Category Archives: Inspiration

My Weekend Inspiration


“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

—Lucille Ball

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you follow me on Goodreads you know that I’ve had a few books on my “Currently Reading” shelf for more than a year. Two of them are The Artist’s Way Every Day and Simple Abundance I started both of these “daybooks” last year and stopped reading when life changed dramatically: Lily switched schools, I started my MFA program, and I really got serious about publishing Stealing the Ruby Slippers.   

Last year I was trying to be really strict about reading them. It was something for my To-Do list and if I missed a few days I made myself go back and get caught up, entirely defeating the purpose of short bursts of inspiration.


This year, I’m doing things differently, and I’m loving it.

I’m missing days.

I’m purposefully skipping days.

I’m stopping in the middle of reading to journal or create.


Yesterday, this Lucille Ball quote stood out to me in Simple Abundance, so I sat down and made myself a Valentine.


Lily loves Valentine’s Day (hearts, pink, it’s her thing) and it’s the anniversary of the first “real” date Chris and I went on. I have plans for special things for the kids and special things for Chris today. So, it was perfect, yesterday, to be reminded to do something special for myself too.

Selflessness has been put on a pedestal as the highest virtue, while narcissism is condemned. Often, the verse where Jesus says to “Love your neighbor as yourself” is quoted as a reminder to put other people first. Here’s the thing, though. We’re forgetting the last part of what he said. “As yourself.” Which means that it’s okay to love yourself. In fact, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO SHOW LOVE TO YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CAN SHOW LOVE TO SOMEONE ELSE. Like the airlines say, “In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you.Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. If you see someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”

Because we’ll all pass out if we’re so busy trying to put a mask on someone else we can’t breathe ourselves.

Month in Review- January

Are you on my email list? If not, you should be. So go sign up. Or, go to NoiseTrade and download one of my books and get on it that way. Either way. Sign up. Love me. (Also, I only send you one or two emails a month, and I don’t recycle blog posts, so it’s totally worth the tiny amount of your time and makes me feel warm and fuzzy. And like you love me.) Anyway, in my January newsletter I reviewed 2014 accomplishments and 2015 dreams. One thing I’m really making an effort to do (and, two months in, so far, so good!) is to revisit and review my dreams each month to make sure I’m still on track. So…here’s where I’m at:


Progress as of 1/31/15

Publish another book Book has gone through beta readers, is with one last reviewer, and I’m looking for final editor and cover designer.
“Do” two short stories a month (one drafted, one completed) 2 stories went through reading group, although, full disclosure, both were written earlier and I haven’t done any new shorts at all.
Publish at least four short stories see above
Draft two more novels I finished the first draft of Clouded and started (thinking about) the outline for another.
Read at least 96 books I read 8!
Complete 12 new paintings One done, one started, theme established.
Get Spiraling Forward Jewelry into 3-5 boutiques You can now buy Spiraling Forward at Doodle Bird!
Have/be in an art show No progress other than painting
15-20 gym visits/month 14 🙁
4+ yoga/Pilates classes/month 4! Plus I took Chris!
One vegetarian day/week Didn’t do it.
Speak at 2 conferences 1 Scheduled.
Continue to reduce clutter This goal is not written in a measurable way, but I’d say it’s going well.
1 artist date Sort of did but sort of didn’t.
Attend 2 book/writing events Went to 2, but one was already over.
1 real date with hubby More than 1!
1 art event Doubled w/ artist date

I also made some changes to the planner pages, if you want, you can grab a new set here.

How was your January? Are you still working on goals?

What do you mean it’s spring?

Derek Harper [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

I didn’t take this picture (as you can see by the caption.) But I could have. Snow is melting like crazy here. Last month marked the official first day of spring, and with it we had actual warm weather for a few days, then a small snowstorm, some rain, and, this last weekend, weather so warm (60!) that we didn’t wear jackets and opened every window in our house.

It’s been a long hard winter in Minnesota. There were stretches for days where we tried to avoid going outside for anything non-essential because of the dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills. We also got a ton of snow. Our pipes froze, and our furnace went out. It was a great first winter back.

With the winter also came some huge changes in my life. I started the MFA program at Hamline University in January. It has been an incredible experience thus far and I am so thankful to be a part of such an awesome writing community.

In February I finally bit the bullet and published Your Pilates Life. I’ve been sitting on this book for a very long time (for reasons outlined in the Author’s note at the beginning) and I really wanted to get it into the hands of readers. It’s available for free on Noisetrade and the response has been incredible. In the last week alone more than 100 people have downloaded it! Please check it out and tell me what you think!

I’ve also been working diligently on Stealing the Ruby Slippers and am excited to announce that it will be out in May in both print and digital formats! I’m working with an amazing editor, and I got to see a first look at the cover this week.

I promise I’m going to start posting more regularly. I don’t know what that means yet, because, lets be honest, life is crazy. But…I think I can safely say I’ll be here for sure once a week. I hope to see you too.

Fun summer necklaces

I’ve been in a chunky jewelry phase lately, which is funny since I used to only where really simple plain stuff. My current taste is reflected in what I’ve been making, including these beauties listed today:

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Chunky Green Square Stone Necklace

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Layered silver chain necklace with flat mother-of-pearl beads

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Double strand natural mother of pearl diamond beads necklace

Wire wrapped fun

Did you ever notice that a treble clef has a spiral in the middle? I did when I was crafting the wire wrap for this necklace: it started out as a simple spiral that I was going to mirror, but sometimes the wire has other things in mind. I hope you enjoy it and the other items in today’s blog!


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Wire Wrapped Music Necklace- Treble Clef

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Wire wrapped heart and stone necklace

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Earrings: Wire earrings, Pink earrings, dangle earrings

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Necklace: Green and pink necklace, Natural stone necklace, Wire Wrapped necklace

Magnetic Paint?

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I’ve just learned that Magnetic Paint exists. Anyone ever used it? I guess it’s technically primer, so a lot of people paint over it with Chalkboard Paint. I love this idea for my kitchen. I want to do magnetic spice tins, I was going to just get a sheet of metal to hang them on, but this would work better. And I could make a weekly meal calendar, shopping list, etc., if the whole wall was a chalk board.

So??? Help me out! I guess it takes several coats, so it’s not super duper easy, but according to some reviews, it’s worth it. Yes? No?