Parenting/Life

Goodbye 2018 and Hello 2019

It was a year of highs and a year of lows, and now it is time to say goodbye to 2018 and usher in all the promises of good times and new beginnings that 2019 can bring us.

I have so many wants for the year ahead and am sure they aren’t much different than anyone else, but this year I am planning to tackle them in such a way that I avoid disappointment or give up at the first little set back. I will make small goals that add up to big goals and conquer them one by one. My list is not complete but it is a starting point and I can add to it as life moves along.

But for 2018, there are a number of things that I am determined to say good-bye to. Things that have prevented me from achieving the goals that I made last year at this time and the year before and the year before that.

I’m Saying Goodbye to:

  • 1. Doing things that just make others happy and not myself. Too often I have said yes to things but in the end it has hinder me, my life or my mindset.
  • 2. Making everyone/everything a priority over myself. If I don’t let myself come first once in a while, and take the time to do things for me and me alone, I will be no good for anyone.
  • 3. Focusing on the bad in the past and not looking towards the good and the future.
  • 4. Fearing the unknown and not embracing the “what could be”. Who knows, the “what ifs” could end up being the best thing to ever happen to me.
  • 5. Procrastinating. I need to stop putting things off and hoping for the motivation to do it another day. Do it now!
  • 6. FOMO. This really took a toll on me this year and I need to let it go. Just because others seem to have more, doesn’t mean they always do. I need to embrace what I have and make the best of it.
  • 7. Doing the same things over and over. If it hasn’t worked time and time again, it probably never with. Time to take the leap and do something new.
  • 8. Worrying what others think. Another one I have really struggled with, for years. And if social media has taught me anything, you’ll always have haters no matter what you do, so time to just live my life and no give 2 F*$%@ what others think. Those who truly support you, will continue to do so.
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So goodbye to 2018, goodbye to the people, places and things that having been holding me back. I am sure next year at this time, I will still be a work in process and perfection will still be more than an arm’s length away. I am however, hopefully that I will be happy with the progress that I have made and the memories I have made along the way.

DIY

Best Crafts of 2018

And in a flash, 2018 is over. I can’t believe how fast this year has past. But in this year, I got to see a lot of amazing crafts from all the amazing ladies in the Inspire My Creativity group.

I had to take a bit of time away from the group in the last part of the year, but I am so happy to be starting off 2019 year off right and rejoining the monthly crafting group.

So here is a round up of some of our best work of 2018 for you all to enjoy and perhaps add to your crafting to do list for 2019.

Doodlecraft | Simple Washi Tape Birthday Cards: Papercrafting

Practical and Pretty | How to Dye with Pine Cones

Next time you see some pine cones gather them up and put together this easy dye vat to make a beautiful pink color or a nice gray with an iron bath.

Leap of Faith Crafting | Glitter Tumbler Step by Step Tutorial

Glitter on A Dime | Sharpie Mug Bird Feeder

Living Letter Home | Knockoff West Elm Curtain Rods

The Happy Scraps | DIY Chore Chart With Curved Text In Design Space

Dazzle While Frazzled | How to Make A Decorative Pillow from A Tote Bag

Sunshine & Munchkins | Easy Blooming Envelope and Card

Sugar Bee Crafts | Layering Vinyl Decals

Sew What Alicia | 15 Minute Tote Bag

Lawrence Made | DIY Tinkerbell Lantern

Adventures of A DIY Mom | DIY Wooden Triangle Christmas Trees

5 Little Monsters | Bead Stitch Hat

Sisters, What! | Unicorn Sweatshirt

Organize and Decorate Everything | Embroidery Felt Pouches

See the Happy | Soda Crate Sock Organizer

Happy Go Lucky | One of A Kind Unicorn Mug

She’s Crafty | Farmhouse Table Centerpiece

Artsy-Fartsy Mama | Free Printable Lego Challenge Game

A Girl and A Glue Gun | Giant Vinyl Decal

A Boy and His Mom | Dollar Store Monogram Bag

Ginger Snap Crafts | Personalized Candles

GYCT Designs | Reverse Canvas Tutorial

Legally Crafty | DIY Boho Backdrop & Photobooth

Halfpint Design | DIY Dino Egg Piñata

Heather Handmade | 16 Tips for Sewing Knit Fabric

The Ruffled Daisy | Whimsical Window Paint Pouring


For Kids

Weird But True! Facts to Amaze Your Friends

Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and to post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Throughout my life, I have always had this affinity for weird but true facts.  It’s often been useful when playing trivia games.  On more than one occasion I’ve had people ask me why I even knew those facts, so when Moms Meet asked if I was interested in reviewing some of the National Geographic Kids Weird But True! books with my son, there was no hesitation.

