Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Today I Choose ..." Journal


Yes ... I'm back from the beach, re-charged and ready to roll!!  I've been PLANNING to post for a few days now but ... well ... apparently I'm still in relaxation mode and nothing has been happening very quickly around here!  While I guess that's a good thing in THEORY it doesn't really help you when you pop in and see the same post for 2 weeks straight, right?  *lol*

I'll bore you with just a FEW pics and highlights from our trip.  Here are a few pics (well, maybe a more than a FEW ...):

(Yep - somehow our Elf on the Shelf "Trixie" made it to Hawaii too!!  Imagine our surprise when we were going through our pictures and found some of Trixie!!!)

We went to Maui .. and stayed in Honokowai.  Do I even need to say it was fantastic??  Some of the things we did:
  • Whale Watching
  • Snorkeling to the Crater and Tutrle Town
  • Hyatt Luau
  • Zip-lining
  • Shopping, browsing and more shopping :))
  • Beach, pool and more beach :))
  • Relaxed
  • Bickered and whined (this was more the girls than me *lol* ... there was a LOT of 24/7 family-together-time ... while you would HOPE that would lead to many "Hallmark Moments" in reality it often leads to trouble!!
Overall the happy memories and relaxing times far outweighed the more "challenging" times and I came home VERY relaxed.  Having said THAT, I'm ALWAYS happy to get home and back to my normal routines.

Now!  About stamping!  While I was away I did the usual holiday-type-thinking ... you know ... replecting on your life ... what is good about it .. what needs changing and so on.  I realized (after it took me about 4 days to catch up on some sleep and 7 days to truly unwind!) that I needed to adjust the balance (or lack-there-of) in my life.  I realized that I was spending SO many hours THINKING about stamping and my business that I was missing out on the things I wanted to be able to do by HAVING a home-based business!  I didn't have TIME to volunteer at school ... I was spending too many evenings and weekends WORKING than spending time with my family ... if I DID spend time with them I wasn't truly "present" .. always multitasking and/or my mind thinking about other things.  SO!  As happens everytime I come home from a holiday I vowed to change things.  Oh I know ... changes usually only last about as long as a New Year's resolution but so far ... in the first week ... I have already made 2 or 3 decisions that let me know that I was CHOOSING to do things rather than HAVING to do things.  IT was VERY empowering.  Case in point.  2 days ago I was supposed to go to the Belinda Elsworth seminar here in Edmonton.   Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and respect Belinda.  She has helped my business in SO many ways!  When I got the e-mail about her seminar I signed up right away ... and couldn't wait to see her in action for the second time.  Then Sunday came.  I had a WONDERFULLY relaxing Friday and Saturday, spending time with friends, family and crafting (just for FUN!).  Sunday came and I realized I didn't want to GO to the seminar!  I started getting grumpy because of course PART of me wanted to go ... and I had already paid for it ... blah, blah, blah ... but as I was showering and getting grumpier about it I stopped and realized ... I didn't HAVE to go!!!  Duh!  Hello?  Yes, I'd already paid for it - so what?!  That's a sunk cost!  IT's paid for whether you go or not!  I wanted to stay home, craft with the girls and make Cake Pops.  So I DID!!!  OMG!  It felt SO amazing to make that little decision!!!  I made a few others in the last week that felt equally as good!  I've given myself permission NOT to do everything every other Stampin' Up! Demonstrator is doing .. it's OK not to earn the crusie I really wanted to earn ... I realzed that the return on investment just wasn't worth the cost of my time to the family.  So things have changed.  I am working smarter, not harder now and hope that I can maintain it.  Wanna see what I did to HELP myself maintain it?  I made what I call a "Today I Choose ..." Journal.  It's like the popular Gratitude Journals you hear about all the time (but frankly I could never keep that going ... after about day 16 I think I'd be stretching for decent things to be thankful for !!)  So this is a picture of what I created:
Isn't it pretty?  I just love it!  Originally it started out as a project I wanted to make with Rebecca, my eldest daughter.  I saw the idea on Pinterest ... a lady created a journal whereby her and her daughter wrote letters to each other in the journal and then left it under the others' pillow.  It was their form of communication.  I thought it was a lovely idea ... but then I realized Rebecca and I still talk about EVERYTHING.  I'm sure one day ... when she's in her teens ... she might be embarrassed to talk about certain subjects and at that point I will bring up that idea ... but in the meantime we just created these.  What I plan to do every day is to write a positive thought, affirmation and/or "choice" for the day.  I've only done it for 2 days but so far I found it really starts the day off on a positive note.  My first day was "I CHOOSE to eat healthy today".  Today's was "I CHOOSE to have a healthy work / life balance today".  Other ideas will be "I choose to smile today" ... "I'm beautiful WITHOUT makeup" ... "Today I choose to focus on ME" and so on.  I'm encouraging Rebecca to come up with positive affirmations to help her with her self confidence "I am smart" ... "I am kind" ... "I am silly" ... "I can do anything I put my mind to" and so on.  I decorated a few of the pages inside ... and will do more when I want to stamp "freely":

I think it's such a fun idea!  So ... just some details about the book itself ... I bought a 5 x 8 journal at Home Sense.  It is a hard cover.  I covered it with some retired Attic Boutique paper (SO pretty!) using Modge Podge.  I then just started playing!  I grabbed my Artisan Embellishmant Kit that is in the new mini (page 10 - $11.95) I used a sponge to color the doiley in Baja Breeze Ink.  I grabbed my Pop-Up Posies Designer Kit (also in the mini - page 18 - $15.95 for the embossed tag that I stamped with Soft Suede one of the sentiments from "From My Heart" (page 139 of the main catty - $35.95 clear; $48.95 Wood) - it's perfect!  "The secret to life is enjoying the passing of time".  LOVE IT!  I then used more items from the Artisan Kit to decorate it.  A little Bakers Twine and a Tea Time Trinket (mini - page 3 - $7.95) as well as a little key (I used one I bought in Hawaii).  I added a few pearls here and there and then used my Spritzer Tool to spritz some Soft Suede all over it (you can see it very well in the photo.  That was it - I just "went with the flow" and love how it turned out.  I highly encourage you to make one .. for whatever purpose!  It's just fun to "play" with no particular reason required and no particular deadline to meet.  Just do it for YOU and for FUN!!!

That's it for now.  Pop back again soon to check out the cute little card I made for my friend who watched my pup while we were away.  Until then ... have a stampy night!



  1. I love your "I choose to...journal"; what a great idea! Sometimes we get so caught up with reaching our "goals" we forget to take note of what's happening around us. I'm a SU demonstrator too although more of a hobbyist. I was doing three events per month and was going to add more but then my husband passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly Nov 2011; he was only 66! We were both retired and many times I "couldn't" do something because I needed to cut card stock or something! So I'm really glad you've taken a step back and "choose" to spend time with your beautiful family. I like your blog and the cards you make but if you can't post every day so be it. We like your work; well be back. God bless.

  2. Awwww ... Ellen! Are you trying to make me cry??? Thank you SO MUCH for your post!! Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts and I'm so sorry for your loss :( Yes, so often we lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing ... and what is most important in life. I'm so grateful that every now and then I get a kick upside the head to straighten me out and help me to re-focus. I'm definately putting the "large rocks" in the glass this month before the sand ... and I hope if I ever get the mix "wrong" again someone or something will give me that kick. Thank you so much for your comment. You made my heart smile :))