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2.04.2013

Creating your OWN Awesome


This weekend I've had a LOT on my mind and one of those things have been because of a couple of emails from a few of YOU! I won't share any names or particular passages, but let's just say more than 3 or 4 of these emails have the same underlying message:

"I wish I was more creative, but I'm not..."

I have to be honest and say that these sorts of emails kind of break my heart; mostly because then they go on to point out all the things that you wish you were better at, whether it's decorating, crafting or DIY'ing and WORST of all, you start COMPARING yourselves to others. Bloggers, friends, family members, etc... I wish I could just jump through my computer screen, shake you women and yell at you in my best inspiring-Oprah-voice impersonation... "Just be your OWN awesome!!!"

We could beat ourselves up all day long with "I wish I was better at's" or "If I could only do's"... but where does that get us? Nowhere! If anything it just makes us feel MORE lousy than before.

I've said it a million times, but I'm saying it again.
There will always be someone who seems to be better at something, than you are. A better Mom, a better cook, a better blogger, a better photographer, wife, decorator, teacher, scrapbooker, designer... the list could go on for days. I feel like we tell ourselves this all the time, because we know it's true, but are we REALLY soaking it in and accepting it?
Instead of looking at blogs, Pinterest and magazines as a way to compare ourselves to others, turn it around and start asking yourself, "how can this great idea help me to come up with something just as awesome, that works for ME!?"

One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Mary Lou Cook. “Creativity is all about inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
I couldn't have said it better myself, and I can’t agree more! Creativity to me, is an amazing way to convey individuality and self-expression.

I mentioned this topic before in a guest article I wrote a while back, but  as women, we were literally built and MADE to create, so it’s never a question of AM I creative?  But asking yourself, “I AM creative because …”
Whether it’s your ability to throw together a killer outfit before work in the morning when virtually all the laundry is dirty, decorate an entire house on a budget or simply possessing the skill to whip up a yummy dinner for your entire family, 15 minutes before your significant other gets home, when you haven't gone grocery shopping in 2 weeks… we’re ALL creative, everyday, in our own ways; but rarely give ourselves enough credit!
the only person you should be comparing yourself to, is you!

For a lot of us creativity happens because we have a desire for change, and sometimes change is hard. Creativity literally forces us to step into the unknown, which is where taking risks come into play. Early on as a mother and wife, I tapped into the fact that my surroundings played a huge part in my attitude and happiness during the day. Being at home with 3 babies ALL day, while my husband was at school and work full-time, sometimes made me feel like I was losing my mind!

Maybe I couldn't handle three kids under the age of 2 all at once on a trip to Target, but I refused to feel trapped and unhappy in my OWN house. Once I realized this, I was committed to creating a space where I felt like I could be the BEST me... no matter how much knowledge of DIY'ing I had! Whether it was simply painting a room or tearing down an entire wall, I was determined to create meaningful, beautiful, yet functional spaces in every area of my small home, and along the way, show everyone who was willing to watch and read, how to do the same. And THAT'S why I blog.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my kids and being able to stay home with them when they were so little was SUCH a blessing, but for ME, I was still missing a big part of what made me feel grounded and complete; and that, was being visually creative. Doing something with my hands, making something beautiful and feeling accomplished and proud every time I looked at it. As we slowly started our design-style shift in our home I realized how much happier it made me as a mother and wife to be engulfed by bright, happy colors and beautiful design, so naturally, I wanted to share that feeling with everyone I could. 

My advice to you, if you yearn to be "more original, resourceful or inspired" in a certain area of your life, is to expanding your creative horizon. It's true, it can take some people more practice than others to reach their creative greatness, but THAT'S what blogs, Pinterest and magazines are for!
That being said, in all honestly, I have to use these awesome resources sparingly. If I get sucked into the world of Pinterest for too long or keep clicking from one design/cooking/organizing blog to the next... after a while it actually stunts my creativity instead of fueling it; so know your limitations. Also, a lot of us feel that we don’t want to make mistakes or fail, while trying something new, but if you focus too much on preventing failure, then you’ll also avoid ever becoming successful and learning from your mistakes. Holding back that desire within to try something new can stifle your creativity as well.
So stop waiting, wondering and planning... START DOING!