It is the 10th Anniversary of the original Weird But True! series and there are 10 volumes of the series available to share with your family.  In addition to the main series, there are also specialty themed Weird But True! books.  We received the Weird But True! Canada and the Weird But True! Christmas editions of the books.  It has been a while since my son and I have sat together and enjoyed reading a book together.  Normally he wants to read on his own.

Weird But True books

Being so close to the holidays, the boy decided he wanted to read the Weird But True! Christmas edition and learn some facts that he could share with his friends.  One of his favorite holidays facts was a 10-year-old girl (same age as he is) recorded the hit song “I want a Hippopotamus For Christmas” (our favorite Christmas song).  She got one (but donated it to a zoo).

As a true Canadian, I am always interested in learning facts about my country, so I grabbed the Weird But True! Canada edition first.  Did you know that Hawaiian pizza (a pie topped with ham and pineapple) was invented in Chatham, ON?  I grew up not far from Chatham and had no idea.  Another very interesting fact in the book says that it is illegal to climb trees in Oshawa, ON.  When my son heard that fact, his eyes grew very wide and asked “Mommy, does that mean I am going to go to jail?  I’ve climbed a few trees in Oshawa?”  I couldn’t stop laughing and reassured him, he was fine.

Several times now I have found the boy curled up on the couch enjoying these books which is amazing because getting him to read can sometimes be a bit of a struggle.  Anything that gets him happily reading is definitely a winner to me.  And if your looking for some age appropriate and useful content for your kids to enjoy on YouTube, the National Geographic kids channel has a ton of great content.

Weird but true reading

So with the holidays just mere days away, if you are still looking for some great gift ideas that you can enjoy as a family or that will get your child enjoying reading, I would definitely stock up on some Weird But True! fact books.

If your Canadian kids (ages 6-14) have a verifiable weird fact about Canada, their hometown or province, submit it to natgeokids.com/wbtcanada by March 1, 2019 to win some Weird But True! books of your own.

Parenting/Life

Feeling Unmotivated? Remove This Word from Your Vocabulary in 2019

Feeling Unmotivated is a guest post by Carol Tuttle

I want you to pause for a moment and think of that thing you needed or wanted to do this year—but it’s December and you still haven’t gotten around to yet, and you keep putting off.

The idea or project is just sitting there, and the unfinishedness of it is weighing on you. But when it actually comes down to doing it, you seem to have lost all motivation.

So how do you recover motivation to do something you think you should do?

You can start by giving up this one word in 2019—and replacing it with something much more powerful!

Say goodbye to the S-word

Should.

That one word can zap your motivation to do something faster than anything.

I’ve found that whenever I used the word “should” I would procrastinate and avoid the activity or project I thought I “should’ do. That’s because the word “should” in the dictionary indicates a meaning of obligation or duty.

Notice how often you might say something similar to these:

  • I should go work out.
  • I should eat healthy.
  • I should lose 10 pounds.
  • I should get out of debt.
  • I should clean that closet.
  • I should learn how to ____.

Why “Should” can sabotage your success

Whatever it is for you, it might even be a necessary or good idea (organize a closet, clean out the car, take a class, plant a garden). But if you’re trying to force it, you either just won’t make the time or have the energy, or you’ll probably keep putting it off because you don’t enjoy it. Or it might be a good thing to do, but maybe not for you to do. Or maybe not at this time.

Get clear on what you want first

Now, for every “should” statement you say, ask yourself, “Is this what I want?” Or do you think you should do it because someone told you to or you feel under some obligation to do it? Sometimes our choices are influenced more about what others want than we want.

Although they might all be great choices, until we personally own them for ourselves we will not be motivated to follow through.

So, the first step to healthy motivation in the new year is to examine your “shoulds” and get clear on what it is YOU want.

You can also clarify what it is you want so it matches the outcome you want to create (i.e. I want to clean the closet so I can always find what I need.)

Once we claim a choice for ourselves, we then can declare them with “I am” statements.

Then replace “I should” with “I am”

  • I am working out
  • I am eating healthy.
  • I am losing 10 pounds.
  • I am debt free.
  • I am cleaning that closet.
  • I am learning how to ____.

Take your choice even higher with gratitude

An even higher vibration of belief is to act as if you have already accomplished it and imagine your success with these statements of gratitude:

  • I am grateful I choose to workout.
  • I am grateful I eat healthy.
  • I am grateful I lost 10 pounds.
  • I am grateful I am debt free .
  • I am grateful I cleaned the closet.
  • I grateful I have learned  how to ____.

This simple but powerful shift can make a world of difference!

Remember, when you declare your intentions you uplift your energy so it can support you with the motivation to do it when it is right and timely for you.

