What the F*ck to Do About Xmas?

In spite of the work I’ve been doing to stop being a Grinch and embrace the holiday season, getting around to ordering presents (thank goodness for Amazon, because nothing brings out my inner Scrooge like going to a store after Thanksgiving) in a timely manner is just not my strong suit.

It was much further into December than probably reasonable when I finally sat down with my laptop and began my search for  gifts that were sure to bring our little humans joy.

Quite Possibly the Easiest Human to Shop For

When it came to finding the perfect gift for our youngest girl child, I knew just where to start… Hello Kitty!

She just loves Hello Kitty.  She also loves anything and everything artistic and creative (wonder where she got that from?!), so of course as soon as I saw the Hello Kitty Fuji Instax Mini camera, I wanted to get it for her.

I started second guessing myself once I recalled ALL of the digital pictures we’ve got stored on a hard drive somewhere from her point and shoot.

And Instax film is nearly a dollar photo.

And she is just 8 years old.

And how much enjoyment could she get out of her camera if she used up all of her film in under an hour and it turned into a Hello Kitty paperweight?

An $80 Hello Kitty paperweight.

Or I could find myself funding a costly film habit…

A New Photographic Equation

As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to cycle through all of the thoughts my monkey mind insists on throwing at me pretty quickly, so it took me just a few minutes to see the potential.

I don’t know about you (perhaps I’m just old), but I can recall the joy of the instant gratification of a polaroid.

There’s a magic in your photo turning into something tangible minutes after you press the shutter.

A digital camera lacks that kind of magic for a child; it’s just too abstract.

Of course she takes endless photos of everything! From the blurry shots of her siblings running around the house, to the accidental shots of the dog’s butt and the TV screen; she photographs anything and everything. Because for her the fun, the magic, lies in pressing the shutter.

The reason for the camera is nearly entirely lost in the abstraction that is the digital image.

But an Instax offers a whole new equation:

The camera and the adorable camera case made for an xmas she’ll never forget, and the magic of instax not only makes her giddy, but is teaching her to think about a photo before she presses the shutter button.

I’m having a fabulous time shooting pictures with her… Teaching her all about focus, composition, and lighting.

With her point and shoot she was resistant to any advice I would offer, while with her Fuji she’s having so much fun that she doesn’t even realize she’s learning to think and see like a photographer.

I am a morning person.

No, really… I love mornings.

Ok, ok, ok.. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t start loving mornings until about halfway through my first cup of coffee. That’s when I start to get excited about all of the possibilities a new day brings.

I wake up feeling like a superhero starring in a quirky work-at-home-mom comic book tale of an ordinary life.

This is the time of day where I get my best work done, midway through my coffee until somewhere just before lunch.

Surviving the First Half of the Day

In a house buzzing with the beautiful chaos of so many little people, there isn’t exactly such a thing as quiet, uninterrupted work time.

But each new morning brings fresh hope.

I start each day at the dining room table, letting my coffee tell me beautiful lies about all that I’m going to get done.

I sit there cradling the warm cup between my hands, dreaming big dreams of productivity.

The Dream:

  • Drink Coffee.
  • Check e-mail & social media.
  • Write at least one blog post.
  • Happily paint as the beautiful sunshine streams through the window onto my art table and fills my soul with a glorious kind of overwhelming contentment.

The Reality:

  • At least one snack has been prepared and a minimum of three snacks have been requested, and then requested again-this time in a whine.
  • Several sibling squabbles have been diffused.
  • A few items out of reach of shorter humans have been retrieved.
  • A handful of ‘probably didn’t really need to ask one of your grown-ups this question’ questions have been answered.
  • A handful of insightful questions have been answered.
  • A train track has been built, and then rebuilt after a flare of drama consumes the 3 year old and he feels compelled to “break that track” to express his feelings.
  • Several word spellings are requested, several words are spelled to me, or the same word is spelled to me several times.
  • The dogs have been let out at least once, and the dogs have been scolded for excessive barking in a residential area and brought back in.
  • A minimum of 5 bath requests are responded to.

