Well, I did a thing.
After letting go of my Women Empowering Women business almost a year ago, I knew someday I would replace it with another company. But I wasn’t sure what that business would be.
I have done a lot of soul-searching and allowed myself the space needed to let things evolve independently. The universe can surprise you if you take the time to listen.
I have thought about selling my artwork in many ways, but as soon as I started thinking of it as a business, I did not enjoy doing the actual art. It wasn’t enjoyable anymore, which was a significant tap on the shoulder for me.
I considered doing real estate and helping grow my daughter’s property management business. I thought it would also be good for our investment property business. I even took the real estate class. I learned so much and loved it but I started thinking about how much time I would need to put into it. Once you pass the state test, you must work with a realtor to get your license. I didn’t want to take more time away from what I was doing now. The thought of late-night showings or trying to fit in training was starting to stress me out.
Plus, my husband and I have been doing a lot more traveling, more than your typical two-week yearly vacation. Between short, extended local weekend getaways and flying around the globe, we aim to enjoy more time together every couple of months.
We both can be homebodies and enjoy the comfort and coziness of being home. For someone who has had high anxiety about traveling and being in unknown places, I needed to incorporate those cozy comforts. When you travel a lot, you learn how to create those simple pleasures. One way that helps me is to seek out those small charming shops. Whether that be a coffee shop, book store, or a small local business, now I can’t wait to travel.
Then, I found myself sharing tips and helping others with their travel itinerary, and it hit me. I know what I want my new business to be.
I want to share my experiences. I want to share my tips and suggestions on traveling. I want to help others create that coziness and find those charming spots that add to the uniqueness of traveling. I want to generate content around travel. I want to be a travel advisor.
Hello, The Cozy & Charming Traveler.
Here in Connecticut, the shift from summer turns to fall as soon as the kids return to school. The nights get cooler while the day still holds onto that summer warmth. I love opening my windows at night and feeling the cool breeze. I can also get back into my daily self-care routine.
It’s when I return to Putz in the morning and get into my cozy fall routine. That’s why I like New England because it provides us with four glorious seasons and provides me the opportunity to celebrate its arrival. It is the perfect way to freshen up my décor and change things.
It starts with me changing up my kitchen mantel. Yes, I call it a mantel. It’s the one area I add seasonal decorations to in my house. A place where my grandkids don’t need to be around or even my husband. A space dedicated to honoring the things I adore about the season I am in.
I am one of those people who put out Halloween decorations early. I love all things spooky and paranormal, so of course, I need to celebrate it early. I even have my nails painted for Halloween.
An Autumn vibe is all about mindset and how to bask deeper into it. Here is what I do:
Decorate. I arrange my Halloween decorations on my mantel. I have my favorite Halloween decorations that I bring out every year, like my movie monster figurines, but I am always adding to my collection. Not every decoration I own comes out; I usually stick to my kitchen and she-shed.
I pull out my fall pillows and warm, fuzzy throw blankets. I love pillows and blankets, and we go through them a lot. Between my grandkids and my animals, I have had to throw away a few items I could not salvage. But it is an excellent opportunity to replace them with new ones!
I change my bedding, and add pops of color like orange and yellow. I never sleep in bed. I sleep on top of my bedding with a comforter. Why, you may ask? I have animals that sleep with me. My dog eats an occasional chew or treats on my bed. For me, it is easier to clean up, or I would have to wash my sheets daily. This way, I can remove my bed covering and throw it in the wash. Easy peasy. My husband does the same thing. He has his favorite comforter that he wraps himself in.
I center my warm sweaters to the middle of my closet for easy grab for those mornings that are cold and crisp. I do not move my seasonal clothing in and out of my closet. I keep my wardrobe to fit into my closet, but I center my go-to items seasonally.
I started cooking soups at least three times a week. My husband and I love soups, and even though we can eat soup all year round, fall season is when we enjoy it the most. Our favorites are Chicken, lasagna, and Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Soup.
I start to bake muffins and cinnamon rolls. Nothing is like warm Apple Cinnamon muffins or rolls on a cold, damp day. I don’t make them from scratch, but I do alter the recipes from time to time.
