Happy Monday!

Good morning! I hope you are well today. I am feeling a bit sluggish. I believe it’s because I stayed up watching football. I ended up pulling out my colored pencils and coloring book during the Patriot’s game to alleviate some of the stress. I am going to try to complete coloring a page a week so that I can actually finish a coloring book!

I have included a few photos from my fall fairy garden. I first bought one for my father-in-law a few years ago so I decided to buy one for myself about a year ago. Three of the plants lasted from last year (I tend to neglect my garden between seasons) so I just added the flowers to the landscape. I would like to make a walkway for the little pumpkin house. But that’s it because I can go overboard.  I have it on my deck right now but as it gets frosty out, I will bring it in for the winter.

Last week was very productive at work and with my genealogy research. I am still at what I call the beginning stages and continue to find inspiration and learn new information from the wealth of Youtube channels dedicated to family history research. My sister is even getting the bug and called me last week to tell me she is sending me a document she found at our family home regarding one of my uncles. Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates has begun a new season and I just love watching them help people discover more about their family history.

On the health side of things, I hurt my knee working out last week and so I have been trying creative ways to keep my fitness program on track. Injuries seem to occur easier the older I become — grrrr. Today is my Meatless Monday and I am proud to say that I have been able to keep this up for several months now.

Yesterday it was fun watching Apollo and Leao working on some sort of circuit/computer set that Apollo had received on his last birthday. They get all into it and I love seeing them working together. I wish I had things like that when I was growing up. Very cool.

Well, I must go, I have a short work day today because I have to bring Nick to the dentist so off I go.

Have a blessed day my friends!

Belinda

 

 

Happy Monday : A focus on quality time.

Wow, last week flew by for me but I managed to be quite productive which makes my insides smile. I managed to complete more than I had planned for work with little procrastination. Can’t quite shake all of it but I sure did accomplish a great deal last week and that’s something to celebrate.

Leao and I went on another wonderful date night out for some Tapas on Tuesday and I laugh because I always manage to stuff myself sampling so many tapas. They are all so yummy. But the best part was the time alone with Leao talking. We have such great conversations and I love the time that I can focus on him alone without interruption. The night air was warm for October so it was fun to be out in the evening walking with him after eating. We plan on weekly date nights now that the boys are older and handling themselves well. It’s great to reach this phase and I feel recharged each time. I don’t take this time for granted and am grateful for every moment.

On Wednesday, I left work a little early and spent the day with my talented crafty friends. It was so great to see faces I hadn’t seen in such a long time. Despite the large turnout, I couldn’t believe how much I accomplished. We even had time to grab dinner together and I still l managed to be productive. I am really trying to make it a priority to spend time with friends. It seems like time moves so fast and not too long ago, we all used to meet once a week to laugh and work on our craft projects. But somehow, things have changed and the frequency is less and less. So I am going to try to coordinate with Leao and try to make it happen more often, weather permitting.  While I was out with my friends, Leao helped Apollo with his craft project that had to accompany him for this week’s poetry reciting in front of his class. I provided instructions before I left and I think they did a fantastic job. His caterpillar is named Carmen. Apollo’s presentation went well even though the eyes came off before he was able to present.

Yesterday, we all drove to my nephews’ home to help them celebrate my niece’s 6th birthday.  It rained early and then cleared in time for the kids to play in the bounce house and run around. My boys didn’t take to the girly themed party but were good sports nonetheless. It was great to hang out with family and watch the endless energy of a group of 6-year-olds. We came home in the early afternoon and still had time to enjoy some football.

Time with my boys has evolved over the years. As their interests change and their independence increases the amount of quality time together decreases. But I continually try to find ways to connect. Lately, that is with books and gaming. You all know I am a bookworm so that one is easy. Gaming, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging because I am so terrible at it.  But I have been making it a point to try. This weekend, we have blocked out time for gaming and I even have scheduled additional time for it today since they have the day off from school.  So I will be playing Minecraft with Apollo and Super Smash brothers with Nick later today. I hope that I can continue to find ways to keep our connections as we enter new phases in their young lives.

