Steller Stories – A new app for telling your story

you-matter

If you knew how much stuff I come across on the web everyday, it would make your head explode. Since I’m on the computer every single day doing work for clients as well as myself, I come across things and I have no idea how I found them. I just love looking for one thing and then you are off on a tangent following a trail to another thing. This app I’m about to share with you was one of those such moments. I believe it was a post on Instagram from this person that led me to it.

I haven’t been shy at all that I am totally in love with Instagram! It is so much more visually appealing to me than Facebook and the people I’m finding on there are so sincere. Facebook to me is getting to salesy and noisy.  Not to say that I don’t still use it but I just get so distracted by all the sidebars and it annoys me now. Instagram is single column and visual. It is clean and simple and there are no distractions. Okay I’ll get off my Instagram soap box now.  Of course I could never get on board with Twitter because I like to make connections and I just feel like I can’t keep up with the pace on Twitter. One second I see something interesting and then it is gone. It is great for celebrities but for me I just can’t do it.

Since I love Instagram so much, when I discovered Steller Stories, it just pushed me over the edge of happiness. Steller Stories is like Instagram on steroids. It is simple and visual but you get to share a series of images and/or videos bundles in to one as if you were looking at a book.

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Of course don’t let the word “book” scare you because it isn’t a 100 page book you have to read it is short images and text that are so beautifully put together. I can see so many uses for this for personal and business. I’m working on creating my first story. It seems pretty easy. Rather than go on and on about it, here is a great simple video to demonstrate.

It is a free app so check it out and if you start to or have been creating your own stories, let me know below so I can follow you.

Am I a fraud?

art-journaling

I debated whether to use that title for this blog as I’m not sure what kind of reaction that might generate. I have a confession to make. I sell journals but I haven’t journaled in quite a while. It makes me feel like a fraud sometimes or I guess a better word would be a hypocrite. I share with you all the benefits and fun journaling can be and yet I’m not doing it myself. Whew! There it is. I’ve laid down the gauntlet now. It isn’t that I don’t want to journal it is more that I’m bored with my journaling. I want something on the page to jump out at me other than just ink on a page. I need a break from just writing down my worries, thoughts, feelings, etc. I want something fun, inspiring and just plain creative. I haven’t been searching for any alternatives but recently I stumbled upon something I had forgotten.

The other day I was on Instagram, my favorite social media platform. I did a search for the hashtag “journaling”. I was blown away by all the amazing images that popped up. It was so inspiring. One in particular that was inspiring was pocketfulofvintage. I then found out she had a YouTube channel and she has these videos called Journal Flips. It is where she flips through her journal and shows you the things she’s collected through the week but she does it in such a beautiful way. It was so inspiring to me. The thing I loved the most about her videos are how she made it so tangible and that I could do it no matter how creative I am. Check out one of her videos below.

Of course I found some other great resources as well. Here are a couple of Facebook groups you can join that have a lot of art journalers:

Art Journal Junkies (**** If you wish to JOIN our group, please private message a friend who is already in the group and ask them to add you. **** You can private message me, Angee Wiser Robertson, and I’ll be happy to add you)

Journal52

I also wrote a blog post several years ago with some book recommendations if you are interested in art journaling. You can check it out here.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the art journaling. I will try to share some of what I create.

If you art journal, I’d love to know any tips or resources. Be sure to leave a comment below.

 

 

5 Tips to Enhance Your Next Vacation

travel-journal

You’ve probably never thought of using your journal while on vacation. One of the benefits of capturing your vacation is it gives you a chance to sort of have a second vacation because you can relive your trip by rereading your journal. Better yet, you can go on vacation at any time just by picking up your journal.