Never in a million years did I think that being creative, implementing great ideas in our home to make me happy and sharing them with others would translate into a full time job, but it HAS!
(pinch me now)

I can honestly say, with confidence (just like YOU should about yourselves)... that I am creative. I'll never be the next Martha Stewart or Candice Olson, but I'm proud of what I do, and that's all that matters at the end of the day. I encourage each and every one of you to stop putting creative limitations on yourself, step outside of your comfort zone, take some risks and start telling yourself… I Am Awesome!

Here’s to living a happy, confident and much more creative life.

79 comments:

  1. how funny! i just made a print today around the word awesome. awesome!

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  2. Such a great pep talk! I feel the joy-stealing comparison sometimes too. I'll be pinning or blog reading and come across stuff that I love and instead of being inspired by it to create my version, I think "oh, it's already been done." That sucks. I'm determined that in the house we just moved into last week, I'm going to create the spaces my family really will use and love. Even if it's a third the size of our last home... even if everyone in blogland is over chevron fabric. If I love it, I'm doin' it!

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    1. YES! I'm right there with ya! There are some things that I really love that are "not so in" anymore, and I just don't care! Do what YOU love :)

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  3. Not that your whole house needs to be open to the public, but I have to be honest, I still am stuck on your twins room redo and your craft room! I know you did the bed and wall reveal--and I know small rooms are hard to photograph--but I want to see the REST of the room! ANd your craft room! And I would love to see what you do for your kids play area. I want to see it even if it isn't "decorated." I just want to be able to see the real areas of your house. Even if they are a work in progress. In response to this post, I think it helps us all to look into your house and see that rooms sometimes are in progress, or evolving or just plain NOT PERFECTLY AWESOME all the time. I would just love to see some of those rooms even if they are not finished. I just love to see all of the details! :) Thanks!

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    1. Ha! Ok, I'll keep this in mind :) Although, I try to share all of our progress photos along the way as well, which is typically what things look like around here.

      I take a lot more "daily" photos of parts of our home and share them on Instagram too.

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  4. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today. Thank you so much!

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  5. Great post!! Great reminder!!

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  6. Thank you for the wonderful post! I agree with you 100%! We all have gifts and talents to give beauty and diversity to the earth. It would be boring if we were all the same. Instead of comparing ourselves to others we should look to others and be inspired to become better. I love this quote " Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly "--St. Francis de Sales

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  7. You are so right! Many times in the past I've wished I could do something but wouldn't even try for fear of failing. I do think it's true also that being creative...giving it a try...leads to more creativity. You are right that we are all awesome at something. We just have to recognize it and acknowledge it. :)

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  8. After a long hour of struggling with my toddler to put her down for her nap, she is finally asleep. I come to the computer, open my google reader and your is the first post that comes up. I read it and cry. Seriously, did my husband call you up this morning to tell you to write these exact words for me? This is exactly what I needed to read and the someecards are so funny. You are awesome and thanks for trying to remind us that we are too.

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    1. Yay! I'm so happy this helped you today!
      I really DO feel that we all need an "awesome" reminder, at least once every few weeks :)

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  9. Well, I am proud to say that I know I am awesome, wonderful and have my own unquie way of doing things. I just love it when other bloggers share the same opinion in this part of life. Women spend way to much time comparing their worst part of themselves, to the best part of someone else. Something we all have to learn to do is "Love ourselves for who we are" and I like to believe we are all daughters of God with different talents and gifts to share.

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  10. I needed to rad this today! Thanks Shelley!!

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  12. I loved your post, it is what we all need to hear sometimes.

    Thank You...

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  13. Amen sister!! Loved this and wish more people could see the awesomeness within!!! Thanks for doing what you do!

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  14. Love love love this post. It took me a while to realize that I shouldn't be doing what other people were doing - I wanted to recreate what they did, but I was struggling so much with having their vision. But I learned that it's because I had my OWN vision that was wanting to come out. Trying to have someone else's creative vision or style is like trying to be someone else - it's literally not possible. Embracing who you are and what you can do makes it so much easier, and I've found that my ideas are just as amazing as anyone else's! It was different and unique and all me. It was quite the epiphany.

    ps: I love all of the awesome quotes you have on here. Haha they seriously made me laugh.

