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Romance Is Still Popular

I am fascinated when I’m shown which pictures or posts or pins have been the most popular throughout the year on my social media.

I stumbled on my most popular repinned pictures from Pinterest and when I looked at the pictures, I see a theme.

green wash paneling on Shalavee.com
There’s romance in our hearts. Details and scrolls and guild. Destinations and foreign cultures and worlds to discover.

Feather tassle on Shalavee.com

Petticoats and ruffles and feathers and sumptuous walls that ooze with depth of multi-color washes and time.

dark background with elegant spring branch in vase on Shalavee.com

Seems the world wants its “new” tempered with some good old-fashioned depth. And that ‘s just the way I will always want it too.

gem shapes on verdi gris wash background on Shalavee.com

Because that is more interesting to me than white walls.

I can sit and linger in your depth, marvel at your details, and languish in your history.

We could enjoy each others’ company over a glass of absinthe in stemmed carnival glass glasses.

And reminisce about how great and deep we and the world used to be.

When Your Possibilities Become A Bad Thing

I am totally option gal. I hoard options like it is my given right as a free person. I love choices, love to multitask, and am multi-talented. I am also a child of the media generation. Homework with the radio and/or the TV on at the same time? No problem.

But as an adult with a multitude of mandatory jobs as a parent and a wife, and many other creative endeavors I aspire to experience and learn, I have long been overwhelmed by my possibilities.

working hard on Shalavee.com

I write again and again about my brimming to do lists. And have gotten to the point where I long to have a good long crafting day without worrying about how dirty the toilets are. Because they are dirty right now. And how could I possibly think of doing anything fun when I have a potential health safety issues to take care of in my bathrooms.

When possibilities become a problem, it’s time to take a hard look at why you’ve collected them and what it is that you need to let go of or embrace to make a how to move on plan.

  • Do a brain spill and see what hopes you have pinned where –

If you can, separate them into different categories after you spill them. Perhaps you see a pattern of visits with people and cards to write. You could be in need of people intouch-ness. Crafting projects galore? You may need some creative time. Cleaning and fixing? You need a space that’s in order and unbroken. There’s nothing at all wrong with any of your needs. They’re asking for your compassionate attention.

  • Prioritize your possibilities

Somehow, I have an unwritten rule book in my head about which things can happen before the other things happen. It’s a conscious unquestionable choice that I must have my kitchen cleaned before I get on with the rest of the day. Dirty bathrooms would make my Virgoan Grandmother roll over in her grave. But I can call myself on it and choose differently today. Because I am actually in charge of this vehicle called family and life. Don’t anyone try to tell me different. I can also say no thank you to anyone else trying to throw stuff down on my to do list without me choosing to put it there.

  • Now is the only time you’ve got – Most important!

Now is the only time you’ll ever have. Make it possible to have the things that are most important happen in a “now” coming soon to you. Schedules and lives and priorities change. If the time isn’t now, do not however doubt that there will probably be a time in your future when you’ll be able to sit and knit. Or write your novel or just read a book. Mine. Sigh. A little faith here on the knowing-there-will-be-a-time will allow for the release of the anxiety of not being able to do so now. You may find that this perspective change will shift you into a place of permission to do it sooner. Or you’ll revel in the knowledge that you are not giving up, just allowing this to be a two-year from now goal.

  • Schedule It –

Plop that bad boy right into you schedule. My husband says it’s harder to make an appointment than break it. When you get to that moment in your life, that day with that activity scheduled, it may be entirely possible that you may have to cancel. But it’s equally possible that you’ll have opened up a door to make progress.

  • A half hour can make all the difference –

Even the smallest activities can be scheduled as opposed to waiting for the “right time”. On your phone calendar or your wall calendar, you can write tasks in at 30 minute intervals. A half hour to clean/clear a closet. A half hour to wash all the fan blades in the house. A half hour to read.  Keep your expectation about that task at that time and you may surprise yourself with your progress with this method.

  • One step forward can make up for many back –

I find when you are not actively involved in any of your possibilities, it can make you feel anxious. Take one action step towards any of your goals/activities, and you’ll feel so much better. Even one work-out always makes me feel proud. A half hour with some paper, glue, and markers to work on making a card for a friend and I’m invigorated.

