Parent Education

Normally when we think about learning how to be a parent, we think about interactions with our children. How we discipline them, how we support them, how we guide them and teach them and help them grow. Do we say “good job” or “that’s great effort”? Do we use “time out” or is there a better way to deal with the times when they make a bad decision?

What we are teaches the child far more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

But it’s not as simple as teaching our kids how to behave and live life. We have to show them, not just tell them, how to live. And that requires us as parents and educators to be the type of people that we want our kids to become.


Saying No

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”

Stephen Covey

Crafting / Scrapbooking / Stampin’ Up!

Creature Comforts

Stampin' Up! Scrapbook Page

As the weather turns cold in the Pacific Northwest, I am missing the summer time but embracing the coziness of the autumn weather. On this Sunday morning, I woke up before the rest of the house and settled in for some of my creature comforts – a cup of tea, a warm fire in the fireplace, the stillness of the house before anyone else is awake, and some crafting.

Since the theme of our blog hop this month is “creature comforts”, I thought I would scrapbook a photo of this little guy.

This page was inspired by slide deck in the Creative Calling class I attended, taught by Chase Jarvis. I took some Basic Gray cardstock and used a brayer to paint some white craft ink on the paper. I layered a bit of Daffodil Yellow paper behind the photo, and a heart from the Modern Heart stamp set using the white craft ink.

Stampin' Up! Scrapbook Page

I don’t make as much time for scrapbooking as I did years ago, but even doing just one scrapbook page is enough for me to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I love keeping things simple and using the 6×8 scrapbook size makes it easy to finish a page before the kids wake up!

Check out the rest of the blog hop team’s take on “creature comforts” this month:

Anna Pickering

Gemma Pidcock

Elizabeth Richards (you are here)

Jennyfer Schütz

Leonie Stuart

Creating Your Life / Uncategorized

Saved by Habit

As moms, our brains are usually so overwhelmed with the mental load of managing the household. (Whether that should be OUR job is the subject of another blog post.) Gemma Hartley brought the idea of “emotional labor” into a worldwide discussion with her article “Stop Calling Women Nags – We’re Just Fed Up.” Bottom line – all people have limited brain power, and the best way to preserve our energy for what matters in life is…


The more that we can operate on autopilot; setting up routines so we don’t have to think about certain things, the more we have energy for the things that actually are important.

Creating Your Life


“pure leisure, making time just for oneself, is nothing short of a courageous act of radical and subversive resistance.” – Brigid Schulte

Sometimes I will read an article that talks about how moms have way more time for themselves than they realize; citing data like the American Time Use data that shows that working moms with kids under the age of 6 has an average of 3 hours a day of leisure time.


You know how time use experts decide what’s leisure? If your car breaks down on the side of the road and you are stuck in your car waiting for a tow truck, and you listen to a podcast while you wait for an hour, that is considered an hour of leisure.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider that to be leisure. At least not PURE leisure. I like Brigid Schulte’s term – “contaminated time”.

We deserve more time to ourselves than just the time we use for ourselves while waiting in a school pick up line.

Creating Your Life

Sit Down

How often do you sit down? And do practically nothing? Like, just read a book for 5 minutes with a cup of tea?

If you can’t remember the last time you did this, start today.

5 minutes. You can do this.

Creating Your Life

It may not be your fault, but you need to take responsibility

If you are in a season of life where you are struggling, it’s easy to blame yourself. Frankly, a lot of people blame moms’ overwhelm on their own decisions. They leave out things like lack of social support for moms (and parents and kids and families in general, but moms in particular), a hyper-individualist culture that does not acknowledge societal causes for things, and absurd expectations for moms. Moms, in short, blame themselves for everything.

I am here to tell you – it is not your fault that you are overwhelmed.

But you can still take responsibility for your life moving forward; claiming ownership over the things you do have control over, no matter how small they are. Focus on those things over time, and eventually you will see progress.

