Creative Tip: Using Your Imagination

Friends, we have a very special guest today. One of my 10-year old twin girls would like to offer a creative tip for us on this terrific Tuesday. So I told her to type up a post and that I would share it with all of you.

Join me in welcoming my little artistic Avery. {You may remember her from a previous post about a field trip to the museum!}

Hello, readers. This is Avery. My mom is the one who usually writes here, so I’m excited to write this and share one of my ideas.

If I ever feel bored, I like to do crafts and use my imagination. One thing I like best is making fingerprint animals and designs.

Here’s how I do it.

I get different colors of ink. They come in the form of a stamp pad.


First, I stamp my finger and press it onto a piece of paper. I like to use my thumb, because it’s bigger to make the body of an animal.



Once the ink dries, I take colored pens and draw the faces and details of the animals.


That’s really it!

The reason I like to do this type of craft is because it’s simple and it lets me use my imagination. It’s also not too messy. You just have to wash your hands.

There are so many animals you can draw. Here are some that I did yesterday.







Some of these were made by my twin sister, Clara. She’s so creative, too! 🙂

I hope you like them. Thank you for reading my post. This was fun to write. I also hope you get to use your imagination today to make something awesome.

Avery Andersen 🙂


Create a Welcoming Entryway

Happy Friday and almost-Thanksgiving! With the holidays quickly closing in, I’ve been thinking about ways to spruce up the house.

I’m starting with the entryway, because, well, that’s the start to each person’s visit. That’s where I welcome my sweet friends and family. Plus, it sets the tone for the rest of the house. If it’s filled with shoes, backpacks, stacks of paper and random toys, you can pretty much guarantee the rest of our house looks the same.

I want people to feel relaxed and welcome when they come over, so here’s a plan we can all try.

Five steps to creating a warm and welcoming entryway.

{ONE} Declutter

The easiest way to start is to take a quick look and spot anything that doesn’t belong. Take a large basket and put all of the misplaced items inside. Then carry them to their homes. Shoes go in the closet. Backpacks go in the bedroom or a mudroom on a hook. Toys go in their bin. You get the picture. This is a great job for the kids, btw.

{TWO} Plan the space

Next, decide how you want to use the space. Do you need a spot for umbrellas? Are you short on storage and need to add a place to hang coats? Is your entryway fairly large, so you need to divide the space with a table? Make a checklist, which makes the next step much easier.

{THREE} Furnish

Look for pieces of furniture that best fit the space. I’ve seen some super creative ideas. (In fact, I’ve posted some photos down below.) If you don’t have room for a table, would a small bench work? If there’s wall space for a mirror or large piece of art, this would be the perfect spot to show it off.

{FOUR} Personalize

Add accessories that only you could add, like photos of the family or an antique typewriter from your grandmother. It not only makes the space feel more like you, but also helps create some conversation.

{FIVE} Check your senses

Now that everything is in place, be sure to add fresh flowers and a fragrant candle or diffuser to engage the senses. You can also add accessories that add pretty colors to the overall look of your space. Color can be a powerful thing.

Some of my favorite entryways I’ve seen so far >>

That seafoam door is gorgeous. And it’s perfectly paired with a colorful rug and neutral walls and accents. I could swoon.

This is so clean and simple. You could easily swap out the pillows for each season, too.

If you need an entryway that also serves as a closet, this is a pretty way to keep things organized. The hooks are lovely, and the little shelf under the bench for shoes is brilliant.

Not much room for a table? No problem. Build a custom shelf on a wall that serves as a table. Isn’t this beautiful?

Not every entryway needs a table. I like this arrangement of stacked seagrass suitcases resting under a large (and meaningful) poster. PS. I also really like that light fixture.

Here’s another solution to not much room for a table…a shelf made out of pretty wooden corbels and a long piece of rustic wood.

Not many houses have a distinct room as an entryway. This is so pretty, and I love the detail work on the table. It reminds me of an antique sewing table for some reason.

This style is a bit more homey. Benches make a great substitute for tables. You can load them with pillows and other soft items like blankets to add  texture and color. I also like how they personalized the space with the “Est. 2010” artwork. I’m assuming that’s when they were married? Cute.

This is styled so well. I love how it’s eclectic with the plaid baskets, wooden sign and metal table, yet it’s all pulled together through the symmetry of the lamps, flowers and even pumpkins. It just works.

Oooh, doesn’t this just scream “Fixer Upper”? The natural elements of the wreath and wooden accents are wonderful. If I walked into this entryway, I’d expect the rest of the house to be a natural retreat.

I hope you’ve had fun exploring some ideas with me. Enjoy your weekend and I can’t wait to connect back next week! In the meantime, check out all of the amazing bloggers through these link up parties.

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Creative Tip: Listen to Little Messages

As I sit and enjoy my coffee on this cool November morning, I’m feeling thankful I stumbled upon this list titled “10 Ways to Stay Creative.” It’s been tucked away in a folder on my desktop for months. Somehow it managed to catch my attention. And I’m glad it did.

I’ve been feeling like a tire with a slow leak…rolling along, but losing air at a speed that’s almost unnoticeable until it gets low enough to hit the rim. I feel like I just skimmed the ground, creatively speaking. And it finally caught my attention.

As I reflect, my posts have been fewer and farther between, the writing projects at work have been mostly clinical these days, and I haven’t dabbled in any craft projects lately. Not the best combination for someone who adores and thrives on living a creative life.

Luckily there’s that small voice…the one that quietly guides and cheers us on. And it led me to my computer to dig through old files for inspiration. I found this list and decided to post it on Facebook late last night. I woke up still thinking about it, which was a good sign. I’m being nudged into action.

