Perhaps you are here wondering who is this Ash that I’m making a list of. Let me explain then. Read more
One of the best things about the holiday season is the celebration, the gift-giving, and spreading love.
Also fun fact: did you know St. Nicholas (or Niklaus) was actually a 4th century bishop from what is now modern-day Turkey? He was known for giving gifts to children, among many other awesome deeds. There’s a very informative Twitter thread about this.
So onto the spirit of the historically accurate St. Nicholas, here is a list of some simple yet wholesomely good things you can do right now that have little to no cost:
- Compliment a stranger.
- Greet the guards and school janitors.
- Donate to a charity. For example: the rhinos will definitely appreciate your few bucks. Imagine a happy, healthy rhino. Save a rhino today.
- Gift a bookworm a book you’ve read. Or, even better, gift them a book on their wishlist.
Speaking of which, if you want to give a book to a marginalized teen, consider donating through Diverse Book Bridge.
Not everyone has public libraries with an amazing array of books, much less an easy access to a public library. So reading a book with a great rep that the teen can absolutely relate to would be an awesome gift 🙂
Since it’s the season of giving, would any of you wonderful bookish people consider donating a book to a marginalized teen? It would be the perfect gift for many people out there in this season💖👌 https://t.co/ZR4DWAkiQL
— Diverse Book Bridge – On Hiatus (@DivBookBridge) December 21, 2017
- Help someone cross the street.
- Hug a friend.
- Thank your parents.
- Thank everyone who has impacted your life in some way this year. And American friends, I get it. This is what Thanksgiving is for but, I mean. Nothing wrong with expressing gratitude one more time this year, yes? 🙂
- Tell your fam you love them.
- Buy someone a coffee. Like me. I would greatly appreciate it if you buy me a coffee <3
- Buy from a street vendor.
- Treat retail workers and waiters like the actual human beings that they are.
- Actually, treat any living thing like the actual live beings that they are. Translation: don’t be a jerk.
- Listen to a geek geek out.
- Be curious about someone else’s interests.
- Don’t skip the ads.
- Boost someone else’s project. Actually, boost anyone and everyone who needs more lovin’.
Here’s a quick list of awesome people and their projects that I want to boost:
<3 This video by Eden which sounds like a great idea we should all do every holiday.
<3 The Chameleon Project by anonora in which she will host a bunch of creatives in her blog next year.
<3 Maud of My Passion Projects whose blog I recently discovered and is a Super Awesome Blogger, no doubt about that.
<3 L.C. Fiore’s The Last Great American Magic, because it is an amazing read and must be read by everyone, in my opinion. Also, you can check out other novels by indie authors that I highly recommend here.
<3 Lia creating a database of publishers that send ARCs (or Advance Reading Copies*) to international reviewers.
Twitter help me out! I want to create a list/database of publishers that send ARCs to international reviewers, so if you're an international (non-US/UK) and have ever had a publisher sent you an ARC, please DM me or reply with contact details of that publisher!
— Lia (@lostinink_) December 6, 2017
- Do your online shopping using someone’s affiliate link.
- Use the correct pronouns.
- Respect someone saying no. Actually, just respect everyone. Again, don’t be a jerk.
- Reach out to friends you’ve gotten out of touch.
- Leave thoughtful comments on videos and posts.
- Share the content of your favorite creative.
- Credit a creative’s work. This one I want everyone, especially myself, to be more aware of from now on.
Whew. This was supposed to be a 300+ short but sweet listicle post but I kind of got carried away…? So yeah hehe 😀
My point here is this: it does not cost you much to give something to other people. And you don’t necessarily have to give money or other material things. Even the things you thought was trivial can be a huge deal to someone else.
And so this list is a reminder to everyone, including myself, of the good things you can do to anyone right this moment. Pick one—or three or more—and share the holiday love 🙂
How else can you do something nice to someone with little to no cost? Share them below!
PS: If you like this post, here are other little things you can do to spread love this holiday season.
* edit: I first wrote “author review copies” like the pathetic potato that I am lolol
A friendly note from your resident potato:
This is a guest post written by Ellen of If It Brings You Joy. Below, she shared an awesome idea I want to try out for myself 🙂 You can also check out what I’ve written on her blog here. And, you know, scroll through her blog while you’re there 😉
Okay, onto the post.
When was the last time you took time to do nothing? Absolutely, sweet nothing? (Scrolling through your email or Facebook feed does not qualify as doing nothing!)
Sometimes we let our lives get so busy that we forget to take time for a little self-care for our mind. “Mental” self-care is easy and really doesn’t require much time, and you deserve the benefits that this type of self-care will bring to you.
The focus of a healthy lifestyle is often about eating healthy and being physically active. Of course those two aspects are important to have a healthy lifestyle, but just as important is being mentally (or emotionally) healthy. Yet, exercising our mind is often overlooked in the quest for better health.