Here are some tips to help you enhance your travel journal during your next vacation:

  1. Plan ahead. Select a journal and pen just for this vacation. When you are selecting a journal, make sure you pick one that will work with your trip. If you are going to be hiking or doing lots of rugged activity, you will need something more compact and durable to take with you.  If you are going to be at the beach, you might want something a little more water proof like a leather or vinyl cover. Also pick a journal that inspires you to write.
  2. Set an intention for your writing frequency. Because you will not be in your normal environment, it is helpful to establish some type of ritual for “when” you will journal. You could start the day with writing a brief plan for the day. Then, throughout the day jot notes about a special meal, write while en route to a mini-destination, or draw a quick sketch of a special person. In the evening you can expand on the details of the day.
  3. Pick a subject or topic. You are going to be experiencing so many things that you might have sensory overload and won’t know where to begin. Choosing a topic will help you to focus on one thing and capture all your thoughts.
  4. Make it visual. Sometimes a picture or drawing is worth a thousand words. Be sure to leave blank spaces in your journal as you write so you can add photographs, menus, postcards, brochures, maps etc. Draw sketches of places you want to remember.
  5. Sum it all up. Be sure at the end of your trip to give yourself time to write down your overall experience of the trip. Record your favorite memories, your biggest challenges and anything else you don’t want to forget.

I hope these tips were helpful. If you have any great tips to share regarding a travel journal, feel free to leave a comment below.

Do you over-apologize?

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The other day I was on a team meeting call with one of my clients and I was asked by the team a question and as I was going to my computer to pull up the answer, it was taking a few minutes to pull up the information. I stated, “sorry my computer is taking a minute.” My client sweetly answered that there was no need for me to apologize and then she shared with me this video…

So what did you think? Do you find yourself over-apologizing? I know I certainly did. I think it is a combination of being raised in the south and also the fact that when I apologize I’m coming from a place of acknowledging the person and wanting to make them seen and heard. I want to be courteous of them and their space. It did get me to thinking though. Does that mean I need to shrink and hide when in the presence of others? I certainly don’t hear them apologizing back most of the time. I’m going to try and consciously stop apologizing and see what the outcome will be. Want to join me? Leave a comment below and we’ll check back in to see how it is going.

Journal Conversations – Listen in to the world of journaling

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About a month ago on Facebook, I asked the following question, “If I were to interview avid journalers, what questions would you want me to ask? What would help inspire you to either journal or do more journaling?” There were some great responses and I’m excited to announce that we are doing our first interview.

I hope these interviews inspire you to explore the world of journaling if you aren’t already journaling or if you already journal you will find some new tips, techniques or inspirations.

For our first interview, I will be speaking with Kathy Butryn. Kathy participated in a contest I ran a few months ago where she won one of our Sheic Journals. She wrote me the most amazing note thanking me and sharing how she was using her journal, which you can read all about it here. We formed a fast friendship and I learned what an avid journaler she is. I wanted to know more so when it came time to do the interviews, she was the first person I called upon.

The call has taken place but you can sign up for the recording below. Complete the registration form below and you will be sent the link to the recording.

 

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Learn more about our guest:

kathy-butryn-2As a speaker, trainer, writer and life coach professional, and drawing from her years of experience creating and delivering leadership learning experiences in Canada and the USA for a global corporation, Kathy assesses the needs of ministry leaders and teams, then creates and facilitates customized and practical training experiences in areas such as leadership, soul care, building an intentional life, personal spiritual growth, time management, communication, change management and building a team.

When she isn’t traveling and speaking, you will find Kathy at home where she loves to nest (aka rearrange furniture!) read, write, journal, or share a cup of tea with a friend.

Kathy and her husband Alan live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where together they enjoy their grown kids coming home for their traditional Monday Night Family Night dinner, spending time with their grandkids, and serving together at Bridletowne Park Church where Alan is the Senior Pastor.

 

The Ultimate Pick of Inspiring Magazines

favorite-magazines

When I was in junior high school (now called “middle school”), I took a course called career wheel. Each semester we would rotate to a different class and learn about a career or topics regarding career. One of my semesters I spent working in the library. Sounds boring to many but for an awkward, shy girl like myself, it was one of the most memorable moments during that time of my life. It is where I first read the book, Diary of Anne Frank, and discovered that Little House on the Prairie wasn’t just a TV show but was actually a series of books written by the real life Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Okay now that I’ve massively dated myself, I’ll continue. Something else I feel in love with was the periodicals section. I loved looking at all the magazines and especially magazines I had never heard of before. Not only did I get to see all the teen magazines as they came out but I also got to engross myself in the adult magazines. I’ve always had a fascination with the magazine industry and I even toyed with my own magazine at one point.

