Saturday, December 6, 2014

How To Make an Easy DIY Mason Jar Candle

Zoom and I made some mason jar candles last week. I'd seen these cute candles on Pinterest, and thought it would be perfect thing for a four year old to help make as gifts for the family. I love these because the salt looks a little like snow as the candle light shines through it. It reminds me of being a little girl in Minnesota in the winter!

Easy DIY Mason Jar Candles

To make these, you'll need*:
pint size mason jars - I got mine at Orchard Supply Hardware
- a small candle in a glass votive-  I picked these up from my local Michael's
- Epsom salt - from a supermarket
- ribbon to tie on the top - I picked the jute ribbon up at Michael's as well

Supplies to make mason jar candles

Zoom and I spread out our supplies and started working. He helped by holding the glass jar as I poured the epsom salt. You'll want to pour it the salt about a quarter of a way up the jar, but no higher.

DIY Mason Jar Candle

Then we nestled the candle into the salt. It took a big of wiggling around to get the candle settled in. I'd recommend getting the candles that come in a glass votive. It helps distribute the heat and keeps the mason jar from cracking.

DIY Mason Jar Candle

Next, you can tie some ribbon around the mouth of the mason jar. Then, light and enjoy, or give as a gift. Happy Holidays!

DIY Mason Jar Candle tutorial

*I've added affiliate links to similar products on Amazon. If you purchase via the link, I get a small commission, so thank you. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My Trial Run With a Capsule Wardrobe

Have you heard about capsule wardrobes? I first heard about them Caroline from was on The Lively Show, a few weeks ago. The idea is that you pull together 37 (or so) pieces of clothing and then wear them for three months. The idea is that you choose pieces you love and mix and match to make new combinations.

This sounded fascinating for a ton of reasons. I recently lost weight again and I've got this weird mish-mash of pants that don't fit. I need to just get on with it and get rid of the pants that are too big. I'm also the kind of person that gets very attached to clothes, as in I might be hoarding clothes from high school because they hold bizarre sentimental meaning to me (why would ANYONE keep the sweater they were wearing when they got booted from the Tall Flag team?!?), and this gave me a very pragmatic reason to evaluate my wardrobe and to donate a whole bunch of things over the past few weeks.

So over the past couple of weeks, I've been running some trials with my clothes to make sure that I'm putting things in my winter capsule that I'll actually wear. Here's the play by play with links to the items that I was able to find* - and please forgive the grainy iPhone photos. 

Day One: Gray Pants Apt. 9(Kohl's) and an animal print top (Calvin Klein) with camisole. Proudly Posh Heel shoes (Modcloth).

Day Two (left): Black dress (Calvin Klein via Thredup), green sweater (Anthropologie), Black heels (Gentle Souls) similar.
Day Three (right):  Cloaked in Cozy Cardigan (Modcloth) and black t-shirt (Target), Lucky Jeans, and sparkle gray Mossimo flats (Target)
 Day Four (left): Black Pants (Inc), Patterned shirt, Gray Cardigan, Black shoes (Gentle Souls)
Day Five (right): Black pants Apt 9 (Kohls), patterned tunic (Jones New York), low black heels (Target)
 Day Six (left): Patterned top (Simply Vera Wang floral crepe blouse), Black cardigan, Gray Pants Apt 9 (Kohls), low black heels (Target)
Day Seven (right): Patterned top (Thredup), Army style Jacket (Daisy Fuentes), Brighten Up Circle Scarf in Onyx (Modcloth), black pants, low black heels.
Day Eight (left): Patterned top (Thredup), green cardigan, black pants, black heels
Day Nine: Striped men's shirt (Ralph Lauren) and Leggings (Betsy Johnson), black flats (Halogen).

This weekend I'm planning on narrowing down the capsule and locking my wardrobe for the next three months. The basic formula is that you include 9 pairs of pants, 15 tops, 9 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, and 2 coats. Accessories are not included in the count of 39. I'm still trying to figure out how those numbers will balance for me and I'll update everyone in the next week or so, along with giving my thoughts on why I love this idea so much.

