Snow: Nature’s Halloween Costume

I’m trying out the new wordpress app on my phone…so bear with me if this is just a bit quirky.

Though I have lived north of the Mason-DIXON line for longer than I lived south, I’m very much a country girl at heart.

I still think there is something magical about snow. I have certainly never seen the white, stuff fall in October before. I must say…waking up to snow showers put me in a holiday spirit…but that holiday is not Halloween.

I am dreaming of peppermint, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and making paper snowflakes…

*the photos from my snowy drive were taken by a passenger. I know better!*
Do you have more Halloween-esque weather in your neck of the woods?


Letter to the Graduate

Six years ago, I  (that’s me in the white…wow, my hair was long) graduated from college with a shiny new degree and absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Fast forward to now, and I’m still not exactly sure, but I have learned a few things. Things I’m still trying to embrace….things that I wish someone would have told me back then. If I could have written a letter to myself at 22, I would have said…


It’s okay to not have all the answers right now. Hell, it’s okay to not have any of the answers. The important thing to remember is that you are trying things. You know how to work hard, after all, you worked pretty hard to earn that GPA. During your time here you learned a lot about yourself. Hold true to those beliefs, because you will be rocked with things over the next few years. Make a budget, you’re a smart girl and you can stick to it if you try. Believe me, it will save you a lot of heartache over the next few years.

Don’t sell yourself short. You have a tendency to give up on things because you think someone else will be happier or you’ll be happier  with yourself if you make everyone else happy. You will be happy and you will find love, but if you don’t learn to be honest with yourself, you will always feel like something is missing. It is okay to fall down sometimes, we all do. I don’t know why you think you have to be a superhero, but you don’t. That’s exhausting and completely unrealistic. Ask for help, people will respect you for it.

Most of all, believe in yourself. Trust your instinct and your heart. Though they make take you down paths unknown or off the traditional track, they will not steer you wrong. Keep writing: a journal, poetry, letters…the medium doesn’t really matter. It makes you happy. I know right now you think you cannot make a living with the written word, but books, stories, poems and the written word are in your soul. You will always come back on it.

Don’t listen when people tell you more education is unnecessary. It is important to you and it is something you are going to come back to time and time again. Take the opportunities and chase your dreams. Always, always chase your dreams. Believe in you, believe in love and you will be just fine.


Is there anything you wish you could tell the younger version of yourself?

Being Vulnerable

A few weeks ago, Molly of the amazing site Stratejoy sent us all an email about embracing vulnerability. I have to admit, a big part of why Beeweave: The Shop is not live yet is because I have been scared.

The Connection: Vulnerability and Joy from Molly Mahar on Vimeo.

Molly is right! Embracing what terrifies us is really the only way to reach our dreams. My mom kind of gave me a (much-needed, if I am being honest) tongue lashing today. She pointed that I am often not honest with myself and  I worry entirely too much about what other people think.

I am always the girl that encourages her loved ones to go after their dreams. Consequences be damned (or at least put into a box), go after what makes me you smile, because if you don’t. You will ALWAYS regret it. I am always dishing out this advice.

The problem? While I firmly believe it, I do not always follow. In the interest of total honesty here, I almost never allow myself to be vulnerable. I constantly hold myself back from going after something from I truly want because I become afraid.

  • I am afraid of what my family and friends will think. Though I am independent, I want those I care about to be proud of me.
  • I am afraid to fail. I don’t want to throw all of my energy, time and miniscule funds into something only fall of my face.
  • I am afraid that I will realize I have no real talent in which I think I excel. I hold a few “truths” about myself close to heart and I’m afraid that if I put myself out there, I will discover those truths are not true at all.
  • I have a lot of interests. I am afraid to pick just one.

My mom sometimes tells me that I jump too quickly from one thing to the next. She’s probably right. It happens, in part, because I am afraid to make a real committment to a path because of the previously mentioned fears. It also happens because I do not want to miss out on any opportunity or any path. But, who says I have to put all my eggs in one basket? Why can’t I chase my dream of a graduate degree, launch Beeweave, pay my bills through a combination of writing and nannying and other creative jobs, and chase the dream of getting something creative published. I can do it.