A healthy positive mindset gives us a boost for being better able to handle everything life brings our way. Self-care for the mind promotes the ability to focus. And building your ability to focus will help you be able to respond instead of react to a situation because you’ll be in the mindset that enables you to think.
It will ultimately lead to a decrease in stress and increase in joyful living. And you’ll be better equipped to fully recognize and appreciate the big and little joys of life. #Win.
31-Day Self-Care Challenge for a Healthy, Positive Mindset
Even though self-care for your mind aims to slow your thought, in the end it will help increase momentum of your positive thoughts that will move you to a more appreciative, joyful life. Don’t underestimate your power to get yourself on a path of a healthier, positive mindset. Get started today on your path by taking my 31-Day Self-Care Challenge!
It’s really very simple: give yourself permission to do nothing AND enjoy it! Here’s how:
- Sit in a comfy chair, on the floor, at your office desk, or anywhere that’s convenient. You can be in your home, office, or even out in nature. Sometimes I sit in my car in a parking lot!
- Now, slow your mind and try to stop all thought. As thoughts come into your mind, simply guide your mind back to a state of rest. At first it may be challenging to stop thought. However, the more you practice, the easier it will be to keep your mind clear.
- Oh, you don’t have time? No problem! This challenge requires only 5 minutes per day. Set a timer (available on any smartphone) so you don’t worry about the time. If you’re inspired, gradually increase the amount of time you give your brain a break. Work your way up to 20 minutes on days that allow you the time. Just try to do the minimum of 5 minutes every day for the full 31 days.
And that’s it!
If you take the time out of your busy life to slow down and commit to this challenge for 31 days, I suspect you will be hooked because you’ll feel better. You’ll realize that by slowing your mind for a few minutes a day, you’ll be a more relaxed person.
As your mind slows, you’ll gain more focus and clarity that will help you make choices that lead to the life you want for yourself.
Even though you may be feeling stressed because life is busy and there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done, taking time to slow your mind will actually help you get more done. You’ll gain the focus and clarity needed to think clearly and have a positive frame of mind. With those two things going for you, you’ll find yourself in a more relaxed, de-stressed mindset.
You might be thinking that this sounds a lot like meditation, and you’re right!
Meditation often gets a bad rap because people think it’s all about sitting in an awkward position with the thumb and finger pressed together. But in reality, meditation is whatever you want it to be.
There are no hard rules, you just need to slow your mind. Call it what you want, just take the time to do it and reap the benefits.
I’ll leave you with this quote by Doe Zantamata, author of the two-book series, Happiness in Your Life. Take my challenge, and may your mind be calmed so you are able to put things into perspective. Life is going to happen and we can’t control it all. But by being better equipped to put things into perspective, you’ll be on your way to a more joyful life.
About the author:
Ellen Burgan from If It Brings You Joy has a passion to practice and inspire others to lead a positive, healthful lifestyle. She shares strategies for building good daily habits, breaking bad ones, and ultimately becoming your best, joyful self. Ellen also has 30+ years of experience as a business analyst.
Aside from taking a breather from school and inhaling yummy food, I always thought that Christmas is all about giving and joy and celebrating life and all its good things.
Perhaps this year has been meh or really really awful for you. And I get it, the horrible stuff are pretty difficult to ignore. I know that firsthand. But it’s important to remind yourself that there are still reasons to keep smiling and forge ahead with resilience. This is Ash’s aim for creating Bloggers’ Secret Santa.
It was one of the highlights of my Christmas last year. So imagine my surprise when I received a message from her asking me if I can help out on this year’s Bloggers’ Secret Santa.
So okay. To those who aren’t familiar with Secret Santa, it’s basically being randomly assigned a person and giving them a gift anonymously. In this case, your Christmas gift is the inspiring words you’ll write to a fellow blogger.
And hush, you. Yes, you, you self-doubter. Your words are inspiring. Don’t say it’s not. I’ve seen what you can do. And even if I haven’t, I believe in you and your kindness. Okay? Okay <3
HOW EXACTLY ARE WE DOING THIS, KATE?
I’m so glad you asked. Here’s what you’re gonna do:
- Fill in the super short form I have at the end of this post.
- You have until Thursday, December 14th 23:59 GMT to sign up and take part. The next day, your names will go in a random name generator thingamabob and you’ll receive an email telling you the person you’ll be the Secret Santa to. It’s kinda like in Hunger Games except, you know, there’s no killing.
- Please don’t tell anyone who you got. Because where’s the suspense in that, amirite?
- From the time you know the person you have, you’ll be required to make a post of over 500 words for them. This is where your mad blogging skills comes into the picture. The post is basically an appreciation post for all their awesomeness and hard work. (In my case, it’s an opportunity to fangirl on someone hekhek)
- Add your own unique spin to the post! If you want to sing them a song, make them a ppt of their awesomeness, GO DO IT! It’s fun and makes them feel special 🙂
- That said, you can title the post however you want. Just include the name of the person you have so they can find it easily. Or, you know, link to their blog!
