Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Appreciation, Flu, And “Winter” Blues

Appreciation, Flu And Winter Blues
Over the last few days I have been MIA from this blog – out of two legit reasons: 1. because my kids and I have been battling the flu, and 2 because this part time job, helping out someone with building a business has been resembling more a full-time job that hope that by the end of next week, all of this will be settled, and I can resume at least a more passing schedule.
But there are also many things to appreciate today. I woke up to the most wonderful notes from my children, wishing me a Happy Birthday, which was so sweet, and then I got to open many emails and social media messages filled with well-wishes and greetings. Every one of those put a smile on my face.
I feel gratitude for the fact that the sun came out to greet me as well, which suits me well, considering the last few days have been dreary, reminding me more of those days when Winter Blues set in, in Germany, and the days were one big sea of continuous grey. Not exactly the best sight. The morning sun, as I walked the dogs, felt like a balm to my soul, exactly when I needed it.
I enjoyed this afternoon’s crumb coffee cake in all of its sweet glory – on top of that, I enjoyed that I did not have to bake it, my family did instead – I am usually the one backing all of the goodies, so that was a nice change in pace.
I am enjoying the fact that I let go of some anxiety that came back this week, with not being able to accomplish as much as I usually would like to, by employing the power of no. I will write about the benefits of this wonderful little tool tomorrow. Let me just tell you now, that it is a sanity-saving tool everyone should apply.
I am  thankful, that my dogs seem to be having no problems with the colder weather, actually I am surprised how much my shorter haired Athena is enjoying it. Still, I am looking for sweater for her – which is harder for big dogs like her, especially for when it gets even colder  than it already is.
A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

A Floral Heart Keepsake Box by Claudia H. Blanton

I am also in appreciation that I was able to design a tiny bit. One of these examples is the heart design I started you just saw. When I create something, at least a little bit of something, I feel a little more productive on a personal level. And that feels good.
So what have you been accomplishing this week? Was your week as crazy as mine, or did you have a chance to relax a little more? I hope you, and all of your loved ones are healthy, and I am looking forward to hearing from you all!.
Check out the following blog hops, that this post is a part of and give the other participants some love!

Gratitude, Halloween And Honoring Those Who Passed

Gratitude, Halloween And Honoring Those Who Passed

On this day before Halloween, I am usually pretty excited and giddy, getting ready to celebrate what is for me as a Pagan more than just a dress up in crazy clothes day. This year, though, I will work instead, and considering that we are in a temporary place, not celebrate with our usual abandon. Still, Halloween or Samhain will be exciting enough, as we celebrate and honor those who have left before us.

Therefore, my gratitude list today focuses on some special people and animals in my life that have moved on.

1. My grandfather
He passed away exactly one week after my 12th birthday, but during the short time I had him in my life, he made a lasting impression. Leaving me with an independent spirit and the freedom to choose my own path (he insisted that I would not be raised in any faith so I could make up my own mind later on), I honor him today.

2. My adopted Father
While he left me with many scars and wounds that will always define how I view the world, he introduced to me the need of taking care of our world around us. He taught organic gardening to many people, including me. He also gave me access to mythology and ancient traditions which define much of my belief system to this day.

3. Angel
Probably the strangest animal I have ever met, but also the most profoundly loving cat there was. After adopting his mother without knowing that she was pregnant, he was one of the 2  kittens (out of a litter of 6) who were completely bald. Sphynx cats are rare, and well, I must say ugly, but he was the most beautiful animal to me. After his death, I had sworn never to get another pet, because the loss was too great. But, I currently have two dogs and another cat. Still, he will always be my true Angel.

I am very grateful for having had many people in my life, briefly or for a long period of time, that made a large impact on me, and brought me to the choices I made to become me.

Whom are you grateful for in your life? Why not share that list via the Celebrate The Small Things Blog hop hosted by Lexa Cain? And stop on by Dory’s Backyard, where everyone is talking about shelter animals.