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  15. Awesome and well said Mrs. Smith ;) Loved it.

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  16. That was such an inspirational post. I needed that pep talk about now. It's easy to get stuck in a "poor me" frame of mind, but it won't move me forward. I like checking out all the talented bloggers out there (you included), but sometimes it's good to take a break from the external so that I can really tap into my talents and not compare myself so much.

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    1. YES! I totally agree, and actually do the same thing!
      I joke with Cason that I have to put my blinders on when it's time for a project, or else I'll just feel defeated by everyone else's good ideas, before I even implement my own!

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  17. What an honest, inspiring post!

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  18. Amen Sister!!!! Such empowering words!!!! I am always giving people permission to tell themselves they are awesome. I had to laugh, cuz I always tell people how awesome I am. At first I didn't believe it, but if you say it enough, you do believe and so do others! And it is amazing what a transformation can take place! The only thing that limits us is OURSELVES! Alot of times, it is out of fear, but then I ask myself, "what is the worst thing that will happen if I try this?" The worst thing for me is I will die, but then I chuckle, cuz I certainly am not going to die if I paint a wall an odd color or something I create turns out ugly! Everytime I hear a friend say a negative comment about themselves, then I tell them, "Okay, I heard the negative, now you have to say something positive about yourself. What are you good at? What do you like about yourself?" Sometimes they have to really struggle to think of something!!!! That is sad!
    I love the quotes too, might tatoo them on my forehead!!! haha

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  19. Thank you so much for such an amazing, uplifting post! It was exactly what I needed today! Absolutely brilliant, and perfectly worded. Hit me right in the heart. Thank you!! xo
    Virginia @ LiveLoveDIY

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  20. Great post! One of my fave quotes is be yourself, everyone else is already taken by Oscar Wilde.

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  21. What a great post! Sometimes when I buy or do something that so many bloggers are doing, I tend to downplay it when I get compliments from family/friends. I have to remember that not everyone follows blogs and pinterest. Crazy, right?! When I mention everyone else has already put up wainscoting, etc. they always say it doesn't matter. They're right! If it looks good, that's all that matters!

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  22. I also really needed this today and 100% agree with your comments too. Sometimes I find I have to avoid looking at other blogs or Pinterest or it'll stop me before I even get started. As if we don't have enough of our own self-doubt there seems to be such a push about being everything BUT self-confident.

    So many other blogs make success about looking better, bigger followings, social media, going to conferences, making $ from ads and how to focus more on that. It's why I really enjoy reading yours - I feel inspired, not bogged down. My goal for 2013 is to ignore the noise out there and simply enjoy using my creativity. Being happy with yourself makes you feel awesome, not the other stuff!

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  23. I also stand on this same soap box! I am creative, and my creativity comes out in different ways all the time. I feel I'm an artist. I may be creative in outward ways, I am awesome at that but others are awesome at playing music, baking bread, being teachers, and being in a room with 15 preschoolers, all of which would kill me! Everyone has a talent, the Lord send you here with something, find yours, develop it, be awesome at it and stop worrying about why your not as good as so-and-so at ______ (fill in the blank). Hallalujiah! Some one finally said it out loud!

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  24. I LOVE this. I can honestly say I have a bad habit of being one of those "negative nancys" but I have been on a creative spree all week and I'm determined to hold myself accountable and set achievable goals for myself.

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  25. Very well said...sometimes it's hard to remember just how awesome we really are...great pep talk and I really enjoy all your awesome ideas!

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  26. Great post ...sometimes it's hard to remember just how awesome we are!

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  27. I just re-read Elder Uchtdorf's talk about Creating yesterday because of these same frustrations. Again, I walked away thinking, "I totally sew like a powerhouse!" and "My kids think I can do no wrong!" and "My husband appreciates my creativity, even when it means dinner is sub-par!" and felt much better. I am glad your post today echoed that talk, because sometimes reminding needs to happen on a regular basis :) Thanks Shelley!