I am already moon-obsessed, but it grabs my attention deeply during the Fall. I need to study and admire her more. I am currently using The Moon Deck Oracle cards by Aarona Lea, which I love. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but the messages are the confirmations and taps on my shoulder that I need.
I order my witchy books and settle in for daily reading. I ordered The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo, Awakening Anne by Kalynn Applewhite, and A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers this year. I also listen to books on Audible and listen to other books while driving or traveling. I will add my overall thoughts about these books on my YouTube channel.
I rewatch my favorite Halloween movies. Ghostbusters (all of them), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, Arsenic and Old Lace, Hocus Pocus, Haunted Mansion, especially the newly released one. It comes out on Disney Plus in October. Fright Night, The Curse of Bridge Hollow, Casper, We Have A Ghost, Practical Magic, and Sleepy Hallow. As you can tell from my list, I like humor in my ghostly shows.
Lastly, I like to decorate my Wonderland 222 journal and planner with fall and Halloween stickers. It is my time to get back into myshe-shed consistently, do a fall junk journal, and do a few mixed-media art pieces. If you want inspiration, check out my Fall Cozy prompt list for October and November.
These are the things I love about Fall and all things cozy.
If you like my style and want more inspiration, check out my YouTube Channel or Instagram page.
Have a spooky, spectacular fall season.
Bailey is my two-year-old Golden Retriever who came into my life unexpectedly. She has some growth/health obstacles, but she is my perfect little girl. It could very well be my age or even the journey I am on now, but I am more present today, and it has much to do with her. I observe her closely. I love watching her sleep. I am aware of her moods and know what she feels by just being present.
I have always been a dog lover. When I walk into a new space, I will greet the dog before I greet the humans. If I am ever at a party and they have dogs, you will find me sitting on the ground at their level, playing with them. I take care of other people’s dogs too. I don’t do it for the money but because I enjoy it.
I even carry a box of Milk Bones in my car because I am constantly meeting dogs. Milk Bones are my number one treat because I haven’t met a dog who doesn’t eat Milk Bones! Of course, I always ask their human before offering them one. I probably spend over $100 monthly just on dog products, so I like to shop for deals. If you know me, you know that I am a bargain shopper. I added a link below for these Milk-Bone box medium size bones. My go-to box.
Capitol One Shopping is a free browser tool that automatically searches for online coupons, better prices, and rewards, making it for me to save money. It shops online at places like Amazon, Walmart, Target, eBay, etc. It saves me a lot of time instead of searching for the best online deal. I am all about making my life more straightforward, and since I have the Capitol One credit card, checking, and savings account, I already know I can trust them, and they help protect me and my money.
I have noticed today that the more I am busier (living life on purpose), the more I crave my creative outlets. I have a wide variety of them, such as:
Right now, as I write this, it is Sunday (my favorite day of the week), and yes, I have laundry to do, a kitchen to clean, and I need to get ready to watch my grandkids for a couple of hours while my daughter goes to a summer concert. I have a list of things I need to finish, but I have a short free time.
I am sitting on my bed with craft supplies spread out all over from a monthly junk journal I wanted to finish up. I look around and need to clean up, but the call for being creative is a strong feeling mixed with the perfect timing of a few free hours. I cannot pass it up. Instead, I allow what must be and do what is necessary for me now.
I take moments where I stop, close my eyes, and breathe deeply. I listen to the birds, I hear the cars passing by, and I hear my dog Bailey sleeping. I notice my plants have grown and a slight breeze in the trees outside. I then return to my junk journal, playing with pictures and tearing up papers to make this beautiful booklet that reflects me and what I love.
Life is about choices, and staying in your head too much can be overwhelming and lead to laziness. I have learned that I don’t need hours to work on a creative craft. All I need is 10 to 20 minutes. If I can schedule it, then great, but most times, it is when an opportunity is calling. Choose what makes my soul happy.
I hope you create joy and do things that make your soul happy!