- You can start publishing your posts on Monday December 25th 0:00 GMT. Use the tag #BloggersSecretSanta on your blog and all over social media so once everything’s published, we know where to find your awesome and inspiring post 😉
(you can even check out the tag on Reader right now to see all the awesome posts made last year!)
- And the most critical part: add all of the dates to your calendar! Especially if you’re forgetful like moi, you’ll really need it.
I think this is a great way to spread the love and happiness this holiday season. And, as Ash brilliantly said in her post last year, we’re all a big happy blogging family, yes? YES? Yes.
So whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you’re still very much welcome to join. It’s also a great way to make new blogging friends, especially if the person you get is someone you barely talk to. And I would totally appreciate it if you spread the word about this (by reblogging, tweeting, etc) so we can all have fun together!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate on asking me. 🙂
Happy Weekend, you beautiful unicorns!
You ever wake up in the morning and realize: holy schnitzel I have tags to do!
I did today.
So here I am scouring my comment page for pingbacks of tags I’ve been tagged with. And this one’s fun and I really really love tags that spread the love and positivity all over the blogosphere and give me a great excuse to fangirl fellow bloggers 😉 So here we are!
I know I rarely do tags now and I’ve decided that from now on I want to use tags and awards as a sort of platform to promote awesome people.
Oh durrr Kate. Isn’t that the whole purpose of tags and awards?
Well yes, how silly of me. But I specifically want it to be my tiny platform for bloggers whose awesome content deserves much much more love.
And not just bloggers! My next tag, and the last one for 2017, is a bookish one and I plan on using that to promote the Super Awesome indie novels I read this year. But that’s something for a later post hehe so let’s carry on with this!
Thank you to the ever-lovely, brilliant creator of Bloggers’ Secret Santa, Ash of Call Me Ash who tagged me. And shoutout to the equally amazing Chloe Lauren who made this tag last year to congratulate and commend other bloggers in a series of categories. Both their blogs are AWESOME you guys, so go check them out!
<3 Thank the person who tagged you.
<3 Choose a Blog or Blogger per category and explain why you chose them.
<3 Tag others to do this (up to you how many).
INSTAGRAM – A BLOG WITH A DESIGN YOU LOVE:
Rebecca (The Pixie Chronicles)
Rebecca. Oh, Rebecca. If you scroll through her recent posts, you might find me leave a comment or two where I’m shamelessly fangirling over her design. I mean. How can I not??? Amidst a crowd of gorgeous minimalist blog designs stands Rebecca’s blog with its beautiful vintage feel <3 It’s like you’re taken to a fairy tale character’s blog. Isn’t that exciting???
I love this lady and her blog so so much. She also talks about everything bookish, so… you know, if you ever need any more reason to go check out their blog. (Which you really don’t, let’s be real here. Just go there stat.)
FACEBOOK – A BLOG WITH A FRIENDLY BLOGGER:
I found this lovely lady on Twitter, a place on the Interwebs where, let’s all be totally honest here, people show their true savagery. And she’s like one of the lights on there who constantly support other bloggers and bless my TL with her never-ending kindness <3
Zoe is a mental health blogger and I absolutely love the honest way in which she writes her blog posts and she shares some really great, practical advice on staying on top of your mental health.
TWITTER – A BLOGGER WHO COULD WRITE JUST 280 CHARACTERS AND YOU WOULD STILL LOVE THEM:
April (Travelling Wanderer)
Oh gawd, April gives some of the most inspiring tweets to exist on Twitter. There have been plenty of times when I was upset about something and I’d see a tweet of hers and I’m instantly filled with motivation and inspiration.
It’s incredible. She’s incredible. I was actually conflicted on whether I should put her on Instagram or Twitter because her design skills are also A++ and she coded it all herself, you guys!
YOUTUBE – A BLOG WHICH KEEPS YOU ENTERTAINED:
K is one of the funniest person I’ve met on the blogosphere! No, seriously. Her dry wit is top dollar and she can write about her dog and I’d gobble it up like a starving duck. She gives the best advice too! It’s like you’re given the talk by your no-nonsense older sis. She also has a great taste in music (Thank you for sharing about Milky Chance, K! I’m now a fan :D)
SNAPCHAT – THE BLOGGER WHOSE UPDATES YOU CAN’T WAIT FOR:
These two lovely people don’t really have any blog schedule but, I can guarantee you, every post they publish is worth the read and I’ve been following them for months, probably even more than a year now.
Bea writes about pressing issues our generation faces that we seriously need to talk about more as well as inspiring essays to feed to your soul. Chris, on the other hand, knows the secret to moving and heartwarming personal essays. If you need to read something inspiring and motivational, please consider binge-reading these two’s blogs. You will not regret it, pinky promise.
