Craftie Quickie: Party ‘Stache for a 1-Year-Old

I’m working on a covert project. {Well sort of.}

SShhhh…The secret celebration’s for my 1-year-old’s first birthday. It’s secret cause I don’t want any of our guests to see what’s to come before the big day. But I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at some of the decorative crafts I’ve been working on thus far.


Pennants and bunting oh my!

Pennants and bunting oh my!

I thought it’d be a pain in my neck and cramp in my hands to cut out pennants. But it wasn’t that bad. With this pennant template, scissors, and coordinated scrapbook paper, it was one of those crafts I could do while watching TV (anyone else riveted with OWN docu-series Lindsay?)

I also spent a few hours at our local craft store. Thank you die-cut machine for making foam mustache cut-outs surprisingly pain-free.

Mustache straws

Easy foam mustache straws

Target was also running a sale on the party brand that’s decking out our venue and our guest’s cups. Striped straws, come to momma!

There’s still many more creative tasks on my to-do list. But I’m having fun doing this one. A baby only turns 1 once. =) I’m planning on enjoying every imperfect, messy, DIY project.

What are you folks working on?

Writing Lessons: What Writing Can Teach You About Letting Go

{Etsy journal by BroadwayHouseBooks}

{Etsy journal by BroadwayHouseBooks}

Every day I strip my writing.

Sometimes I work on small business features.

Sometimes it’s advertorials.

When I get a chance, it’s a picture book, or a self-help piece.

But no matter what it is, I always go through the same debilitating process of cleaning up prose. The hard thing is sometimes they’re good parts I fall in love with, but they’re also completely wrong for what I’m working on.

Why Editing Prose is Like Editing Your Life

It’s hard to let go of what seems right.

It’s difficult to push my finger down on delete when I want so much to find a place for that phrase.

It’s heartbreaking when I must finally let it go.

But I realized that the alternative, leaving out of place words just because I can’t part with them, ends up spoiling everything.

How familiar that song sounds when sung about love, friendships, jobs that don’t work.

On the surface, they look good, they seem right. We’re hooked in deep. They serve our need for certainty and comfort. We’re too afraid to be in the space between where we are to where we want to be.

It’s not easy to let go into nothingness.

But when we are courageous, when we’re willing to give up whatever or whoever it is, the mystery of the unknown will surprise us with life-growing and healing gifts.

Like the ill-fitted sentence that must be sacrificed in order to create a whole piece, sometimes we need to give up the certainty in our lives, for the pleasure and joy that comes with finally, letting go.

Designing Your Life With Expert Kelli Ellis


KelliEllisHSA few weeks ago, I received 2 emails that made me literally jump for joy. This was one of them. HGTV, TLC, and Bravo featured designer Kelli Ellis contacted me about her recently penned book on design inspiration. Do I Look Skinny in this House? How to feel great in your home using Design Psychology is set to release today on Amazon. She took time out to share some of ideas on how design can inspire your life. I’m so excited to have her here. Thanks Kelli!

The Inspiring Bee: If you believe a person’s home can be source of inspiration and creativity, can your home do the opposite? Can it be uninspiring and be un-motivating?

Kelli Ellis: Your home can absolutely “hold you down”… Imagine a room in your home that you basically walk by and do not really enjoy. Now, think about how that room makes you “feel” ..”Uninspired,” “blah,” or “it’s pretty but not functional.” Now imagine if every room in your home or the rooms that require energy, felt that same way. Can you imagine waking in a bedroom that is unrestful, working in a room that is a mess and dysfunctional, cooking in a room without the appliances you need? If you do not have the 3 F’s; function, flow and feel ..your rooms are holding you down. In simple terms, rooms that lack the 3 F’s are like computers that are 10 years old…Time wasting, energy suckers!

TIB: Can where you live bring more meaning into your life?

KE: Ask any person mountain or beach? view or pool? city or suburb? The visceral reaction one gives is based on a “gut feeling.” That gut is our internalized in our nervous system that tells us when we fight or fly and how we will react to most scenarios. If we do not honor our “gut feelings” we are wasting our time and energy trying to “feel” right and comfortable. Everyone is different but it is important to honor yourself and each other when deciding where to live.

TIB: What small things can a creative professional or someone who wants to be more creative do to invite inspiration and creativity into their home?

KE: First, eliminate clutter so you can find a comfortable place to find inspiration. You notice when you are on vacation and you feel revived, inspired, and relaxed. That feeling comes from being out of your everyday. Try to recreate that same feeling at home by clearing the visual clutter away and transforming a space to make it look new. Even a small corner in your home that you can claim to find some inspiration, is valuable.

Thanks so much Kelli!

{P.S. I’ll be interviewing her again soon with home office inspiration for small business owners and entrepreneurs on the Intuit Small Business blog.}

The Myth of Aging and Success

{Etsy ornament by AtelierDenise}

{Etsy ornament by AtelierDenise}

If somebody has ever told you, “You’re too old to do that,” you understand the discouragement that comes with aging.

Are they right?

Maybe there are some positions where youth is mandatory. However, I think we need to lift the veil of aging-I think like fame, and luck, age can be a distraction to our success.