*there are some affiliate links included in this post. Anything I've linked to is something I've bought and worn and love and I hope that you will love it, too. I get a tiny commission on anything you purchase, so thank you :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Introducing a New Group for Bloggers: Tiny Biz Hustle

 Last week I started up a new Facebook group called "Tiny Biz Hustle." It's geared towards bloggers, tiny business owners, solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs who are interested in collaborating around digital marketing. Or honestly, any one that is new to marketing online.

I worked in marketing and advertising for 15 years, and now that I'm a project manager in a credit union (and working towards becoming a life coach), I find that I miss that world. I also totally realize that while I understand the principles of marketing, well, it's a whole new ballgame when it comes to tiny businesses.

Starting today we're working through what I call "Just One Thing," which is just one thing we're going to tackle for that week. I'll keep it simple. Sometimes it will be a single task, other times a bit of research, or a writing assignment. We're all there to cheer each other on.

The only thing missing is ... well, you :)

So if you'd like to join us, pop on over to Facebook, and look for Tiny Biz Hustle. I'd love to have you join us. It's going to be fun, I promise!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Speaking the Words of Your Dreams: On Being Honest With Myself About Changing Careers

This blog has been such a journey of learning to speak the words of my dreams. It strikes me that even the choice of the name, Welcoming Spirit, was the open invitation for change and love and spirit to enter my life after my divorce eight years ago. And since then, I've been intentionally changing my words, following love, choosing love, following my dreams.

My "Ten in Three" is the continuation of following those dreams, dreams I didn't know I even had eight yeas ago.

What's interesting as well is that if I'm being super honest, if I'm embracing the person I know I want to become, it truly means leaving a few things behind. One of those is my career as a Project Manager.

I'm going to admit that it's not easy to consider that role, that title, that part of me, and say "Thank you, I've enjoyed being a project manager, but it's time for us to part ways, time for me to go follow another dream." It's not easy, but I'm seeing that I'm ready to do that. To Welcome Spirit again, to move on to the next dream.

And it's even harder to admit that maybe, just maybe, one of those "Ten in Three" items is something that I don't even want to complete. But here it goes.

I no longer care about getting PMP Certified. If I'm being honest, I don't know that I EVER cared that much about it, but it did seem very much like something I "should" do. Something good project managers do.

Get this: In some late night soul searching, I realized PMP Certification was something a friend of my ex-husband used to talk about a lot. I had placed getting Certified on my "bucket list" (in the days before anyone called them that) over eight years ago, and I recognize now that it was likely part of my chasing down a romanticized version of myself, one that I thought might fit in better with my ex-husband, with his family. In those days, I got caught up in a lot of "if I just..." thinking.

In other words, I was a dream that wasn't mine, and it was something that had become such a fixture on my bucket list that I'd never reconsidered it. 

This realization put a ton of pieces together for me. My resistance to studying, my inability to focus when I do study for the exam, none of this is "like" me at all. On the other hand, I can spend hours working on blog and retreat stuff every day. My soul ignites when I study anything related to life coaching and mentoring. I lose all track of time. It is all that I want to do.

For me, it's pointing to the fact that I'm beyond ready to make a change. To work towards another dream that is exciting, full of love and compassion and courage and life. It's so close to some of the work I've done leading retreats, and yet it's something entirely new.

And so again, I'm changing my words, speaking of who I WANT to become. Not the words of fear and failure. And this is going to be freaking amazing.

"If you want to change your life, begin by changing your words. Start speaking the words of your dreams, of who want to become, not the words of fear and failure". - Robert Kiyosaki

Monday, November 10, 2014

Three Wedding Cakes: One for the Bride, One for the Groom, One for Our Son

Our wedding last month was gorgeous and wonderful, and one of the things that was super important to me was to make sure that our four year old son, Zoom was included in every way possible. Sean and I both felt strongly that in addition to our wedding being a ceremony around our commitment as a couple, this was a celebration of our family.

