National Day of Unplugging

national-day-of-unpluggingOn March 7th and March 8th 2014, we celebrate The National Day of Unplugging. Its main purpose, as its name implies, is to “switch off” from cyber space (and all forms of technologies for that matter). I admit this is a challenge. But it is a challenge each of us will find the proper motivation to accept and enjoy.

The roots of this event lie in the Jewish faith, but it makes sense to all of us who live in the reality of Internet, Facebook, tablets, smart phones, kindles, etc. (the list is practically endless). At first, it may not actually make sense to those of you who are so used to technologies being a major part of their life that you feel the urge to tweet a thought from this post as you read it. But, I promise, it makes perfect sense, so, please, give it a chance by following these useful tips:

  • Say “No” to technologies. I know we all rely on technologies too much. Heck my consulting business is built around it. A little preparation is a good practice to follow – arrange your tasks a day or two before The National Day of Unplugging, so that you are ready to give your best on the actual day of unplugging. As you know, even God stopped to take some rest on the seventh day after he created the world in six days. So, why don’t you do it, too?
  • Spend quality time with your friends and family. They will appreciate it. Gather your family and your closest friends together and listen to them – they surely have a lot to say. Ask questions, smile, have fun, play games, just spend this time with gratitude in your heart for you have whom to share your laughter with.
  • Take some rest – Switch off your alarm clock and let your body tell you when you are ready to get out of bed. Take some time to fully enjoy your rest with a cup of coffee in the garden or journal with actual pen and paper. This is your time, spoil yourself!
  • Leave your house for a couple of hours. Whether it will be a nice, long walk with your dog, or a picnic in the park with your family, use this time to breathe the fresh spring air and move your stiff from sitting in front of the computer body.
  • Have fun. That’s the best advice I could give you. Have fun with your friends and family. Go back home from the walk, prepare a nice, home-made dinner, open a bottle of wine, and spend the evening with your beloved ones.

I know it may be very stressful for some people to unplug (even the sentence sounds weird, but it’s true). To those people I would recommend trying to switch off their minds as well – don’t think about work, unread emails or what’s on TV now. Concentrate on the real world – your family and your friends will help you get over a “technological crisis”.

The Sabbath Manifesto (the original name for the celebration according to Jewish traditions), is celebrated once a week – from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Even though it is only celebrated once a year in the USA by most people who are not Jewish, I think it may be a good idea if you decide on some other unplugged days with your family – you will see with time that real things in life are exactly this – real. And remember, you may switch off your phone, but you cannot switch off your family.

Important Relationships: Friends

quote-friendship-2As I’ve written in the past, it seems like I get messages repeated to me often usually in threes. Recently the message I was being taught was about friends. My first message was this article from one of my favorite blogs. The next message came from an article in The Boss Mag. Lastly, I shared with you a few weeks ago about the Unstuck app I discovered. Each week they send out an advice email, and last week the lesson was:

Easy ways to supercharge your friendships
Unstuck Point of View
Put into Practice
It’s easy to get bummed out when we focus on who’s missing in our life instead of nurturing the relationships we already have. When we actively practice those friendships — in little ways and big ones — we’re happier, healthier, and more hopeful. In almost every way. It’s simply a matter of showing the people in our life that we value them.
You can read the rest of the article here.

I know the last time I had this same type of thing regarding friendship happen I was in the airport in Birmingham, AL on a layover and was in the book store to pick up a magazine. On the cover of O Magazine was the headline, “Call a friend today.” I immediately thought of my friend Traci and dialed her number. I hit the send button on my phone after pulling up her contact and put the phone to my ear.  The phone didn’t even ring and their was silence on the other end. I thought maybe the call didn’t go through or that maybe someone was calling me. I said hello and my friend Traci said, “Angee?” I answered her and she proceeded to tell me that she was dialing my number at the same time I was calling her. Talk about a freaky moment. We went on to have an amazing conversation and she shared with me some amazing things that had happened to her recently. It was truly a divine moment.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “You can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends.” As a person with limited family growing up, friends were my guiding light. I can look back on my life and see how my life was shaped by people who came across my path. Some friends have come and gone and others remain. I take friendships so seriously and I’m loyal and protective. I admit I’m not the best of friends in terms of keeping in touch but they are always in my heart and I constantly think of them. What do friendships mean to you? How do you keep that connection going? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to leave a comment below.

Ways to Use Your Journal – Bullet Journal

I recently came across this blog article and was reading the comments because this article was right up my alley. In one of the comments, a reader referenced a process called Bullet Journal. She gave a link to a video, which I included below and I found it so very interesting. I had never thought to use my journal in this way so I thought maybe some of you out there might like this technique. Enjoy!