So, naturally, by lunchtime, that morning person is starting to wear off.

I start to lose that wonderful turbo boost of energy and inspiration that I get from the infinite hope and possibility that comes with the sunrise; it all starts to feel impossible.

The doubts creep in.

Most days I just float right through them… Then there are the days, that for whatever reason, I choose to entertain them.

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“This is absurd,” the little voice in my head begins to nag, “I can not seriously expect to raise 4 magical little people and get my creative work done. Ridiculous!”

Overcoming Negativity {Putting on My Big Girl Pants}

I lose my superhero cape, slip into my “paint pants”, and grab a shirt from the pile on the floor. It doesn’t smell, so it must be clean.

I find my way to the other side of “Oh-My-God! I can’t do this. This is impossible!”… I remind myself that I am doing it, obviously.

I did it yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that… And on and on.

Just like that.

I wake up a superhero and by the end of the day, I might just be an ordinary human… But humans aren’t so bad, really.

The end of the day is proof that I am doing it.

There are many moments where the to-do lists are threatening to consume me.

Moments where the kids are driving me batty with their antics, or to distraction with their adorable selves.

Moments where I feel like I can not possibly get it all done.

Moments where I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done.

Sometimes it’s too easy, in those moments, to lose sight of it all.
It’s easy to forget that if I just breathe deep, exhale slowly and push forward, it gets done.

Sure, we all have those days where we look at the clock and it’s already 3pm and not a single thing has been checked off of our to-do list. It’s already time to start thinking about dinner, and the one that naps is just waking up— and we’re screwed.

Nothing’s gonna happen today and that’s cool.

Some days just roll like that.

So I may as well relax, take a load off, kick up my feet and enjoy 5 minutes of quiet in my mind (probably not in my house, but yay! for the powers of abstraction!)… And remind myself that tomorrow is a new day.

Another sunrise that whispers of hope and possibility.

I just need to remember…

Some days I manage to slip into bed with my cape intact.

Some days I don’t.

Some days I effortlessly juggle 30 things.

Some days I drop the ball.

Life is a beautiful balancing act, and things will all fall into place.

All I have to do is show up everyday to do the work; to love the wee ones; to let my light shine.

And on the days I’m sure it won’t work, I have to remind myself that it all gets done, somehow.

It must be getting done, because I’ll wake up tomorrow and still be doing it.

So.. This installment of Random Art Therapy is brought to you by halloween. The inspiration came to me while watching Mrs. Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children with the littles. I swear to you it was supposed to be spooky. I tried, I really tried to make something that wasn’t completely adorable. My “spooky” bunny looks more like decor for baby’s nursery than anything Halloween inspired.

Whatever… she’s cute!

So… Anyhow, happy Halloween!

Do you sometimes watch your friends, IRL or on social media, living the dream? Being madly in love with their partners? Finding time for their passions? Looking like a living/breathing Pinterest board? Speaking their truths, seemingly unhindered by crippling social anxiety?

Their lives are art, their spirits are on fire, they bring something so desperately needed to the world around them…

You’re happy for them, really you are. But there’s that teeny tiny piece of you that’s jealous? Confused? How on earth do they do it?! By golly, you know you’re magical too… But your life looks a lot more like the smoldering remains of last year’s trash fire…

  • You can’t seem to find the time to so much as craft that super cute boho wall hanging that you just know would totally complete your living room.
  • PB&J and Goldfish crackers have reached the status of delicacy in your house. You can’t even imagine the reality of cooking a 4 course meal with a toddler wrapped around your leg.
  • You would 100% start painting but you can’t even fucking draw and where on earth would find the time to learn… To practice?!
  • You would love to share your honest, heartfelt opinions but your fingers shake when you try to type them on Facebook, and when you’re out with your friends you’re just trying to breathe and find what it takes to order your own latte…

How do you find the courage and the time to let your magical self shine?

