CREATIVITY AND MOTHERHOOD

Something on my mind lately (well, more than usual?) is how motherhood is changed by being a creative, an artist, one compelled to create by the God-given talents pent up inside that must. get. out. For us, being creative isn’t an option, something we can shelve for later, less busy times. We actually go crazy if we can’t create in some fashion.

So if we must create, and we have these tiny people depending on us, along with the million other aspects that come along with being a wife and mother, where do we find that time? How do we find or change our creative outlets to work in 5 minute increments in between laundry and dinner?

On a related note, where do we find other moms that have this same drive to create? Other moms that have this weird thing about aesthetically pleasing homeschool curriculum/youtube videos and when they aren’t anywhere to be found, create some.

What about raising kids that are free to be as creative as we are ourselves? And how do you keep sane with the *ahem* mess *ahem* that tiny artists make?

 

I have so much more to say about all this.

I want to bring a little focus here on my blog, bringing you along with my journey as I figure some of this out. I would like to interview other artists raising artists, and foster a sense of community among us artists mums, even though we are spread across the world.

Please let me know what you’d like to see in this space, and how I can help you!

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AFFORDABLE LIFE // MAY THEME

Is it weird to do a post just introducing the month’s theme? Is it weird to have a theme? You’ll have to let me know.

This month, I want to write about affordable everything. Affordable beauty, wellness, and lifestyle. I do wish I could have come up with a better theme title than “affordable” because that just sounds boring. But it’s a good one, so I just went with it.

I’ll be bringing  you some posts with my fave beauty hacks and dupes, how to do healthy living on a budget. I’ve got some killer posts lined up on wardrobe culling and refreshing with a tiny budget, and some fun things you can do with your family for free or almost free.

Hope you guys enjoy! xoxo

 

 

Side notes: I’m trying to actually get my newsletter going! I’m planning on sending one out once or twice a month, a magazine-style. I’ll include favorite posts, links and great stuff I’ve found. If you want to get in on it, sign up below!

 

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INSPIRED WORDS NO. 9

 

Just a little note, I’m starting up a newsletter, finally, I hope?! I’ve had the list in place for a while but I’d like to send you guys a magazine-style newsletter once or twice a month, with some of my favorite things and posts! If you’d like to sign up, just use this form! 



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DRY SPELL // WHAT TO DO WHEN THE CREATIVE FOUNTAIN DRIES UP

dry spell, creativity, inspiration, tips

For us creatives, we rely on the fountain of ideas to keep us going. We need inspiration and beauty and that indescribable thing that charges us. Sometimes, though, the fountain dries up. We’re not a raging stream of ideas anymore, we’re a dried up parched desert.

I’ve been going through a bit of this lately. I want to create, but I’m just totally lacking inspiration. It’s the artist version of writer’s block. And it’s absolutely zero fun. But if you’re an artist, you know you have to create. It’s just in your DNA. So what to do when there’s just nothing there?

These are some of the things that have helped me push through when it’s hard to create. I’m still working through the end of this dry spell, an while I know it won’t be my last, it helps to know I’ve learned some strategies for next time.

 

Try a new medium

Sometimes, it’s your typical medium that’s stagnating you. If you’re a painter, try embroidery. If you’re a knitter, try sketching famous artworks. Get yourself a 40% off Michael’s coupon and buy new art supplies that you’ve never tried. A new medium is challenging and inspiring and will usually help you push through that dry spell.

Dive into Instagram feeds

You might just need a little creativity-envy to get yourself going. Find the people in your field that are pushing themselves and innovating. Allow yourself to soak it all in to be able to formulate your own ideas and spin. Please take note, however: it’s okay to be inspired by fellow creatives, but always always always give credit to them, and for the love of all that is good in this world, do not copy everything they do. Use it as inspiration, but you still have to be you. 

Get out of the house

This can be as simple as a trip to Starbucks & Target, or a day trip to indie coffee shops and art museums. Getting yourself in a new environment, even for a little while, is always a good boost to creativity, or at least your attitude.

Make a creativity ritual

Sometimes, it’s a matter of tricking our brains into thinking we aren’t in a dry spell. One of the best ways you can do this is with a ritual. Always create in the same spot, with the same drink, the same album on repeat, and the same diffuser blend running. Habit is a powerful thing.

Or, switch it up

If your creativity ritual has been working for a long time but suddenly isn’t doing it for you anymore, switch it up. Turn everything on its head. Move to a new spot, pick an album you’ve never listened to before. Choose scents you don’t normally gravitate towards, and drink iced coffee instead of a latte.