TUMBLR – A BLOG WHICH IS VERY DIVERSE AND HAS VARIETY:
I absolutely love the lovely person behind this blog! She writes engaging posts, leaves heartwarming comments, and there’s a bit of everything in her blog. And it’s the bits of everything that I absolutely enjoy and am interested myself! I mean: anything bookish, graphic novels, movies and the occasional adorable posts on pugs? YES PLEASE.
PINTEREST – A BLOG WHICH IS FULL OF CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION:
Maddie (A Little Mad Smith)
To be honest, I rarely read food blog or crafts blog, because 1) I can cook something well as much as I can fly (which means I try, but it almost always never goes well) and 2) I’m not really into using glues and scissors…? I mean, all throughout the history of this blog, I only did one. single. crafty. project. BUT OHMIGOSH MADDIE’S BLOG YOU GUYS. It’s filled to the brim with genius crafts and yummy recipes! Her blog posts always inspire me to channel my creativity in different ways.
Do check out all of these bloggers because they’re all awesome! 😀 I’ll see ya next Saturday!
PS: My blog birthday giveaway is still going on 🙂 If you wanna join, you can check it out here.
Oh my lord, I didn’t even realize until it was literally just a few days until my lil’ blog’s birthday! This precious pitter-pat officially went live three years ago on November 12th… Or was it the 14th? I honestly forgot HAHAHA (<– shameless + pathetic)
I feel so old now, having been in the blogosphere for three years. And honestly, I feel like I don’t want to be too sentimental about this. My blog has been a permanent part of my life for sooo long and I know it will continue being so for a veeery long time 🙂 And that’s all there is to say about that.
I want to take this moment, instead, to thank all of you 700+ beautiful bumble bees who have been here with me. Whether that has been since two or three years ago or just an hour ago. Thank you so much. You all have inspired me countless times and I look forward to being inspired by all of you in the next year <3
Also: how timely is this!
I finally (FINALLY) finished cleaning the autumn watercolor graphic elements I did last September.
This is free. Like seriously. I promise your postman won’t deliver any unexpected bills from me to your doorstep, cross my heart.
These are all in PNG format and have transparent backgrounds so you can put them on any image of any color with no hassle. You can click on the image above if you want to download all of them at once. But if you have an eye for only one or some of them, click here to download your desired graphic elements individually.
Should you download it, linking to my blog or mentioning me is not necessary but very much appreciated 😉
I only ask one thing: please do not sell or give away any or some or all of the graphics to any one else. You may direct them to this post so they can download their own copy and everybody’s happy, right? Right!
And another thing:
You know how I said in the title blog birthday giveawaySSSSS?
Because I have more than one! 😀
Okay so here’s how the other one goes. It’s kind of a bit more complicated. I dunno. And it’s not much. Maybe you won’t like it. I’ll let you be the judge of that. But anyway.
Dear Beautiful People of the Internet:
I had so much fun with my first artsy giveaway early this year. I mean: drawing those hands clutching a book for Ilsa, the book-reading pose for Lia, Sasha’s fabulous pink hijab, and Kiya’s camera. These were all things I haven’t drawn until then and I enjoyed doing all of them SO MUCH.
I couldn’t NOT do another artsy giveaway.
So here’s the gist of it all:
I’ll pick three (because 3rd blog birthday obvs) random people who will win either of the following:
An art commission. A stylized portrait of you or your persona (or the man/woman of your dreams) with a simple background, or maybe a simple illustration with minimal props, etc. So long as I could accomplish your illustration with pencil, ink, and watercolor, with a bit of digital added in there, I’m all for it!
Just two things I won’t draw: realistic portraits or any famous classical paintings like van Gogh’s Starry Night. Because 1) realistic portraits and classical paintings take too much time and 2) I’m not… classically trained.
Note: Sadly, this will not include any pretty gold frames and won’t be delivered at your doorstep. Though I would love to explore that in the future, for now this will be digital and a high quality image will be sent your way.
A header and/or other graphic elements. So like a blog header, or a logo, or pretty dividers and other bits and bobs you’ll want to make your blog prettier. All 100% handmade by yours truly and all 100% made only for you <3
Judging from my first artsy giveaway, the blog graphic one isn’t that popular and, I mean, I totally understand! I enjoy making my own blog pretty myself! But I’ve had people reach out to me asking if I do blog headers and stuff so I thought, “Why the heck not?”
3 Simple Things You Need to Do to Enter:
<3 Click here to tweet so others will know. Or if you don’t have a Twitter, just holler about it on your blog and link to this post. I’m not picky.
<3 Comment below which one you wanna win (and choose just one, okay?)
<3 And tell me one Super Awesome Blogger whose Super Awesome Blog you want me to check out 🙂
I’m not really sure how many of you will enter–maybe more, maybe less. But anyway. This giveaway/raffle/thingy will run until the end of the year, December 31st 2017, and I’ll pick the winners sometime in January.