Hey, I Designed You A Mug – Now Fill It With This

Hey, I Designed You This Mug - Now Fill It With This
So you purchased yourself a designer mug, supporting independent artists with your choice. Good for you. We, the creatives behind these designs thank you. But now what? It is a specialty mug, so just pouring in some darn old coffee from the grocery store would not be fitting. No way. These cups ask for something special.
No worries, I did the work for you and found some really wonderful coffees and teas you should fill that special mug with.
I Designed You A Cup - Now Fill It With This
Jacobs Kronung Coffee
This coffee is tradition and perfection in a cup. There is simply not a better roast out there, that does not cost you an arm, a leg and your first born. I grew up on this stuff, and it is the standard by which I hold each other coffee. Sorry, Starbucks, your coffee taste like pee water compared to this.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
JO – Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Medium Roast
My favorite of the Fair Trade Coffee’s out there. Stick with the medium roast of this brand for best results. While it is not as fine and sophisticated in flavor as the before mentioned German coffee, it is still the best I could find so far in its category. And while drinking it, you can really feel good about yourself for being a responsible consumer (again).
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Teekanne Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea
I simply love this tea, its tart, refreshing taste, even if you drink it as a hot cup of tea (which I prefer.)  It is my go to cup with a few cookies as part of a quick afternoon break. It tastes fruity and light, though I recommend to add your favorite sweetener, on its own it can be surprisingly sour.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug, - Now Fill It With This
Teavana Pineapple Berry Blue Loose-Leaf Tea
No list that includes teas is complete without having a pineapple flavored addition to it. At least that is my opinion. Hey, don’t knock it until you tried it, this tea is hot and cold a wonderful treat. Cheaper than a Hawaiian vacation.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Moonstruck Classic Hot Cocoa
Wintertime is hot chocolate time, and I prefer the classic, no fancy added flavored version of hot chocolates. This creamy, deep flavored, elegant milk chocolate cocoa mix does the trick here. It is a wonderful way to wind down a busy holiday day, and no December evening would be complete without it. I would recommend to get extra. Especially if you are a chocoholic like I am.
Now savor that hot (or cold) stuff!
Have a wonderful day!
Claudia
 Disclaimer: The above post contains affiliate links.

My Love/Hate Relationship With Fall Premiere Week(s)

 

My Love/Hate Relationship With Fall Premiere Week
I love entertainment – may it be in a book or via the small and large screen, it is where my soul and heart lies. Creating my own stories, small and large, has given me a deep appreciation of the art of bringing stories to life. So every year, I am looking forward to discovering what is new to arrive – what new characters I can connect with, and what new stories make my heart pound just a little faster. I am looking forward to getting lost in them, their pace, different from our lives, and merge with the fabric of the story in front of me (if it is good one, that is).

There are just too darn many good stories on television this year.

Fall Premiere Week

Trying not to get sucked into this world I adore, too much, is the plight of someone who works from home, on her own schedule. I do not have anyone looking over my shoulder, deadlines are those of my own making, may it be for my writing, or for my designs. Yet the pull is strong, and I usually allow myself a little leeway during these few days of discovering pilots, but whatever happened to just one pilot week? I am counting three weeks now!

Time to eliminate some of the contenders, but which ones?

What are your favorite new shows?

Minority Report already made space for the interesting and faced paced Blindspot. Apparently other people thought the same, considering that the second week viewing dropped by 17 %.

Limitless might not be limitless in its ability to keep my attention. If it would not have been for the little twist at the end of this week’s episode – no I will not tell you, watch it yourself – , I would tell you, that I am not watching it next week. Now I have to. For now.

Quantico has potential, but will it live up to what it can be? At least it does not compete with the middle week frenzy, like some of the other shows that are premiering this week – I am looking at you, Code Black!

So what are your favorite shows of this season so far? Have you decide to abstain from television (I commend you) completely or are you just watching your favorites from last year(s), like Criminal Minds or Castle?

Have a wonderful day!

Claudia

“Feathered Friends” – A Haiku

Just for a moment,

my life should be this easy.

Watching feathered friends.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Do You Even Care? – A Haiku

Listen

stuck in frustration
don’t tell me you understand
shut up and listen

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

If you enjoyed this Haiku, please support us by visiting our design store for some light and dark art pieces in practical applications and as home decor.

The End Of Everything – A Flash Fiction

He scared me, with such a profoundness that I knew I would never be the same. Not that he was threatening, this fragile, old man with the broad rimmed hat, but his eyes, gazing at me with the intensitivy of a powerful personality, borred into my soul, and left a mark. His words, as broken as his body, where humblingly simple, yet held within them the moment I had been waiting for, dreading and hoping to never hear anyone say to me.
“It has begun!”

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Impact – A Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Impact

One day can change everything. I had never appreciated that sentiment until this very moment. A breath, a glance, a decision, all actions that are fleeting, but their impact felt long after, creating waves of changes not to be taken lightly. Until now, standing here, in the midst of the thick, lushious lawn, feeling simutaniously at home and lost, I did not know the depth of this truth. But at the end, all that matters to me now, is that those decisions brought me right here – to you.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Her – A Flash Fiction

She wasn’t supposed to be here, hell she was not even supposed to be in this country, according to his sources, but even the best sources could get it wrong. His heart broke with every step she took toward him, knowing that, no matter what he would say, he could not explain away the pain he had caused her, the pain of him leaving her behind, even if it was to keep her safe.
Her eyes, fixed on his, dark with a deep well of emotions, he brazed himself for a tirade of screams, accusation, and yes, even a slap. But he never expected, that she would place her lips on his own.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015