2015 Vision Board | Renewed Hope, Letting My Walls Flower

2015-board

In my last post, I said goodbye to 2014 and set out to embrace 2015 with a courageous and open heart.  I was finally feeling a tug to make a vision board for the year, and when one of my favorite friends said she’d be stopping by to share a cup of coffee, I pulled out a few things so we’d have the option to each make one if the moment was right.

The Keurig was stocked, the apartment was clean and felt nice and light, candles were lit and the supplies were set out.  Nothing too fancy, but magazines, glue sticks, scrapbook paper, a sweet embossing kit my mom gifted me, and tape.

I’d recently read an article about being the kind of friend who is a mood elevator…someone you want to be around, who leaves you feeling refreshed and optimistic.  I decided I wanted to be that kind of friend this year, and that kind of wife and mother as well.

The soundtrack to our session was Melody Gardot. A year or so after coming across her music on Spotify, I’m still hooked.  Seriously add her to your Spotify/Pandora or Soundcloud mix!

After this experience, I’m convinced making vision boards is something that is made better with a good friend.  The conversation is just enough of a welcome distraction that you don’t have time to over think everything you’re cutting out.  No space for over-analysis!

We added a few embossed touches when we were nearly finished. I added the black butterflies, flower and leaves you see in my photo.  The “You’re Invited” stamp symbolizes the opportunity I have to make the most of my time in this life.  She embossed out the word “P R E S E N T” at the top of her board.  I wish I had snapped a photo!

When my board was complete, I hadn’t taken it all in just yet.  I began to look over the phrases and images, and couldn’t help but notice “hope” was on the board twice.  Not just “hope”, but “renewed hope,” in fact.  There was also “reclaim her free spirit”, “let your walls flower”, “walls have nothing to be shy about” and “live with optimism”.  Something that stood out to my friend was “because I want to, not because I have to”.  I later shared the board on social media and multiple friends immediately went to that phrase as well.  It’s a timely reminder for many of us, to recognize how blessed we really are.

We talked about how life, at times, seems to whirl by.  Especially when it comes to looking back on the younger years spent raising little ones. We thought about the time that was already gone, and how we were more than the moments we’d missed.  A song playing at the time mentioned “pieces of the dream left behind,” and oh how that made us pause.

I can’t say enough about how good it felt to connect with her and look ahead together.

If you make a vision board, I’d love to see it! If you have a word of the year, or verse of the year, please do share it with us! Either in the comments below, on Instagram, Twitter or my Facebook page.

Love,

Laura

Saying Goodbye to 2014: Celebrating Wins and Acknowledging Challenges

Hello there! Before I jump in, just wanted to let you know I’ve posted three videos over on my YouTube channel since my last post here in this space.  

Each January, I get just a little excited about creating a fresh vision board for the New Year.  I love setting goals, picking a “word of the year” and challenging myself creatively.  Even if it seems a little cliché, I enjoy the exercise and tradition of it all.  I use this space as a place to check-in on my goals, have reminders for our core value words and tape my board somewhere I can see it daily.

A look back at my 2014 board.  2015 board reveal coming soon!

A look back at my 2014 board. 2015 board reveal coming soon!

All that said, I’m still settling into a new normal/new routine since my car accident last summer that changed my health and perspective in so many big and sometimes scary ways.  When it came time to break out my magazines and art supplies for a 2015 board, I noticed I had quite a different attitude about the process.

I was surprised at the range of emotions that popped into my head as I sat down to begin a new board.  To be frank, I had to move through some pretty negative thoughts.  I didn’t even want to look back at my 2014 board.  I thought to myself, “I had no idea what a rollercoaster 2014 would turn out to be…the emotional and physical pain that would become a part of my ‘new normal’…the feelings of intense sadness and anxiety that would come along with the unwelcome experiences….and how difficult it was to express what I was going through to family and friends.”  I wanted to “forget” the tough moments from the year, and I wanted to throw away the whole vision board/goal setting process.

But, I knew if I wanted to continue to grow and stay O P E N and J O Y F U L instead of closed and negative, I needed to keep going. I needed to choose L O V E, F A I T H, and M I R A C L E S. I don’t want to become jaded and brace myself for the worst; I want to be spontaneous with a sunny outlook on life.  I love the phrase “momentum is the key to longevity” because it rings so true! We must continue to stretch and reach and grow.  To pick ourselves up, be gentle and forgiving with ourselves and others, and keep going.

Without further ado, let’s take a look back so we can declare 2014 C O M P L E T E and get on with the business of making my 2015 board the best one yet. These questions are via the fabulous Kelly Rae; you can read her post saying goodbye to 2013 here if you’re interested.