I wish you all the best of luck and hope you have a weekend as Super Awesome as you! <3
Note: The last two photos are not mine. I only added text and image overlays on them. Thus, that is not my torso. Though I so wish that was my shirt </3
Something that has been bothering me lately is how I never seem to finish anything. And I mean anything creative.
Like I would have this awesome idea for an illustration or a blog post bubbling in my head and I just know it would be so fun to create or write and gahhh it’s so good where’s my pen gimme paper and then—
Whoosh. It’s gone. And it’s messing. Me. UP.
Do you ever have that happen? Like one minute you have this cool idea of a blog post or a novel or a drawing or something and it’s extremely exciting. But before you can even act on it, it just dissipated into thin air?
It is completely frustrating. And I’ve been struggling with it for some time. So I thought I’d do a bit of reflection on how I got through my previous creative blocks (because this is obviously not the first time I experienced a creative block.)
I listed them down below for all of the precious creative corn cobs who is or has suffered from creative block like yours truly 😉
Let’s battle these horrible blocks together, yeah?
Remember “Finished, Not Perfect”
See, perfectionism can be that grumpy old troll blocking your path. As a creative, I easily get sucked into this whirlpool mentality that what I do, I should be doing perfectly. What happens is that I focus on perfection more and end up with these perfect yet unfinished works. And let’s be real here, those don’t really give that same amount of satisfaction as finished works do.
The creator of the famous Inktober Challenge, Jake Parker has this short video where he gave this really good point about how a year from now, you’d think you could’ve done better.
So why fuss about it so much now, when you know you’re gonna be better at it in the future?
Now, whenever I’m writing a blog post or creating an illustration, I make it a point to just focus on finishing it. Sometimes it comes easy, like being at the moment of drawing something. And sometimes overthinking starts to nudge me on the side and I’ll have to force myself to get back to doing what I’m doing.
During those times, I remember that my goal at that moment is “finished, not perfect.” You can watch Jake Parker’s video below:
Create a Mental Accountability Exercise
Whenever I read articles on how to be productive when you’re unmotivated or something similar, one tip they always throw out is to keep distractions away from you.
This doesn’t work for me.
I grew up having to think of things to keep myself occupied without any help from the adults. And while that’s a good thing for my creativity, it does have some negative side: I am always distracted.
Like I would try to keep my phone away from me when I work but then ooh! There’s that book my sister bought last week, let’s read the blurb! Or I would study somewhere in our campus with few people hanging around but gosh, look at those rooftops outside, what color are those?
See what I mean?
So instead of keeping them away, I have to build on my inner focus more. Which is why I’m trying to create this habit of having a regular mental accountability exercise. Like every hour or so I’d think, “Okay, Kate. How are you? And how have you been doing this-and-that so far? What’s your progress? What are you finding difficulty on?”
It’s like I’m being the supervisor of my own self, weirdly funny as that sounds. I haven’t built this habit firmly yet but the times when I do completely immerse myself in the exercise I finish more work and I feel I enjoyed doing them more.
Change Things Up
I don’t know why. But when you’re doing routine work in a different way, it’s refreshing. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
I’ve been struggling with finishing blog posts lately, which is why I’ve been having these short impromptu blogging breaks the past few months. I just can’t seem to write well in my laptop for some reason.
So I decided I’d write the first draft of this post on my tablet and then edit on my laptop. And ohmybuttertoast, it worked! It freaking worked you guys! My train of thought went more smoothly than when I’m typing on my laptop. And it felt weird. Weirdly good. It felt like it’s been a long time since I wrote something and finished it.
Of course, I had to add in some stuff while I edited the draft on my laptop. But the point here is: by changing just one small detail in my routine, I actually worked better.
Take a Break from What You’re Doing
I honestly can’t stress this point enough. I even made a separate post before on the importance of taking a break. Breaks are important and we’re usually in this hustle mindset that we forget to sit back and catch a breather. Heck even I do.
Last month, I made the decision of stepping away from my Wednesday-and-Saturday blogging schedule because it’s just not doing any good for me recently. I needed a fresh perspective and a new routine.
October gave me that opportunity with Inktober. There were times when I had to do a bit of catch up but I enjoyed Inktober! And it has opened new creative, artsy doors that were totally refreshing.
(Also PS, if you haven’t read it yet, I’ve written a whole post on my first Inktober and what I’ve taken away from that experience)
And I know this contradicts that first part about finishing your work. But you know what? Why not try both?
I’ve been in a time when I thought, “Crap crap crap this looks awful, this really looks awful” but continued doing it anyway and finished it and freakin’ loved how it looked. And I’ve also been in a time when I simply turned the page of my sketchbook and told myself, “I’ll go back to that later. Maybe it won’t look as awful by then.” On both times, things worked out alright.