Today is a rainy day here and I am working only a half day and then off for some fun. I hope you all have a happy Monday and I will catch up with you later this week.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

Belinda

Cute Cuts: Succulents Rock!

Welcome to my new blog series – Cute Cuts! I have amassed a zillion cut files for my Silhouette over the years and so many have not been used. I usually see them in the Silhouette store and order them with all sorts of ideas in mind. Then days and months go by and they are not used. So in order to inspire you all to use your stuff and push me to use mine, I thought I would begin sharing cute cut files from my stash. Today’s file is from the amazing Lori Whitlock who has been creating amazing files for years. I saw it (succulent) and had to have it. I love succulents I have Sedum Autumn Joy all over my yard and inside I have several Jade plants so I am no stranger to these beauties. When I saw this file I felt strongly that I wanted to own a succulent cut file and downloaded it from Silhouette Design Store.  Both the plant and the pot are included in the file.

I increased the size a little but after looking at it, next time I might make the actual plant slightly larger than the file for the pot. I used some leftover paper shreds from my youngest son’s recent birthday party to fill the pot. I found an older fall sticker sheet from Simple Stories to add some design to the pot. The sticker sheet is called Harvest Lane. I am not sure they are still being sold but a quick search online and I bet either Amazon or Joanns’ website will have one.

I placed it on one of my display shelves in my room to add to my autumn decor.  Well, that’s it for me today. I have to get back to work but I will be back soon to share another Cute Cut File!

Happy crafting!

Belinda

Happy Monday: Work in Progress

Good Monday Morning! I think I have tried to keep it real with you all when sharing on this blog. It is my intent to connect with you and provide sneak peeks “behind the curtain” of Belinda’s Crafts from time to time. It is also my hope to eventually feature new products and announce specials for new products going into my shop. But in addition to that, I want you, as reader and customers to understand more about my business through this blog by learning more about me and my interests as well as share the ups and downs of running my own business. That said, I would like to share my recent challenges and possible solutions.

Every business has ups and downs for that is the nature of building a business and the sooner this is fully grasped, then that is when the real magic may occur. Because it is really how business owners handle the lows that set good business owners from great ones. The ability to balance life with family, creative drive, confidence and the actual work have been major factors in my experience and I have not always handled them well. What I have noticed lately, is I have been procrastinating putting in the time even when I do have time and making excuses when confronted whether by a friend or myself as to where I am at.Here’s what I know doesn’t work for me:

  • Winging it. Just creating when I have a serious desire.
  • Only working when I have large chunks of time.
  • Not setting aside time to plan my monthly and weekly goals.
  • Not planning my week’s schedule the Saturday before.
  • Not providing specific deadlines.
  • Looking on Instagram

Here’s what I believe works for me:

  • Using my planner to schedule my weekly tasks and sticking to it.
  • Working even on days I am not inspired.
  • Staying off Instagram because although there is inspiration there are also factors that lead to daggers in my confidence.
  • Not comparing myself to others and having confidence that I was created with a unique gift to offer the world as we all are and to focus on my abilities, not others. Envy is draining and quite frankly a waste of time.
  • Setting deadlines and stick to them. If I miss one or two, not to let that keep me from moving forward.

So the funny thing is that I was lost without the use of my planner to guide me along my journey. I had been using it faithfully and then all of the sudden I just stopped and so did any progress I was making. So this past Saturday, I cleaned my desk and sat with my planner and scheduled my weeks’ work. I can’t tell you how much of a burden that has lifted. I woke with so much joy and pep in my step this morning knowing that I planned my path and all I need to do is sit down and work little by little towards my deadlines. I really am looking forward to my journey this week. I will not allow past setback weigh on my mind while I move forward.

I hope you all have a blessed Monday and thanks for taking the time to visit!

Belinda

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