I am on a journey to live a life I love and to fill my life with the things that truly bring me joy... my dream job, loving relationships, financial abundance, a healthy mind and body, and a deep spiritual connection with all that is. I am living consciously to create a life filled with all the things I love.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How I Was Able to Get Lots and Lots of Fabric!

This is a bit serendipitous, that's for sure. Today I bought lots and lots of fabric at a steep discount! Here's a picture of my car with fabric piled up. There are more bolts underneath the bolts you see here... so exciting!

You see, I have my studio, but only a few yards of different types of fabric that I purchased to experiment with. At first I was thinking of creating a women's line, but I recently decided to start by making baby clothes first because I need to dress my baby before she turns into a toddler! I can't believe they call babies toddlers after they reach 1 year. My baby is growing up so fast! My goal is to try to make her a few outfits before she reaches 12 months of age. Not that she would actually change much in size from 11 months to 12 months, but there's something about dressing a "baby" versus a "toddler" that makes it seems so cute! Toddlers are cute too, of course, just not as little!

Today was my lucky day! I saw an email in my inbox with a newsletter from the Textile Arts Center. I randomly pick different newsletters to read on any given day or week because honestly there are just too many that come into my inbox to read! For some reason, I decided to read that one that day, and all the way at the bottom of the newsletter was a message that said that they were selling excess cotton fabric they had. Hmmm... intrigued, I emailed them.

They were getting rid of excess stock and today I met them at their storage facility that they were emptying out. Woohoo! And I scored lots of fabric! It turned out that they had tons of fabric because a company that was designing baby clothing went out of business. So, this fabric was intended for baby fabric. Perfect! The fabric is probably not organic, which would be my first choice, but at least I can start here and feel free to experiment since the fabric isn't so expensive!

Last month, my friend, who is moving out of the country, gave me a huge bolt of muslin, pattern paper and some other supplies. That was so nice of her! I'm starting to get all the materials I need to start designing. Once I get a baby dress form, I think I'm ready to start playing with fabric! Those mini dress forms are so cute! I just can't take it. Technically I probably don't need a baby dress form unless I'm doing something very drapey, but I love working on dress forms rather than flat patterns, so perhaps a cute itty bitty dress form will inspire me to get my butt into the studio and stop using lack of money for a nanny or schedule limitations due to my pumping schedule as excuses to not even start. Clearly the universe wants me to start if I'm being blessed with a studio, supplies, and fabric! And obviously it's something I want to do too!

This fabric is making me so excited. Hahaha... so many itty bitty baby things can come out of this. You can see the fabric is mainly boy colors because the company was making baby boy clothing. My original intent was to make only baby girl clothing since I have a baby girl, but why not make a few cute boy things for my sister? Can you tell what the color palette will be from that picture? :) Quite obvious, huh?

Hopefully I'll be able to make something for my cute little Sophie soon! :)

Here's a picture of Sophie in a little sweater I knitted even before I was planning on having a baby. It just happened to turn out that I ended up having a baby girl who can wear it! She is such a doll!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wisdom from the Dalai Lama

One of my yoga teachers told us this quote by the Dalai Lama during class one day and I just recently ran across this image which makes it easier to share!

Let's take care of our health, enjoy the present, and live today to the fullest! :D

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom?

This is the big question that all new mothers face. Should I go back to work or stay home and raise the baby? For some women, the answer is very simple. They love their job and want to go back to work as soon as their maternity leave is up. This is the rare breed of women who have already found what they love to do in life. For the rest of us, the answer is much more complicated.

Most women I know make a choice based on their finances. Some say they have to go back to work because they need their income to help support the family. Then there are others who think it's better to stay at home because all the money they earn is going towards a nanny/daycare/care giver anyway. They would rather stay at home than give up most of their pay check so that someone else can raise their baby.

The women who work full-time feel guilty that they can't be at home with their baby more. The women who stay at home start to feel like their brain is turning into mush and they crave non-baby related activities and adult interaction. And then there are those who have made it work by staying home part-time and working part-time. And still others who have somehow been able to work from home. What is the ideal balance? Is it even achievable?