A few more ideas
I love reading blog posts or listening to podcasts on creativity and ideas. So here are some other bloggers’ take on creative blocks and, in general, capturing the ever fleeting and slippery ghouls called ideas.
May of Forever and Everly shared a simple yet very crucial tip we sometimes forget when blogging: when you have great blog post ideas, freaking write. Them. Down. (Also, her post is all about blogging pet peeves which is totally hilarious so go check it out after you’ve written that idea down, okay?)
In this post on organizing your blogging life, Ilsa of A Whisper of Ink gave me the most amazing idea for saving ideas (so meta I know) BOOKMARKS! Why haven’t I thought of that before???
The lovely blogger from Thoughts from ’94 wrote this post on writer’s block. I especially loved how she said blogging is not always about the writing but also experiencing things because YAS GURL I TOTALLY AGREE.
Y’all also check out where Lauren of Loulabellerose find blogging inspiration. I love how she added “Myself” there and it reminded me of an episode from The Magic Lessons podcast where Liz Gilbert and her guest of the episode talked about how wonderful it is to find inspiration from yourself.
Check out these girls’ lovely blogs, yo! They’re really amazing 😉
See, there are so many ways that you can go about conquering creative block. That’s the great thing about dealing with problems on creativity.
There is no perfect solution. There are hundreds of ways that you can navigate to. And you can try one or three or all hundreds of them and learn which one works for you and which doesn’t 🙂
YOUR TURN: Have you experienced creative block? How did you deal with it? Share your wisdom in the comments!
This post was sponsored by UncommonGoods. I only promote products I think are awesome + all opinions are 100% my own. 🙂
We’re more than halfway through October, can you believe that?
It seems like only yesterday that I unwrapped my Christmas gifts and now I’m making my Christmas wishlist already! (Too early? Nah.)
Now I can’t speak for us all but there are a few things most crafty and creative ladies like: we love quirky things that makes a statement but are also functional, we’re obsessed with #aesthetics, and most of all, we appreciate handmade goods very much.
I was recently introduced to UncommonGoods, a Brooklyn-based online marketplace for handmade and recycled products, and I was excited to work with them! They focus on creating a sustainable business, from paying entry-level workers considerably more than the minimum wage to taking a stand on why paid family leave for all workers is important. (Because it-freakin-does and someone needs to say it dammit)
Best of all, the site is teeming with handmade goods perfect to give to the lovely creative women of your life these coming holidays. And, if you’re one yourself, get ready to get lost in all the interesting handmade products they have. I know I did.
Check out 17 of my best finds in UncommonGoods that I’m sure every creative girl will like to have this holiday season below.
(Also PS, I would love to have these as gifts too. *wink wink*)
Gift for Her Kitchen
Elwood the Rainbow Unicorn Mug for drinking morning tea or coffee. Or maybe even to put brushes in because we all know the versatility of mugs, yeah?
Buddha Bowl because it looks so cool and curvy ok?? And would definitely be a beautiful addition to your kitchenware.
State Slate Cheese Boards, particularly for our fellow crafty ladies in US, because there are faaar better and more creative ways to show state pride with friends than wearing a baseball hat, amirite??? Check out more Christmas gifts that will fit in with your budget or your interest.
Agate Coasters because we all need something enchanting to place our cups and glasses.
Gift to Keep Her Room Organized
Suspension Bridge Shelf to put all your crafty tools and supplies, or books, or cute succulents.
Birth Month Mini Dish for keeping the keys and those tiny bobby pins and changes in one place and offer a pop of color to any room.
Gilded Branches Jewelry Tree to hang the jewelries on and, let’s face it, that has the additional elegance needed for a great Instagram photo of your dresser or desk.
Owl Eyeglasses Holder because it’s a perfect place to put your eyeglasses—away from the danger of being broken in half. (I’ve broken too many of my glasses this way, I kid you not.)
Moon Phase Waxed Canvas Pouch to store your creative kit and bring with you wherever you go. Check out more Christmas gift ideas for teens here.
Gift for Her Wardrobe
Mother Nestling Birds Necklace because it’s a perfect to gift to any mother, be it your friend, your wife, your grandma or your own mom.
Birth Month Flower Necklace to always have a little nature wherever you go.
Unicorn and Rainbow Mismatched Earrings to show your quirkiness. Also: they’re unicorn and rainbow. Come on.
Literary Scarves because you can be bookish and stylish at the same time, end of story. Head over here for more Christmas gift ideas for your creative best friends. (Like me hekhek.)
Gift for De-Stressing
Green Herbal Tea Kit that you can drink every morning, noon, or night. Or all the time, really.
Cats and Unicorn & Rainbow Stamps for something extra when writing on your journal.
Literary Candles that you can light whether you’re reading a book or not.