Let me introduce you to a little secret (Well, thanks to memes it’s becoming more mainstream and not so much of a secret)…

…The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

I recently read this great article by Mark Manson (apparently it’s also a book, that is now 100% on my reading list), which was the inspiration for this post.

I’ve been wanting to blog about not giving a fuck for over a year now, I just didn’t know where to start. I’ve been pondering what in the hell to say about how to leave one’s field of fucks barren for quite some time… Now I no longer feel the need to be insanely articulate on the subject. Manson has already covered it in the aforementioned post, and I’m positive that if you desire more in-depth info on the topic, his book is sure to provide it.

Mark’s post so eloquently describes the heart of not giving a fuck, that I decided the best way to approach writing this piece was to introduce you to his writing and tell you my story…

My partners and I have had several conversations about how it seems like everywhere I go, I gain a following. I become the center of attention, an object of fascination. We’ve speculated as to the reason for this and what we keep landing on is the zero fucks I give. And how folks want to be brave enough to let go of their fucks. So they gravitate to me, hoping to learn some shit.

After staring at a blank screen and a blinking cursor for what was probably way too long, pondering my winding path from feisty, socially anxious Fury to some sort of zen master of fucklessness. I think I’ve managed to adequately document some of the more pivotal moments.

The Evolution of Losing My Fucks

I started out with far fewer fucks than my peers.

  • I came out before coming out was cool…
  • I quit shaving before armpit hair was trendy…
  • I was pierced and tattooed when these body decorations still regularly disqualified you from landing so much as a minimum wage job— yes, I am aware how very hipster I sound right now.

I never really gave a fuck, but I still kind of did. On the outside I gave zero fucks, but on the inside I was plagued by social anxiety. I would lay in bed each night, replaying the tape of all of my awkward social moments of the day.

I’d watch the clock strike midnight. 1am. 2am. I lost an epic amount of sleep to the fucks I still gave.

And then step by step, discarded fuck by discarded fuck, I found freedom. I found myself on my way to becoming a master of not giving a fuck.

I quit giving a fuck what people thought of me. I quit giving a fuck if I failed. I quit giving a fuck if I was afraid. I quit giving a fuck about anyone’s opinions of me.

I started to bravely live my life. I started to learn, and live, and create, and do a bunch of shit I never thought I could do.

I started doing the stuff I had always wanted to do… I started to become the person I had always wanted to be…

Motherhood

I started with my first baby and the massively overwhelming task of raising a decent human being that lay ahead. I read every (peaceful) parenting book I could get my hands on, and I began learning how to mother her softly.
And yes, there were times I fucked up and failed in the application of all that I was learning… And you know what the fuck I did? I apologized to my wee one. Every. Single. Time.

I ignored the well meaning advice of relatives that while they had our best interest at heart, they also had all kinds of non spirit affirming suggestions of what to do with my baby, my toddler, my preschooler, my homeschooler. I bravely followed my mommy heart, and I grew softer, more patient.

I grew into mommy-hood so much so that people started to see me as some sort of earth goddess mamma figure and started seeking my advice on this whole parenting gig.

Some 13 odd years later, and I’m still screwing this shit up from time to time… Still apologizing, still practicing, still getting softer. Still rocking this mama gig, and still getting asked for parenting advice.

(Unrealistic) Beauty Standards

I had come a long way by the time she reached toddlerhood; my growth game was strong. But I still had some lingering fucks.

I was still waking up every morning and wasting an hour of life with her on my hair and makeup. I was still scared, still holding onto the strange cultural standards of female beauty that pervade our culture.
I just couldn’t believe that I was beautiful without holding tightly to the fucks I thought I had to give about the beauty standards I thought I needed to measure up to.

Even though I’d been dreaming of it for 6 years, I was still afraid to dread my hair.

And then one day I let go. I said, “fuck it”. I let the grandparents keep the kiddo, grabbed some beers and some friends, and we all talked, and drank, and laughed, and loved together as we locked up my hair.
And I never wore makeup again.

