let go. show up. repeat.

LAMOTT

This is such a relatable quote. Over the weekend I was working on a project for the blog and started to feel anxious about getting everything just right. I started rebranding a couple weeks ago and I’m still feeling things out. It was only after a little therapeutic paper crafting…

paper-rose

…that I began to calm down and realize that everything will come together eventually. I’ve got to let go of “perfect” and just show up. ♡

Paper flower how-to over at: bhg.com/papercards

here i am, with cake

Did everyone have a nice weekend? It was Easter weekend for those that celebrate. As usual, I hadn’t really planned on doing anything major for the holiday. After goofing off with Mac and the cat for most of the day on Saturday (photo evidence: instagram), I decided to make a bunny cake. It’s one box of Gluten Free yellow cake mix (Pillsbury), two 8″ cake rounds, cream cheese frosting (1 and 1/2 cans), sweetened coconut flakes (one bag), Hershey’s dark chocolate eggs (for the eyes) and I put mini M&Ms inside the ears as a surprise (click gallery above for enlarged view).

This cake is very sweet and you need to drink a glass of cold milk with it, for sure. I put a slideshow on my instagram to show the construction. Next time I’ll make the Gluten Free Chocolate cake mix…I would have preferred carrot cake – because that’s my favorite – but I could only find the yellow and chocolate flavors. Oh well. Cake is CAKE. I didn’t really need to dress up for Easter dinner with my friend on Sunday, but I decided to wear a dress anyway and lipstick. Which is pretty rare for me. I kinda hate lipstick, it’s a texture thing.

There was so much cake leftover that I brought it to work the next day. I tend to get embarrassed with compliments (introvert alert) but I did pretty well with the “thanks for the cake” and “that cake was goooood” comments and I felt like the bunny brightened everyone’s Monday just a little.  Cake has a tendency to do that, you know.

click here to see a tutorial for a little fox cake.

between-space

“I will write more!”

**two months later**

ordinarilyaimee-between_space1

Things have been strange/difficult the last two months and that’s not always the best time to post on the blog. Plus, I’m tired. We’re all a bit tired, I’m sure.

The internet and social media is mucking me up. Detaching from the feeds and scheduling my time online more thoughtfully is what I’m doing for the rest of the year. There’s a lot of things I love about the internet, sometimes it feels like the only connection I have to other humans (hermit alert), though I find the good can be almost as draining as the bad.

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I’m in that between-space. That place where you need to make changes and wriggle out of the space you’ve made for yourself because it’s stifling or dark or mucked up. Things feel mucked up and I just want to un-muck, you know? Maybe it’s the Spring? Maybe it’s the hayfever?

(effin pollen, am I right?)

The other day I picked myself up off the couch, went into the kitchen and made a candle then I planted flowers, and after that I went through my closet to change out the winter clothes to spring, walked the dog, and went to the grocery store to buy actual human food. So, yeah, I’m slowly doing things again. When I was deep in depression I wondered how anyone had time to do things – like laundry. It was too much to wrap my head around the idea that I could get the basic things done AND go meet with a friend or go to the movies…or read a magazine.

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Now, I make plans to do things outside of the basics. That means I’m doing better with the depression – doesn’t it? To be able to see past the now and into the near future – just far enough to see the good that’s coming, that’s something like progress…♡

sometimes always

So far…January hasn’t been too bad, considering the all the crap we have to look forward to…sorry, that sounded a bit negative, didn’t it? Most of the time I prefer not to be negative in this space, if it’s not constructive or funny I’ll usually just keep it to myself. Which accounts for the gaps of time between posts. Right now I’m being very careful with my self-care and food planning and slowly crawling out of the depression I’ve cloaked myself in for the last year.

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Sometimes, for me,  self-care, looks like detaching –or retreating into my aimeecave, as I like to call it. That’s what it may look like, actually it’s just me re-calibrating myself so that I don’t I fall back down the rabbit hole.

Exercise helps, much to my dismay. I’m moving more the last few weeks than I have in a while. Next I’ll work on getting to bed earlier. Sleep is magic, and getting adequate rest is so much better than burn-out. I’ve also started doodling in the ol’ sketchbook; scribbling helps me cope with over-thinking. Which I do a lot of…somebody referred to it at overactive thinking. I don’t know if that’s completely accurate. Also, I am not sure if it’s possible to be too self-aware…because sometimes that’s how I feel when I can’t calm things down (up in my brain.)

In other news…

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Somebody’s getting married!

Not me (maniacal laugh) but I’m the one that gets to design all the pretties! I’m too excited; it’s nice to have something like a wedding (as long as it’s not mine) to look forward to. ♡

 

 

heartfully yours

Aren’t we all so very glad that 2016 is over? I woke up this morning, thinking: finally.

We begin again, clear our lenses, a clean slate (of sorts).

“We might have to fight the monsters more than once.”

I’ve pinned that phrase to my twitter. It’s an appropriate theme for 2017; accepting that we must remain vigilant in the face of our inevitable and sometimes recurring hardships. That our ability to get back up after we fall will always be stronger than that which made us fall in the first place-to ensure that the fear of falling will not stop us from making the necessary leaps that foster growth.