Do some yoga

Or whatever exercise you like. I like yoga for creativity, because it pushes you, but not in a “all I can concentrate on is how heavy this weight is” kind of way. Your mind still has space to reflect and brainstorm. I actually keep a notebook nearby when I practice, because I tend to get loads of ideas during a flow!

Keep a journal

This can be any type of journal – it doesn’t have to be the typical middle school “my day play-by-play.” Or it can be, whatever floats your boat. You can art journal, write responses to your devotions, do stream-of-consciousness writing, or journal your yoga practice. Pick a gorgeous notebook and just do it.

Buy some magazines

Get whatever you find beautiful and inspiring. I tend to love fashion mags, but food magazines can be just as inspiring. Or splurge and get a gorgeous indie mag like Kinfolk or Collective Hub that begs to be left out on a coffee table. Sit down with a huge stack and some coffee and prepare to soak it all in. Pay attention to anything and everything that grabs you – even if it’s not normally “you.”

Push through it

Push. Through. The. Block. Don’t just give up and decide to only work when you feel like it. Working when you’re blocked tends to force you out of your comfort zone, which is sometimes exactly what you need. I for one can say a lot of my best ideas and favorite work has come from a time when I was pushing through a dry spell.

 

 

 

Tell me what you do

How do you get through the dry spells? Have any tricks for me to try? Please do let me know in the comments – I’ll take any and all advice! And please do let me know if any of these tips worked for you!

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HACKING WHOLE30 // CREATING A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

Whole30 is intended to be a 30-day “reset” of bad eating habits. I’ve had such amazing changes in my health, however, that I decided to stick with it for…wait for it…a year. Yep, I’m probably insane. Even if I’d not decided to stick with Whole30, I’d be staying Paleo, because I feel like this diet style gives me the best chance at healing my gut from food intolerances. I’m in it for the long haul, because the type of repair I’m talking about takes years to happen. Since I’m also trying to lose weight, the extra restrictions of no alcohol and no added sugars have been helping give me an edge.

But, being on a restrictive diet for extended periods of time is a total drag. I had a mental showdown over a pack of Pop-Tarts yesterday. So if what you intended to be a short-term thing and turn it into a lifestyle, you’re going to need some hacks.

*Note: If you’re just doing Whole30 for, you know, 30 days, you should just stick with it through the thick and thin, and go back to normalcy afterwards. It’s really worth it, and I did complete the first 30 days sans any hacking.

whole30, hacks, lifehacking, life hacks

HACK 1 // KEEP IT SIMPLE

If you’re usually a “bowl of cereal and go” kind of girl, Whole365 will get super old, super fast. ALL THAT COOKING GOSHHHHHHHHHH. And I usually like to cook! But not for every meal.

Have 2 or 3 breakfasts and lunches that are easy to make, and then switch once you get bored. You’ll get used to making them quickly, and your wallet will thank you too.

HACK 2 // FIND A BREAD RECIPE

I use the term bread incredibly loosely, because you honestly can’t make bread without bread ingredients. (Insert crying laughing emoji) But sometimes you just need carbs gosh darn it. I love this AIP flatbread recipe, and it’s my go-to. AIP is a great search term for Pinterest, btw! It stands for Auto-Immune Protocol. It’s a diet used to help heal inflammatory illnesses, and the recipes will usually be compliant!

Yes, I know on Whole30 you aren’t supposed to have things like “bread” or “smoothies. Basically, you aren’t supposed to replicate the foods that are banned. So this one would be one to skip if you’re just doing Whole30 for the 30 day period. But this topic leads me to the next hack…

HACK 3 // IF THE INGREDIENTS ARE WHOLE30, SO IS THE FOOD

Okay, right off the bat, this hack is only for those of you doing this as a lifestyle. It defeats the purpose if you throw out all the rules. (Including the newly added “no chips” rule.) Bear with me here. The whole point of the rules is to get you out of addictive or destructive food habits, and reset your intentions with eating.

BUT. If you’re doing this as a lifestyle, you’re going to have to go places and live your life. Smoothies are sometimes your best or only option when eating out. Sometimes you’re hungry and guess what! There are plain potato chips at the party and it’s the only thing remotely okay to have! Eat. The. Chips.

I have two mornings a week that are busy and rushed. A smoothie is my easiest option to make sure I actually get to eat. It’s packed with protein and fruit, I never hit the hanger phase, win win.

HACK 4 // HAVE A GO-TO TO-GO OPTION

When I’m packing a lunch for myself, it’s always a giant bowl of salad, topped with a can of tuna, an avocado (yep, the whole thing), smoked salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Simple, quick to make, and I also don’t eat it at home so I don’t get bored.

