Changing It Up: 12 Affirmations & Word for 2016

The last few years instead of resolutions I’ve done word of the year. This is where I pick a word that I want to work towards, sort of a theme for the upcoming year. It worked great and I seemed to achieved most of my goals, without realizing it. This year however, I decided to change it up a bit. Instead of doing just a word or resolutions, i’m doing affirmations.  Then I’ll pick my word of the year based on my affirmations.
A year or so ago, I talked about my motivational journal and how it helped me when I needed it. I loved creating it & adding to it whenever I was down or needed a pick me up.  Over this past year, I’ve pushed it aside and it’s time to revisit it & making a new one.  I think it’s so important to do one each year, since our lives change so much within that short period of time.
affirmation 1
This year more than any other, I’m in need of encouragement & support from within, which isn’t always there. I’m way too harsh on myself; i’m my biggest critic instead of being my best friend. I don’t give myself credit when I do something great or things work out as I wanted.  Nor do I give myself grace for when I make mistakes, learning new lessons.  I want to concentrate on encouraging & supporting myself more through positive ways, changing my self talk and how I truly see myself.   And I’ll begin this journey with my 12 affirmations for 2016.

  1. Being unique is a blessing, one that I embrace with open arms
  2. Life is what you put into it; make it fun & rewarding it becomes so
  3. I will inspire others through my creativity & unique spirit
  4. I choose to be the source of strength & encouragement for those I love
  5. I’m limited only by a vision of what is possible
  6. I fully embrace who I am today
  7. I choose to focus on solutions rather than the problem
  8. Find beauty from within to find it in others
  9. Positivity is my guiding light through the darkest times
  10. Every night I choose to let go of the day’s mistakes or regrets
  11. I will slow down each day & embrace the little moments, not
  12. On dark days, I will have to create my own sunshine

affirmation 2
Do you see a theme with my affirmations?  If I had to choose a word based on the above 12 my word for 2016 would be ENCOURAGEMENT.

Are you making resolutions?  Or picking a word?  Or affirmations? Or do you do something different?  What are your goals or where do you see yourself going in the upcoming year?

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2015 Word Is….

In preparation of the upcoming new year, use this post as a stepping stone to get yourself thinking……..What do you expect from it? What do you wish would happen? Any specific goals? Do you make resolutions or pick a word as your years overall theme?

Living Intentionally Simple

word taken from:

As I wrote in my post the other day, three years ago, I decided to pick a word as my theme, to focus on throughout the year.  Once I pick my word, I then set goals that best reflect the word I chose, my years focus, and where I would like my year to go.  As a refresher, my last two years words were: family & intentional.  This year, I had a hard time finding the exact word, so I wrote my goals before I picked my word.  But finally, a word popped into my head, that I really really love.  So without further ado, my word for 2015 is……..Inner

If you look at my goals below, everything has one thing in common, me.  All my goals, are something I want to work on with myself, something that can only be done by me, no one…

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Turning Negatives Into Positives

Earlier this week, I went hiking with hubby in pretty cold weather.  It was a whooping 35 degrees, but after I bundled up, I was perfectly fine.  Or so I thought.
Shortly after we began, I started losing my breath.  As soon as I headed over my 2nd hill, my chest began to tighten and I had a hard time breathing.  This happened pretty much most of the way, any time I exerted myself.  WOW!! Talk about being completely outta shape.  I made it as far as I could go, but sadly it was only 2/3 of the way up.  I didn’t reach the top because I couldn’t.
It took everything I had, not to cry from embarrassment.  I was embarrassed I let myself get so out of shape, embarrassed that I was like this in front of my husband, & I was embarrassed  I couldn’t make it to the top because I really thought I could.
As I began the trip down, my self talk was pure negative.  I was really beating myself up, thinking the worst of myself.  This went on for half the way down, till I got to a certain spot.
This spot was absolutely breathtaking.  There was a mini waterfall that lead into a river.  The sun was shining and peaking through the trees perfectly on this brightly covered moss stone.  It was stunning.  All I could think about was what a beautiful place to take pictures at.  Then I began to think of different photo shoots I could do here.  The beauty of this place enabled me to take step back, recollect my thoughts, & concentrate on something other than my negative thoughts.
From that point on, I began thinking about the positives from this trip.  I began to think about how far I have come because 2 yrs ago (at the height of my illness) I wouldn’t have been able to do this at all.  Then I began to feel proud for not giving up at the 1st sight of trouble.  Even though I really wanted too.  I pushed myself till I couldn’t and knew it was time to call it quits.
Isn’t it so funny how so simple can change my perspective and let me see things in a whole new light.  I was really able to look past the disappointment & embarrassment to see all the wonderful things that came from this trip.

