s probably been 2 months since I’ve worked 5 days straight, mostly from the office. Yesterday, a mid-day slump hit and then I saw Kristen tweet about using a Currently card to re-focus. So I did just that.

I’d just made the little card while on the phone with my mom and it seemed like the perfect canvas for my right now.

No need to reiterate it as the picture speaks for itself, except to say that Game of Thrones? I GET IT NOW. I apologize for my delay in hopping on that wagon. We’ve watched all of season 1 in 4 days and are straight into season 2. Probably have watched 30 hours of TV in the next week and a half. Sheesh.

Happy Thursday xo

Year of Ocean

The ocean is sacred to me.

Since growing up on Long Island, I feel it when I’m far from the water. The semester I lived in Nashville, I knew I was land-locked. My love of Los Angeles increased the closer we moved to the Pacific. Spending even a half-hour staring at the waves brightens my spirits and calms my mind.

This idea came to me before I chose my One Little Word for the year, so it seems only appropriate I chose flow. (more on this soon…)

I wanted another year long project (like Project Life). I wanted something that would be a challenge, but nourishing for my soul. Something I “had to do” that was good for me. Something that would inspire me and make me take advantage of how close we live to the beach. If / when we buy a house, this will cease to be our norm. I may never live this close to the ocean again (though, secretly, I doubt that, you never know).

And so here is my project: a year of ocean. 52 weekly posts of pictures and words about a trip to water. The weather, the company, and certainly whatever comes up. I think it’ll keep my one little word at the forefront of my mind and allow me clear space, which is something that’s come up since the retreat in October.

And speaking of that retreat – I read this post On Patience by Laurie the other day and she spoke right to me (also my experience of her in person). As I’m moving into this new year, I have my hopes but I’m feeling a bit whiplashed.

She mentions two things that give me permission: a practice of not doing anything (what I’ve been craving) and a friend who rests in his self-care habits (what I’ve been practicing).

Space and self-care… flow. Year of Ocean seems like a perfect way to declare, track, and record my experience of both of those things.

**I’ll be using a tag Year of Ocean here and on Instagram if you wanted to follow along. Better yet, start your own thing and let me know so I can follow you.

Seven Day Exercise Challenge

Last weekend, I decided I needed a full week of exercise. Can’t remember when I did this last. Exercise and I have had a love/hate relationship for a while now. Such a pain.

I ordered new shoes, dug up a workout DVD and got to it.

Sunday: Ran 3 miles. Felt good though I could tell my sneakers were shot.
Monday: Level 1, 30-day shred (love love love JM)
Tuesday: Ran 3 miles in my new shoes. Felt much better and ran faster.
Wednesday: So tired, but went with an easy 50min of yoga. Better than nothing.
Thursday: Ran a quick 2 miles, in the afternoon heat, after eating lunch out. Barf.
Friday: Level 1, 30-day shred again, before my flight. Already felt stronger.
Saturday: Ran 3.5 miles with my friend around her neighborhood in MA. She was dehydrated and needed to walk a bunch. B/c of either my previous workouts or her walking breaks, I felt awesome, like I could’ve done 5 miles.

Overall it was a fun challenge. Definitely worth doing and also tracking on Instagram. Grateful H was home all week, and took care of Carter, giving me time to run alone. Also, this ties to the Hello Story class I’m taking with Ali Edwards – these pics will go into my Project Life for the week. And I feel much more motivated to keep going. Hoping to run the Charles River during my Boston stay.

Woo!

Hello Story or My Introduction To Scrapbooking

I’m in the third week of Ali Edwards Hello Story – a 12 week scrapbooking class – and I’m loving it. 

Total noob here. This is my first scrapbook 12×12 page… EVER. It’s a timeline of important events in my life. It’s actually missing a photo still – I’ll add that once it’s printed.

But excuse me while I take a moment to jump up & down with excitement that I was able to create this page. It felt so creative and engaging to make something. I was totally in flow and was racing against the clock to finish it before a dinner date.

I was surprised by how much color I wanted. And that I added the water-color background not having a freakin’ clue what I was doing. When I thought to use feathers as a symbol for my own trust / lifeline, my heart jumped. And I am so so so proud of myself for cutting those colored paper feathers from a patterned paper – and not feeling frustrated that I didn’t have the “perfect” embellishments.

I loved getting paint on my hands, following where the layout went,  telling my story and improvising. 

I’ve been working on Project Life since January but I’m still not sure about it. While I’m printing WAY more photos than I ever have, it seems like an awful lot of paper to be accumulating as the years go on. I’m committed to documenting 2013 via the 2-page weekly spread, but I may rethink this for next year. 