Reader Survey Results

A great big huge thank you to everyone who participated in my reader survey. The information I gathered was so helpful. I want to try and make this the best blog for you as this is why I do what I do. I thought I would share with you some of the results from the survey as you might find them interesting also I just wanted to play around with making my very first infographic. Check out the responses below.

Infographic-Survey-Results-2014

Reader Survey

As a visitor to our site, I’m just wanting to hear your thoughts! I am working on revamping my blog and some of my marketing and would really appreciate your input. If you have a few moments, and can answer a short survey for me, it would really help me in my business. Every thought is MUCH appreciated! Just complete the form below.

Yo yo {UN}word up!

A few years ago I was introduced to the concept by Christine Kane of “Word of the Year”. She was tired of the same old cliche of setting New Years Resolutions and watching people struggle to fulfill them. One year she decided to revolt against the resolutions and focus on a simple solution and thus “Word of the Year” was born. She wrote:

“Pick a word for the year.

Just one word. That’s all.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action. For instance, let’s say you want to make a resolution to lose 20 pounds, and to change jobs. Rather than say, “I resolve to lose 20 pounds and get a better job,” (which can be somewhat overwhelming) you might sit with this thought for a little while. Write in your journal. Maybe then you would recognize that you’ve been scared to look for another job because there might not be something out there, and maybe you’ve been overeating to stuff down the fears that come up and the feelings of insecurity.”

I thought this was a brilliant way to hold yourself accountable and it was such a no brainier to me. I wrote about one of the words I picked a few years ago here. I introduced this concept to my friends and never really thought anything of it until earlier this month I was tagged in a post on Facebook from one of my friends and it went a little something like this:

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I was so humbled and honor that I could help one person out with information I had found.

Interestingly enough, last year I didn’t pick a word and I have to admit I floundered around and looking back I can see I didn’t have my guiding word. This year as you can see above my word is Forward.

Unword2014badge_rough-draftThis year though I was introduced to an even more interesting concept, the {UN}Word of the year. When I first saw the title I was thinking this was going to be a post bashing choosing a word of the year and I just threw my hands up. Turns out this isn’t about bashing at all but rather about picking a word you want to eliminate this year. Yet another brilliant and simple concept. I know for me when I’m stuck on trying to figure out what I want, it is easier for me to know what I don’t want. I think this is a great tool if you find yourself in that place of not knowing.

If you’re interested in Christine’s Word of the Year worksheet, you can download it here. It is a really great tool and I highly recommend it.

So what about you? Will you be wording or {un}wording or maybe be daring and do both? I’d love to hear. Be sure to leave a comment below.

 

Getting Unstuck

quote-largeHave you ever had so many ideas floating around in your head that you don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you are facing some great challenges and don’t know the answer and feel paralyzed? I would say that both of these things are happening to me right now.

I’ve been this way for some time and I am trying so hard to look for answers. I’ve been like this for so long I can’t see the forest for the trees. Have you ever felt that way?

I don’t know what the answer is and I’m not really sure where to turn to find the answer. I will say that I am shy about seeking help because I’ve made some bad choices, which I’ve written about here, in the past and some of the help I searched for wasn’t the right help, which cost me thousands of dollars.

I’m also so sick of hearing, “do what you love.” There are so many theories around this concept anywhere from you are setting yourself up for failure with this attitude to if I can do it anyone can.

There’s is also the fact that I have my Christian beliefs that play a part and fulfilling God’s will, which I found a really great article here, dispelling the “purpose driven life” syndrome I think all Christian’s face at some point in their life.

Factor in the fact that I’m not a 20 or even 30 something woman that I’m seeing all over the blogosphere doing amazing things. What’s funny is that about 3 years ago, I started a blog called Sheic Space and was doing really well with it but it wasn’t generating any revenue so I dropped it because I was just spread too thin. Now there is the blog The Everygirl that is very similar to my concept and they are amazing. Of course I’m kicking myself for not sticking with it.

I am seeing so many people starting blogs based on a topic that I was doing before they were out of diapers!

I’m still on my search to find an answer and of course on my quest, I come across some interesting things. I found a site called Unstuck. They also have an app you can download where you fill out a really easy questionnaire and they diagnosis your stuckness and present a treatment. I haven’t gotten through all mine yet but so far I’m liking what I’m see. Here is what I’ve been diagnosed as:

imageI have to say they are pretty right on. Especially when they suggested solution was this:

stand

Because I recently just wrote about this very topic here. Hum, they say the teacher teaches what they need to learn most. Interesting!

So how about you? Do you or are you stuck? What are you or have you done to get past it? I’d love to hear you feedback so I don’t feel alone. Also, download the app and take the test and let me know if you are with me in the Waffler community.

 

Journaling Expo – January 12, 2014

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What is the Journaling Expo? 

