Archive for ‘routines and practices’

March 20, 2012

Texture Tuesday::Spring B&W eDition

by heatherkp

It’s Spring!  I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way the seasons have shifted.  Two weeks ago it was very windy and chilly on the beach but this week is glorious!  Things have really begun to change at the beach as the seasonal visitors have started to arrive.  This week marks the first spring break for some schools and there are college kids, families and couples enjoying the beach now.  I’ve got to face the fact that along with the nicer weather comes many more visitors, no more solitary beach walks now that spring has arrived!

Texture Tuesday::Solitary Beach Sunset (Kim Klassen Textures-ScratchedMagicJuly, Storm & WonderfulMagic)

I haven’t been here much lately and my posting has been inconsistent and not always focused and I’m sorry for that.  I hope I don’t come across as flaky or too unfocused because I’m pretty clear on my path ahead!  We are very busy as we wrap up our time living at the beach and look for part time jobs and housing as well as prepare to relaunch our businesses down in Charleston soon.   We’ve also been doing some work and spring cleaning around my in-laws to help out and of course tax prep has been underfoot!  This is the time of year I always do a wardrobe switch and even though I have a pretty through inventory of all our boxes in storage, locating summer clothes has been a challenge for me!  There are 2 boxes in there somewhere that contain shorts and casual short sleeve shirts…goodness I hope we don’t have to dig too far back to find them!  Happy Spring!!

January 31, 2012

Making room for Dreams!

by heatherkp

Wow, January went by fast!   Instead of setting a bunch of goals and resolutions for myself I decided to take a different approach to preparing myself for the year to come.  A big reason for our move to SC is to live the life we have DREAMED of living!  So, I’ve spent the better part of the month digging deeper, visioning, exploring the possibilities and really allowing myself to dream of what my life can be if I get out of my own way!

I love what Kahlil Gibran writes about dreams in The Garden of the Prophet; “You grow in sleep, and live your fuller life in your dreaming.”

I am exercising my ability to open to my dreams is by taking the online Mondo Beyondo Dream Big in the New Year course.  So far we are about half way through and the daily exercises have invited me to explore my hidden dreams.  What I’ve come to realize is that sometime after graduation from college I kind of forgot how to dream!   This may sound crazy but when I left school I had dreams of becoming a well known designer, designing my own line of products (or license designs) and traveling to exciting and inspiring locations.  Part of this dream came true but I also let insecurity creep in and listened to the naysayers until I eventually buried my own dreams in the daily grind.  It’s taken some coaxing but I’m slowly un burying those dreams, bringing them back to the surface, inviting the possibility of new dreams into my life and casting off the ones that I’ve decided I no longer need to hold onto.

Creating a vision board is one powerful way I’m expressing what I dream for my life.  In the past I’ve done vision boards with images but this time I decided to stick with words, which were easier to find and I added my own where I could not find them in magazines etc.  Words are very powerful and now I’ve got this vision board in a place where I can be reminded every day what I’m attracting into my life.

I am learning that allowing myself to dream involves faith and casting aside my worries.  I took this literally and wrote each worry on a shell and cast them into the ocean.  Now, each time a worry automatically creeps in and threatens those tender sprout’s of my dreams I remember that I’m no longer going to feed my worries, they are gone, out of my hands and cast to the sea.

As I’ve been exploring the possibilities of my dreams I’ve met some fantastic people including Business Coach, Mary Anna Lewis.  During a Dreams and Visions strategy session with her I wrote out “my perfect day” which was a truly powerful exercise!  I invite you go give it a try.  You can use any format you like, I used a letter as if I was writing to a dear friend who I hadn’t spoken to in awhile, telling them all about my life in general and explaining in more detail about how I spend a typical day.  I was asked to share this letter with the other participants that day and voicing it out loud gave it even more power Eveyone in that room said they could see me living it! 

Texture Tuesday-Kim Klassen “Confidence” texture (one of several layers)

Allowing yourself to really dream can be a scary proposition for some people.  If you haven’t actively allowed yourself to dream for awhile it might take some practice to get back into that place where you can let go of your own limitations, worries and rules.  When was the last time you sat down and wrote down some dreams?  Isn’t it time you do so?  Don’t let your life go by without really living the life you’ve dreamed of!

January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Unplug will you?

by heatherkp

This post was inspired by an interview I heard yesterday on NPR.  I can’t find a link to it but there’s been plenty of research about the science and befit of unplugging.  Certain college professors are challenging their students to hand in their cell phones and not check email or social media for a week and even some news broadcasters have taken the challenge (for news assignments or while on vacation).  All these devices are meant to make our lives easier, not to make us slaves to them.  I just don’t get it!  Here are a few of the benefits of trying to unplug a little on a daily, weekly or monthly (just do it sometime!) basis:

  • Giving your brain a rest.
  • Giving your eyes a rest.
  • Extra time, and who couldn’t use a bit of that!
  • More productivity (less continuous distractions).
  • More relaxed (De-stress).
  • Better focus.
  • My personal favorite~MORE CREATIVITY~ideas begin to flow more freely!