I have always known that I wanted to raise my children and have a career too. Don't we all? But, I didn't want to just have any career. I wanted one that fulfills my desire to contribute to this world in a meaningful way. The bottom line is that I didn't get this far in my journey of searching for my dream job to end up settling for a job that I'm only working in for money. I left that all in the past. I learned many lessons on how chasing money is NOT going to make me happy, no matter how much I am making.

Here I am, just like any other new mom, trying to figure out the right balance of work and being at home. But, unlike other moms that are in corporate jobs or at home without any options, my goal has always been to create my own business. And by business, I don't mean a franchise or a saleswoman for a multi-level marketing company. I mean a business that I can start from scratch--one that uses all of my skills and talents that I've gained along the way. Most importantly, it has to be a business that fuels my passion and helps me fulfill my life purpose.

Life purpose? But, what is my life purpose? Wouldn't it be easier if we just knew what our life purpose was? But, that's not how it works. We have to go through life, living experiences, positive and negative, learning lessons, growing, evolving, and noticing what truly makes us light up. Things that energize us are clues to what our purpose is. The painful and challenging experiences in our lives are also clues that point to our path. What painful experience have you overcome that you can now use to serve others? Our life purpose is about service, after all. Impacting the lives of others in a positive way. Dig deep. Reflect. It's there and it will come out when it's ready.

I'm beginning to find my path. For so much of my life I have wanted to do so many different things. That's not the way to build a business. It's about focus. So, I am focusing my life now. I am bringing in all the aspects of myself and merging it into one. I am bringing in my different websites and consolidating it into one brand. One me. It is from that launchpad that I will grow my business.

My answer to the question of a working mom versus a stay at home mom is some combination of both. I tried the whole work-at-home mom thing. I don't know how moms do it. So little gets done. When the baby naps, I need to do dishes, laundry, and prepare some food for myself to eat. Or it's time to shower, clean up the house, or check my email. Unless I can outsource all of those things, I don't know how I'll have any time to work on my business. I knew things would just be put on hold indefinitely.

So, I decided to experiment with a combination of staying at home and working outside the home. This was not an easy decision because we are trying to make it work as a single income family and I felt guilty hiring a nanny when I'm not bringing in income to pay for it. But, I need some time and space to think and come up with a plan.

As the saying goes, you can't make money without spending money, so this is one area I decided to invest some money in. I have a nanny on an as-needed basis. I am trying to determine what the ideal schedule for me is in order to make the most of my free time. As much as I am feeling the pressure of the nanny payments, I am doing my best to focus instead on what it is I'm going to create. What kind of business will it be? What services and products will I provide? And what is my first step?

I decided to hire a business coach to help me through this process because I was obviously getting a bit stuck. I needed someone to help me get clear. Lucky me, I found the perfect coach! I found several people along the way who have also helped me define my business a bit more, but my business coach is showing me a way that has worked for her and her clients. So, during the next few months I'm going to be making some big changes to this website and will be working on coming out with some new products, all based how I wish to serve in this world.

I share my journey with you here to inspire you on your journey to finding your ideal career, your purpose, and a work/life balance that works for your family and lifestyle. This is my journey and I will share what works for me. Right now I am experimenting with hiring my nanny for 6 hours 2x/week. Although some of that time is spent towards pumping milk and getting organized, I'm hoping most of it can be spent coming up with a clear plan for what I want to accomplish for the months ahead.

I am choosing to create a life I love...one step at a time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Lesson About Lack

Today I learned a very important lesson that I wanted to share. I've come to learn that the things that happen in our lives are there to reflect who we are inside and our inner thoughts and belief systems. What I mean by this is things that happen to us are because life is drawing our attention to our own beliefs, whether we are consciously aware of them or not. If we hold a deep seated belief of lack and always worry about not having enough money for expenses, or enough time to finish all of our to do items, or whatever you are concerned that there isn't enough of in your life, our lives will mirror that belief. Let me make this a bit clearer by sharing my example.