The Second Annual Journaling Expo, an online event, will provide information, inspiration, and motivation to journalers to jumpstart and enhance their daily, life transforming journaling practice.

For three enchanting hours, you’ll be wooed, instructed, and regaled by top journaling advisers, who will share their teachings ~ from definitions and practices to themes, applications, and prompts.

The event includes:

        • three presentations,
        • Q&A sessions,
        • door prizes,
        • feature blog posts,
        • bonuses
        • and most importantly, the Expo brings together a diverse group of people who happen to love journal writing to meet, interact, and celebrate the marvelous phenomenon of journaling. Expect epiphanies!

By the way, there’s no charge for the Expo! All we ask is that you register.

The Journaling Expo is for you if:

        • You’re interested in learning more about personal journaling;
        • You’ve been journaling for a while and want some new stimulation;
        • You’ve been journaling forever and want to interact with others who are also steeped in the practice;
        • You want to accomplish a goal or get a grip on a situation;
        • You want to feel more in control of your life and work;
        • You want to find out more about who you are;
        • You want to increase your self-confidence;
        • You want to be happier, healthier, stronger, kinder, smarter or otherwise Grow Your Life!

Changes for the New Year

It’s hard to believe that this time last year I was waiting for my first shipment of journals from the manufacturer. Here is the video clip from the day they arrived.

It has been an amazing year of learning and growing on how to get my vision and mission out to the public. We are still learning and it has been a slow process but slow and steady win the race I’m told.

As I start this year, one of the things I’m reconsidering for the journals is the packaging. Currently, we have been wrapping the journals in tissue paper and placing them in a pink box with white ribbon.

journal-wrapping-1 journal-wrapping-2

It has looked pretty but I wanted to up my game after running across the packaging for a product called Alesya Bags. I came across this site and devoured the blog as she shares her entire journey on creating her line of laptop bags and our stories are so similar. She started her bag for the same reason I started the journal line. I hope to one day meet her in person so we can compare notes.

Recently, she had a review done of one of her bags here. I love how in this post it shows how she packaged her product. After our great success last month, we have depleted our packaging stock and it is time to order more materials. I decided now is the time to change up the packaging so I have been brainstorming ideas. One idea we have come up with is instead of having a box that you will just probably end up throwing away, we are looking at using some sort of reusable tote. No I don’t mean one of those basic grocery bag totes or canvas totes but something that is chic or should I say Sheic and that you can use everyday.

We’ve narrowed it down to two options. The first option is an Urban Tote bag that is really classy. It would be similar to this one with of course our logo on it.

fashion_shopper_silver

This would allow you to carry not only the journal but books, iPad or other electronic reading devices, magazines, etc. Heck you could even us it in the grocery store if you wanted.

The other option we are considering is a messenger bag. I am so excited about this option because I love the functionality of this bag. Check out their video below to see what I mean.

Right now we are checking costs to see if we can swing these options without increasing any shipping costs. I certainly would love your feedback below on what you think of a bag as a packaging option and which of the two you prefer. Of course if you have other ideas that are completely different, we’d love to hear them. You can post your comments below.

I will keep you updated on the progress and choice.

 

Meet + Make Christmas Package Ornaments

Last week I attended a Meet + Make event here in Jacksonville at our local West Elm store. The event was hosted by Sarah of Sarah Hearts and Brittni, of Paper & Stitch. I signed up for this workshop because I figured since these two ladies are terrific bloggers and Brittni has a really awesome indie shop for creatives they would attract an eclectic group of people that I could get to know. Frankly as a virtual business owner, it can get quite lonely at times.

This event not only got me out of the house, I got to be crafty and tapped in to my creative side, I got to meet some really cool people and we were at West Elm after all so I did some shopping! It was a great night and I look forward to other events they might hold in the future.

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(image from SarahHearts.com)

Our lovely hostesses!

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Our project was to create little ornaments you could add to gift packages for the holidays. We took little plastic animals and painted them gold and added a hook at the top.

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(image from SarahHearts.com)

Next we had to make tassels out of streamer paper so we could add them to the hook.

Here’s my finished project. We got really creative and started layering streamer paper so the tassels would have a layered affect.

meet-make-jax-2

(image from SarahHearts.com)

We had yummy treats from the sponsors. This was sticks of chocolate that you stick in a cup of hot milk and they melt making the most amazing hot chocolate. It is made by Ticket Chocolate. There was dark chocolate, salted caramel and peppermint. I of course went for the salted caramel.

meet-make-group

(image from Paper & Stitch)

Here is the group of us. There were some people who were missing from the picture. I had a great time and can’t wait to do another meeting. Be sure to check out Sarah’s site to see if she might be coming to your area.

What do you do for a creative outlet? Leave a comment below and feel free to share a resource.