Chakras Bath Salts for when you need a long relaxing bath. Or! Maybe you just want to arrange those vivid-colored bath salts in rainbow order. That’s also a whole other kind of relaxing in my opinion 😉
Here are the rest of the items on the list above:
There are sooo much more where these came from and I’m still absolutely blown away by the amount of ingenious and creative ideas that made these goods. Some of these were made by materials that would have been thrown away!
Like that jewelry tree and cheese board; those branches are collected from the desert in California and the soapstone they made the cheese boards with is what quarries deemed waste material. Can you imagine that? Head over to UncommonGoods for more gift ideas not just for crafty ladies but for anyone you know.
Have you made your holiday wishlist? What do you absolutely want to get for Christmas? Are you even already planning for Christmas like I am?? Share them in the comments!
This is actually an old post that I kinda made a huge overhaul on. Still have the same points as its older version 😉
Do you have that person in your school or workplace or neighborhood? That smart-Sheldon who won the chess tournament or happy-go-lucky-Larry who won employee of the year or Tracy-girl-next-door who baked the chocolate pie that got the highest-bid.
They have this light in them. Their sureness and confidence blind you, make you look away.
And then there’s you. A helium balloon. Floating aimlessly and letting yourself be carried away by circumstances. You look at them again and you think, “Man, they have everything figured out, don’t they?”
Yo that’s me too. The helium balloon. And you know what? I’m okay. It’s okay to not have everything figured out right now. Here’s why.
There are still so much to discover
The world around you extends beyond your reach. Think about that. There are still so many things beyond what you see in front of you and you can’t possibly know all of them all at once. There are simply so much more for you to discover. And not only around and beyond what you see; even inside you.
If you’re a fellow young adult, I’m willing to bet there are still parts of yourself that you don’t know much about.
And friend, that’s completely okay!
Like Shrek famously said, we have layers (although, I know he meant ogres. But c’mon! Even humans do right???) We’ve barely scratched the surface of who we are.
I like to think that the teenage years and early-twenties of your life are the time for self-discovery. This is when you’re starting to get a grasp of every bit of you—who you are and what inspires you and what you aspire to be.
So go ahead. Give yourself permission to explore both your outer and inner worlds.
We all have our own paces
So we’ve already agreed no one has it all figured out, right?
Well sometimes, it’s not accepting this fact that’s difficult. It’s believing this is true for you. It’s believing that it’s not necessary for you to have everything figured out right now. This is incredibly difficult to acknowledge, I know.
Whenever I think of where I am in my life at the moment, I always (always) end up comparing myself to others. It’s an annoying habit that I’m trying to end. Because it ends up with me thinking, “I should be at this point in my life right now” or “What am I doing wrong?” or “Just give up; this isn’t for me.”
Total killer of your self-esteem, I tell you.
I took a time off school last year and during the five months that I was away, I learned a whole new kind of scary things. But it was also during those five months that I learned I wasn’t part of any “rat race”.
I wasn’t “falling behind.”
I was, and am, simply trudging through life in my own pace, period. It took me going back to uni to have that registered in my brain, ya know. We should totally learn from turtles and sloths. They’re incredibly slow right? But what if they’re only incredibly slow in our perspective? Maybe they thrive at that pace. And thrive they certainly do. Just like how cheetahs thrive being the fastest animal on land.
We all run our lives at different paces. Quick or slow, it doesn’t matter so long as you reach your goal and have enjoyed the journey to get there.
You’ve got time
This relates to being at your own pace.
See, I think we have this belief that time is constantly slipping away from our hands. As if we need to achieve a certain number of things at a certain amount of time.
I mean look at Alexander Hamilton (why does he write like he’s running out of time?)
But don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making specific attainable goals. In fact I like making these kinds of tiny goals. The problem arises when we try to place ourselves in “standards.” Like by thirty years old you have to start thinking about starting a family. Um, no thanks?
Young adults, especially, are placed in immense pressure to think about their careers by age fifteen, some even younger. My family, bless them, never really put me and my siblings under pressure. My mom would always say, “Pssh don’t think too much about it. You’ll know it when you know it.” But society isn’t as kind, we all know that.
The point is, most teenagers are still patting our way in this maze called life. We take a wrong turn here and arrive at a dead-end there. We’re still starting to grasp life. Still identifying the many options laid out for us. It seems unfair to expect us to have it all figured out already, don’t you think?
I’m jealous of those awesome peeps who stride through their lives at a brisk, sure pace. In a way, they motivate me to be surer of every step I take. But because of that, I also empathize to those who are uncertain like me.
If you beat yourself up over not having things figured out, stop it. Here’s the truth, in its unfiltered un-sugarcoated state:
No one really has it all figured out. Not even Sheldon or Larry or Tracy. No matter how much it looks like they do.