And the Hello Story class is so inspiring. Ali does a really great job of offering scrapbooking as a vehicle to dig deeper into your life story. She says “scrapbooking is an opportunity to tell stories that give perspective to our overall life experience”. 

This is why I journal, take photos, keep this blog… I want perspective, understanding, deeper meaning made out of my life experiences. And I want to read / hear others’ stories too.

So, there’s magic here. As I wrote yesterday, trying my best to keep the supplies low and the production high. But I think I’m on to something.

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner

 

Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)

 

Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris

 

Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

Recent Obsessions

In my attempt to do more of what I need (and living the SoCal life), I’ve been trying to relax this week. It’s a 3-day week due to July 4th tomorrow (yay vacation!).

I started Battlestar Galactica on a whim. I know, right? Nerd. But it was just what I was looking for. Action, suspense, good story-lines and pretty good acting… like reading a fantasy novel. Great break from everything lately. Plus, H is into it, so we’ve watched 8 in the past 3 days. Sshh – don’t tell. #nojudging

Then today, I stumbled upon Rhonna Farrer‘s new app and I am obsessed. It’s tiny digital scrap-booking. I’ve already made two and I have ideas for more. Hoping I can add it on the iPad, since my iPhone screen feels too small to really get into the app. And there are sooooo many options. I love it. Love, love, love.

And thirdly, avocado, kiwi, cucumber salad. Delish. I basically made this up from a homemade version I tasted at a bridal shower a few weeks ago and this recipe online. I went for fresh vs strong, so I added cucumber, left out all of the spicy stuff, and added ginger. Freakin’ yum.

So that’s what I’m obsessing about, here on the even of the 4th of July. How’s your week going? xo

Go Slowly

Like I mentioned before, the sun cycles seem to have an affect on me. Recently, I am sleeping amazingly well, but I do not feel any energy buzz. Things are slow going, like the methodical and earthy Taurus moon. A routine doesn’t exist. And so, I take each day as it comes whether they’re bad, fun or downright shit. I’m giving myself time and kindness. And I’m taking pictures of snails, collecting feathers, talking to people on the phone, trying to have work days with no meetings and catching up on Project Life. I exercise when I feel like it and or I don’t bother.

And somehow, things keep moving along, just like this little guy above. Slow and steady wins the race.

**Fun to note here that this is my 401st post!! I’ve been writing for 3 years this month. If that isn’t a great example of slow & steady, I don’t know what is. Perfect timing 🙂

 

What A Week

This week was packed and yet, doable. I am so proud of myself for handling all of it so well. So you’ll excuse me a moment if I need to list it all out to reassure myself I am pretty f-ing awesome.

  • Felt anxiety but turned to running, podcasts and good internet blogs to buoy myself
  • Watched Brene Brown on Oprah (omg!)
  • Organized an event for students visiting LA on spring break. Didn’t get home till 11pm.
  • Terrible noise from car’s rear driver side. Bring it in.
  • End up working from a Starbucks for 5+ hrs. Turns out, the need a part from the dealer and they’ll keep the car over night. Bah.
  • Manage to get a ride from a neighbor’s husband. Thank goodness for nice people.
  • Ride my bike to the grocery store for food for the next day’s event. My job should reward me for being the most resourceful & committed employee… ever.
  • Unload groceries. Walk dog. Shower & change.
  • Hitch a ride with my colleague to second event of the week. End up hosting over 150 people (biggest turn out yet for this event). Snag a ride home with an alumna.
  • Sleep less than 7 hours and get up to run events 3 & 4 this week. Hitch a ride to work with my sister. Arrive by 8:45am, which is the earliest I think I’ve ever shown up to the office since the start.
  • Run event 3 while inhaling tiny croissants, strawberries and orange juice.
  • Deal with event 4 and a student with an ego.
  • Wait for my ride home. Latest I’ve stayed at the office for no reason.
  • Go to Wurskutche with H & my sister. Needed that brat.
  • Manage to wake up and run 3m to the car place on Thursday – exercise the dog + car pick up in one. Boo-yah.
  • Meet an awesome friend for early lunch. Do more work. Finally get some rest.

And manage all of this with hardly any tears, no major panic issues, and lots of self-love. Constant reassurance that “I got this” and “I’m really not that busy“. Lots of trust in myself and in things working out just the way they should.

And that brings us to today…
Where I walked the dog, Skyped with my mom, did a bunch more work, finally ordered my Project Life photos from Persnickety Prints, and now I’m chilling on the couch with H & Carter Cash. H is just starting his spring break and I’m looking forward to the weekend together.

Hope you are yours are well xo