How are you when someone recommends a book? Do you listen or read your books? I read a lot and have several books on my bookshelf that I tend to read at some point. The books I read are self-improvement, spiritual, and art books.
This past month I have read three, well listened to through my Audible App. I got the app when I wanted to simplify my traveling. Since my husband and I travel more and take only a personal carry-on, I don’t like the extra weight of books. I genuinely love it. Plus it is helping with having less clutter in my home. Win-win!
Here are the books I have consumed with a short and simple review.
The Joy of Well-Being
In this empowering and accessible collection of health and wellness advice, the co-founders of mindbodygreen challenge our definition of self-improvement by revealing what a healthy lifestyle looks like at the fundamental level—and how it’s not what we think.
I love that they are health and fitness coaches who look honestly at the complicated wellness world to give you simple tips for living a better lifestyle. I found myself laughing out loud at times. I walked away inspired and full of joy.
My next read was Enchantment.
If you have ever felt overwhelmed, annoyed, or just plain tired of social media gossip, the news, and in consideration of others, you need to read Enchantment. The author provides a light and thoughtful way to navigate today’s world.
As someone who likes to see optimism in everything and stay away from darkness, I found this book comforting and inspiring.
My last read for the month was The Highly Sensitive Person.
Can I say oh my gosh?! As someone sensitive, shy, empath, and introverted (at times), I connected with this book instantly. This book helped me identify and adore the person I am (well, I already love who I am). Still, hearing that others identify with these personality traits comforts me.
For years, people have told me that I need to step out of fear or get out there and live more when I have been doing a fine-ass job at it. I have always driven my path, but I wish I had this book earlier.
If you have ever been called or identified as being sensitive, shy, empath, or introverted, you read this book!
If you have a recommendation for a self-improvement or spiritual book please let me know. I am ready to line up my next couple of books.
June is one of my favorite months. Not only is it my birthday month, but it's the official start of summer.
My husband and I recently got back from beautiful Sedona, Arizona. We had already seen the Grand Canyon when we went to Nevada last year, but the views in Sedona are breathtaking. This time my husband took his drone and got some incredible photos.
Our goal is to get away a minimum of three times a year. We have worked long and hard over the past fifteen years, and it's our time to travel and see all 50 states. And when we say all 50 states, it's not just passing through; it is spending time in each state sightseeing.
I used to have so much anxiety when traveling I even had prescribed medication to relax me before a flight. But I never let that fear stop me from traveling. As an empathetic person (aka sensitive, shy, however you want to label it), it goes with the territory. But I have learned to manage that simply by doing and learning. Now I strive to make my flight as simple as I can.
It starts with packing. We started with having two carry-ons and our personal bag. That went down to one checked bag we shared and only our personal bags. We are only doing our personal bags for this next trip we have planned. The places we stay are resorts. The rooms include a living room, kitchen, washer-dryer, and bedroom. On this trip, we washed our clothes and realized we only needed some of the clothes we had brought. If there is anything we want to buy and get back, we will ship it to our home.
Continuing with packing, I packed our suitcases with our vacation clothes and toiletries. They stay packed all year round. Of course, I refresh them from time to time, but for the most part, we keep it simple. And with this next trip, only pack a personal bag. We only pack one outfit, a bathing suit, and of course, what we are wearing. Easy-peasy. As my husband always says, there are stores everywhere. If we forget something, we go out and buy it!
Years ago, I would pack two magazines and two books to read. Most of the time, I would even look at them. This year I downloaded Audible and listened to two books while in Sedona. I read The Joy of Well-Being and Enchantment. I loved both books. There is never a bad read because I always get something out of it. I listened to most of it was during the flight to and from. Even now I am listening to my new book while driving or sitting and watching my grandson play sports. I put the link below if you are interested.
We will book first-class seating for our next flight and moving forward (any flight over three hours). My husband is a big guy, so he must sit by the window or aisle seat, which generally leaves me in the middle. He would give up his heart for me in a minute to make me comfortable (such a sweetheart), but I won't do that to him. We both figured that if we were spending money on vacation, that should include airplane seating. I have never flown first class and cannot wait to experience that. First to board, first to get off, only having our personal bag and more room to sit comfortably. I am beyond delighted.