Instead of wallowing up in self-pity (and I know firsthand how hard this part is) find comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
So here’s what you can do:
Give yourself permission to explore your world, the inner and outer ones. And, in your own pace, pat your way around the maze. Stop looking over how Sheldon or Larry or Tracy. This is a maze made especially for you. And finding your way through it is not going to be an overnight process.
It will definitely take time and dozens of wrong-turns and detours. But you’ll be fine. You got this.
Maybe you would get there. Maybe you wouldn’t. But on the way, you’ll pick up lessons and new experiences. Treasure those more and learn from them, because these are what you’ll be carrying with you to your next destination, wherever that will be.
Your turn: What are you working on at the moment? What’s happening in your life right now? Share it with me in the comments below! 🙂
Hey guys! I just wanted to let y’all know that starting October (aka tomorrow), I will only be posting on Saturdays. I want to give away some time to fully participate in Inktober so yeah 🙂 Don’t worry! I will still be active here (interacting with other blogs and dropping embarrassing fangirling comments) and on social media. I’m reconnecting with Bloglovin so if you have one, share ’em below so I can follow you, okay? Okay!
Hope y’all have an awesome October and see you all next Saturday! 😉
I don’t have any favorite colors. I like all colors equally. I believe that all colors are beautiful in their own little ways.
So once in a while, I’m gonna share with you guys the awesome color combinations I discovered and make a neat little list of them with pretty collages of pictures using these colors. This isn’t gonna be a regular feature, by the way. Just whenever I find a handful of gorgeous color combos. Okay? Okay! Let’s go!
But first, a disclaimer: None of the images I used in the collages below are mine and I will never claim them as mine. I found all of these via Pinterest and have made a board exclusively for this post. Please check out my Pinterest board if you want to know where I got them.
If any of the images below are yours and would like for me to take them down, please contact me through this page and I will do it as soon as possible. 🙂
Lagoon + Baby Pink
This is the more pastel-y version of my blog’s color scheme. (Also, notice how I used it in my headings and subheadings like with this post? 😉 ) I’ve been in love with this color pair ever since my blog revamp last year. Together, they create this light and fluffy feminine atmosphere and that’s exactly how I want my blog to feel. Also they kinda look like candies, right???
Cerulean + Mandarin
I wasn’t usually into dark and bold color combinations. And this color combination is super bold. I mean, look at those shades of blue and orange. They’re vivid and they contrast each other. But that somehow works because the orange pops against the blue. And I really really (really) like it when one of the color pair pops out and the other simply helps. It’s like a dance, don’t you think? 😀
Maroon + Gold
This is also a bold color combo but where the cerulean and mandarin has this heavy atmosphere, maroon and gold is more elegant. I mean, doesn’t that color combo remind you of royalty? It reminds me of that. Also GRYFFINDOR COLORS! (I mean, I’m a Ravenclaw. #AndProud. But still.)
Navy Blue + Rose
UGH I LOVE THIS COLOR COMBO SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN asdkjefghsnml
This is a color combo I would wear in a heartbeat. Because I really like how the feminine feel of the rose color balances out with the masculine-ish feel of navy blue. Also light and dark shades. They contrast.
Purple + Dandelion
If you’ve noticed, all of my collages above have some kind of food included in them. And, I’ve checked, the rest below have too. Only this collage doesn’t and I regret not looking for a purple ice cream or cake *sheds a tear*
Anyway. Purple and yellow are the secondary colors of my blog color scheme (as you probably notice their “secondary presence” in my design). I added them several months after choosing my main colors. I love this color pair because they’re bright. And their brightness keeps the airy feel of my teal + pink main color pair grounded.
Baby Blue + Lemon Yellow
I don’t know why but when I see this color combo, it reminds me of a super cute doll house. DOESN’T IT OR IS THAT JUST ME? Like lagoon and baby pink, it’s a light color combo but it looks a teeeeny tiny bit less feminine and more youthful. For me at least. This is definitely the kind of color combination I like to use for a youthful and happy illustration.
Tumbleweed + Mustard
Don’t you just love earthy tones for fall??? I do. I do a HECK lot.
Honestly, mustard was one of those colors that I find hard to like. It reminded me of… well, mustard. And I don’t like mustard. (I’m a ketchup kind of girl ok??) But I remember seeing someone mix mustard with a earthy colors like meadow green and tumbleweed and that’s when I realized it’s actually a pretty color!
Not to mention, one of my favorite artists, Taryn (aka @taryndraws) absolutely makes mustard and other earthy tones loveable every chance she gets.
Dusky Cedar + Olive
AHHHHH ever since I discovered dusky cedar last year, I have been in love with it! It’s one of those colors perfect for autumn and with olive green, it’s much much better! I really like pairing different shades of red with different shades of green. They’re just pretty to look at <3
I had so much fun making the collages for this and I loved looking at the variety of color combinations I have here.
Your turn: Do you have a favorite color? What color combinations are YOU loving right now? I’m on a personal hunt for pretty color combinations so share your faves below!