I do not personally have a smart phone.  I joke with friends and family that I have a stupid phone but secretly I’m glad to be able to have an excuse not to check social media even more frequently.  It’s bad enough that society has now made it acceptable for individuals to expect to be able to reach one another instantly.  I have a pet peve; when I’m hanging out with friends or family and they instantly stop having a conversation with the people they are with to respond to some text or call from someone elsewhere!  How RUDE!  How about relating with the people you are with first, then the one’s who are not physically present at a more appropriate time.  If you really need to answer or respond, politely excuse yourself and return to the conversation after you are done. This goes for business situations as well as personal ones and frankly if your company doesn’t have a policy of turning your ringers off in meetings maybe you should make it your personal policy.  And I’m not even going to mention laws about talking on the phone or texting while driving…Just. Don’t!  Okay, rant’s over…sorry!

I sometimes forget to even carry my phone with me and there have been a few times that this mistake caused others quite a bit of worry which I am truly sorry for but just 10 years ago if someone left to run errands and it took longer than expected people didn’t rush to the worst case scenario just because they couldn’t reach them instantly.  We need to learn to trust one an-others boundaries again and give people space!

Here are some of the ways I personally practice being unplugged for my own wellness.

I go without news/media at least 3 (up to 5) days a week, that goes for radio, TV and internet.

I try to go without my computer (checking email and social media) at least one day a week.

I don’t use my phone every day for texts or calls.  Some-days it can just wait!  Just ask my friends who might have tried to reach me:)

My cell phone is not in my bedroom at night, I have a separate battery powered (to minimize EMF’s) alarm clock.

No texting while driving and because I lived in a state that talking on the phone was illegal without a hands free device, I’ve adopted that habit to.

Do you unplug?  If so to what extreme, daily, weekly, part or totally unplugged?  If not, maybe you should give it a try and for goodness sakes have a little courtesy towards others when using all those devices okay?

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January 4, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Living with Less

by heatherkp

I’m back from the holiday whirlwind and I’m taking stock of my surroundings and the stuff around me (in physical and cyber space).  I was inspired by this article I read about Oouosji, the Japanese tradition of cleaning out for the new year.  The article got me up out of my chair clearing out the holiday decor and giving the house a little spiffing up!

January is also the official Get Organized month (Go-Month) and Organizers, magazines and media across the nation are promoting getting more organized.  The new year is a perfect time to start fresh and getting organized ranks a top resolution for many people.   I always love getting a little more organization, especially after letting a few things go over the holidays.  Since most of our belongings are in storage I’ve turned my attention towards digital and electronic organizing, including unread emails and blog posts in my RSS reader.  Here are some of the ways I’m simplifying, getting things organized and trying to live with less.

  •  Whittled the blogs I subscribe to down to those I really enjoy reading and those that didn’t focus on stuff-I love the eye candy but don’t need the additional temptation! (I didn’t keep track of how many I got rid of but this is my second round of clearing out in the past month).
  • Evaluated the twitter feeds I follow and reduced them by about 15%.
  • Went through my two separate emails (one for personal use the other for newsletters, stores, coupons etc…) to delete and unsubscribe from anything that no longer interests me.  I usually do this a couple times a year at minimum.
  • Went through all my digital photo files and deleted unwanted images and duplicates.  At the same time I’m adding tags and ratings in Lightroom and backing it all up to an external drive. (This has been an ongoing project over the past months)
  • Sorted through music to delete unwanted or duplicate songs while creating playlists and rankings.  (This is an ongoing project I will finish by the end of January)

Among all those emails I was clearing out there was this great article over at Becoming Minimalist.

Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.“-Joshua Becker

I got to thinking about how we are currently living with all our stuff is in storage.  I’ve found myself craving a few of my things over the past 6 weeks, which consists mostly of clothes I wish I hadn’t packed, cooking tools and craft supplies.  Everything else I can live with out for now.  I’m sure after living without most of our possessions for several months we will be much less attached and more likely to purge when we unpack.  Remind me of this will you when I get to that point?!

Right in the midst of all this I came across an article about this guys who only owns 15 items!  I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist but I long to embrace a less is more philosophy and lifestyle.   I am glad to say that our Christmas holiday was not “stuff” centered.  We did not give, nor receive an abundance of things.  I took some advice from the Joshua Becker article and grabbed one of the boxes we had gifts shipped in and filled it with stuff to give away…the process of living with less is one we have to continually re-evaluate and participate in.  As I walk the beach now I keep this in mind and rather than pick up each little beautiful treasure I take a photo of it and release it (most of the time:).