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  28. I love this post. One of my favorite quotes is "Its not who you are that holds you back.. Its who you think you're not." You really can learn and accomplish ANYTHING..If you allow yourself. We may not win any medals doing it but in the end we can say we tried it, we did it, we learned it and we may even be surprised at how good we are at it.. and even the little things (visual or not) are worth a medal around our neck. Thanks as always for your honest inspiration..and BTW- I love the creativity you share with all of us.

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  29. LOVE THIS POST! So inspiring. I am keeping and re-reading as needed. You totally captured how we are all creative, yet in all different ways -sharing this with my readers. It's a great reminder to us all to be thankful for what who and what we are!

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  30. VERY well said Shelley! Great post, thank you!

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  31. What a great post! When I reinvented my blog this January with the title "Creative" in it's title, I had to become "creative" on what I was going to write about. I agree that looking at the term broadly is the answer! And always believing we are awesome in our own way! You are so inspiring!

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  32. Very inspiring post. I have a feeling I'll be reading this one more than once. And the pix ...ya, I want to post them all to fb & Pinterest. They made me giggle...esp the one about being exhausted from being so freaking awesome!

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  33. You were right I needed to read your post, but I still need your help.

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  34. Love it!! Great reading to start my day!! I'M READY to face my work,my boss,my day bc I'm freakin' awesome : )

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  35. such words of wisdom and great advice for those of us who have yet tapped into our full creativity! it just makes me wanna step out a little further from the box and try new things. daring to have a vision that is only in one's mind is awesome in itself.....but letting yourself experience the adventure of change is exciting when it does come together. i don't post much but i read every single post you have and i've enjoyed being here and experiencing your "awesomeness". thanks for the adventure!

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  36. WHAT A GREAT POST...I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED YOUR AWESOME QUOTES AND HAVE FORWARDED TO MIJ FRIENS.
    do not mind the grammar...I am from holland.

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  37. I shared a link to this on my blog FB page (cherry blossoms & chickens). I can't say it better... and I, too, get comments on my page all. the. time. Here's to being freakin' awesome today!

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  38. This is such a heartfelt post. I think what you have to say to so poignant to many of us. I have felt that failure of not being good enough before. I have compared myself to others in my church or other bloggers. I have come to the epiphany that I am not fabulous at one thing, but I am pretty good at a lot of things. Does that make sense? Thanks for your words.

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  39. ITA!!!

    i can't tell you how many times i have been on a blog and there was someone who posted that the author was just being a showoff and wanted to brag about her pretty home and make others jealous! it's not about that at all of course - it about showing people that they,too can do little things to change the home they live in. and honestly not every blogger lives in a big $$$$ home with thousands and thousands of square feet. feeling like you have to have that to be happy is so not the point. i have always loved this quote: "do the best you can with what you have where you are!" that is what we ALL should be doing!! because when you do - AWESOME is exactly what you will find!

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    1. YES! I totally agree with you and I LOVE that quote!
      :)

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  40. You ROCK Shelly!!! Like a lot of other readers I so needed this. I never really thought about getting over whelmed by all the Pinterest ideas, but you are so right. I see all of the great projects and worry that I won't be able to reproduce the same thing. I try to remind my self that there's a could chance that they probably didn't get it right the first time either, it's all about the learning curve! Thanks again for such an inspiring post. You have made me feel like I can go out & accomplish anything. I saved & printed your post so when I feel a little defeeded inside I will always have it as a pick me up and motivator!!

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  41. You ROCK Shelly!!! Like a lot of other readers I so needed this. I never really thought about getting over whelmed by all the Pinterest ideas, but you are so right. I see all of the great projects and worry that I won't be able to reproduce the same thing. I try to remind my self that there's a could chance that they probably didn't get it right the first time either, it's all about the learning curve! Thanks again for such an inspiring post. You have made me feel like I can go out & accomplish anything. I saved & printed your post so when I feel a little defeeded inside I will always have it as a pick me up and motivator. On my way to awesomeness!!!