Carol Tuttle is a teacher, speaker, gifted healer, best-selling author of six books, and pioneer in the field of personal development. For over 25 years, she has supported millions worldwide with her life-changing books and online courses. Her newest book, Mastering Affluence, guides you through six trans-formative lessons to create a life you love. Get your copy and learn more at https://ct.liveyourtruth.com/.

 

Parenting/Life

Santa Goes Digital with Portable North Pole

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to my by Santa, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.

There’s nothing better than seeing your child’s face when they see Santa. But imagine their faces when Santa himself sends them a personalized video greeting from his enchanting North Pole village?  Trust me, I’ve seen my son’s face and it is an amazing thing to see.  You can get your own videos from Santa at Portable North Pole.

With all the smart phones and tablets, it’s about time that Santa went digital.  And now you can get him to send personalized messages and videos to your children.  Did you mail that letter late and worried a reply may not come in time?  This is a perfect way for Santa to respond to your child before Christmas eve.

I’ve been using Portable North Pole (PNP) for several years with my son now and he always enjoys his personalized message from the big man himself.  With the ability to use your own photos and facts about the child, it truly is a magical message from Santa.

How Does PNP Videos Work?

You simply share a few details about your child (name, age, most wanted gift idea) and upload a photo at www.portablenorthpole.com or through the free mobile iOS or Android app.

In the blink of an eye an amazing, personalized  video where Santa talks to your child (or the young-at-heart) from the North Pole is ready to share.
In addition to the standard free option, premium video/call packages, ranging from $3.99 to $37.99, come with unlimited access to
multiple, unique, extended Premium videos with extra personalization options and more. With the mobile app, the special Reaction Recorder uses your phone’s camera to capture the moment of joy and surprise when Santa Claus reveals whether your child is on his “naughty or nice” list – creating a
cherished keepsake for parents.

The premium packages also include access to videos that can be used into the next year.  There is a birthday video and a video that can be created for Christmas eve.  In the mobile app, you have the ability to switch between Kids and Parents mode.  You can set up a passcode so that your child is not able to access the Parents Mode.  In the Child mode they will have access to their videos and other features like games and “sELFies” photo filters.

Santa - kids view

 

In addition to the video messages,  the book Twenty-four Sleeps Until Santa available again this year. Christmas comes to life with this story book that includes a special code with access to an exclusive personalized video. It is available at stores across Canada like Indigo and Walmart, as well as Amazon.ca and Indigo.ca.

Santa book

Do you want to share the magic of Santa with your children this year with a personalized video from Portable North Pole?  Head over to my Instagram post LINK HERE and enter to win a Magic Pass Code available for use this year and a copy of Twenty-Four Sleeps ‘Til Santa to enjoy with your family next holiday season.  Contest open to Canadian residents and ends Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 1:00pm EST.  Winner will be contacted via DM and will have 24 hours to respond.

Parenting/Life

Writers Block and How I’m Getting Through It

The holiday season is almost always the busiest time of year for most people, especially bloggers. But what happens when you get a terrible case of writers block? How do you push past and get your blogging mojo back?

That is what I have been struggling with for weeks now. I have been trying to put my fingers on the keyboard but nothing seems to come out.

At night when I go to bed, ideas swirl in my head and blog post after post gets composed there but never actually end up being typed up. It’s not that I don’t try, but for some reason it just never seems to come together.

I want what I write to sound authentic, not forced. I want it to sound like it sounded in my head and not like it came out of a robot. Perhaps I need to invest in some sort of dictation app so I can easily record my thoughts while lying in bed.

Regardless, having this writers block of sorts totally stresses me out. I have a bad habit of procrastinating with some things but I’ve never tried to let that affect my blogging. Consistency is key they always say and lately, I have been the furthest thing from that.

So what have I done to fix my writers block? I took a step away for a couple of weeks. I know I have a number of posts that I need to get done and posted but I will get them done and done properly. Not forced, not because I “have to”. That is the last thing I want for my blog.  I’ve been trying to keep up my posting with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and actually getting a full on blog post out has been wickedly difficult. I’ve taken some time away from actual blogging and trying to come back fresh and motivated.

So what have I done to regain this lost mojo?  I’ve taken time to reflect on what’s important to me. I’ve taken a step back to remember why I originally started blogging.  Whether I’m an influencer, a blogger or a storyteller, I want my writing to sound like I am writing as if I am having a conversation with you…one on one. If that isn’t what is coming across, then I won’t press “publish”.

So why am I even writing this? If you are actually interested and read my posts, I want you to understand my sporadic posting schedule as of late and my mission to keep things real.  This writers block of mine is only temporary and I am working on pushing past it.

My wish for 2019 is to do more planning (a lot more planning) to help minimize these “blocks” and provide content that not only I can be proud of but what people really want to read.

So bare with me friends, I promise to get my act together and get back on track!