Going through this lovely life phase of mine called motherhood, especially during the infant year, I have come to worry about my milk supply. Will I have enough to feed my baby? I have heard of so many stories of moms who have dried up before the first year. I was determined to not let this happen, and also to have enough so that if I hired a nanny, I could easily maintain a frozen supply.

For a period of time, I went through an intense couple of months of trying to improve my supply so that I could hire a nanny part-time in order gain some of my freedom back. I needed time to go run errands, take a yoga class, work on starting my business, unpack after the move, organize my house, go to an appointment, etc. Basically, for a couple of months, all I did was sit at home (if I didn't have to go to work at my part-time job I had at the time) and nurse and pump. Unfortunately, at that time my supply had diminished because my baby temporarily stopped feeding at night (she's back to feeding at night now), and our every-so-intelligent bodies readjust the amount of milk it produces based on demand. I was dedicated to a constant pump schedule in order to build a frozen supply of milk.

Anyway, that's probably too much information for you, but if you're still reading and are interested, I put a lot of work into this! It was not easy, and it required a LOT of time sacrificed to this effort. The goal was reached and I managed to build up enough frozen store that I did not have to worry. Even still, this sense of "lack" lingered in my mind. I treat frozen milk like it's more precious than gold. You cannot buy it no matter how much money you have! Or maybe you can, but it's not easy to come by. The fact that my baby absolutely HATES formula also compounded the pressure on me to have enough to last at least for the first 12 months of her life.

I've been working on removing all thoughts of lack and poverty consciousness from my life. It takes effort, but in order to live an abundant and wealthy life, we need to let go of these old thought patterns and replace them with new ones. I am constantly telling myself that we have enough, more than we need. Somehow it always works out and I'm able to do the things I want once I make the decision to do it.

So, today, after I pumped some milk and brought it to the kitchen to freeze, my nanny had thawed a frozen one to feed my baby. I was thinking that I should have brought the milk out sooner so that she didn't have to thaw one since I had one ready. See, these feelings of lack of enough milk storage started to creep up. And of course, as I was worrying about how much frozen milk supply was used versus how much I was able to produce today, she accidentally dropped an unsealed bag onto the floor and half it spilled out. I caught half of it, but she felt terrible that this happened. I wasn't upset because it had already happened to me before and I knew how that felt. But, why did it happen twice? I had spilled half the milk from a thawed bag into the kitchen sink once while holding the baby.

Then, it dawned on me why... At that moment, I was trying to calculate how much milk went in versus went out, which is an act that demonstrates a sense of lack. And of course, at that exact moment that I was feeling lack, what did the universe deliver to me? More lack! And it did so by wasting such precious milk. It was a repeat of the same thought pattern I had the first time I spilled the milk.

Well, there's my aha! moment. When you think thoughts of lack, the universe delivers lack. When you think thoughts of abundance and display emotions that show gratitude for what you have, the universe delivers more abundance. So, the next time you think you don't have enough time... act like you have enough time to do whatever you wish to do and give yourself the time and space to do it! And if it's money, don't worry about the lack of money, instead focus on what you can do to build more inflow. I'll talk about how I'm doing this in another post. In the meantime, shift your focus! Focus on what you DO have, instead of what you don't and you'll be on your path to abundance. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baby Clothing Swap

This past weekend, we went to a baby clothing swap. What a great idea! Rather than being held at someone's home, which can sometimes be a bit awkward, this event was held at a place where we take baby music classes. You bring a bag of clothes, donate $10, and take home a bag of clothes! There were tons of clothes for 0-6 months old. Those were the sizes we donated too. The older sizes definitely had a lot less quantity, but we were able to find some things and also walk away with the cutest red coat with the tag still on! Can't wait to use that one!

What a great idea to declutter some of the old clothes and get something back in return. Usually we just throw everything into a donation pile or send a message out to the neighborhood's parents' groups on Yahoo. Someone will come and pick the stuff up, especially if there's a bunch of free things. It saves a trip to Goodwill. We were able to give away things that were just taking up space in our home and sell some things that we were no longer using. Things are starting to get organized around here. :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My New Studio!

