July 30, 2014

Is Vulnerability Worth It?

I don't like looking foolish. 

I go to great lengths to avoid it. Unfortunately I have the gift of naivety which often works against keeping myself from looking foolish.

When I fail at something big (like relating badly, costing someone lots of time or money), I feel especially vulnerable. My instinct is to try to hide it or better yet, blame someone else. 

In those moments I'm caught at a crossroads, I must attempt to lie my way out or put down my pride and get real honest.

I wish I could say I always chose the latter; I don't. I find myself wanting to take the easier way out. But I've been practicing vulnerability (as Brene Brown says) and learning how to de-activate the walls that spring up in the moment of naked truth.

When I feel that surge of panic, the "I'm going to die if someone sees the real me" feeling, I stop. Then take a breath and ask myself what's going on.

Most often the root of my terror is based in old lies.

The lies of "I'm not good enough" "No one will love me" or "I will never be understood or listened to".  All of those lies get bigger when I believe them. But when I'm able to address it and trace it back to one of these wrong beliefs, I can start telling the truth. I am good enough. I am loved. I am understood and listened to.

But I still have to face consequences of disappointing the people I've failed. 

I have to take ownership of my wrong choices. I have to realize the ones I disappointed might even choose to leave me.

But to believe that I will never be good enough or loved, or understood or listened to is a big jump from disappointing someone.

So I am practicing vulnerability. 

It has been excruciating, but I'm learning the more I do it, the less hard it is to do. I'm finding that being vulnerable when I fail helps to heal those relationships better than blame or denial. The truth is, they could see my lie a mile away; I was fooling myself to think otherwise.

Vulnerability is beautiful because it offers an open hand of relationship to someone, allowing them to take it, and honestly...it's totally worth the risk.

What do you think, is vulnerability worth it?

July 28, 2014

Peach Yogurt and Strawberry Popsicles

Peaches and summer go hand in hand. Mom used to make a die-for-delicious peach homemade ice-cream that was a staple of summer. Since I'm not an ice-cream maker, I thought I'd add peach to a popsicle creation.

I love Greek yogurt so I started with peach yogurt, although you could add fresh peaches to vanilla yogurt if you wanted (yum!). 

I added strawberries because peaches and strawberries are a heavenly pair.

I allowed the popsicles to sit overnight till good and frozen. If you're wondering, yes, I had one for breakfast; hey, it's YO-GURT. Plus, I knew once the kids saw them, they'd be gone, so I grabbed while the getting was good.

Do you have a favorite popsicle flavor or recipe?

July 25, 2014

Mini-Style: 7 items, 12 outfits

Looking at the photo above, you might be thinking there were more items in the second summer capsule post and that there should be 25 outfits.

You would be right, I said I would have 25 outfits and I was promptly reminded of why I shouldn't promise anything that I don't already have finished.

My sister and I set aside time for photographing outfits. It was perfect. We got it all done in record time!

Then I got home and perfect disappeared.

Somewhere between her house and mine, half of the photos on my memory card got lost. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the operator *coughs*.

So sadly, today I only have 12 outfits to show you instead of the planned 25. It's the thought that counts, right? *Cheshire cat smile* If you'd like to see June's mini-style (which DID have 25 outfits) go here.

This month's set was a more casual grouping but I knew that's how I'd want it in July, simple and breezy.

July 23, 2014


Last week my kids were with Grandparents for their yearly "cousin camp"; so my brother, sister and I got together for "sibling camp". We had a lot of fun catching up and hanging out! I came back rejuvenated and inspired to paint ~ these girls are the result.

She was in the business of capturing stories. 

She was about to discover how courageous she could be.

She was finally at peace with herself.

I hope you enjoyed a few glimpses into my studio. What've you been up to lately?

July 14, 2014

Summer Capsule Wardrobe No. 2

For July's capsule, I added more tops since it's unlikely I'll need more than one cardigan during July. I have two skirts this go-around because I wanted a breezier variety for the bottom items. I'm reusing a few of the items I put in the last capsule because I love them and wear them often. After all, the point of this is to have less clothes and use the ones I have, right?

So here's the breakdown of what I'm wearing in July:
  • a wrap blouse
  • bohemian blouse
  • graphic t-shirt
  • comfy t-shirt
  • tie-die t-shirt
  • summer dress
  • pencil skirt
  • a-line skirt
  • shorts
  • cardigan
This is a more casual wardrobe for summer vacation because I know this is what I'll actually be wearing.

I'll post the 25 outfits from this set of 10 items on the last Friday of this month, July 25th.

Hope you're enjoying something beautiful about today! (I'm celebrating the front moving in this week, yay for lower temperatures!)

July 11, 2014

5 Cheap Family/Date Ideas for July

Around here, July gets pretty hot. It's perfect for outdoor adventures as long as you stay hydrated and don't overheat. Here are five cheap outdoor dates for July:

1. Drive-in movie and sno-cones.

There is something super fun about seeing a movie at the drive-in ~ throwing frisbees before the previews, laying out blankets in the back of your car (or reclining in camping chairs). It's a great mix of outdoor/indoor fun. I'm a movie-lover but my husband likes the interaction of it, so sometimes a group date makes it even better. Stop by your favorite sno-cone place before going or buy from the ice-cream trucks once you're there. 