I might still fall on my face. I might discover I don’t have as much talent as I thought I did. But, you know what, I might just find out that I completely rock at life. I might discover a deep seeded passion I never knew existed. I might find out that being a career woman is something I actually enjoy. I might discover rainbows or a great-tasting recipe for whole-wheat cupcakes. Or, I may discover I need to do some more soul-searching. All I am sure of at this point is that Molly has a point. I know for a fact, I need to allow myself to be vulnerable. I need to stop just going with the flow and go after something. If I do not take the time to chase my dreams, I will find myself old and gray, looking back on a life half-lived.

Wednesday Wish List: Yarn Wreaths

I have been spotting these vibrant, creative yarn wreaths all over the internet lately. These beauties top the list of crafts I want to learn to make. For now, I’m just lusting after these beautiful items for sale on Etsy.

Sources: 1. AnnaHailey  2. polkadotafternoon 3. BlossomandVine 4. Ragamuffin Design 5. astrausa 6. April421 7. swimlittlefish

Inspired By You: Spooky Halloween Ornaments

Any girl worth her crafting salt knows that the best inspiration comes from those awesome, crafty chicks you surround yourself with. There is a reason why I surround myself with creative, wonderful people. The energy of the amazing people I know, and the one’s I have connect through the blogging world provides me with constant inspiration to try new things. In honor of the community we are building here, I have decided to add a little feature to the blog known as Inspired By You.

Last week, the beautiful Jenni of Treacle and Ink posted a wonderful tutorial about making inexpensive Christmas ornaments using salt dough.  It could not have crossed my Google Reader at a better time. I had promised the little boy I nanny that we would do a special project on Friday evening while his mom was out for the evening. I had been planning on making baking soda and vinegar volcanos, but the pouring rain was causing me to rethink that plan. No way was I going to allow a six year old to blow up a volcano indoors.

Friday was the first day of fall and I was already filled with thoughts of pumpkins, apples, changing leaves and all the other inspiration associated with my favorite season. So, I quickly decided we would spend our friday even making salt dough Halloween ornaments.

Things You’ll Need:
Standard table salt
All purpose flour
Halloween or fall inspired cookie cuters
Cookie sheet
Glitter pens

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Mix up one part salt and one part water to two parts flour. Knead with your hands to form a firm dough. Roll out the dough and punch out shapes with the cookie cutters. Take a pen or pencil and gently poke holes in the shapes to string up the ornaments. Bake in the oven for about an hour, flipping over halfway through.

Allow the shapes to cool completely and then decorate with the pens and glitter.  Hang and engjoy.

Here are the fruits of our labor. I apologize for the ridiculously bad quality of the photos, but my regular camera will not communicate with my computer for some reason. I’m working on it, in the meantime, please bear with me.

Thanks again to Jenni for the inspiration! I think the boy’s green monster/vampire that he handcrafted is my favorite. Have you ever played with salt dough?

Handmade Magic Begins With Hands…

Dirty, clean, small, large..full of paint or yarn our hands are really our greatest tool when it comes to starting a life of handmade magic. Currently, I am in the process of working up some beautiful things for the upcoming launch of the Beeweave Esty shop. I’m hoping to launch by Halloween, even if it’s just with limited inventory at the time. I am so excited!

I know I have a long way to go before I got it all figured out and I’m a successful shop owner, but I feel so good about this path that I can’t help but feeling a bit giddy about the process. Lately, I have been working on figuring out what the staples of the Beeweave product line will be, while also working on some bigger projects. I have been stalking crochet patterns like crazy and trying out a lot of new things. I just feel my skills growing and that cheers me greatly.

I have also made a new decision. Last year, I did a largely handmade holiday but this year I want to expand upon that idea. I’m looking forward to planning some craft projects to do with my nephews and babysitting charges. I am already planning some craft projects for holiday gifts, but beyond that, I am super excited about supporting the handmade shops of my blog friends and mentors as well as Avon and Mark shops run by some amazing friends.

Is it weird that I get more excited about gift giving than getting? I have been known to be completely finished shopping before Halloween.

So, I’m looking forward to a holiday season of sharing new projects, patterns and things with you (my lovely readers). Ahh, it’s going to be an exciting time. I know it is a little early to be getting into the Christmas spirit, especially when I love fall so much. I have plenty of fall things planned too, but I just can’t help myself.

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about putting in the work to get to the new me, and I will certainly be checking in with a progress report soon. Things around here, they are a’changing. It’s time to blow the dust off this little blog and share my excitement with the world!



