Closet Creativity

This post is brought to you by My Sister’s Closet Boutique. Dress styling and opinions are my own.

I am in love with the color of this dress. The color + the bottom ruffle remind me of Maria’s blue dress in the Sound of Music. And I seriously¬†love the Sound of Music.

Since I am nearly six feet tall, I often run into length challenges with pants, shorts, and dresses. When I first tried on this dress, I was sad that it didn’t quite come to my knees like I hoped it would. I know slip extenders have been around for a while, so maybe adding one of those doesn’t feel super creative to you, but I had to keep in mind that it changes the feel of the outfit. I didn’t want the lace combined with the buttery soft material of this dress to make it look like I was wearing a nightgown. So, I made sure to add dressier sandals instead of casual flip flops or ballet flats (you know, staying away from the slipper look. ūüėČ ).

Sometimes, a simple creative approach is all it takes.

As easy as it is for me to feel discouraged when I’m dress or pants shopping, it’s even easier to feel discouraged when I’m working on a creative project.

When a project isn’t matching my vision or the right idea just isn’t coming, it’s hard to¬†feel creative. And it’s difficult to create something when you’re not feeling it. But since creativity is the nature of most everything I do, I’ve had to learn how to get the creative juices flowing even when I’m not really feeling it.

One of my best pieces of advice is just to start.

I’m not one to say that you should “never give up”. There are times when it’s time to move forward or move on. But I am a big advocate for not giving up too soon. I’ve loved handlettering for nearly 20 years now, but I didn’t start experimenting with brush lettering until much later. I was so excited to get my Tombow brush pens in the mail and get started creating Pinterest-worthy works of art. I was certain it was all in the markers. And I was wrong. It takes time and practice to learn new techniques and tools and I should have known that brush pens would be no different. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt like throwing the markers away a few times. But I kept trying. I did more research and learned about better paper to use with my markers. I tried brush lettering with watercolors and an actual brush and learned that the strokes felt easier for me that way. Once I mastered the strokes in that method, it was easier to use the brush pens.

Start and be patient with yourself as you learn. There is something to be said for a need to create. Like needing a simple, creative solution for this dress, approaching your creative challenges with a sense that there is a creative solution to be found can help you to just start and ultimately to create something amazing.

If you’re in Utah and you’re a Julie Andrews mega-fan like I am, or if you just love this dress, I’ve got great news for you! My Sister’s Closet will be part of Draper Days and Spanish Fork Fiesta Days this weekend (July 19th & 20th). This dress will be available for an awesome discount of only $20 at these events and it comes in black and rose as well! This dress is available in sizes S – 3X and they’ll have other cute items available for great prices.

Event Details:

Draper Days – Draper City Park -12500 S. 1300 E

Spanish Fork Fiesta Days¬†– My Sister’s Closet Sidewalk Sale –¬†3650 East Powerhouse Road, Suite A

Prime Day Deals for Lettering Lovers

Whether you’ve been interested in handlettering for a while, or you’re just starting out, today is a great day to stock up on some supplies! And if you don’t already have Amazon Prime, you can try Prime for free for 30 days! And if you don’t love it, just set a calendar notification to remind you to cancel it before your full subscription starts.

As As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases when you use the links in this post. There is no additional cost for you to use these links. 

If digital lettering is your jam, I highly recommend investing in an iPad Pro + Apple Pencil. You can also use an Apple Pencil to letter on the newer iPads, but the screen is a little bit different and the way the pencil communicates is a different experience. The iPad pro + pencil combo feels a bit closer to a paper-like drawing experience and I’ve found I prefer that.

Here are some of today’s iPad pro deals:






If you’re more interested in learning lettering on paper, there are a couple of good deals on markers as well. (Note: I highly recommend buying marker paper or tracing paper to use if you get brush markers. They are better for the tips. More on that in an upcoming blog post. ūüôā ) Here are some great marker deals:




And, last, but definitely not least, are two awesome Cricut deals. I have been having a lot of fun taking my lettering and turning it into wall decals and other fun Cricut projects. This Harry Potter reference on my daughter’s wall is probably my top favorite lettering + Cricut project I’ve done. It’s so meaningful to have my own lettering on her wall.