That was one extra hour every morning with my wee one, one more small step towards reclaiming my true self, another inch towards personal freedom.

One more tiny bird of a fuck I watched fly freely from my hands. 

That was nearly 12 years ago.
My dreadlocks now fall to the middle of my back.
I don’t shave, anywhere that’s ever in view of the general public anyhow— yes, I totally just said that. Because why? Because idgaf.
I don’t wear makeup.
Sometimes I forget deodorant.
I dress like I fell into a bin at a secondhand shop.
I’ve been known to use the F-word as often as I use prepositions.

And idgaf what anyone thinks about how I look, how I dress, how I swear, how I wear my hair, how I live my life…
I am fucking awesome.

Massage School

As I began to grow into my dread headed, earth goddess, hippy mamma self I followed a random whim… The next logical (to me) step, and went to massage school.

Massage school led directly to a 4 year acupuncture apprenticeship. Which I said goodbye to right around the halfway mark, leaving behind the life I knew to start a life with the love that would later bring the next 3 beautiful tiny humans into the world with me.

He left his wife. I left my future career. EVERYONE told us we were screwing up. Some people thought we had lost our damn minds. We did lose nearly all of our friends.

Guess how many fucks we gave?
Yep. ZERO.

*9 years, 3 kids, 1 cat, 2 dogs, 1 girlfriend (we will get to that soon), and 1 (dearly missed, RIP Widge) hedgehog later… We’re still fucking it all up and apologizing, learning and growing, living and loving together.

Photographer. Artist.

While I wasn’t any kind of crazy but crazy in love, I was indeed without a career path now. So… To the camera store we went. He told me to stay home with my little one and do the thing I’d always wanted to do, learn how to make photographs.

I studied photography (and later started studying art) as hard as I had studied parenthood and alternative medicine.

I didn’t give a fuck that I wasn’t making great photos. Not one single fuck that the pages of my art journal were filled with work any vaguely skilled 4th grader could have created.

I didn’t go out with friends (Ha! Still didn’t have any for the longest time), I didn’t watch TV, or read anything that didn’t further my art and photography knowledge. When I wasn’t busy being a parent or a partner, I studied, and photographed, and painted. I lived and breathed photography and art.

I failed again, and again, and again.. And I did not give one single fuck. I kept creating.
And finally I’m here, still learning, and growing, and studying, and working my ass off… But I finally occupy this space where I confidently call myself a photographer; an artist.

This Whole Poly Thing

Five years into living and loving with Chris and our babies, I met a girl. And fell in love with her. She let go of her fucks and followed her heart… Left her family, her friends, her life, and ran away to Florida with us.

We started doing the poly thing just a few years before it would become a trend.

A year into our relationship of 3, we received an odd letter on our doorstep. A local church that we definitely had not ever set food in really felt the need to tell us how we were living our lives and raising our babies in sin. I tossed it in the garbage, giving not one single fuck.

Blogging

Anyhow, all of this leads to my most recent misplaced fuck… Writing this blog.

I’ve only just recently realized that I’ve been giving way too many fucks here. I’ve been letting the fear of not being what people expect out of the blog of some chick with kids stop me from speaking my truth, from sharing my authentic self.

Yes, I love art & photos, rainbows & unicorns, being a good mommy, making all the DIY shit with and for the kids, baking gluten free cookies and all that jazz… BUT I’ve also lived a lot of life in my 35 years on this planet and in so doing I’ve learned some shit. I’ve got some shit to say about the shit I’ve learned, and I started this blog to share some of it with you.
I started LIMH to inspire you to be brave enough to let your light shine, and hiding behind holiday list posts and adorable DIY’s isn’t going to help either of us grow. *Not that I plan on ditching holiday list posts and adorable DIY’s, I’m just going to add some stuff with some serious heart— and probably a little more profanity.

Learning to give no fucks can maybe be found in a book… But there really isn’t a recipe, a checklist of shit to do to become the person your heart longs to be.
Learning to give no fucks happens one micro-moment of bravery at a time.