Stuff comes, stuff goes and the less you let come in the less you have to let go of!

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January 3, 2012

One Little Word 2012::SOAR

by heatherkp

I began the year up in the clouds at 3100′ elevation and I’ve been watching the birds soar at the beach so I know this is the right word for me for 2012.  I’ll share a little more about why later but for today I just wanted to stop in with this image and say Happy 2012!

This year I intend to SOAR!  What is your intention for the year?  Right Here is a fantastic comprehensive list of word ideas if you haven’t picked a word for the year yet.

Related articles

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December 5, 2011

Moving Monday::New Routines

by heatherkp

We’ve been here for about 3 weeks now and it’s funny how some new routines have already been established and some old one’s have maintained.  One routine I’m having a hard time re-establishing here is blogging so bear with me in my absence please!

We are now officially residents of South Carolina having made multiple trips to the DMV, courthouse and Social Security administration.  You wouldn’t believe all the documentation required to prove you are who you say you are here!   Anyways, that’s behind us and I’m looking to plant my feet as firmly in the sand as I can now.  Hum, sand shifts around a lot and that’s a perfect analogy for how I’m feeling about settling in here.  I’m not quite there yet!

I miss my three times a week yoga class, my monthly meetings for volunteering and organizing, my regular client appointments and visits with friends and my local food/farm sources.  I’m loving my new routine of going to the beach in the morning to watch the sunrise, write in my journal and walk.  I’m not doing this daily but a few times a week so far.  I also love going to watch the sunset on the Waccamaw river.

I’ve scouted out a few sources for locally grown food, one road side stand is just a few minutes from our house.  I’ve already got my local library card and checked out a stack of books.  I’ve made contact with the local NAPO Charleston chapter and plan to attend my first meeting next week.  I’m also currently working on getting involved with the local Master Gardener program.

I think it’s funny how easy it is for some routines to follow you wherever you go and other routines are more difficult to re-establish.  I’m looking forward to both establishing new routines and carrying on with the best of the old ones.

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November 24, 2011

A Flock of Thanks!

by heatherkp

I want to say thank you today to so many special people in my life.

I’d like to start with my Mom because she is the someone who has always encouraged and nurtured my creative spirit! She is hard working and has had many careers and volunteer positions that taught me the value of serving others.

Thank you to my dad who is the most giving and generous man I’ve ever met.  I value the sense of discipline, both spiritual and otherwise, I’ve learned from him (probably since he was career Navy)!

Thank you to my brother who is one of my best friends who I can share the adventures of life and fun with and my sister in law who is teaching me what it means to have a sister, not to mention one from a different culture (Norway)!

To my husband’s family who is honest, down to earth and the most “real” group of people I’ve ever met:)

Thank you to my husband who has been more supportive of me than I could ever ask for.  He knows me so well and reminds me to be gentile and forgiving of my own faults when I need to be.

To my fantastic friends who are my extended family and who inspire me to celebrate life!

Thanks be to all those who love us and all who we love and have loved!

…and a final thank you to our sweet kitties who shared a very special place in our hearts over the past 15+ years and who will always be with us in spirit.

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October 3, 2011

Moving Monday::Where to Begin with Packing

by heatherkp

Okay, it’s time for my weekly check in on our moving progress.  I’m excited to share that the house is on the market and has shown a few times.  It’s got to be kept spic and span which is a challenge in this state of affairs but it’s kind of nice!  I’m enjoying having things looking neat and clean for our last amount of time here.

A few more items have made their way onto Craigslist and the flea market is behind us now.  It was a wash out but we made a little money before it started pouring and the remaining non valuables went directly to donation.  So, what’s the next step?  Packing of course!  When it comes to packing I wanted to share a little of my strategy. I have a list week by week of what I will be packing by category.  I’m sure there will be a little overlap but it’s a plan and it creates weekly goals for our packing which will help keep us on track and feeling less overwhelmed.

  • Pictures and artwork, especially personal photo’s (those came down before we started to show the house).  Next, all the small artwork come off the walls.  I pack smaller photo’s and artwork in medium size boxes with newsprint wrapped around each and bubble wrap or cardboard between them.
  • Small decorative non function items. Otherwise known as Nicknacks:)
  • Formal china, stemware, crystal and serving pieces.  I’m not planning to do any formal entertaining before we leave so these things won’t be needed.  We don’t have a lot of it but what there is will go in boxes this week.
  • Any books I know I won’t be referring to.

By next week it will begin looking a bit more bare around here.  This is the part I don’t like very much but I’m hoping to embrace the empty space and enjoy the simplicity of living with less.

September 26, 2011

Moving Monday::House Tour

by heatherkp

Whaaaa, moving is so much work!  Okay so we haven’t really begun to pack yet because our focus has been on the purging, organizing, sorting and getting the house in ship shape for showing.  Since I took the photo’s the realtor will be using I thought I would share a behind the scenes tour of our home.

