Tuesday, May 17, 2011
|Garden at Croteaux|
The old wood in the orignal barn has such beautiful texture and shades of gray, it's my inspiration for a mastser bedroom.
Natural linens evoke a relaxed, calming feeling and will be my fabric of choice. Next, I need to source the fabrics.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Creating Magical Moments
Yes, it is and there is no secret to the key. It's easy once you get started!
Each of us are unique and have something special to share with the world. Here are some tips to help you create magical moments in your life this holiday season. It starts with setting priorities. We want the best for everyone we know. But, we must be kind to ourselves first. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Be truthful to yourself with budgets of time and money and accept it lovingly.
- Make a commitment to yourself not to exceed your budget.
- Create a list, carry it with you. Check it off, studies show it increases endorphins from a sense of accomplishment.
- Don't over think gift selections. It causes stress & sometimes makes you spend more.
- Make multiple purchases of a similar items for extended family & friends. It saves you time, money and stress.
- If you want to make a personal gift, select one or two immediate family members to ensure you will have enough time. Next year, make it for another close relative.
- Use last year's holiday cards to create gift tags. It adds a special touch & it's fun too!
- Keep a calendar, such as in Outlook. It helps you keep commitments & is a great reminder!
- Select one evening each week to wrap gifts you purchased or made. You won't be overwhelmed on the night before Christmas! (Write it in your calendar to make a commitment.)
- Write down when your bills are due on your calendar so you don't forget with all the distractions.
- Don't have much time to do all the baking you want to?? Select one favorite recipe and make it for the main holiday celebration.
- Do at least one interactive activity with a child such as finger painting, singing nursery rhymes, coloring, playing cards, baking. It will make you feel like a kid again!
- Take a minimum of 20 minutes completely for yourself each week, creating some sort of ritual. Take a hot bath with scented salts, go for a walk, paint, draw or do a craft that you like. Identify your unique talents, interests and desires and do something within that realm to celebrate YOU!
My father loved angels & churches.
My earliest memory is of my dad placing a miniature church made out of cardboard & glitter on the tree. The stained glass windows were made from red cellophane. The back of the church had an opening so a light would shine through and illuminate the church. I was in awe & thought it was magical!
A few years ago, I found a similar replica, pictured here. Every holiday, it's the first decoration I put out. I savor the wonderful and loving memories they gave me. The angel ornaments adorn the tree and gift tags are made from nostalgic pictures. It's magical for me and represents a loving family, a good life and joy from the heart!
Creating memories with family& friends is truly important. Be kind and true to yourself, have fun, find joy in your own magical holiday memories!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
o Create a ‘Finish My Projects’ book using a spiral notebook or composition book. This is your workbook. Write down your ideas on projects, planning and materials lists.
o Write down all of your unfinished projects.
o Add one or two projects you really want to get done if they are not on the list.
o Take a deep breath and feel good that you de-cluttered your mind trying to remember all the things you need to do.
o Having a place to write down your goals & plans is like journaling. It is very rewarding as well as it being a place you can refer to; or reflect upon to see the positive changes you made in daily living or accomplishments made over time.
o List the tasks/jobs in order of importance A, B, C.
o Put the ‘A’ Task/Jobs on a separate page.
o Estimate how much time each ‘A’ task will take. (ie. Re-cover chairs – 1 hr./chair
Total Job= 4 hours).
o If a task/job seems overwhelming or too large, write it down on a separate page. Break it down into 5 smaller tasks.
o Write quickly and easily without dwelling on the details.
Select & Schedule
o Choose the top 3 to 10 projects on your ‘A’ list.
o Determine the total number of estimated hours it will take for you to complete the tasks selected.
o Revise your selection and reduce the number to projects you will undertake in the near future.
o Postpone all remaining projects until after the holidays. Select a date you will review the other projects and make an appointment with yourself to do so. Write that appointment on your calendar in your projects book, home calendar and office calendar and commit to it.
o Use this list to re-organize yourself after the holidays.
