Sunday, April 22, 2018

Breaking Free


There have been two times in my life when I felt as if the universe was guiding my soul and circumstances in a way that was not under my control.

The first was five years ago when I came back to drawing.

The second is happening pretty much right now as I type this, and has been ruminating for almost all of 2018 so far.


Everything feels a bit like it is floating in a holding space, between the now and the what is going to be, and I'm just waiting for the second gate to open and let me through. 

Meanwhile God is sending me some stellar growth opportunities.

That last line was written with a bit of sarcasm, because GOODNESS. I'm spent.

Now is the time when I need to admit I had gotten myself to a very cranky place. And when I say cranky I mean bitter, annoyed, frustrated...all of those emotions we are taught to hold inside, mask with a smile, work through with a few encouraging images shared from Pinterest. I've been trying that last one and it does help a bit. 

Funny thing about God and the universe is that sometimes when you are begging for mercy, it comes in the exact opposite form you were expecting. 

For me, mercy has looked like two weeks full of challenging situations...using my voice, speaking up for myself and for others, facing hard truths, and stepping into my fullest potential. 

It has been EXHAUSTING and at the same time EMPOWERING.

You feel like you are facing it all alone. And at times you are. But I've also had friends stand up for me, take my hand and say, "I'm with you," thank me for having the courage to speak up. 

I even got a "That took guts!" which I have never, ever in my life been told. 

I have guts?! 

Surely they were mistaken.

But you know what? Turns out I do. They've been in there all along. 

The five-year-old who used to hide behind her mother's legs at church. 

The early twenty something who quit more than one job because she was terrified of failure. 

The girl who dropped an art class in college because she couldn't stand anyone watching her draw. (I know, right?!

She had guts. She didn't know how to use them yet, but they were already there. 

And the funny thing about using your guts is they multiply exponentially super fast with each use. Kind of like eating Grape Nuts cereal. You take one bite, and it's replaced with two more. 

The supply just keeps building, cheering you on from the conference room, the art table, the coworker's office, the email inbox. 

I was on the treadmill yesterday morning thinking about the past few weeks and shedding a few tears, (exercise is emotional you guys) and quickly typed up this list of instructions that helped get me through...

  • Speak up
    • Even when it is hard. Especially when it is. 
  • Lean in
    • Don't run away from the hard stuff. Know that it is helping you grow.
  • Hold on
    • Tight. To whatever you know is true and good in your life. The people, the feelings, the experiences.
  • Power down
    • Rest. Relax. Do what you need to do to regroup.
  • Zone out
    • Sometimes you have to escape from all of it, even for a few minutes. That's OK! Turn off your mind, take a nap, meditate, eat a pint of ice cream. Whatever works. 

*May I suggest 4 & 5 be done appropriately with your favorite Netflix show, your comfiest pants, and whatever comfort food fits your mood at the moment. 

Here is an illustration of me powering down, you know, for visual reference.




The lesson in all of this is I'm right where I need to be. And you are too. 

Life being hard and challenging doesn't have to mean you are stuck. 

Sometimes it is giving you the opportunity to break free. 

So a little recap for us all:

  • Use those guts God gave you
  • You are not stuck
  • You are right where you need to be
  • You are breaking free

You got this.

XO,

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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

New Family Member


I'd like to introduce you to a new family member.



A new member of my fake plant family! 

Which one is new, you ask? 

I know. There are four in this photo. (I have a problem.)



That tall, white potted beauty up there. That's her. 

She came to live with us thanks to the nice folks over at Silk Plants Direct



When they offered to send me another plant to add to my ever-growing (and never dying!) collection, and I saw their awesome selection, I couldn't turn down their offer.



I'm even thinking about buying a plant stand. For my fake plants. Is that weird?

I really don't care. Because my available surfaces are getting full. And these puppies aren't going anywhere because, well, you know.  

Just call me the crazy fake plant lady. 

And if you want to join me in this fake plant craziness, you can get 10% off everything but custom orders by using code BLOGGER10! 

Brown thumbs unite!

XO,
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Photowall Product Review + Coupon!


Happy weekend friends!

I hope you are enjoying some time to rest and relax from the week behind us. I know today, for me, was deeply needed after a week full of extra work responsibilities.