No drive-in theater in your town? No problem. Make your own little theater in the backyard like this or this. No sno-cone place nearby? No biggie, try making your own with these recipes.

2. Progressive picnic in the park.

You've heard of progressive dinners, so why not make it a progressive picnic? Have appetizers of watermelon shishkabobs by the duck pond (with some bread crust for the ducks), fried chicken by the swings and popsicles at the picnic tables.

3. Catching fireflies and star-gazing.

Remember staying out late when you were a kid with a jar and a lid poked with holes to catch fireflies? Why not do it again? Take your jar and head out of town. Find a secluded spot, pull over and see what fireflies you can catch then lay on the car hood to gaze at the stars.

4. Walk to the ice cream shop.

Take an evening stroll together to the ice cream shop. Walking + ice cream may sound like a contradiction, but you're allowed to splurge in the heat, right?

5. Evening swim or water-fight.

I love to swim. Our neighborhood pool is a lot less crowded in the evening which makes it perfect for a date swim. But if you don't have a pool or lake nearby, there's always a water-hose fight or washing the car. Have only one rule: to get as wet as possible.

What do you love doing in July?

July 7, 2014

Canvas Quilt

I absolutely love quilts. I have some of my grandmother's that our whole family fights to cuddle in. I've been wanting to try a quilt-like painting for awhile, and since we had a quiet Saturday, I made my first attempt.

I started out by penciling in a grid with sizes I'd like to work in. This may sound tedious but I enjoy graphing things.

I decided on a few colors (some of my favorites) and spotlighted them for the background of my boxes.

I pulled out my sketchbook for inspiration and began playing at it. This is as far as I got. I may leave it with some blank boxes, but I'm still thinking about it. I may want to add a few more items to it. I'm letting it sit for a few days to help me decide.

What do you think, more items or blank?

July 4, 2014

Strawberry-Lemonade Icicles

Here in the states, celebrating Independence Day often means being in the heat for long amounts of time for cookouts and fireworks. To encourage everyone to drink enough water, I thought I'd try making icicles from strawberries and lemonade.

I found this water-bottle-ice tray cheap at a dollar store which seemed perfect because you can use the ice in glasses or water bottles. Since they're long, I'm calling them icicles ~ that's what they remind me of. :) I sliced up the strawberries and arranged them pretty side up.

Then I poured lemonade over them, although you could simply use water. I like the taste of lemon in my water so I opted for lemonade.

Leave in the freezer till they're solid.

Put them in glasses or water bottles and enjoy!

I added frozen blueberries at the end for the contrast of red and blue. The flavor was slight, but the water was beautifully inviting and that always helps me drink more water!

For those of you in the states, Happy Fourth of July!

July 2, 2014

Five July Goals

June, where did you go?? Oh my goodness, that month flew by, does anyone else think so? I think that old saying is right, "time flies when you're having fun".

So let's review June's goals before getting to July.

1. Berry picking. Still. haven't. I tried to take my kids so many times this month, but it just didn't work out. I may go with a friend this coming week but since it didn't make it into June, I can't count this as done. :(

2. Decorate my house. Done! We've had so much fun getting pictures on the walls (not too many) and arranging everything into cozy minimalist arrangements.

3. Clean up and cutify the backyard. It's not backyard-barbecue ready, but it's looking much better than it did. I've removed many tree limbs and yuck, removed weeds and growths. It's made me want to paint a pattern on the patio, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...

4. Finish some new upcoming features for this blog (hint: it involves capsule wardrobes)! Did it!! Wanna see? 10 pieces, 25 outfits post. I want to try that again for July. It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed the challenge and it helped me see what clothes work better on me.

5. Swim. Yes! We had a mini-staycation, and I went swimming with my kids. It was a lot of fun! The pool wasn't too cold or too hot, it was juuust right.

Finishing four out of five ain't bad. :D

Now on to July goals:

1. Make healthy popsicles. My kids are really into popsicles this year, which is funny being that they're teenagers. But I'd like to have some healthy options in the freezer instead of sugar ones. There are so many cute recipes on Pinterest, how can I not?

2. Make another capsule wardrobe post for July. I absolutely love doing this. I love making a capsule and figuring out all the ways to wear it. A few friends have asked me to do this for them which makes me giddy with excitement!

3. Wear nail decals. For awhile my nails were growing because I was keeping Jamberry nail decals on them ~ super durable. So I want to get back to that. I have quite a few left to continue with. My nails were actually growing out until I stopped doing this (I'm a nail-biter if you didn't know).

4. Do something nice for the people who helped us during our house crisis. There were so many people that preciously helped us out during our home crisis. People who helped us with the work, and others who gave ~ food and other things. I really want to bake cookies, or have them over for dinner or something. July would be a good time for that.

5. Chalk art. Summer is the perfect time for chalk art. I want to do some cute projects around the house and outside the house with chalk this summer.

Well, that's my five. Do you have any goals for July? I'd love to hear them!

{See June's goals here and August's goals here}