Here are the Prime Day Cricut Deals:





Let me know if you take advantage of any of these deals! Happy shopping!

Note to Self: A Life I Feel Good About

If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s that humans love to give advice. Which is equal parts “Okay, enough! I’ve heard “sleep when the baby sleeps” from two hundred people now.” and “Isn’t it great that we’re all so connected in mutual experiences that we can share advice and empathy with each other?”

Yesterday morning, I was thinking about marriage and some general advice I’ve heard and suddenly, my brain felt like a tumbling Bingo cage that has been going on for years came to a stop and someone called out “B twenty-three!” and I¬†got it. Bingo.

For years, I’ve been trying to rationalize my people-pleasing nature with a desperate need for peace of mind. I’ve had advice (of course) from friends, family, and my therapist tumbling around my metaphorical Bingo cage as I’ve tried to figure out what is valuable and how this actually all fits together in a life I feel good about.¬†And that, right there, that’s the thing:¬†a life I feel good about. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to figure out all this time and it turns out, I’ve been defining a life I feel good about using other people’s advice and expectations.

Am I a good spouse? Well, let me use the advice I heard at so-and-so’s wedding luncheon as my benchmark.¬†“Fight naked”, “Never go to bed angry”, “Go to bed angry”, and on, and on. Besides the obvious issue that a lot of the advice contradicts other advice, it’s a huge problem for me to make this advice my benchmark¬†without first determining that the advice is, in fact, useful to me.

Am I a good mom? 270 blog posts later, I never feel like it. It’s not that there isn’t valuable information found online. It’s not that there isn’t great connection in knowing that someone, somewhere has¬†been there before (thank goodness for the healing power of that). The issue is that no blog post, nobody else’s experience, and no baby milestone tracking app can define what being “a good mother” means to you or me or our children.

The Bingo moment is this:¬†I define what it means to live a life I feel good about. I choose how to be a mother. My husband and I have created a partnership that allows us to define what a “good marriage” looks like to us – what we want it to be.

A couple years ago, I spent a lot of time talking to my therapist about what my “job” is. He helped me to see that I was living a lot of my life thinking that I had to meet other people’s (real or arbitrary) expectations for me. I was living a life of “shoulds” and he explained that I was going to “should myself to death” if I didn’t figure out what my real job is. We spent quite a few appointments talking about what my job is not: fixing other people’s problems, doing things simply because I know or think they’re expected of me, and making other people happy… just to name a few.

Then, he asked me what my job is. I asked some close friends what they thought and we all came up with an answer along the lines of “to be a good person”. And my therapist shot that down fast. Eventually, he helped me understand that my job is to live by my own, personal code of conduct. If I’m going to¬†feel like I’m a good person – if that’s my desire, I have to define for myself what that means. My therapist taught me that the only true way to be happy and to feel free is to know that you are living your personal code of conduct. Because when you’ve decided what your code of conduct is, you get the freedom of living only by your own standards. And that feels so good.

So, I mean, I got that. We worked hard for me to get that. And I’ve been working on defining my personal code of conduct ever since. But the people pleaser in me has been fighting back and trying to make my personal code of conduct look like what I think other people think my personal code of conduct should look like – which, you know, completely defeats the purpose. And that’s what I’ve been wrestling until the Bingo moment yesterday where I felt like things started settling into place. My job is not to meet other’s expectations or accept all advice. To create a truly freeing personal code of conduct, I need to sort through the advice I’ve heard, the beliefs I have, and anything expected of me to decide what truly fits in a life I want to live.

For me, I value kindness. I find joy in my relationship with God. I heard once that making your spouse a priority is an important part of being a good parent – and I’ve decided that that’s advice I agree with and want to include in my life. These are all elements of my personal code of conduct, which I’m refining all the time.

Bear with me while I milk the Bingo metaphor just a little bit more. I really like it. Picture those balls rolling around in the Bingo cage as advice from other people. They all have a place, they all belong somewhere, but only some of them have a place on your card. It’s up to you to decide what has a place in your life. Even this post. If it’s not a Bingo for you, please consider this simply a fun flashback to elementary school Bingo days (or a flash forward to life in a retirement home, perhaps. ūüėČ ) But, if you’ve found any value in this, leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to hear your perspective.