I’ve been told I should’ve been successful in my 20s. I started pursuing my dreams as a writer later in life and that means I’m behind, not ahead of the game. It means I won’t get there. It means there are younger, more energetic and ambitious writers who will have more momentum and eventually trample over me.

It’s tempting to think that way simply because it makes sense. I am older. I started later. There are people who are younger than me.

Don’t Let Age Be an Excuse for Failure

We can buy into that belief and let it be an excuse to give up. It can justify why we’re not where we want to be. It can give us a reason to stop trying.

Pastor Joel Osteen reminded me of something. He said we get distracted on our path toward success by the shiny and beautiful person next to us. We forget that we each have our own gifts. We forget we are all on our own journey. It’s not about comparing where we are with that person or that person. It’s about remembering we can achieve what we want, when we’re ready to achieve it.

You may not get there at a young age. You won’t get there the way she did or he did. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get there. It doesn’t mean you’re destined to failure.

If you need proof, check out all these people who achieved phenomenal success at a later age.

You may need to hustle. You will need to put in the hard work. But don’t let age be another reason, another obstacle that stands in the way of all the jewels you have to offer. The world is waiting for you to stop making excuses and start pursuing your dreams.

A Craftie Quickie: Marvelously Magnetic

Every week my husband and I “forget” to tackle a shopping list of weekly goals. Initially I tried writing them down on scratch paper and tacking them up with a magnet. It worked okay until they got lost in a sea of notes, photos and other refrigerator worthy posts.

I had long forgotten about the chalkboard contact paper I used here and mentioned here, when I realized it would be perfect on our refrigerator.

Refrigerator chalkboard

It’s contact paper so it’s not permanent and our fridge is smooth so it’s a perfect writing surface.

Chalkboard on refrigerator

What are you quickly crafting lately?

Feeling Unworthy

{Etsy print by: Lori Portka}

{Etsy print by: Lori Portka}

It happened again.

I was feeling at peace with my life. The speeding ticket far behind me. The illness starting to heal itself. Acceptance was beginning to melt like chocolate, thick, rich and beautiful and seeping into anything hard and open.

And then it happened.

Life. It’s the person who’s doing better than you. The mom who seems to be perfect. The family with the bigger house. The friend with a better job. Suddenly, nothing you’re doing is good enough. And that’s not the end point.

The worse thing is when your child looks at you, when you’re staring straight in the face of your husband or your beautiful family, your home, your beautiful body, it’s not good enough. If it’s not good enough, you’re not good enough.

It’s a wretched feeling.

It starts with envy, but it’s an uncomfortable gnawing like the sound of nails on a chalkboard or a turtleneck choking your neck.

You know you should feel happy or use it to motivate you. But there you are.

How do you quell the critical voices in your head?

You keep telling yourself like I did:

“You are good enough.”

“Your life is perfectly imperfect, just the way it should be.”

Your fortune is in your ability to see it. Your happiness is dependent on imbuing the moment with gratitude. What you accomplish is not in direct proportion to your happiness or your worth.

Some people’s life from afar seem shiny and beautiful. They could be. It has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with your life.

Don’t wish for their life.

Wish for your life being as grand, as alive, as heartbreakingly profound as it can be.

Don’t skim the surface.

Dig in deep.

Stop throwing away the good things you do for the amazing things someone else did. Stop putting your life alongside another. Stop making what you do who you are.

And embrace it all: your flaws, your contributions, your moodiness, your beautifulness. Pretend you are an outsider looking into your own life. And be envious of yourself…

*I’m busy writing nonfiction articles (like this heartwarming story of an old-time local store in the business of serving people and their pets), an essay and a few fiction pieces. These mini lessons are a slice of soul I hope will inspire you. 

Soul Lessons: How Memories Can Heal You

{Etsy blessing: Angeliccraftacademy}

{Etsy blessing: Angeliccraftacademy}

Actress Shirley Maclaine sat with Oprah a few Sundays ago on Super Soul Sunday to talk about aging, wisdom and life. I’m a big fan of Maclaine. I agree with Winfrey’s characterization of her as a “spiritual trailblazer.” Every statement she makes drips with profundity. I had to keep pressing pause on my DVR so I could soak it all in.

One of the things she said was memories, what we choose to remember, holds significance. Why do we, for example, remember our father scolding us, but forget a shopping trip with our mother? Maybe, there is a secret lesson in our memories.

Part of that is due to how we’re hardwired. This article says, for example, we’re more likely to remember things associated with strong emotions. But out of the emotional memories, could there be a deeper reason why we hold on to some and not others?

I think it’s worth asking.

Maybe there’s a reason why our minds won’t let go of a particular incident-your parents arguing, a friendship that ended bad, a job that you really enjoyed doing.

Maybe it’s worth revisiting the memory.

Is there something you need to learn, return, heal in order for your brain to let it go?

If we’re open to rediscovering why that memory stays in the first place, we might open the door to greater healing. We may be able to kiss that wound of sorrow or rebuild a burned bridge. We may be able to find out what still needs tending so we can heal what’s still hurt and vulnerable. When we uncover the mystery of forgotten memories, we may finally be able to forgive, grow and move forward.