Category Archives: Crafts

Chasing the gold star: A search for validation

Remember when you were in nursery school or kindergarten and you would get a gold star or sticker when you did anything noteworthy? [Which at that time was something like making sure to tell the teacher when you had to go to the bathroom…which, full disclosure…I didn’t always do perfectly…but I digress…]  When did that all end?  I find myself thinking at times, where’s my gold star?

Alas, life isn’t (or shouldn’t be) all about the chase for the gold star. External validation is only temporary .

If I want recognition for a “job well done,” even if the “job” is as simple as getting up and out of bed, because, lets face it, some times I don’t even feel like doing that, then I need to be the one to tell myself good job. Why can’t I give myself the gold star?

I don’t need to wait for someone else to tell me I’m doing a good job when I know I am. More important than the gold star I’ve realized is showing myself compassion, love and comfort –I enjoy candles, chocolate and bubble baths (but what woman doesn’t?!). The big thing I did recently is build myself an office space in my apartment.

Let me back up…I live in a 615 sq. foot, one bedroom apartment. All the furniture I moved in with in 2009 was given to me by an elderly woman who was downsizing her home and very slowly (it took me a year of sleeping on an air mattress to buy an actual mattress) I’ve been changing out the furniture I was given for furniture I actually want. Part of this was due to budget and part of this is because it’s taken me a very long time to actually believe I’m worth this new furniture (but more about that in a later post).

Back to the topic at hand: an office space. For a while I had my laptop on a cart in my bedroom and was completely unmotivated to turn it on let alone write e-mails or do work from it. I believe that the bedroom should be a space of tranquility and having my laptop in there was far from tranquil. With that, I was off to Ikea and found the perfect desk for my space. 20150101_130305

2 hours later (and a near meltdown after jamming the drawer shut) I accomplished what I set out to: create a tranquil space to write, reflect, and answer the occasional e-mail. [Note: I put together a chair the next day which was purchased at Staples]

Now, to the decorating, and this is where the comfort piece comes into play. I found the wall hangings at Walmart for $4 a piece, the glass cylinders at A.C. Moore for $3 each, and the “angel babies” (as I’ve been calling them) at A.C. Moore for $3 as well.  [The angels are vinyl rub-on’s and very simple to transfer.  Great beginner project!]


This is the finished space (I added the lillies after these photos were taken–thank you Harris Teeter).  I’ve also ordered a sunlight desk lamp (because working my schedule throws off my circadian rhythm) but haven’t received it yet. Taking care of my physical, mental and emotional well being, ✓



The reason this space is important, and why I made it the focus of my article is because I did something for myself simply because I wanted to enhance my life. The space in which I live reflects the life I want to lead. My mind is very scattered and unorganized but through little acts such as this as well as daily meditation I’m starting to “put the monkey back in the cage,” quiet my mind and organize my surroundings. In turn I find that with a quiet mind I can allow a higher power to enter my life. With the freedom of my mind I accept myself just as I am, I show myself compassion, love, and in turn feel validation.


Vision Board: A purpose for the year ahead

I made my first vision board a few years ago at the suggestion of a friend who had been making them each year for almost 10 years.  Being an “arts-n-crafts” kind of gal I thought it was a great idea…but how exactly do I go about doing this, I wondered.  She suggested a few magazines to buy (Real Simple and Better Homes and Gardens being two of them) and go from there.  That’s what I did.  Sat down with my magazines and got to cutting.  I found images that grabbed me, made me smile, made me laugh.  Phrases I could relate to, words I wanted to live by.

Here is my board from 2013

2013 and 2014 2014

As I sit down to do a vision board for 2015 I feel excited.  I see my vision board as my chance to be creative, hopeful, and purposeful. “If X is my goal, what do I need to do to obtain it.”

My personal opinion is that this project is best when you just go for it , but, for those of you who enjoy a little more direction, Christine Kane has a helpful site.

Lucinda Cross suggests readers “Pick images that will trigger an emotion into an action.”

First step, gather magazines that grab you, may it be an image on the cover, or an article of interest.  [side note, I never purchase magazines but for this project (and a new mantra of mine) I said hey, I’m worth it]

Mag20150106_115303 1

I read through each magazine once and flagged pages that I wanted to go back to.  Then, I grabbed my scissors and went for it!

The result!

2015 vision board2

 Things I learned:

1. Although I certainly didn’t mean to do this, there were a few specific areas of my life that kept coming up: travel, home, and most of all self care.

2. I’m a sucker for a unicorn.  I mean, how could I not put that picture on here.

3. In the grand scheme of things, my life is very blessed. I enjoy the strive toward perfection, the trick is accepting that I’ll never get there…or maybe it’s realizing and accepting that I’m already there, perfect just as I am…

Here are my 3 favorite parts:

unicorn snowhome

With that, I challenge you to put together your own vision board.  Happy creating!