Now that we’re in the digital age, there are some amazing magazines that have come out. Don’t get me wrong I also love my print magazines. I thought I would share three of my favorites with you. I picked these magazines because they didn’t go down the same beaten path of fashion, food or male problems. These magazines are inspiring and chock full of positive information I can apply to myself and I find that I read each of them cover to cover.  Without further adieu, let me introduce you.

Where Women Create Business

I was at Hobby Lobby one day and came across the sister magazine Where Women Create. I purchased it and devoured it. The magazine was chock full of inspiring stories of other creatives. I couldn’t put it down and was sad to find out that they only publish four issues a year. Jump ahead a few years and they decided to add this sister publication, Where Women Create Business. Of course I pre-ordered the first issue and was in love! I couldn’t believe how much better this magazine was than Where Women Create. It is most likely because it focuses more on business but it still has some great stories of other creatives making their mark. It has great business advice and it comes from a different angle than most. I can’t recommend it enough. It cost more than your average magazine but it is so worth it and it is something you will want to collect because it is so beautifully laid out. I use my past issues as coffee table decor.

CUPCAKEMAG

This is a digital magazine I stumbled across when I had finished reading Matchbook Magazine and there was a suggested reading list of other magazines. One of the reasons I love this magazine is that it combines motherhood, entrepreneurship and everyday living all in one. Now usually the motherhood topic alone would turn me off not that I have an aversion to it, I’m just not into making everything about babies. This magazine does it tastefully and I find myself reading their articles or looking at the products even though I don’t have children, at least not here with me. I’m still new to this magazine but so far I really love it.

Matchbook Magazine

I’m not sure how I came across this magazine but it is one of my all time favorites. I look forward to it each month and am so sad when I finish the last page but this one is published monthly so I don’t have to wait too long. They do an amazing job of featuring stories of other creatives and they cover some great finds and trends. I also had the pleasure of hearing one of the co-founders, Katie Armour, speak at The Southern C Summit this year. She is so much fun and just a spit fire. This magazine is free so you have nothing to lose picking up your copy.

How I changed my marriage with this one simple action I put in to place that also saves me time & money

Weekly Meal Planning

A few weeks ago my family and I decided to do a meal plan. I don’t know about you but the “what’s for dinner” question has stirred many arguments in my marriage more than money or s.e.x. Actually we don’t ever fight about those common topics but dinner has caused some heated discussions over the years. We decided it was time to do something about this.

We looked at a couple of different meal plans to use and we finally settled on The Fresh 20. We choose this plan because it takes 20 ingredients and provides 5 meals for the week. The best part is all the ingredients are fresh so we are shopping only the outer isles of the grocery store, which means less processed foods in the house! It was just a win/win for us. Another thing I like is that you will cook one meal and you save certain portions of the meal you prepared to use in another recipe later in the week. Such a great thing.

We have found ourselves falling off the plan and of course getting back in to arguments. My hubby has been doing all the cooking for several years now so I think it is hard for him to let go of control. We did this same thing when we did the Dave Ramsey debt snowball. I was diligent in following ever step Dave laid out but my hubby would go off the plan and I would have to reel him back in. Again, he does all the managing of our money so giving up some control is hard.

We’ve made a total of 6 meals so far and out of all those meals only one has been a flop. Each time I make a meal, we note what we like and what needs to be tweaked and then I write it down on the recipe for the next time we make it. I will also say, I am a very picky eater. For me it is all about texture and of course taste. For example, in the past my husband has tried to get me to eat brown rice. I hated it mainly for the texture. With the Fresh20 meal plan, they use a lot of brown rice, which didn’t thrill me but I kept an open mind. Because of the way they have you prepare it and what we are serving it with, I actually like it! I have eaten things I never thought I would eat and I actually have an open palate now.

One of the other benefits of doing a meal plan is it saves you time and money. It saves you time because you are only going to the grocery store once a week. My hubby did all the grocery shopping in our family and he would go to the store 2 to 3 times a week. He would come home with food but never planned meals so we had all these meats but no direction on how we were going to cook them. Thus the cycle of arguments began because I couldn’t understand why he just went to the grocery store but we have nothing to eat for dinner. We also save money because now we are buying ingredients for meals rather than just buying food because it is on sale or to stock the freezer.