Now those who know me are asking about my planner. Do I bring my planner with me? Yes, of course, I do. But I downsized this year from an A5 and moved into a traveler's notebook. I even brought stickers with me and used them every day while traveling, and I still love them. I am loving the simplicity of a smaller planner. I'm doing a video talking about my planners and will be uploaded on my YouTube channel if you want to check it out.
If I were to advise anyone about traveling and packing, it would be this; you are traveling to enjoy and experience a different location. Leave the stress behind, do yourself a favor, and pack as lightly as possible. Rethink the things you think you need. Pay attention to what you use the next time you go on vacation. On one of my trips, I only took out the things I used and left them out. I couldn't believe the number of items I brought still left in the suitcase I didn't use. Life is short, so live a life you love and record those memories!
Drone footage of me walking to the pool early in the morning. Well, actually on my way to the hot tub!
The Process of Letting Go
My 2023 word has been redefined. Generally, I would rush to determine what that meant and get it done. But this year, I am letting it flow. A considerable part of that is letting go.
As you know, I have let go of my WEWN business and the never-ending to-do list. Even though my days are packed with opportunities and responsibilities, it is nice to wake up and let the day unfold instead of the "to-do list" taking priority.
Some days start off early, taking care of my four-legged clients. Other days don't start until after 3:00 pm when I care for my grandkids. So it's a beautiful mix.
Am I retired? No. I am still an entrepreneur making money but in a more straightforward way. It has allowed me more free time to do the things that matter most to me or do something I have neglected for a while, like gardening.
I am still letting go of clutter and only surrounding myself with things that bring me joy. I have a lot of stuff. I have a lot of generational chaos. Plus, we are finishing up all the remodeling projects.
I am loving the process of self-discovery. I love being present and enjoying nature. I laugh more, but the biggest thing I have truly enjoyed is listening to my inner voice! It has dissolved a lot of anxiety for me.
Believe me, there is still more discovery to do. I have let go of clothes, household objects, business books, kids' toys, and kitchen stuff. I have unsubscribed to emails, stopped monthly memberships, trimmed my budget, and am mindful of what I am spending my money on. It takes time. There is still much more decluttering and letting go I need to do.
Until next time.
Happy April! I cannot believe we are already in month four. Seriously, where does the time go?
I wanted to give an update since deciding to let go of my Women Empowering Women in November. Since there has been so many questions, I decided to tackle them all here. Do I miss it? I don't. I do miss the people who made up the community, but I don't miss the work of creating events.
It has been a slow but joyous process of unfollowing, unsubscribing, and removing myself from the people and businesses that no longer align with my current path.
What is my current path? I spend a reasonable amount of time assisting my daughter with her property management business and watching and playing with my grandkids. They are growing up so fast. As I get older, I am truly aware of my blessings and being present as much as I can.
I have been spending time getting my house back in order. After spending three years caring for a 3,000-square-foot co-working facility, I haven't had time to play house. So instead, I have been decluttering, organizing, deep cleaning, rearranging, and caring for my plants.
I am looking forward to the spring so I can return to the gardens I have neglected for so long. I can see where leaving my husband to take care of that; I now have certain plants that are no longer coming up or just gone. I already have over 1000 seeds that I will plant inside to get ready to transfer outside. Clive will even build me a couple of raised beds for the vegetables I will be growing.
I have also been spending as much time as possible doing creative journaling and mixed media art. I make sure that I carve out a couple of hours each day doing something creative, and I am having a blast! After being asked to make a few creative journals (junk journals) and mixed media art pieces and having so much excellent feedback, I have decided to start selling my artwork, journals, and junk journal ephemera.
I will sell artwork canvas and boards locally at this time. In addition, I will sell my creative journals, artwork prints, vintage ephemera, and digital ephemera virtually on my website. The launch date for available purchases will be May 1, 2023.
How am I making money? It's a variety of things, such as virtual services. Stuff I do for PINC. I have a few clients for whom I write newsletters; I wrote a couple of grants, policy and procedure updates, and website design and updates.) I also have a couple of dog-sitting and house-sitting gigs at the moment.