So here I am today, armed with a spark of motivation, my computer, and a blank page ready to accept the challenge of creativity. I’m excited and curious to see where it leads. Maybe you’d like to join me? >>

Here’s to a creative day…and that we keep our eyes and hearts open to the messages that keep showing up.




Feeling Thankful for Humor

I’d like to introduce a touch of humor to the blog today. Sometimes when I’ve read too many negative comments on my Facebook feed, or watched a dark show that has left me feeling scared, sad, or downright icky, I try to shake it off by either looking at pictures of cute animals on Pinterest, like this one >>

{via} Aww, hello sweet bun.

Or I’ll find something that makes me laugh. {Usually involving episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.}

Today feels like a good day to lighten things up. So I’ve pulled together ten things that have made me laugh recently. Hopefully it will lighten or even brighten your day just a bit, as well.


That face!! Our dog would try to play it off, too, like “Wow, that’s weird. Is it time for dinner, yet?”


The fact that I’m so bad at math, I had to think about this shirt.


Remember The Office!! That show was so funny. Mostly because of Michael Scott.


People who are hangry = funny.


That’s right. Sometimes we just need a donut already.


This would be me at any protest rally.


Yasssss! I could easily see this happening. Way too easily.


This made me spit my coffee when I read it. So awesome. and funny. Adding it to my Christmas list now.


…because Cark is such a common name.


We’ve all had moments like this, haven’t we?!

Hopefully this list brought a little smile to your face. If not, try this or this, care of my twin girls. 😉 Have an awesome day.




A November Welcome + Permission Not to be Perfect

The month of November holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I celebrate my wedding anniversary, my mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and cooler air with the most gorgeous leaves on our sugar maple trees.

In fact, you know that fresh-start feeling on New Year’s Day when everything gets rebooted – like a computer? You examine your health, habits, relationships, and any projects that had been sitting idle and nudge them into motion? I actually get this feeling now.

I try not to let the “bigness” of the upcoming holidays and busy schedules overpower me.

Sitting in the joy and gratitude of November is an awesome way to recognize the month.

I’ve seen lots of people take on gratitude challenges this time of year. In theory, this is a beautiful idea. And this is one of the best lists I’ve seen so far >>


I have to admit that while I want to join the ranks and post something online that I’m grateful for each and every day, the thought of this challenge is both exciting and stressful to me. As someone who steps in and out of the grip of perfectionism, this type of activity can be a trap.

I’ll get all gung-ho…for a few days. I might even buy and new journal and special pen just for the occasion. But by the fifth or sixth day, I might miss writing something down. So I try to get back on schedule, maybe even backtrack. Then I miss another day. At this point I have holes. Holes that taunt me from their stupid blank pages. Instead of letting go, I leave. I ditch the idea altogether, because I feel like I failed. Then I feel guilty for messing up and giving up.

And this was supposed to be a peaceful and enjoyable experience…about feeling grateful?!

I do realize how crazy this sounds. It’s still hard, though. So I’m taking a cue from Brene Brown and am writing myself a permission slip.

“Kate, you have permission to mess up. Even with a simple gratitude challenge. You can skip a day, forget a day, or even not know what the hell to be thankful for, because it’s a tough day. You’re imperfect, and that, in itself, is perfect.”

So today I take on the challenge of sharing my thanks. I won’t promise to post something every day…or even once a week for Thankful Thursdays. I’ll simply start by sharing five things I’m grateful for today, on this awesome Friday. And let’s see where it goes from here. >>

{ONE} My mom’s 80th birthday


My sweet mom, Mimi, is turning 80 years old this weekend! My entire family (all five siblings) will be gathering for the first time in we-can’t-even-remember-how-long to celebrate my mom and all of her awesomeness. I’m so thankful we’re able to pull this off, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s smile when she sees all of her babies in one spot!! 😉

{TWO} Friends I can lean on


More times than I can count on my hands and feet, I’ve relied on friends to help me out. Whether it’s a carpool ride, point of view, beer buddy, listening ear, high five, or encouraging hug, I’ve been blessed to have the comfort of friends around me. Not all of them are pictured above, but this was taken at a recent GNO and shows a few of my incredible friends here in Arkansas. I love and appreciate them so much…they have no idea. <3

{THREE} The beach


I’m still basking in the memories of my recent trip to the beach with Brandon. Sometimes if I’m quiet enough, I can hear the ocean waves and taste the salty air. I’m obsessed with the ocean and am so thankful B was able to score that lovely trip to Laguna. P.S. That picture has no filter.

{FOUR} This phrase…


Okay, so this is another Brene Brown reference. I was recently watching a video of her talking to Oprah, and she made this bold and tearful statement. More than anything, she wanted to be known for contributing more than she criticized.

It struck a deep chord with me, as I sometimes look with a critical eye at situations and even people. And as I scroll through my Facebook feed full of criticism about politicians and life’s situations, I can easily get caught up in the drama. So I’m thankful for this reminder – and motto.

How can I contribute instead of fanning the flames of negativity around me?

{FIVE} The right to vote

Speaking of politics, in a way, Tuesday is an incredibly important day. As a U.S. citizen, and more specifically as a woman, it’s our right to be able to vote.

There were many women before us who had to fight for this right. The ultimate sign of gratitude for their efforts is for us to stand up and voice our opinion through our vote.

No matter who you’re rooting for (or even against), that’s not the point. The ultimate message is to let yourself be heard. Take a moment to read up on the issues and get to know the politicians in your district, state, and country. Then get out there on Tuesday, if you haven’t already, and cast your vote. Your voice matters.

Okay, friends. That’s a wrap for this first friday of November. Here’s to a messy, mismatched weekend – that’s perfectly imperfect.



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