Start Losing Your Fucks Today

  • Order that latte and don’t give a single fuck what the barista thinks of the stutter you suddenly developed while digging up the inner courage to request it without the whipped cream.
  • Make time for that artsy/craftsy stuff you wanna do and don’t give a single fuck if it turns out to be total shit. You’re feeding your soul and quality standards don’t apply.
  • Share your opinion on that Facebook post, even if it feels a little edgy and seems to be the opposite of your friend’s opinions. Polite intellectual discourse is fun! Anyhow, if they’re really your friends, they’ll love you even when you disagree with them.

See? It works just like that. Micro-moments. Practice. One teeny, tiny moment of bravery at a time. Then one day you’ll wake up, realize you’ve mastered the subtle art of not giving a fuck, and you’ll be free to be your true self.

Last week I shared a ton ‘o super cute spooky crafts to give you something besides your pumpkin spice latte to spice up your Halloween… This week I’ve collected 12 of my favorite DIY costumes from Oh Happy Day! to share with you.

 

 

If you’re into parties, holidays, and super cute sh*t to DIY, this is the blog for you! Start with these amazing costume ideas and then let yourself scroll through more of the fun stuff their blog has to offer!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. UFO

 

 

6. Moth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Strongman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Department store costumes are SOOooooo boring!

If you’re DIY’ing your halloween, head on over to our Facebook page and share your costume creations with us!

If you’re wondering how on earth to pass the time this October while sipping endless pumpkin spice lattes… These adorable DIY’s are a perfect fall time filler! (#13 is my personal fave!)


 

 

 

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Seriously though… You should totally make these Zombie dolls. Pretty pretty please. And when you do, please share your creepy creations with us on Facebook!

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So you think you can’t create?

Is there an artistic endeavor you dream of pursuing but don’t, because you think you lack the natural talent and whatever you create will just stink… so why try?

Do you long to paint, or photograph, or sculpt, or make jewelry, or whatever… But you’ve convinced yourself that you aren’t made of the stuff of art and creativity?

Boy do I have some good news for you! Talent is born of passion and showing up to do the work.

No one wakes up one day and picks up a paint brush and paints the most beautiful picture they will ever paint. Same goes for writing, photography, music… Or any other creative pursuit.

Everyone can improve no matter how much natural talent they do or do not have at the beginning. Talent comes from working your ass off, from building your skill set, from being willing to fail… And willing to dust off your pants and try again.

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A creative journey: from mediocre to magical…

I bought my first guitar when I was 16; I’ve owned one for more than half my life. Sure, I can play a couple of songs and they’re not half bad- can’t sing though, please don’t ask me to sing along… you definitely don’t want that to happen!

I couldn’t convince myself to show up regularly, to put in the hours, to even care to put in the hours needed to master an instrument. My heart just wasn’t in it. So while I learned a few things, and I can make some noise… I’m not really very good at playing guitar and I probably never will be.

It is passion that makes this level of dedication possible…

The level of dedication necessary to show up everyday and do the work.
It is passion that provides us with the indomitable spirit required to grow in our craft.

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, when I was introduced to photoshop and started shooting with my first digital camera, that I discovered my true passion… and for nearly a decade now, much of my time has been spent studying and shooting and dreaming and crafting my next image.

Alongside photography, I’ve also been growing as a mixed media artist. I can’t choose. I love them both. Makes for a busy, fulfilled kind of existence.

I’ve made my fair share of bad art… Don’t worry, you will too. Click here to find out why bad art is good.

For years the photos I shot were kind of boring, my editing mediocre.

I’ve got art journals full to bursting with stuff that rarely sees the light of day anymore.

But I kept at it.

I keep learning, and shooting, and painting, and growing.

I work my tail off and I have grown into what Red Lemon Club calls “that kind of person”.

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Creating without fear…

Growing in your craft is a long game. Becoming talented is about the fearless pursuit of the creative endeavor(s) that make you shine.