My soul needed time to breathe today.


This morning I put together a lovely canvas sent to me from the folks over at Photowall. 


They offer lots of ready-made artwork, or you can upload your own for them to print, which I did for this canvas.

It was a super easy process to attach the wooden frame and screw it together.



And now I have this lovely piece of my original, hand drawn, digital artwork to display.



Thanks Photowall for this lovely piece of artwork! 

And if you would like one of your own, you can head over to their site and enjoy 20% off your purchase with code MandyFordCampaign2018

But hurry! The code is only good through April 30th! 

You can also grab this lettering piece as a print in my Etsy shop here!

XO,

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This Week in My Planner


Good morning friends! Happy Tuesday!

How is your week going so far? It is a busy one for me but I'm finding lots of reasons to be thankful, and my planner sure is one of them!

This week I decorated using printables from The Reset Girl

Goodness they are adorable! 



I was itching for some new stickers and since I didn't have somewhere to shop locally these were the best form of instant gratification!





I'm enjoying using the notes area to keep track of daily gratitudes!



SO ready for Friday! Spring break starts AND pizza night. Perfection.


I really love these little phrase strips. 



And I never forget to include my weekend morning coffee date with myself!

I didn't take the time this weekend to create a video of the process, but you can watch my first two over on my YouTube channel.

Hope you're having a fantastic week!

XO,

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

New Happy Planner Video!


Hello friends! Happy Saturday!


I did another fun little video showing how I decorated in my classic size Happy Planner this past week. If you love adding stickers and other cute embellishments to yours as much as I do, I think you'll enjoy watching my process. I really love watching how others decorate theirs and getting new ideas.




If you head over to the video on my YouTube channel, I've left details for finding the stickers I used. 


Hope you have a great weekend!




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Monday, February 26, 2018

In My Planner This Week


Happy Monday friends!

I hope you're having a great start to your week.

Mine has begun on a happier note because I set aside some time yesterday to prepare for the week in my Happy Planner! 

I have to say that since I started using a paper planner, it has really helped me focus and keep track of things. And it completely satisfies my craving for using cute stickers and washi tape, now that I don't scrapbook like I used to. I've been able to use stickers I had been hoarding for years, so I feel like I'm saving us money by not buying a ton of new ones. 

Always thinking about our budget! *wink* 



I thought it would be fun to do a video of how I decorated this week's spread, so you can check that out below!




Sending good vibes for a fantastic week!

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Living the Hygge Life



I finished my third book of 2018!

And I have A LOT to say about this one.



Holy heck do I have a lot to say.

First thing I have to say is HOOGA.

That's right - you pronounce it "hoo-ga" not "higgy" like I had been saying it in my mind for about a month.

Have you ever tried to switch up how you're pronouncing a word in you brain? Not the easiest thing. But after about a month of saying it correctly I think I'm about 85% there.

I don't have everything I want to say about this book formulated in my brain yet, but I know it will be more than one blog post. Probably multiple posts.

Because I am in absolute love with HYGGE.

So much that I started a Pinterest board.

I know this term has risen to Instagram and Pinterest fame here in the US recently, and has, dare we say, become a trend? I'm sure the Danish find that somewhat annoying considering the bulk of US culture is anything but hygge. (But we can talk about that later.)

I will say that I am not in love with hygge because it has become trendy. In fact I tend to go the opposite direction of trends in general.

The whole concept and feeling of hygge is something I was already working on integrating into my life without realizing there was a word for it.  



Everything in this photos oozes hygge to me...the soft, cozy rug, my favorite comfy shoes, and my arts supplies!

Hygge is about comfort, togetherness, feeling cozy, warm, and cared for. 

Oh, and lots of coffee and candles.


So basically my dream life. 

But not to trivialize hygge...it is so much more than a cute mug full of caramel flavored coffee and a burning candle. 

It is a complete lifestyle revolving around living, what the kids say these days, your "best life." 

It is about happiness and what truly matters. 

So I'll be back later for more on everything hygge, but for now I think I'll sip my coffee and add some more inspiration to my Pinterest boardCome hang out over there and be inspired with me!

Hope you have a cozy, happy Saturday!

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