One of the ways we did this was with our cakes. We opted to have three cakes, one designed and by each of us! We had the wonderful experience of working our fabulous baker, Franny of Franny's Cup & Saucer in Point Arena to do this. She said it was the first time she'd every done three separate cakes for a wedding.

My cake was a gluten free almond and hazelnut with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, and a white butter cream frosting. I asked for a design that pulled in the sand dollars from our wedding invitations, and that had fencing reminiscent of the fencing found throughout The Sea Ranch. This cake was gorgeous and delicious.

Here's that famous fencing:

Sean's cake was chocolate with a berry filling, and the design was a nod to World of Warcraft, which is yes, a video game. And, it's where we met. The cake looks a bit like the city of Darnassus, home of the Night Elves, which would be the home town of my character.

Zoom's cake was a gluten free vanilla cake with strawberries baked in. He had a cupcake like this once and loved it. He asked that he have "Lightning McQueen, Master Yoda, a rabbit, and a 'boobot'" on his cake. Boobot is his word for a robot. This cake was the hit of the party!

Photo by Matt Welch of Munkee's Eye Photography

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Sneak Peek of Our Coastal Wedding in Northern California

Three weeks ago, Sean and I got married. We chose a little town, up on the coast for the location. It's a place we love, a place we visit a lot.

We had 30 guests, eight of whom were age seven and under.  It was perfect. Such dear family and friends. We were honored that each of them could make the trip, and felt so blessed to have each of them with us for our wedding day.

Photo by Matt Welch of Munkee's Eye Photography

I wore a gunmetal gray dress by Adrianna Papell, and carried a sage and chrysanthemum bouquet. When Zoom saw my dress, he said, "Momma, you look like the ocean." I'd tried other dresses, but I knew this was the one from the second I put it on. Zoom's sweet compliment made me feel like a princess.

Photo by Matt Welch of Munkee's Eye Photography

On the way to the reception, Sean, Zoom and I took this selfie. Sheer joy. I took the picture while Sean drove.

The reception was held here, at this old Ranch house.

The magical part of this location, aside from the family, and friends, was the view. And this iconic fence. Up soon ... the amazing cakes. :)

*this post contains an affiliate link for my dress.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Recap on the Balance Retreat

Saturday was one of those wonderful, life affirming days. We had a large group of participants, so many participants!

There was a point during the day, when leading one of the sessions, that I felt so fully present and engaged. So in the moment, and so full of gratitude to be able to have the chance to be in the position I'm in. It was really cool when that moment hit me ... It's neat to be in the moment, but also have that same realization that you're totally digging what's going on and grateful to be doing it.

The day went really well, and as always, I feel like I get more than I give from leading a retreat. The big take aways for me were:
1. I should leave more room in my schedule. This is mostly around free time ... personal time, reflecting time, that kind of thing.
2. If I leave more time (and don't pack my schedule or my family's schedule completely full), it leaves moments to be present, to be fully aware with the people I love. It also leaves time for spontaneity.
3. I tend to get hung up on creating lists. When I created a list of "all of the things I'm balancing" I listed several similar things, but listed them all separately. (personal time, spiritual time, time to journal) After re-reviewing the list, it was obvious that I wanted more time to do quiet things, but I think I could consolidate those into "me time" and stop stressing that there are four things I wish I had more time for, when it's really all the same root desire.

I'll get back to making edits to my "Balance" e-course, because I think you guys will really love it, and that it will give you an interesting frame work to analyze, prioritize, embrace or abandon the things you're balancing. The participants loved it :) so I can't wait to share it!

Here are a few photos of the day.

It had rained during the morning, and San Damiano was looking lovely as we approached it:

Here is the courtyard at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, California:

And the fountain in the courtyard after lunch, when the sun had started shining.

Earl J. Rivard is a talented musician, and he provided music for our day. I'm so very honored to call him a friend, and to have been working with him over the last seven years. Brother Mike is also in this photo and I deeply appreciate his support and assistance in making it possible for our retreats to happen.

I hope you're having a great week!