Lifestyle Makeover: Check-in and Some Changes

Honestly…I have still be struggling with achieving all of the goals I outlined for myself in my new Lifestyle Makeover here. But, it’s okay! Above all, I am sticking with my promise to treat myself kindly. Because if I can’t do that, how in the world can I expect anyone else to do so? I will continue to hold myself accountable and check-in here (if for no other reason than to continue that accountability), but I will not kick myself when I stumble. After all, I am only human.

My goals are still important. I still desire to:

1. Spend only what is necessary for bills, transportation and food.

2. Adopt better eating habits, focusing more on fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Take a work break every day that involves some sort of physical activity.

4. Make time for yourself and the activities that keep you calm, relaxed and happy: reading, writing creatively, crafting, taking photos, etc.

5. Don’t give up! No goal or dream is too small or silly to work towards accomplishing.

In order to truly embrace these goals and prove to myself that they deserve to continue to be a priority, I am going to revamp my daily schedule. I think coming up with a successful work schedule I will find way to fit other activities into my day (such as yoga, long walks, cooking, photography and crafting). So, this week I am going to give myself a trial run in hopes that it helps me focus on work and find the balance I need in order to be able to accomplish other lifestyle goals. I will succeed because I will not stop trying.

This week, I am going to focus on six, solid days of work. Even though my favorite person is coming to visit this weekend, I will still keep my focus. I am going to work in cycles in order to avoid the burn-out I often feel with trying to focus on completely a goal-amount of work each day. I will work on two articles at a time, then take a break to accomplish something productive/soothing/creative. For example, I will work on two articles and then go do some yoga or take a walk. I will work on another two articles and then cook a healthy dinner. I will work on another two articles and then learn a new crochet stitch or work on a new scarf. I just restocked with a bunch of awesome new yarns, and I am so excited to get crafting.

I will complete three or four cycles of work per day (completing between six and eight articles). Obviously, I will have to adjust this new working schedule a bit on the weeks I nanny. Though, I will probably stick to something similar, just taking a longer break in the mid-afternoon when I go babysit. I am also kicking around a few new ideas to take my nanny career to a new level.

All in all,  I haven’t done so well on the three weeks that have passed since I decided to put some actionable goals in place. However, I am beyond excited at everything I have on the horizon. It may be raining (not literally…goodbye Hurricaine Irene) but I am not going to shut myself in side. Oh no, I am going to find that little girl who used to love the rain and go dancing in the puddles. This is going to be one crazy ride, but its a beautiful life.

Week One: Check-in

Last week, I wrote about several areas of my life I am working to improve. I promised to use Monday’s as my check-in day and to be open and honest about my progress. Keeping those promises in mind, I have to report that last week was not the best. Sadly, I fell short on my goals for many of the days, but it is okay!  Though I listed specific goals, and I fully intend to renew those promises to work towards those goals each week, the underlying theme of this lifestyle makeover was to treat myself well.

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I am not always good at staying on track. Typically, when I fall off the wagon with something, I beat myself up over it and find myself so much further off the path.  This time, I am determined to reach my goals by treating myself well, being honest about my successes and failures. Instead of being an often-dreaded day of returning to work, Mondays are going to become days to which I look forward. This beginning of week will provide me with a weekly opportunity to renew my promises to myself. Each Monday will become cathartic and cleansing.

Last week, my goals were:

1. Spend only what is necessary for bills, transportation and food.

For the most part, I did okay on this goal. I am preparing to go on a trip in a few days, so my pantry is pretty bare. I did not want to restock it with things that were going to go bad while we are away. So, I spent more money on food than I would like, by eating out. I also made the decision that I needed some fun elements in my life.  Though I planned a family outing that was spectacular, I did will with only spending money for gas. Probably the only things truly unnecessary were some books (both Kindle and traditional) that I bought for my trip. Overall, I give myself a B- on the spending freeze. I have a feeling that this goal may become adjusted in the future.

2. Adopt better eating habits, focusing more on fresh fruits and vegetables.

While I was definitely more conscious of my choices last week, I did not always make the best decisions. There’s not really much to say on this front, except I am definitely looking forward to reaping the bounty of my mom’s garden during our visit this week. Overall, I give myself a C.

3. Take a work break every day that involves some sort of physical activity.

Here is where I definitely struggled the most. Last week featured a jam-packed schedule with both jobs. I was all over the place. Still, that work schedule is not going to change. In fact, it is a good thing because focusing on work is another priority: necessary for building a long-term career and necessary for fiscal responsibility. So, I need to shift my day by an hour or so, get up earlier or something to work in that exercise everyday. Overall, last week was a D.