HACK 5 // HAVE NON-NEGOTIABLE TREATS ON HAND

You have to have some fun and enjoyment in life. Again, if you’re doing this for just 30 days, you might not want to adopt this hack. But LIVE YOUR LIFE.

Frankly, I’m astonished I’ve survived this long without daily chocolate. Part of that is owed to the fact I buy dried dates and SunButter every week. They never get booted from my budget or my grocery list. I buy more as soon as I run out. I do ration them to last the whole week though.

Maybe it’s your daily La Croix, maybe it’s your kombucha. (Or both. I won’t judge.) Whatever brings you joy slash keeps you from eating your husband’s Pop-Tarts.

HACK 6 // KNOW WHERE YOU CAN EAT A BURGER AND FRIES

This is one of the easiest things to get when you’re away from home, and it helps to know where you’re safe. Lettuce wrap, tomato, burger. You can add other condiments too, pickles are okay I think? Maybe mustard? I don’t know about that, sorry, guys. I’ve always been a no-condiment girl, and yes, Luke does think I’m nuts.

Okay, you can get a burger AND fries at: In-N-Out, Del Taco, Freddy’s, and Five Guys. Five Guys does use peanut oil, so you can make your own decision there.

You can get a burger by itself at: Burger King, Carls Jr/Hardees, Wendy’s, and Jack-In-The-Box. 

HACK 7 // HAVE (VERY) RARE CHEAT DAYS

Last but not least, you will have times you want to cheat. That. Is. Okay. If you’re celiac, you’ll quickly learn that cheating doesn’t mean all-you-can-eat pizza buffets. I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago and still regretting it. So for me, cheating looks like sushi or the gluten and dairy free pizza at Pieology.

Cheating is sometimes just having a little added sugar or eating mostly compliant foods. For instance, a cashew roasted in peanut oil (or the aforementioned Five Guys fries) isn’t compliant, but sometimes it’s your best option for on-the-go protein. Grace, people. And again, I’m talking about rare occasions. But don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s just food. :)

Have a piece of cake at your kid’s birthday party. Let your husband treat you to sushi. Eat a taco, because TACOS. Just not all the time, or even a regular cheat day once a month. Spread it out, be judicious, and pick only the things that bring you the most joy.

Me? I’m “saving up” for the Night Market, which is an Asian street food festival. Sushi Burrito, I’m coming for you.

 

What are your hacks?

Since I’m doing this for a while, I’d love to hear what you guys do to keep yourself sane!

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UPLIFT // MINDFUL RECHARGE WORKSHEET

I’m in a period of recharging right now: recharging my energy levels, and recharging my creativity. Sometimes creative people just go through these dry spells, it’s probably unavoidable. I’m writing more on that now, actually, and I hope what I’ve been learning will help you guys!

 

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness sounds fancy, or woo-woo, but it’s just paying attention and being aware of the thing in front of you. Pay attention to the moment you’re in. Be aware of what makes you feel a certain way, and how you can change things if need be.

Mindful recharge

In this case we’re talking about recharging. But first, let’s look at what drains you? Take a good look at everything that “has” to get done each day, and evaluate if it really does belong on your list. Maybe something you think “has” to get done is just your expectation but not an essential. Those overfull to-do lists are a huge drain!

On the flip side, what recharges you? What fires you up to get that list done? What makes your creativity come alive? It’s so important for your sanity that you try to incorporate more of what makes you come alive. This doesn’t mean shirking responsibilities or even throwing everything aside that needs to be done. But you should make a mindful and conscious effort to do things every single day that make you come alive.

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A worksheet for mindfulness

I created this worksheet to bring awareness to what drains and what recharges you. Fill it out and take stock of what needs to stay and what needs to go. And I’d suggest filling it out a few weeks later to see if you’ve made progress! And here’s a favorite quote to send you on your way…

 

Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

 

xoxo

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UPLIFT // MINDFUL OF REST

Guys, I was doing so well. I had two weeks of blog posts written ahead of time, and then I ran out. lol. I’ve been scrambling to write the last few days’ worth of posts and get them out on time, but today’s post just wasn’t happening. I’m making an awesome worksheet, but it’s just not done yet. I didn’t want to rush it and have it not be what I was imagining.

SO. All that to say I’m being mindful of when I need to rest and when I need to bust through a rut and push. Today is a day for rest. Rest from work, at least. I cleaned my kitchen, I did loads of school with my kids. Seeley told me the same story (which involves lots of screaming, for some reason) about a thousand times.

Tonight, after the kids go to bed, I’m going to get going again. I’m a night owl, so I work best at night. I have a slew of new posts I want to write for you guys, and I’m already fired up even after just this small rest. I hope you enjoy what I have coming!

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