Make a Commitment
o Estimate how much time you are willing to contribute to the overall task list between now and Thanksgiving.
o Use a calendar and count up the free time you are willing to contribute. Add a Calendar page in your workbook and pencil in the day, # hours you are willing to work.
Establish a Deadline
o Make a commitment to yourself or someone else that you will complete at least (3) of the projects on your ‘A’ List by a certain date, such as before Thanksgiving.
Tackle Easiest Job First
o To boost your energy and get you going, start with the fastest or easiest project.
o This will give you an overall good feeling and sense of accomplishment.
o It will also give you motivation to tackle Project #2 and help you in the planning process.
Organize & List Materials Needed
o Now is the time for details and planning. Choose your next project and do not skip forward to any other project.
o List materials needed.
o Write down each task.
o Re-organize your tasks in order. What needs to be done first? What is next & so on.
o Continue writing until you come to the last step.
o Review your Action Steps.
Start Your Project
o Select a date on your calendar where you allocated free time & commit yourself to it.
o Use your Action Step Check List as a guide/tool when doing the project. It will help you stay focused. Check off each action step as completed.
o Do not answer your phone during project. The less interruptions, the better. You can always listen to voicemail if you get that distracted. Call after committed project time is completed.
o Stop when you have finished the committed hours for that time period. If you have the energy and time to continue, do so until completion of another action step. Schedule the balance of work on the calendar. Again, make a mental commitment to yourself to keep hold that promise.
o Give yourself permission to stop if you are getting tired or have an interruption that cannot be re-scheduled.
o Avoid unnecessary conflicts by being rigid or short-tempered. Set a boundary with interruptions by family members, saying that your time is scheduled and you will get back to them when you are free. Be kind and firm.
o Re-evaluate your action steps and edit them if they are not working for you.
Finish Your Project
o Be thorough and follow through.
o Getting results in a planned and balanced manner is very rewarding. Besides, it gets our endorphins flowing and gives us that overall glow!
o Avoid procrastination and stress by sticking to the plan and taking time to think it through. Again, follow through until completion.
o If you are getting outside help, plan out your work and complete all action steps required- before outside help arrives on the job. Whether volunteer or paid help, respect of the individual’s time affects your stress level, the relationship and your schedule.
o Be detail oriented and hold yourself accountable for the project. Don’t blame others for your own lack of effort. Be kind, but, be firm with yourself.
o Revel in your accomplishment. No task- big or small, should go without acknowledgement of all the thoughtful planning and effort you invested into completing the job.
o Congratulations, job well done!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
As I contemplate what changes to make in my life, I realize it's a time to pause and make time to restore my energy.
We cannot be hard on ourselves when our body is telling us, " I'm running out of energy! I need to rest! I need to nourish my soul! I need to play! I need to step away from all my responsibilities! Please give me some time!!"
Imagine your breath creating ripples on the water as they catch the reflection of sunlight. Again, you feel nurtured by the warmth and light of the sun.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Post May 18
Post May 19
Sunday, May 3, 2009
San Ramon, an agricultural town located in the highlands of the Central Valley, is about 45 minutes northwest of San Jose, and close to the famous cloud forests of Monteverde and Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. Neighboring towns are Los Angeles, Palmares, Grecia, and Atenas.
Near the campus of Costa Rica University at the edge of town, every Friday and Saturday, the local farmer's market is held where you can get delicious ripe fruit and vegetable and fresh flowers every week.
Fresh produce purchased at the open air farmer's market is at local economy prices. But, gringos look out! Make sure the vendor has a price marked, otherwise the price may go up!
Back in the U.S., so many of us are talking about having a garden this season. If the White House can have one, why can't you? Once the initial time is invested to set it up, the rewards you reap far outweigh the work needed throughout the summer.
We are even thinking about having chickens and guinea hens. What a hoot!