Choose Happy – Free Printable!

I recently made these cute tags for a Birthday Brunch and I loved them so much, I wanted to turn them into an 8×10 print. So, because everyone needs a little more happy in their lives, here are some free printables! They are available in 4 colors and 2 sizes – 8×10 and 5×7 for you to print and use in your home.

Enjoy!

8×10:¬†Choose Happy_Yellow¬†Choose Happy_Pink Choose Happy_Orange Choose Happy_Green

5×7: Choose Happy_Yellow_sm¬†Choose Happy_Pink_sm Choose Happy_Orange_sm¬†Choose Happy_Green_sm

Bowling Ball Day: The Ten Year Anniversary

Today is a pretty special day for me. If you’ve never heard of Bowling Ball Day, welcome. ūüôā It’s likely that that means we’re new friends. Here’s the short version: 10 years ago today, a bowling ball fell off the top of a flag pole on my head. And I’ve celebrated this day ever since.

It was March of 2007, my second semester of college. I was visiting some friends in Tremonton for spring break. My friend, Christina had suggested that we go to a privately owned park called “Marble Park”. She insisted the barbed wire collection was a must-see. So, we went. The park is a sculpture park featuring a lot of cool things: ¬†swings made from old tractor seats, chairs made from barrels and wheels, and the infamous barbed wire collection. We decided to gather the group together for some pictures. We all climbed up onto three platforms. My friends Ashli, Mac, and I stood on the middle platform¬†which had a flag pole coming out of it and was about 5 feet tall.

Ashli and I on the platform with the flagpole.

While taking the pictures, we noticed that the flagpole was kind of wobbly. It had been cemented into the platform, but looked as though it had come loose over the years. Mac started pushing on it, and just as I said (teasing, of course)¬†“wouldn’t it be funny if I fell off?” a bowling ball fell from it’s perch on the top of the flag pole and onto my head.

If you look at the top of the flagpole in the background, you can see the bowling ball in its prongs.

I was knocked unconscious and fell off the platform. (This is a good thing because otherwise, it’s likely that I would have tried to catch myself and could have broken my arms.) Once on the ground, I regained consciousness, had a seizure, and threw up. (Lime green throw up, because I’d had Jones Green Apple Soda. TMI? Sorry.) My friends called 911 and explained that I had been hit on the head. “By what?” the operator asked. After looking around to find the culprit, Ashli eventually¬†said “Um, a bowling ball.”

I was taken in an ambulance to the Bear River Hospital where they were worried about my spinal fluid leaking into my brain, so I was then lifeflighted to the University of Utah Neuro Care Clinic. One of the few moments of all of this that I actually remember¬†happened in the helicopter. I remember watching the propellers start to spin, and one of the paramedics closed the door on my arm – so my arm was trapped between the door and my stretcher. I looked up at him and said “um, my arm…” and they quickly opened the door again and placed my arm on top of me.

The physicians at the Neuro Care Clinic determined that I had a severe concussion and my skull was fractured from front to back. You know how babies’ skulls are in two parts when they’re born and that’s why they have a soft-spot? I essentially just broke¬†that¬†open again. After four days in the hospital and eight staples in my head, I got to go home. I was on Loritab for a week, and then I went back to school. A few weeks later, I went to have my staples removed and the doctor told me I was doing surprisingly great and the concussion was gone. To this day, the only lasting damage is the quarter-sized scar on top of my head.

So, that’s the story of Bowling Ball Day. I love celebrating this day because it makes me feel special. Knowing how many people came to visit me in the hospital, prayed for me, took pictures with posters and sippy cups (long story) for me really just warms my heart. And knowing that, by some miracle, I didn’t die – that’s something that makes me feel things I’ve never been able to truly explain. Some of it is simply gratitude for the blessing of being alive and for feeling like I have a purpose for still being here. And also, in many sacred ways, this experience brought me closer to God. I believe in angels. The ones here on earth and the unseen angels that I believe were there 10 years ago.

Oh, and also, it’s pretty funny. I mean, who does this even happen to?