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I have to admit, my lens is not completely clear. Trust that I have so much more work to do in that regard, still, I’m cautiously optimistic about the new year.

Self-care remains a priority, an important part of which is the act of letting things go…actual, physical things and the less tangible things or ideas that can weigh us down; disappointments, fails and dead ends.

Empathy and light is another focus. There is no doubt we all need more of that in our lives, probably now more than ever.

Ideation, creativity and community is something I always want more of…or struggle with, since my introverted nature makes connecting with others, in a meaningful way, quite a wobbly endeavor.

In 2017 I will strive for these things. I will read more, write more, share more of myself and my work. I will learn or unlearn that which is necessary to help myself and others live a more authentic life, be more comfortable in our own skin-because the feeling of being safe and accepted is one of the most important things we can give one another.

Please know however imperfect or broken you might feel, that I am in that boat with you-paddling for dear life (or sanity) with you. Also know that, at the risk of sounding cliche, I believe we are beautiful because of our imperfections, not in spite of them (no matter what “social media” trolls would have us believe.)

This is what the World needs right now, and what our hearts must demand. Empathy, grace, strength, love and light-this is my wish for us in 2017. ♡

we’ll be alright

oa2Worrying has been a hobby of mine for a while. Irrational worry is part of my OCD…which I refer to as “my loop.” Not sure if anyone else deals with this in a similar way, when I’m in a loop I have a few ways to get out of it, self-soothing…distractions mostly; keeping busy, focusing on something else-occasional bursts of tears. Tonight I’m going to a Christmas party and my anxiety started last night…I’ve exhausted myself. Recolored my hair, painted nails, went in to work – now I’m wondering what to do with my afternoon…probably I’ll highlight my hair and try explaining to my dog that I’m going out…that should kill a couple hours at least.

Stay warm and safe and I hope everybody’s holiday is better than expected! ❤

lovesick

oa-aimeeWhen I was growing up, if ever I was ‘not hungry’ when offered a snack by my Dad, he’d smile and ask “What are you…in love?”

“Ew! No, daaaaaaaahd!” I’d reply with my nose scrunched up.

As a kid my friends were mostly boys and “romantic” stuff was “SOH GAHROHSE.” –a theme that would continue throughout my life, apparently. Growing into a teen meant that my friends started dating and my guy friends started acting weird…or as I would put it to them “ruining it.” I would think we were going out to the bluffs to hang out or to the mall to get food and they’d show up with a sneaky flower on the dash of their car or they’d try to pay for lunch or comment on my appearance (and I would reflexively punch them). I was bossy and clueless, all I knew was I didn’t want things to change, I didn’t want them to “ruin it.”

I didn’t want to grow up and I definitely I didn’t want to exchange any of my self for what they were offering. Even as a young person I was keenly aware that peoples’ motivations are often suspect. Thankfully, my parents weren’t interested in “correcting” any of my tomboy tendencies – aside from the occasional teasing from Dad when his snacks were left uneaten/under appreciated.

After my divorce (oh, yeah…I was married once, ha!) I went through a stint of online dating. My profile was intentionally sarcastic so that it would be clear I was smarter than the average bear and would not bother ‘selling’ myself. WYSIWYG…Even with all that upfront comedy I would get the occasional pervy message – somebody that clearly was not looking for “love” (barf). Those inquiries only added fuel to the fire -or- paragraphs to the profile, if you prefer. The online convos with strangers got old real quick. It’s exhausting to have to apply for a job you don’t even want. So I quit it, and quit worrying about putting myself out there.

I’m not hungry AND I’m not in love…at this rate, the next awkward gathering where I’m asked whether I’m seeing anyone I may just reply: I’m retired.

the sparklies

Just a few short weeks ago I ordered myself this ring from Feather Oak and have been checking every day since for a delivery date! I’m usually not very spendy when it comes to jewelry because…if the tangled ball of bracelets and necklaces that live in my top dresser drawer are any indication…I don’t take very good care of my jewelry.

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I’ve also been doing glittery nails for the last couple weeks – glitter is everywhere, especially my hair, because curls are glitter magnets, apparently.

I’ve got a serious case of the sparklies. I see twinkles on the lake in midday and I get out my phone to record them…I’m wearing shimmery pink or gold eye shadow pretty much daily and yes there are sequins on the sweater I’m wearing…rose gold sequins. After I design and print my Christmas cards maybe I’ll dust them with spray glitter.

Whether this new twinkly habit is a distraction or a balm, I can’t know for sure. It’s probably a little of both, but a little sparkle is never a bad thing so I plan to sparkle on!

Have a shiny weekend!!!

 

 

 

 

 

happy thoughts

mom

Yesterday was my Mother’s birthday and we spoke on the phone last night for a good while. I was glad to hear that, by her account, she had an excellent day. She was showered with flowers and gifts and phone calls and treated to dinner then capped the festivities off with an actual snowball fight…which obvs…she won.

(breathes deeply)

She had an excellent day after many, many terrible ones…I can’t even begin to describe how happy it makes me feel that her birthday was such a good day and that she knows she is loved so very much by her family and friends. I’ll be thinking about that snowball fight every time I get a little down or frustrated this month. As 2016 winds down, we’ll need all the happy thoughts we can get – of that I’m quite sure.

What’s your happy thought?