Welcome, please come on in!

Half Bath

The Kitchen

Our Back deck with my jungle of plants, sadly some will not be coming with us.

The Dining Room looking towards the back deck and the kitchen.

The living room

The living room from the dining room, as you can see the first floor has a very open floor plan and great windows!

The Master Bedroom

What use to be our guestroom is now our staging area with packing supplies at the ready.

2nd Bath

The Office

This pretty well concludes the tour of our home for the past 6 years.  I’ve left out a few areas including the full basement because it’s not much to look at right now.  Below is what it use to look like when I had my carpet design office down there, now it’s another staging and storage area but will be a great space for whomever move in here next.

There is still a lot to do, including getting stuff out of here which we are continuing to sell.  Rather than a yard sale we will be participating in a Flea Market to sell the remaining items this coming weekend.  A few furniture pieces, art and craft items, tires, tools, electronics and other odds and ends will be going.  Now that the house is pretty much ready to show we will on alert to vacate for the realtors at a moments notice.  I’m sure that’s going to be fun!  I’m trying to keep a positive attitude but the limbo part of this process is particularly tough on me.  I’m a very home based person so I feel I’m being invaded but it’s what we must do to move on.  I’ll be back next week with reports on the flea market and the realtor’s listing info.  If you know anyone who you think would love to live in this house in Gaithersburg, MD please get in touch!

September 19, 2011

Moving Monday::Week 5 Count Down

by heatherkp

This past week’s focus has been on part one of preparing the house to show.  Both my husband and I have been busy doing some serious deep cleaning, purging and misc. small job’s around the house to make it all shiny and ready to go on the market.  In some ways it doesn’t feel real yet, a lot of what we are doing could be chalked up to a really major fall cleaning and it’s small detail work that’s not all that visible on the surface but it will make a difference in showing.  On Friday the realtor came by to check things out, collect a key and discuss how the showings will work and this defiantly made the whole move seem more real!  This coming week is part two of getting the house ready which means more purging and then organizing the stuff that needs to go into neat areas and getting the stuff that we can out.

Today I had a cancellation in my schedule and I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to take advantage of it and stay home.  It was the perfect day to do a BIG PURGE of the ART and CRAFT SUPPLIES!   The husband’s been out of the house all day and I’ve had a movie marathon while sorting piles and piles of stuff.  I’m not done and might be staying up late to finish the fabric and yarn stash but I plan to get through all of the craft stuff TODAY!  I’ve got a really large pile so far and there’s sure to be more before I’m done!  I’ve toyed with the idea of trying to sell some of it at a flea market we are selling at in early October but I think with so much going on I’m just going to donate a big part of it and give some things to friends.  If you live in the DC metro area and want to know what I’ve got leave a comment or shoot me an email.

It feels FANTASTIC.  I was skeptical when I started this morning, I wasn’t sure I was in the right frame of mind to do this today but I feel so free and liberated.  If I don’t LOVE it, it’s going.   I mean, I’m finally getting rid of things I’ve moved about 4 times already (from MD to KY to GA back to MD), it’s about time don’t you think?   I have sooooo many types of craft and art supplies that go all the way back to when I worked in an art supply store in college.   Here’s what my stash includes and my strategy is to get rid of some things in all the categories because I still dabble in all the them and these are the creative outlets that will stick with me in the future as well.

Categories of Craft and Art Collections in my Stash::

Knitting (the yarn stash includes both knitting and weaving yarns!!)

Textile arts (dyes, chemicals and fixatives for dying yarns and fabrics of various kinds, also recently have accumulated various rusted metal objects for natural dying and I still have a large stash of onion skins even though I did one batch of natural dying with them recently)

Weaving *OK, I haven’t really woven in 6 years! (except a small bit on my table loom) but I still have tools etc I’m not ready to part with.  Will I ever weave again?  I hope so!

Sewing (patterns, embroidery supplies, fabric, thread and other tools and supplies)

Paper crafts (glues, papers galore, brads, stamps, paper punches, cutters etc) *Did I ever mention here I use to have a small greeting card line when I lived in GA?  I still make holiday cards and do other paper crafting quite frequently.

Fine art (paints, pastels, boards and canvases, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks and various specialty papers)

Is there anything I don’t have?  It feels like it but I suppose if I did clay or more 3-d art it might be worse.  At least my loom (which is FOR SALE) is dis-assembled and got rid of basket making supplies after our last move.

The remainder of this week is CRUNCH time for getting the house ready to show.  Mainly this means more purging and then organizing all the stuff we are getting rid of into neat categories of DONATIONS, FOR SALE and TRASH (which needs to go to the dump this week).  I’ve also got some fall yard cleanup to do and it looks like the weather should be pretty nice for this.