Creating Your Life

Oxygen Mask

“Put on your own “oxygen mask” so you are able to take care of your child and your family.”

No, no, no, no.

I am not putting on my oxygen mask SO that I can take care of my child and family.

I am putting on my oxygen mask because I deserve to be able to breath.

Will I help my kids and family with theirs, after mine is on? Of course- I do have that responsibility.

But I take care of myself because it’s important to me. Period.

Creating Your Life

Book Review – Creative Calling

Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life

Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life by Chase Jarvis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A good life is designed. Created. And this book is about living a better life through creativity.”
– Chase Jarvis

Even since I went back to work after being a stay at home mom and I started struggling with making time for my creative interests, I have been searching for a book that both inspires me to pursue my creativity AND has practical and realistic advice for how to do it. THIS is that book.

Creative Calling not only inspires the reader to pursue their life’s calling, it actually provides valuable tactical principles that are applicable to everyone who wants to create a better life, no matter who they are and what challenges are holding them back.

What is creativity? According to Chase Jarvis, it’s not just art in the traditional sense. Creativity is combining things in a new way and putting these ideas out into the world. Creativity is not just photography and pottery; it’s problem solving, starting a business, social activism, and building a family. Everyone is born creative, and everyone has the opportunity to exercise their creativity in their day to day lives.

Our ability to choose to exercise our innate creativity is a theme woven throughout Creative Calling. Our agency – our ability to make decisions to help us along our creative path – is a key concept that we are encouraged to put into practice in small ways every day. It’s through the use of agency in building small daily creative habits that over time, leads us to living our authentic and most creative lives.

This book encourages us to Start Now. Do not wait until the “right time” to start on creating your best life. Chase walks you through how to make small steps along your creative path, no matter what season of life you are in and how messy it is. There truly will be no “right time” to start, so just start now. Even if it’s just starting a habit of 5 minutes a day on the creative pursuit that brings you joy. “The more creative you are day to day, the better you’ll become at building the life you want.”

“Do what you can with what you have today” is a big theme throughout Creative Calling.
Don’t have a lot of free time to spend on a creative hobby? That’s ok. Friends and family not yet supportive of your creative path? That’s ok. Don’t have the best equipment for your podcast? That’s ok. We are encouraged over and over again to just start with what you have. Chase walks you through tactical ideas for setting up systems that will help you as you pursue your creative path; ideas that can serve as inspiration for anyone, no matter how many constraints you think you are operating with.

Creative Calling manages to provide both wholehearted inspiration AND very practical guidance that that anyone can put to use. If you have been struggling on your creative path but want to pursue a better life, this book is absolutely for you.

View all my reviews

Creating Your Life

Talk to Your Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt and shame is the result of your brain and it’s purpose – to keep you and your offspring alive, not happy. Anything you try to do that is new, different, interesting or courageous will result in fear, and for many moms, mommy guilt.

Fear, self-doubt and mommy guilt is just your ancient brain trying to stop you from doing things that are important for living your creative life.

I like the way that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love talks about dealing with her fear.

“That’s why if you try to sit down and write a poem, it literally feels like you’re going to die,” Gilbert said. “Your fear only has one job and that is: No, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t, death, murder, mayhem, back it up, shut down, stay on the couch, be safe, don’t die. And so the relationship that I’ve established over the years is just a very loving conversation with that—a very maternal way that I speak to that, because I know that it’s just not that smart. I just talk to it like it’s my dumb cousin who played hockey and just isn’t that bright, and I’m like, ‘I know. I know it’s scary, but you know what? Mommy’s got this.’

“As soon as I say, ‘It’s okay for you to be here, and you can stay with me and we’re going to do this together,’ it just relaxes and it goes to sleep like a toddler in a car-seat,” she said.

In the same way that many people have learned that to deal with fear and self-doubt, you have to accept that it never goes away, we can accept that mommy guilt may constantly reappear, and that’s ok.