My word for 2023 is to redefine, which I do every day. If there is something I don't like, then I don't do it. An example of this is when I started to do an online Unpack Your Stash class on Zoom. The class was all about using your supplies and taking the time to create. I loved doing the class but quickly realized I didn't want to do monthly scheduled events anymore, so I stopped.
I plan on having a few local creative events, and I already have a collaboration event I will announce next week.
How am I staying in touch with the world? I do connect and meet locally with some of the WEW community. But there are still so many women I have yet to schedule with. I post on social media (Facebook and Instagram) as much as possible. I am working on consistently uploading creative videos (planner flip-throughs, she shed updates, plan with me videos, vintage haul videos, and creative journaling tips.)
How is your health? It's okay. HA! I discovered I have a leaky heart valve, which explains so much. I most likely have had it at birth (long story, but I know this is true.) I have ignored the health protocol my naturopathic doctor has recommended (she wouldn't be happy.) So much so that my knee and foot pain has returned. That is my body's telling me I overeat dairy, gluten, and sugar.
What's on my plate for the next couple of months? Making my health a priority, I am speaking for a women's group; I have a collaboration event that will include my artwork. In addition, I am working on becoming certified in Animal First Aid and CPR, getting ready to launch my virtual store on my website, uploading two videos a week on my YouTube channel, and booking my birthday vacation to Sedona.
I love the journey I am on.
Redefine is my word for 2023. If you have been reading my blog posts, you know how I chose this word.
Lately, I have been thinking about adding more creativity to my daily life and sharing it with my family, friends, and community on social media without feeling like work. That has been my hang-up for a while now.
I have recently been putting time into cleaning and rearranging my house. I sent a few photos to family and friends, and one comment was, “I thought you were showing me photos from a magazine; I didn’t realize this was your house!”
Then another statement was, “this is your calling; you should be offering staging or interior design.”
When it comes to decorating, I like to use what I have. I shop from different rooms of my house and see how I can make it work in another. I have always done this my entire life. I like the immediate transformation and repurposing of things. That is probably why I like thrifting.
A few days later, as I was journaling, sitting quietly, and listening, I heard, “define your unique creativity.” So this is what I wrote; planning, organizing, listening, ability to know what I know, and painting.
Then I heard, “go deeper, write down examples.” This is what I wrote;
Let me tell you when that ah-ha moment hits you, it is simply divine. But, unfortunately, I got hung up on how to create and share “certain things” instead of embracing ALL of myself.
You might be reading this and thinking, duh!
It was a process I needed to go through. The universe allows me the time to play, discover, and grieve my closing chapter and Helps me to honor my creativity and redefine the next chapter of my life.
All the answers are within. Are you ready to listen?
I love the start of a new year. It has been a tradition since I was a teenager to sit down on New Year’s Eve, find a comfy spot, grab my journal, planner, and magazines and plan out the upcoming year.
My tradition continues but with a few updates. First, I set an intention, light a candle, get in my comfy spot and surround myself with my animals. Next, I grab my journal, planner, stickers, and laptop. Next, I do journaling, create lists, and follow up by searching for images on Pinterest.
I then spend a few hours sitting, planning, dreaming, and enjoying the process I created so many years ago.
The only thing that has changed is I no longer watch the countdown on TV. Now let’s be honest, I am getting older, so the chances of me being awake at the stroke of midnight haven’t been my priority for the past few years. Although, even when I have fallen asleep, I managed to wake up just in time to bring in the new year before nodding off for the night.
I no longer host New Year parties or attend them. Instead, I prefer a cozy night at home with my husband and animals and do what I love to do; plan and create.
As I step into 2023, I want to remember that. I want to create a life I love living. I want to be present, enjoy life, and not rush through it.
I want to be purposeful with my time and spend it wisely doing what matters most, and I don’t want to let go of the people, places, and things that are not worth it.
So 2023, here I come!
Artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Documenting life using my planners, traveler's notebooks, junk journals and a little mixed media art.