I have been wanting to have a studio outside of my home since last year, a place to dedicate just to my work. I was pregnant at the time and knew I wouldn't be able to get into it much once the baby arrived, so I kept the idea as a future goal. This year, after our move into our new place, I realized I needed some time and space outside of the home to be able to go to experiment and work on my projects. There was a commercial building near our home (a 10 minute walk) that had some nice spaces, but were too expensive for my needs. I had a baby now, and I needed to factor in the cost of that too!

One weekend, shortly after our move, I was inspired to search for commercial spaces in the building I had looked at. It was after a particularly long day of being a mommy with no break because my baby wouldn't go down for a nap that day. I needed a place to go outside the home after being cooped up in the house all the time with no outlet. I did a quick search on craigslist. To my surprise, I found a studio share! I hadn't thought about that before. Sharing a space, reducing the rent to half the price! Suddenly it all seemed attainable. A stretch financially, but still a possibility. Somehow maybe we could make it work.

We visited the place and it was perfect for what I needed. I could get my desk in there, a cutting table, industrial sewing machine, fashion books, garment racks and some other machines I purchased. I even put in a small travel crib in there, thinking that I would be able to take my baby in once in a while. I applied for the space and got it! Luckily we hadn't organized our home yet after the move, so we quickly changed our plans and made the second bedroom the baby's room instead of my studio.

Here is a picture of my studio before I moved in. My space is the space behind the tape line.

Here is a picture of my studio all equipped and ready for me to go in and do some work!

Now, the problem was, how can I work in the studio when I have to take care of the baby? We had to find a nanny and pay for that too. For a single income family, this was quite a stretch for us. It was an investment for my sanity and eventually some designs would come out of using this studio space. We hired the nanny part-time, but I quickly found my time with the nanny being spent on pumping milk for my baby and cleaning up our home. We just moved after all! I'm sure a lot of creative entrepreneurial moms face this problem...how to create a business while being a mom. I'm still trying to work it out!

Now that my baby is getting bigger, I am realizing that it's impossible to take her to work with me. She needs my attention almost all the time and I won't be able to work with her there. I tried last week and managed to get a whole whopping 10 minutes of work done. Plus, the pressure of trying to time everything perfectly to constantly work around her naps has been another challenge, especially with her inconsistent nap schedule. That's another big issue I've been trying to work through.

I'm using my nanny now on just an as-needed basis due to our financial situation, but I'm still wrestling with how I can justify having a nanny to watch my baby so that I can use the studio for 2-3 increments at a time (around a pumping schedule) when I am not making money that is needed to pay for the studio and the nanny? I need income to pay for the studio and nanny, but without the studio and nanny, I don't have time to figure out some money generating opportunities! I'm going to have to come up with some creative solutions here soon so that my studio can get some use! Anyone solved this problem yet?

I'm hoping all will be solved soon. I have some ideas. Still a little foggy, but I know I'm on the verge of launching a new business with the help of a business coach. I'm still in the process of defining what it will be and am trying to align it with my life's purpose. I'm having to dig deep... really, really deep for this one to figure out what it is that I will do and who I wish to serve. I know the answer is probably right in front of me, but you know it's always hardest to notice the things that are right in front of you.

This blog post has been a long time coming. It's been in draft mode for 3 months because I've been trying to find time to download the pictures in order to post pictures of my new studio. Yes, that means my studio has not be unused for the past 3 months. Oy. Juggling time as a mom has been one of my biggest challenges yet. I have a deep respect for moms who are able to take care of their babies and launch a business at the same time! It takes some serious commitment, patience, and lots and lots of work! I'm not giving up yet. I'm determined to somehow create a living doing what I love!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Will Smith's Inspiring Wisdom

I ran across this video today and wanted to share. It reminded me of what's important to focus on in order to be successful. Enjoy!

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