Throw that tired line you keep telling yourself about natural talent out the window and start making space for creativity. Before you know it, you’ll have yourself a little creative habit, you’ll be growing skills, and you’ll be having tons of fun!

What are you waiting for?!  Go make something!

More Random Art Therapy

This little guy is my “playful bear”. Nikki says he looks like a gumdrop.

Perhaps I’m going to put a crown on all of my colorful creatures?


This piece is on my absolute favorite surface to work on– Fredrix Mixed Media Paint Boards.
…And I totally got to play with my new Prismacolor NuPastels! I’m not quite sure what I think of them yet… If you’ve used them and have any tips or tricks, please share in the comments below!

Can’t stop/won’t stop with the unicorn magic. In addition to all the Fantastic Fabulous Unicorn Foods, here’s a list of 15 super spectacular unicorn DIY’s to get your rainbow lovin’ craft on!


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Don’t forget to tag us in the pictures of the marvelous unicorn creations you post on Instagram!

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You know those days where it seems like no one has any idea there is anything on the internet outside of social media and streaming television?

Those days where someone seriously gets on Facebook and asks how to create a gmail signature?

Or how many planets there are?

Performing a Google search can be a complicated and often overwhelming process that leads many people to ask random questions of their friends, family, and coworkers.

And if you’re feeling a bit too snarky to simply provide an answer that could have easily been acquired on one’s own through a simple Google search?

Solution: LMGTFY (Let Me Google That For You)


LMGTFY History

Let Me Google That For You was created in 2008 by web developer Jim Garvin and software consultant Ryan McGeary [who have since also created Let Me Snopes That For You and Let Me Wikipedia That For You].

How it works

Simply type your question into the search box just as you would do on Google. You will then be provided with a link that you can copy and share. When the the link is clicked, the person asking the question will be shown a short animation of the steps involved in performing a google search:

  1.  Typing Google into the address bar
  2. Their question being typed into the search bar
  3. The search button being clicked

After watching the animated Google search instructions they will be taken to the actual search results for their question.

Here’s an example question: “Why is grass green?

Note: This may not be the best way to keep friends, so use sparingly.

When you were a child, how much would you have loved a magical garden to explore in the middle of your city? I know I absolutely would have loved to play in a garden of make believe and whimsy… So when we’re on the Gulf Coast, we like to take the LIMH kiddos to The Sarasota Children’s Garden.

Located just north of Downtown Sarasota, this hidden gem is an enchanting place for explorers of all ages!

Discover all kinds of wonders

Follow the yellow brick road into the garden and you will find a dress up room, a koi pond, a pirate ship, a tree fort, a garden maze, the 3 Little Pig’s houses, a giant octopus sandbox, a tower of colorful sand-filled tires to climb… And so much more!

The garden maze…

It’s T’s absolute favorite part of the adventure! He calls The Children’s Garden the “scary playground” because of the clever little metal “monster” sculptures hidden inside the maze.

The concessions stand

There’s a little stand made of old pallets that occupied the boys for quite some time. They were very busy selling each other cheeseburgers at way overinflated prices. Seriously, the prices ranged from $3k for a single burger to just under a thousand dollars when the burgers were ordered in bulk. Listening to a near three year old explain that an order for 50 cheeseburgers was going to cost “$48,000” was one of the more adorable things I’ve experienced in the recent past. 

The $48,000 cheeseburger order

The tower of tires

There was much climbing, jumping, semi-graceful landing, and sitting quite triumphantly atop the tower of colorful tires!

Do you and your kiddos have a favorite lovely local place to hang in your area?

Tag us in your playful pictures on Instagram!

If you love parties and reasons to party and you’re looking for printables, fabulous DIY’s and party type projects, and a rockin’ party shop, head on over to Oh Happy Day! They are the party people of the internet.

Pinatas are kind of the best part of parties, yeah?
Below are 7 of my favorite DIY piñatas from Oh Happy Day!
Have fun smashing pretty handmade things with sticks!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s more DIY piñata awesomeness where these came from!