21 Practical Tips To Have A Joyful And Productive Week

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The last trimester of the year can get a bit overwhelming. We wanna finish things we started, there is the preparation for the holidays, some of us are getting ready for holiday trips. If you’re a bit like me, you’re already thinking about what you wanna do next year. Sometimes, it’s too much and if we don’t give ourselves time to recharge and relax, we may end up getting sick or releasing our stress on people we love.

Having that in mind, I gathered a collection of practical tips to make your weeks less stressful and to help you live more in the present, bringing more purpose and joy to your days. These are things I tried myself, some I still do, some I am in process of creating the habit. I added a brief takeaway of my own experiences, too.

21 Practical Tips To Have A Joyful And Productive Week

1| Wake up early
I’ve been a night owl my whole life. When I started working at home I noticed that when I stayed up late, I wasn’t very productive on the following day so I started waking up early and I was surprised by how much it improved my humor, concentration, and productivity.

2| Start every day with gratitude
A mentor once told me to go outside, look up and thank every new day. This brings a smile to my heart every time I do.

3| Have a 2-minute creative visualization
In addition, he told me to spend a few minutes to imagine my day unfolding, seeing all things I wanna do running smoothly.

4| Make your bed
Seeing the bed made and organized gives me energy and motivation to have things done.

5| Have Tea
There are endless options and they are natural healers. I started drinking lemon balm tea some months ago, it relaxes me when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I also like to drink it before going to bed.

6| Focus on one thing at a time
Multi-tasking is harmful to our productivity and mental health. Whenever I remember something when I’m working on a task or project, I make note to take action later. Unless it is really urgent and cannot be held for another time, don’t switch tasks.

7| Batch activities
When I’m setting the following week I determine one afternoon to run errands and do everything I need out of the house. I have that feeling of accomplishment when I get home and I see I took care of everything I needed out of the house.

8| Unclutter your work/craft space
I spend less than 5 minutes every day to unclutter and organize before I start working/crafting. I also do a 15-minute unclutter and organization every other week to see if something needs to be donated, thrown away, replaced or bought.

9| Unclutter your inbox
I read important emails every day, they are from customers, store staff, partners or courses I’m taking. (I don’t use emails to contact family). Then I determine one day of the week to read other e-mails that are usually newsletters from bloggers and businesses I follow. I spend from one to three hours depending on what these emails are about, I delete the others. I also unsubscribe from one or two newsletters every week. It seems like my ability to subscribe is much more developed than my ability to unsubscribe because e-mail starts piling up. LOL

10| Draw and/or journal
I give myself time and space to do something I love without second intentions, only for me. It’s usually drawing or journaling because these two things fill my heart with joy.

11| Watch less television
I like to watch movies and series a lot, but when I started doing more of other things I love as drawing, journaling, singing, dancing, reading and crafting I felt happier and more relaxed so I try to find balance when spending time doing things I love.

12 | Challenge your creativity with side projects
I’ve been adding side projects to my life and they bring a lot of happy moments. I work doing something I love, but sometimes having deadlines and expectations adds a bit of pressure to the whole thing. The side projects empower my creativity consequently my work improves.

13 | Do the hardest tasks first
This is more like a note to self. I know I should stop procrastinating those hard tasks, because when they’re done I will feel relieved.

14 | Stop eating at your desk
Another note to self. Sometimes I get so involved in projects I’m doing that I get off for all other things and I know that taking the time to eat is healthier and very important.

15 | Get quality sleep
This is so important. I noticed I wasn’t sleeping enough when  I started tracking my sleeping time with an app. After a few days of tracking I realized I needed to improve my sleeping time. I try to sleep 7 hours every night and I avoid watching, reading or listening things that can get me scared or stressed at night, that makes my sleeping hours more relaxed.

16 | Ask for guidance
When I go to bed I take a glass of water with me, I put it next to a crystal. I close my eyes, give thanks for the awesome day I had and ask for guidance and wisdom to deal with any situations I may face the following day. Then I go to sleep. In the morning, I give thanks for the energized water and drink it. That’s been amazing, I feel energized and I have much more clarity since I started this ritual.

17 | Meditate
This is a habit I’ve been struggling to create, I do it for weeks and then I stop doing it, but I can see the difference when I meditate. I am usually calmer, more motivated and focused.

18 | Listen to mantras and meditation songs
I listen to mantras songs from youtube while I’m working, drawing or crafting. They make me feel more present, happier, calmer and motivated.