What helps you change your thinking replacing the negatives thoughts with more positive ones?

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Create With Joy

8 Frugal Ways I Saved Money This Week

I’m always on the lookout for ways to save or stretch our money as much as possible.  I’m very good at it, but there is always room to grow.   Part of my growing, is sharing with others how I do this, especially doing it with a large family.  I decided that each week I will share the frugalness through successful shopping trips, tips, ideas etc.  I hope others out there, share their frugalness with me as well.  So we can learn from one another as well as learning successful ways to be frugal.
During the holidays, it’s easy to be frugal, if you can squash the wants & so called needs.  There are so many things I would love to buy, some even I think I need to buy but reality is, is that I don’t.  To help me keep my perspective, I usually do something special with the family through free or cheap activities, crafts, diy, or outings.  This week’s biggest money savings came from a raffle basket I won.  See below how I saved money this week.

1. Got 5.5lbs of spicy sausage for $5.00 total @ Shaw’s.
2. My husband donated one of the games & a movie I won to Toys for Tots.
3. Used 2 movies from the raffle basket I won for a birthday present my girls will give their classmate.
4. Returned 2 games I won that we couldn’t use & exchanged it for Christmas decorations
5. Attended a family cookie decorating party and brought free cookies home.
6. Since work ended for the season, I’m saving a lot of money on gas.
7. Recycled things around the house for supplies for ornament gift toppers.
8. Had a few extra pieces of garland and tied it into my girls hair instead of throwing it away.  Instant festive hair.
Bonus: My mother in law made us some yummy cookies.  Yay for cookies!! 

How did you save money this week?  Got any frugal tips or ideas to share?  Or a frugal score you just have to share.  Love to hear them all 🙂 

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DIY Ornaments: Wood Sled & Borax Snowflake

For the last few years, my town does this neat event called “Festival of Trees” where different organizations decorate a tree according to their specific theme, that is scattered through our armory (which is also our community center.)  This year not only is the elementary school decorating one but our girl scout troop is too.  Our girl scout troop is doing snow sport theme, which isn’t the easiest them to work with, let me tell you.
Our girl scout troop is divided into Daisys and Brownies, so we are doing two different kinds of ornaments……..wooden sleds for the Daisys & borax snowflakes for the brownies.  Both ornaments were fun to make, simple enough to the kids to do, & cheap to make.
PicMonkey Collage
The snowflakes were fun to watch crystalize over a period of 12 hrs.  The girls kept coming back to check every so often.  The sleds were also fun to make since the girls got to use hot glue.   They also enjoyed customizing them, since they could color them any way they wanted.
PicMonkey Collage 2

Borax Snowflake
3 tablespoons of borax
boiling water (enough to submerge the snowflake)
2 pipe cleaners (whatever color you want the snowflake to be)
a pencil
container (fits the snowflake comfortably)
fishing line
* Take one pipe cleaner and cut it into three equal parts.
*Take the other pipe cleaner and cut it into 6 equal parts.
*Take the 3 longer pieces & twist together forming a star shape.
*Take the smaller pieces and twist around the end of each star, turning it into a snowflake.
*Boil enough water to submerge the entire snowflake.  Once boiling, pour into container that fits the snowflake comfortably.
*Pour borax into container and stir well.  This part is very important, you need to mix well, making sure there isn’t any borax on the bottom or it won’t work.
*Take snowflake and tie fishing line around it.
*Place snowflake into the borax solution and have it hang from the pencil.
*It takes anywhere between 4-12 hrs.  I let it set for 12-13 hrs.
*Once set, take snowflake out of solution and let dry for a few minutes.
~Viola you have just made a borax sparkly snowflake. ~

Popsicle Sleds
hot glue
8 popsicle sticks per sled
markers or paint

*Take 5 sticks and place them together, in the desired sled shape you wanted.
*Cut one stick into pieces, that aren’t bigger than the sled, so it doesn’t show from the other side.
*Glue 2 cut pieces over the sled shape, holding it together.
*Make 2 glue dots on each cut piece.
*Place 1 stick per side for the legs of the sled.  Make sure to add extra glue for support.
*Once dried, decorate as desired or leave blank.
~Viola, you just create simple sleds in under 5 minutes.~

What ornaments have you made this holiday season?  I would love to see them 🙂

Ducks N a Row, Create With Joy,

Help: Linky Party Ideas

I’m asking anyone out there, who reads this post, for a little bit of help.  I’m looking to start up a link up party but don’t know what theme it should be.  I don’t want to do something other sites are doing, I wanted to be a little more creative, yet nothing comes to mind.  I just want to create a place that everyone can mingle with and have their blog get more exposure.
So, I am asking you to take a moment or two and help me come up with a new link up party that we all can participate in that isn’t overly done, like random diy or recipe parties.  Lets put on our thinking caps and come up with a fantastic fun party.
Anything come to mind????