  1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2014?(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)What a year! In looking back through the posts from 2014, I was once again so thankful to have the time and space to document the many baby steps and big leaps I was blessed to take in 2014. Here’s a quick look month-by-month:Januaryappeared on Lowcountry Live to talk about (guess what?!) Vision Boards (link here to the post and clip). Began to live with intention when interacting with strangers. Many incredible things happened with this simple shift! Painted my “World Traveler” sculpture from Kelly’s workshop and made a video of the process. Started a monthly book club gathering as we learned about Core Values together (met through May 2014 and grew so much)

    clay-cover-youtube

    February –  Led a vision board session at Center For Women, created a vegan cheesecake video on YouTube, a vegan soap video, plus my held first ever art sale with a Valentine’s theme. Also continued the yoga practice I began in January, meeting a friend for Saturday sessions and going other days when I could.

    Center for Women Vision Board Workshop...

    Center for Women Vision Board Workshop…

    MarchWrote/shared about working through life changes after our cross-country trip and new dynamics in our family. Went to a Fashion Show and made a crafty video about upcycling candy boxes.

    diy-before-after
    AprilBreakthroughs and thanks to so many of you for reaching out after my March post about climbing out of sadness, and, a video about organic beauty loves.

    MayExperimented with vegan bread recipes and made a fun video with one of our favorite new recipes.
    vegan bread recipe

    JuneCreated digital downloads in my Etsy shop of several watercolor works, set an intention to give away something each week (either online or offline).
    newlistings

    JulyTook myself on a date and shared my experience in this post/video. Said goodbye for now to a dear friend who moved to Bend, Oregon.
    chsvlog

    AugustPerfected a Plum Sorbet recipe, completed several DIY projects including a cute blanket, created a deck of Watercolor Encouragement Cards for two sweet friends.

    Septembera low point in the year with neck/back pain (prayers went up for gratefulness). It was the perhaps the longest stretch without a post on this blog.  Gave myself permission to rest and work through the sadness.

    OctoberBegan to re-emerge and played with make-up and décor to brighten the days. Finally wrote a little about the accident to continue with the healing process.
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    November Received much encouragement from my sister and followed her prompting to create a monthly favorites video over on YouTube.

    DecemberContinued to heal and was able to craft several holiday gifts as long as I rested often. Signed a contract to build a new home…a dream come true and answer to much prayer. Posted three videos to YouTube and ended the year at nearly 50,000 views and 500 subscribers (thank you!)

  2. What is there to grieve about 2014?
    (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)  
    I feel like I covered a lot of this in the introduction to this post. The scariest parts of the year were related to my accident and taking the huge baby step of driving again after being hit so hard. Though I am forever changed, I refuse to stay stuck or scared.  I’m getting stronger every day and commit to remaining courageous in faith and action.  I forgive myself for feeling depressed, discouraged and defeated at times. My faith will not be destroyed!

  3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?
    The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2014 complete!” How do you feel? If you don’t feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say…
    Thank you, each of you, for loving and encouraging me this year! I’m stronger than I was 12 months ago, and am truly looking forward to sharing 2015 with you.  In just a few months, we’ll be moving into our new home and continuing our pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.  We commit to living generously, spontaneously and with much love and compassion.  I suppose it’s time for me to make my 2015 board!InnerFireEtsy

Holiday Updates and Three New Videos to Share…

Hi friends,

I hope you’re savoring the holiday moments sprinkled throughout the days and cool evenings as Christmas approaches! In my spare moments I’ve been crafting, wrapping and shipping, but being careful to leave time for rest as my neck and back continue to heal.   I’m so glad my doctor felt prompted to tell me to start early, shop online and give myself extra grace this holiday season.  The last gift is being mailed this afternoon, and the last two projects are near complete.  If she hadn’t encouraged me to approach this Christmas with care, I wouldn’t have been so mindful of doing so.  She was my Christmas angel.

I’ve also been processing recent events, as I regain my health and strength.  I’m reminded of Glennon Melton, when she says that life is brutiful.  I’m thankful to be here and to be able to watch as something beautiful can take root, knowing all is being woven together for good.

I’ve been careful with my time spent online, so most of it has gone towards making videos for my YouTube channel.   As the year comes to a close, I am celebrating the fabulous little community we have over there, approaching 500 people.  I am also so very thankful for approaching the 50,000 video views milestone!

Here are three videos I’ve uploaded since my last blog post.  I hope you enjoy.

Favorite 2015 Monthly Planners under $15 (YouTube link here for those on mobile)

How to Organize and Declutter Kitchen Cabinets (YouTube link here for those on mobile)

Lastly, my November Favorites (link is here).


Christmas blessings…

Monthly Favorites {October 2014} Beauty, Healthy, DIY

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It feels so wonderful to be making videos again over on my YouTube channel.  With the car accident and changes in my workload, I had to put a few passion projects on hold, but am excited to report that I was able to carve out a little block of time one afternoon this week to create a new video.  At my sweet sister’s suggestion, this is my first “Monthly Favorites” format.  I’m loving this approach, since the category leaves plenty of room for an eclectic mix of products/projects/recommendations.

Click here to watch over on YouTube or via the preview below.  I’m passing along links to the items mentioned as well.

Thank you for watching, and for all of your love!