19 | Take time off
I didn’t use to give myself time off and it always ended up being harmful for me. I used to get sick or so tired that I needed something between two to three days to recover. Now, I give myself time to just do whatever I feel like doing, I don’t have a specific time for that, some weeks it may be a chunk of time every day, some weeks it’s one full day, it depends on my level of energy, excitement or anxiety. The best is finding what fits your lifestyle and schedule.

20 | Do things that work for you
I usually start something following someone’s path, so I can experiment. After a few tries, I try to follow my intuition and do things that work for me. Trying to follow trends adds pressure and that’s something I do my best to avoid.

21 | Show appreciation
I show my family I love them every day through messages or attitudes. I try to remind myself to do that with my parents, friends and other important people in my life whenever I have the chance.

I hope these gives you the motivation to shake things off and live a week with purpose and joy, that’s the goal, right?

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Creative Team Inspiration: Bedtime Stories Collection

Weekends are great for photographing moments with the family and also scrapping the photos and stories you’ve been wanting to tell. If you find yourself in a creative block or if you want to see how you can use products you bought. Here’s your first stop for some scrapping inspiration.

Today, I’m sharing a collection of layouts made with Bedtime Stories Collection and a few of my thoughts and takeaways on each one. I hope you also get inspired to scrap this weekend.

bts-michelle
Template used from JDoubleU 11 Pack

I love how Michelle added a lot of themed elements in a harmonious way. A good rule for that is resizing them. The lighting and angle of her photos are great. I also like that she used the word art sticker as the title.

bts-tinci

You’re gonna see a lot of sleeping babies and toddlers in this post. That’s why this one by Tinci caught my attention. She scrapped grown ups relaxing. I always love Tinci’s clusters and layers of papers, I also love patterned paper as the backgorund.

bts-heidib
Template used from JDoubleU 11 Pack

Heidi has a new grandson in her family, how cute he is! I like how she focused on his photo, adding only a few elements. I also like that she frames her page with a dark blue paper.

bts-dodie
Template used from JDoubleU 12 Pack

Can’t avoid smiling when I see this page. Love that close-up photo. Love that she created a card using one of the patterned papers and the sleeping bear instead of adding a second photo. The Ombre paper always adds so much interest to the page.

bts-em

Em is very great at scrapping off-themed pages and I love that because it shows me how versatile my products are and that’s something I aim for. As a scrapper, I like to have versatile products that I can use more than once or twice. Back to Em’s page, what can I say… I love to see her family adventures scrapped, I like that she kept her photos as the central point even though there are so many layers of papers, the size of her photos make them pop from the pieces of paper.

bts-alane

Alane surprised me with this beautiful layout because she didn’t use any of the blues from the kit. I would never imagine a page only with the whites and yellows. Her photo is so adorable and the dark background pops from the whites and yellows. Love it!

bts-em2

Em also scrapped a page following the kit theme and what I love the most here is that she added journaling, I love to see family stories being told. I like that she used the books of the kit to show that he was studying, so she kept all the other themed elements out of the page.

bts-theresaTemplate used from JDoubleU 13 Pack

I love this template, it’s one of my faves from the newest in the store. What I like the most here is that she added the cloud patterned paper and it created a fun frame to the page with the flowers on the top. I also like that she added the pompoms and sheep among the flowers, they add so much interest.

bts-kimTemplate used from Incredible Life 8 pack

Kim used a template with lots of paper pieces under the photos, so choosing the lighter papers was perfect to make her photos stand out since they are a bit darker which set the mood for the theme. I know not every scrapper likes pages full of things, but I always get delighted seeing every detail when I see a page like this. Love it!

bts-debbieTemplate used from JDoubleU 14 pack

Debbie’s journaling is so true, “nothing is more precious than a sleeping infant.” This picture is perfect and its neutral colors are a great win, because it will match pretty much any kit you try to use. I love the patterned paper she chose for matting the page, it reminds me of a blanket. Lovely how she added a lot of details, but her photo is the focal point.

bts-sherriTemplate used from JDoubleU 14 pack

I guess every mother feels like this when watching their babies sleep, right? I remember I used to watch my daughter sleep with a feeling of amazement about life until she was 10. LOL I like that the artsy paper she chose for the background matches the colors in her photo. The yellow and dark blue in papers and elements give a great contrast.

All products mentioned in this post are on sale

Bedtime Stories Collection Bundle – find individual packs at the shop.
November Templates Bundle – find individual packs at the shop.
Incredible Life 8 Templates

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If you like this post, help me touch others by pinning the image above and sharing with other creatives that could benefit from it. Thanks so much.
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Throw Back Thursday #3

Hello Thursday! The day to remember something from our past. Today, I’m sharing a redo. I have a lot of old layouts I didn’t save the high resolution image to print. I print my layouts in 12×12 size that’s why I need the high resolution image otherwise they will get all pixelated. So, I’m re-making some of these layouts to print and add to our family album.