Fiona writing it down on Shalavee.com

When there’s too many important tasks, nothing’s important. When you overwhelmed by your options, or your obligations, you lose your priorities and your clarity. Perhaps it’s partly about the permission we give ourselves to move on. And maybe it’s also about our lousy methods to organize our thoughts and our time around what we feel we want to do and what we must do. I do think we can outsmart ourselves and using the above mentioned tasks as guides and inspiration, there’s more than a little chance that our possibilities can become the probabilities we want them to become.

Fiona’s Second Birthday Party

So we made it to and through Fiona’s second birthday. And the party was a smashing success despite conceiving of it only a little more than a month beforehand. All of our efforts and plans payed off as 20 something of our closest friends and family came to celebrate with us.guests arriving for Fiona's party on Shalavee.com

For me the party planning consists of theme planning, food planning, and project completion. Because duh, you partly have the party  to complete that project you’d be ashamed of not having completed since the last time they were here. In this case, the project was Fiona’s bedroom which I’d struggled with for some time. But the week before the party, I was hustling to finish up all the little details and photographing the room during a snow storm. See the room redecoration post here. Fiona's room styled on Shalavee.com

Mark and I made the lasagna together. His request was not my forte. So I fussed over the meat sauce for two days. He said he was looking for that taste of hot Italian sausage. So I said you can go get some but you need to put the lasagne together.Making the lasagne on Shalavee.com

We were a sight in the kitchen fussing over proportions of this and that. But let me tell you, it was scrumptious lasagna. And we used the no boil noodles much to everyone’s surprise. Because they boil in the sauce so why wouldn’t you. Yum me.

eggrolls on Shalavee.com

Also made the homemade egg rolls because they’re just easy. And vegetarian.

Fiona for the card profile on Shalavee.com

The invitations were made from a blown up ¾ profile picture of Fiona which I then used clear frosted acetate to simply trace over the basic lines of her face. Then I scanned it on the copier and put it through a Photoshop type program so that I could have it colorized.

Fiona's caricature for the invitations on Shalavee.com

Then I put it back through a photo program and printed it on photo paper. I really love the simplicity and sweetness of it.

Fiona's caricature on the invitations on Shalavee.com

As for the decorations, I wanted to keep it simple.

So I used the same picture and took it to a copy place and for $4, I had it blown up to maybe 20” x 30”.

Decorations for Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

And continuing the theme of pops of hot pink from the bedroom, I made little tissue cheerleading pom poms.

Decorations for Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

They were supposed to be tassels but they were fuller than I’d thought they’d be. Tutorial coming soon.

Flowers for Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

The birthday party flowers are an annual treat I give to myself. I was rather stunned this year when Patty, the owner of Patty’s Petals here in downtown Denton, Maryland where I order my flowers from, charged me their wholesale price. She knows I’ve worked with flowers and said she wanted to see what I’d do with them.

Flowers for  Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

I got dark pink ranunculus, light pink spray roses, white Shasta daisies, pink freesia, purple stock,

and yellow Solidago plus some tree-fern and a tiny handful of pussy willow.

Flowers for  Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

And the cake. Oh the cake was stupendous.

Courtesy of my new neighbor Steve Konapelski the accomplished pastry chef ,

I asked for plain with pink, he laughed at me, and he got that vintage vibe going which is so lovely.

The birthday cake for Fiona's Second Birthday party on shalavee.com

He lent me the hobnail milk glass cake stand and I had the sweet vintage table-cloth. Perfect.

Present table clubhouse at Fiona's Second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

And that Birthday girl, she loved her a birthday party.

It was warm outside for the first time since forever so I let her run around in her bare feet as she prefers. She was so sweet in the Minnie Mouse dress. She never napped but took a time out on the couch with Elmo and then kept going.

cake and singing for Fina's birthday on Shalavee.com

Me and Fiona at her second birthday party on Shalavee.com

Eating her cake on Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Eating her cake on Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

She loved being sung to and she loved the cake’s decorations most of all.

ute as a buttom cousin Emma at Fiona's Second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

Her cousin Emma was the best guest.

help opening the presents from Cousin Emma at Fiona's Second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

She was right in there opening presents…

ute as a buttom cousin Emma at Fiona's Second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

…and blowing out the candles…and running around with the balloons. They were so very sweet together.

They are our miracle girls with the same middle names.

 Fiona's second Birthday Party on Shalavee.com

It was a lovely day for a lovely little girl. And I remarked to my husband that really, all those people were here because they love us and our children. That is kinda humbling and I’m happy to be part of a community that shows up for my kids. And for me through my kids. Love to all of you.

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