Would You Buy Used Items For Christmas Gifts?

Question of the day:  
“Would You Buy Used Items For Christmas Gifts?”  Why or Why not.

Tomorrow, I get to spend two hours alone shopping in my favorite city.  Since I don’t get out there much, I’m super excited. I get to hit all the stores I that I love….Christmas Tree Shop, Goodwill, & Savers. As I’m writing my Christmas list out, I began wondering, am I a weirdo because I would gift used items?
Each year, I have certain people in mind that I shop for year around and if something strikes my eye, I will buy it, used or not. I see nothing wrong with buying people used items because
it saves me money
recycles, keeping one less item of our landfills
it’s new to them.
Don’t get me wrong, the items I buy aren’t junk, they are well thought out gifts, that I truly feel that recipient would enjoy. Just because something is used doesn’t mean it’s trashy junk. I know there are lots of others out there, who think I’m weird. But hey that’s ok.  I would find it an honor to be known as the weird frugal lady 😉
What do you think?  Do you do it or are you against it?

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Grubby Icicle Ornaments

Have you heard of grubby?  It’s  a way of getting texture & making something look older, which is usually associated with primitive decor.  I haven’t seen it anywhere else.  There are different ways to achieve this affect through using coffee grounds, cinnamon or using modge podge or wax.
I haven’t done any before but thought I would try my hand at making simple grubby icicle ornaments for my tree.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge primitive/country chic decor fan.  I love it all and can’t wait to fully decorate my house in it.  I’m just in love with the look and feel of it all.  Be prepared because this is just the beginning of my primitive adventure.
For my icicles I used cinnamon and modge podge. But you can use coffee or candle wax for the grubbying part. Depending on what you use, depends on the result you get.
My sparkly icicles are pretty all on their own, but I wanted a more rustic primitive feel. I’ve seen these done numerous times on numerous sites and finally decided to dive on it. This project is pretty straightforwards, easy for the novice to do, but the results are awesome. The biggest part of this project, is the time waiting for the modge podge to dry. I’m pretty happy with the end results, especially when compared to where I started.

Grubby Icicle Ornaments
Icicles (I got 6 for $1 @ the Dollar Store)
ground cinnamon
modge podge

*Spread modge podge all over the icicles, covering every inch of the icicles.  Otherwise you’ll have gaps in it.
*Using a spoon, cover the entire icicle with cinnamon.  Shake off any excess cinnamon.
*Leave to dry for 30 mins or so.  I found it easier to let it dry a bit before doing the next step.  Otherwise, you’ll make a cinnamony mess.
*Once dried for a bit, spread modge podge all the entire icicles again, making sure to cover everything that has cinnamon on it.
*Let it dry for a few hours.  At 1st it’ll be a white mess, but it’ll dry clear and you’ll get the end result I did.
~Viola, you have created your own primitive icicles~ 

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Nurturing Special Connections

Have you ever had a child that loved a certain stuffed animal or blanket?  Having a special connection with it, always carrying it around, & they feel lost without it?
My little Alyssa has that connection, that special bond with her piggy.  This year they both celebrated their 8th birthday together.
She loves her piggy as much as she loves anyone, which is evident by his appearance.  As a baby she would rub the tag to soothe herself, which I thought was totally cute.  She rubbed it so much over the years, she literally rubbed it off.
Now some parents may not agree with letting their child forge a connection, a bond with an inanimate object, but I couldn’t disagree with them more.  I myself, had a special yellow blanket that started out queen sized but ended washcloth size, which makes me laugh because I over loved that blanket.  Over the years, it gave me comfort and made me feel safe, whenever I needed it.  I could throw my blanket over myself, which let me escape the harsh realities of my world.
Nurturing my little ones bond with her piggy is something I’ve always done.  It was bought out of love from my husband to his special little princess, on the day she was born.  Over the years, piggy has become part of her, which is turn makes him part of our family.  What’s wrong with that?

Does you child have a special toy, stuffed animal, or blanket?  Did you have one growing up?

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