This is a layout from 2008 and re-making it brought a smile to my face. Oh my! Time flies, doesn’t it? Our daughter was an almost entirely bald baby and when she was growing and learned to speak, she complained about her short hair. It took a long time to grow and when it finally grew, we started doing it in many different ways.

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This is a hairdo I used to wear when I was a teenager, however my “pompoms” were always down, over my neck. As she was a baby I knew we could do something cuter and made them up on the head. Pretty.

In this layout redoing project I have some rules.

I never change the photos, title and journaling. When I read it, I usually feel like I could improve it, especially because my writing skills improved over the years and also changed my feelings, thoughts and behavior as a mother. However, changing them feels like cheating to me and I wanna be honest with myself, this is how I felt and how I expressed my thoughts at that particular moment. My only goal is being able to add it to our family album, so I only change the products used and design. I don’t think it’s cheating because the most important to me is the memory itself, telling our stories, the text, title and photos tell it, they would tell the story even if I glued the photos to a napkin and wrote in pen. The embellishments are only a complement to make it look prettier. Who doesn’t like pretty things, right?

Here’s the old layout.
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To make the new layout I used one template from the JDoubleU 13 pack. This pack is part of the November Templates Bundle that is on sale. You can get 12 templates for only $6.99. It’s less than $0.6 each template. The bundle is available only during November.

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jbs-jdoubleu13-tp

orderbundle

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To scrap it I used the collection Wish Upon a Star. Here’s a special coupon to save $2 on purchase of the kit or the bundle. The fresh blues match my photos perfectly.

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jbs-wuas-kit

jbs-wuas-bundle

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If you like this post, help me touch others by pinning the image above and sharing with other creatives that could benefit from it. Thanks so much.
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Living a Creative Life is About Following the Heart

follow-your-heart

I’ve been in contact with the woo-woo side of living a creative and spiritual life for quite some time, I believe energy is powerful and we can make our lives much better when we are connected to the environment and others.

Yes, I do believe in energy. I’ve always believed. However, in the last couple of years, I came to realize that believing has layers. First, we believe intellectually using our brains and minds to make sense, to understand and justify our beliefs. However, we only start experiencing what we believe in when we believe with our hearts, when we accept it as real and not only as a concept in our minds.

As someone who always felt like I didn’t belong, in choosing a career especially, this is quite a profound concept. I’ve always just thought things would be easier, better if I just followed someone else’s path. Choose a career, go to college, find a great salary job and you’re done. But I see that’s not my truth, that’s not who I am. I cannot do something that doesn’t fulfill me. This was when I took my first leap of faith back in October 2014 when I decided to quit my day job and dedicate to my creative business.

Taking a leap of faith is following the heart. It’s been two years since I made that first decision in the direction of living a creative lifestyle and they have been incredible years. I cried a lot, felt scared to death, stressed incredibly and also had amazing moments of joy while discovering my strengths and power.

I’m still far from the life I love, I don’t even have an ideal life image in my head, but there’s one thing I determined – I believe in my intuition, I follow my heart. And that didn’t happen back in 2014. It happened this month, two years later. All that happened in these two years brought me here at this very moment to make this statement.

The artwork above is on my office wall to remind me to keep on finding the answers in my heart. This is the intention for this month.

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Throw Back Thursday #2

Hello Thursday! The day to remember something from our past. Today, I decided to share another scrapbooking page. This was made in August of 2015. I was amazed by all the art journals I was seeing on pinterest, instagram and youtube. I was considering experimenting it, but I didn’t have any of the supplies. Besides that, I was not into going messy with paints and such. Last year I was very introverted and I was more digital than ever. So, I decided I was going to try it digitally.

Click the image or here to see full credits
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I knew I had some wood backgrounds and also a digital image of a notebook and that was my starting place. I did my best to make it look realistic and I think I got a good result. What do you think? If you’d like to see my process to do a digital art journal page, leave a comment because I’m collecting ideas to start recording video tips.

Journaling reads: Dear diary, I found the love of my life. I found Mr. Right. I found my other half, he completes me. He’s neither a knight on a white horse nor a prince. He’s real. Really amazing to me. He understands and accepts me. He looks up to me. He cheers me up. Sometimes he makes me realize I should be in another place. He’s incredible, we’ve been dating for 13 years and 109 days. 

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If you like this post, help me touch others by pinning the image above and sharing with other creatives that could benefit from it. Thanks so much.
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