Overall, this has been a great move for our family especially our marriage and believe me I’m not exaggerating there! If you follow me on Instagram, you can see photos of meals I prepared. I’d also love to hear from you if you do meal planning in your home and if so, how is it working for you? Be sure to leave a comment below.

Waiting for a bloom to turn into a harvest

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This year we decided to plant a small garden. We purchased two large above ground containers and planted cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, basil and thyme. I’ve never planted cucumbers before so I was excited to see if we would produce any. Imagine my delight when I went out one morning and noticed dozens of blooms on the plant. I was told that each flower represents a cucumber that will be produced so in my mind if that was the case, I was going to have one bountiful crop!

I patiently waited and waited and it would seem like little cucumbers were starting to grow and then they would disappear. Suddenly my bountiful harvest produced only 3 cucumbers. One of which we threw away because it was so curved it wouldn’t grow any more the other is still on the vine growing but not sure if it will fully develop and one that grew perfectly and we kept and ate.

I was so disappointed that what I thought was blooming suddenly didn’t. I feel like that in my life right now. There are certain things that I have been planing for and expecting a bountiful harvest only to get a small recognition. It has been frustrating and there are times where I feel like I literally can’t move forward as if my hands were tied on purpose and I just need to wait. Waiting sucks! I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it. There is this constant feeling like there is something you should be doing and then we you try to take a step forward you only muck things up worse.

I’m not sure when my harvest will start to produce but I’ll do like the quote says and just concentrate on the task before me.

What about you? Have you ever felt like you are in a holding pattern waiting for your harvest to produce? I’d love to feel like I’m not alone. Please leave a comment below.

Ways to Use Your Journal – Fashion Notebook

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Here is a short video that shows you how you can use your journal as a fashion notebook. I made this video some time ago so we are using on of our older journals in case you were wondering :) You’ll also see some major savings I scored on an outfit verses my inspiration piece.

Minimal efforts for greater gain

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Recently my hubby and I made the decision to turn off our cable. We decided to opt for an HD antenna and subscribe to Netflix. We did this gosh I guess about 6 months ago and we haven’t looked back. We haven’t missed cable at all. We actually find that we watch less TV and I feel like I’m more intentional and productive. Plus, I don’t miss all those stinking reality shows especially the Kardasian one.

I was on my iPad the other night getting ready to watch a movie and on the new release section of the account was a promo for a move called “Tiny“. It intrigued me and I decided to watch it. My eyes were opened to a world of people building what they call “tiny homes,” which is anything under I believe 500 sq feet. The average tiny home is about 186 sq feet. Not only did the home intrigue me but it was more the reason why most of these people choose to build a tiny home and downsize. I could so identify with their reasoning. There is a great article here that explains a bit more and has a great infograph on the “tiny home” movement. I also created a Pinterest board with some great images of tiny homes.

Maybe its because I’m getting older (like Clooney says) or maybe it is a movement that is up and coming but I find that I’m tired of buying crap to fill up my home just because I have the space. I find that when I purchase things now, I want to fewer things but better quality. That is the idea behind one company called Cuyana. Their philosophy is simple: “We believe in both beauty and intentional buying. We love the joy of finding treasures and the pride of spending wisely. We know that with less we are more and that the essence of insight is simplicity.” I just love this brand and their site is amazing so be sure to check it out. They certainly are inspiring me to want to simplify and how I can apply this approach to my own business.

One of my favorite podcasts is The Lively Show with Jess Lively. I love listening the show while I’m taking my walks. She recently had Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker on her show. Here are some notes about the show, “Dana is a talented food blogger who crafts gorgeous, easy to make recipes that often have a vegan, dairy-free, or gluten-free slant. In the show, Dana explains what minimalism means and shares how she and her husband have implemented several big and small changes that have created more time, space, and freedom in their lives.” It is a really great show so be sure to check it out.

What about you? Does simplifying intrigue you like it does me? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below.