4. Make time for yourself and the activities that keep you calm, relaxed and happy: reading, writing creatively, crafting, taking photos, etc.

When it comes to this goal, I actually surprised myself this past week. Often, when my schedule becomes insane I either get so bogged down I accomplish nothing, or I focus so intently, I ignore the rest of my life. Last week, I feel I actually did a really good job taking time out to decompress, or to spend time with loved ones. As a result, I did not get overwhelmed last week. I was able to focus on what was most important. I stayed happy within the chaos. I give myself an A.

5. Don’t give up! No goal or dream is too small or silly to work towards accomplishing.

Though last week was a struggle, with storm clouds hanging low, I am just packing my umbrella. I will keep pushing through. I will keep focusing on all that makes my life wonderful. I will continue to improve and grow, going after the lifestyle I crave. I am not giving up! 



Wednesday Wish List: Sunglasses!

I have a confession: I am a bit of a blog addict. My reader is regularly full of posts from the bloggers out there making their living with creative, crafty lifestyles. From fashion bloggers, to blog designers, to thrift queens, to handmade geniuses, I am always on the lookout for something new and inspirational. Reading the posts of someone else making a go of their handcrafted life provides me with so much inspiration, especially on those days where freelancing is hard and life just feels difficult.

Recently, I fell in love with Beca of Tales of a Tumbleweed. I can’t exactly remember how I discovered her, but I am pretty sure it was through her sponsorship on another blog. Beca and her boyfriend, Doug create the most beautiful, handmade, wooden sunglasses. Their shop: Tumbleweeds Oddities  is full of rare and beautiful creations.

Now, I am a girl who LIVES in jeans and t-shirts, with the occasional sundress or yoga pant ensemble thrown in. Despite my super-casual style, I do enjoy the pretty, feminine or unexpected accessory. I love, LOVE, love sunglasses and the first time I saw Beca and Doug’s, they blew me away. So, without further adieu…here Tumbleweed’s wooden sunglasses in all their glory.

Pewee Herman inspired

Olive Burl Clubmaster Style

American Walnut Wayfayer Style

Lace Wood and Olive Burl Two-tone Glasses

Zebra Wood Wayfayer Style

Italian Black Wood and Karelian Two-tone Style

 Each piece is unique, as the grains of each piece of wood veneer differs slightly from one another. So sporting a pair of Tumbleweed glasses truly makes you unique. Stop on over and give Beca a shout out, or scoop up your favorite pair today.



PS. All photo are copywright of Tumbleweed’s Oddities.

Staying on Track

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to grant ourselves a bit of reprieve. In my last post, I mentioned all of my new goals. These are not tiny, little things and I have been here before. In fact, I feel like I have been working toward my “ideal” way of life for years now, without doing much but spinning my wheels.

The truth of the matter is that, I have a cycle. I get real with myself, spend a few weeks looking deep to find out  what I want in life. I create a battle plan, assess goals. And then…I have zero follow through. I am not really sure why that is. By this point, I have spent enough time and energy really analyzing what I need and want from my life. Honestly, I think I get scared. I set big, lofty goals. Reaching them is going to require a lot of work.

This time, I am going to succeed. What’s different? This time, I plan to treat myself a little better on this journey to achieving a happy, healthy life full of handmade magic. It’s a journey, that’s what I have to keep reminding myself on the hard days. Each journey begins with a step.

Yesterday, was a good day. I worked hard. I spent only a little, on items I actually needed. I made time to clear my mind and did some stretching before bed. I could have done more exercise. I could have spent nothing, but overall, I kept those goals in mind. I lived yesterday frugally, thoughtfully, creatively and passionately. While it wasn’t an A+, home-run kind of day, it was a day that was successful. I took those first steps, and it felt good.

Today, I have a had a few things sidetrack me when it comes to work, but it is okay. I am nannying for a few extra hours today, and if I need to make up the articles I missed by working another half-day on a typical day off, I will do so. While my brain does occasionally need a break, I also know it is easier to stay on track if I write something everyday.

Today, as the fog begins to roll in and I recognize the signs of a storm warning, I am prepared. It is only day 2 of my new journey, but I will not get knocked off track. I will remind myself that each day I can check something off on my list of goals is a successful day. Each day I keep those goals in the forefront of my mind is a happy day. Each day I take a step forward puts me on further down the path toward living a life of which I proud.

Today, I am going to find peace and serenity in the fog, rather than becoming afraid. Today, I am going to be strong.

What are you doing today?



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