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  42. i forwarded this to so many of my friends right now.
    you spoke the words my head and heart have wanted to shout (in that Oprah voice you said it in ;) lol) at them so so many times- when they start comparing and saying things like- but i'm NOT creative. because ever.single.person. IS creative. they just have to sometimes dig down a little farther then others to find it, or else maybe i paint, but my one friend is raising a special needs kid. and I told her THAT takes creativity to be an awesome mum to him. (she didn't believe me :/) thanks for this today. I just may print it like justscrapn did so i can share it more. xoxo

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  43. Fantastic post, Shelley.

    If people think of creativity as a muscle, they begin to understand that the more it is used, the stronger it gets.

    BTW, don't go putting yourself down because you're not Martha or Candice! (It's a HARD habit to break, comparing ourselves, isn't it?) While those ladies do good work, I find everyday people like you more inspiring. Besides, Martha said we should iron bed sheets. As IF that will ever happen in my house!

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  44. Fantastic post, Shelley.

    If people think of creativity as a muscle, they begin to understand that the more it is used, the stronger it gets.

    BTW, don't go putting yourself down because you're not Martha or Candice! (It's a HARD habit to break, comparing ourselves, isn't it?) While those ladies do good work, I find everyday people like you more inspiring. Besides, Martha said we should iron bed sheets. As IF that will ever happen in my house!

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  45. Fantastic post, Shelley.

    If people think of creativity as a muscle, they begin to understand that the more it is used, the stronger it gets.

    BTW, don't go putting yourself down because you're not Martha or Candice! (It's a HARD habit to break, comparing ourselves, isn't it?)

    While those ladies do good work, I find everyday people like you more inspiring. Besides, Martha said we should iron bed sheets. As IF that will ever happen in my house!

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  46. I love this post and it has it home. In our world of Pinterest and blogs its easy to get caught up in the I'm not good enough roller coaster. I know its hit me. Thanks for the reminder that I am awesome..because I AM!! Off to conquer the world! :)

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  47. Thank you for this. What a beautiful, motivating and encouraging post :)

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  48. So well said. It's so empowering to decide that you can do anything and that the opinions (and talents) of others should never limit you! Being creative is simply being your true self, limitations and talents and all!

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  49. Seriously Shelly you rock! This is such a great and truthful post - I really love your individuality and your honesty in your posts. Its hard to avoid that "interweb" slump, I think we all go there at one point or another but that's why I blog. I take things that inspire me and make them my own in hopes to inspire others!

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  50. Shelly this is why I LOVE you!!! You embrace everyone and everything, with all of its imperfections, and keep it real. You are such an inspiration to so many woman. I am thankful I found and follow your blog. <3

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  51. Seriously. This is SO TRUE and you hit it head on. Thank you. I was actually going to do a similar post this week! I've been reading so many, "I wish I had your life" posts on other people's blogs that make me so very frowny. I wish people would just enjoy the awesomeness they have instead of what they lack.
    THANK YOU

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  52. This is why I LOVE you!!! You embrace everything and everyone, with all of its imperfections, and keep it real. You have inspired so many woman. I am so glad that I found your blog. <3

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  53. What a great reminder! I work in an advertising agency, so it's actually my job to be "creative" all day long. Some days I walk into the office just not feeling it--there's SO MUCH great advertising out there, how am I supposed to create something to measure up? *Cue this post* Thanks for the boost!

    lifeofswan.com

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  54. What a great reminder! I work in an advertising agency, so it's actually my job to be "creative" all day long. Some days I walk into the office just not feeling it--there's SO MUCH great advertising out there, how am I supposed to create something to measure up? *Cue this post* Thanks for the boost!

    lifeofswan.com

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  55. What a great reminder! I work in an advertising agency, so it's actually my job to be "creative" all day long. Some days I walk into the office just not feeling it--there's SO MUCH great advertising out there, how am I supposed to create something to measure up? *Cue this post* Thanks for the boost!

    lifeofswan.com

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  56. You're absolutely right! Dare I say awesomely right? I'm reiventing/relaunching my blog Monday and for the first time since I've started blogging, I'm so excited I can't stand it. Sometimes we just need to push ourselves to do things (anything) so we can find our footing to do the things we were meant to do. Thanks for sharing.

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  57. Shelley,
    You are some kind of awesome!!! You really shine in the area of being an inspiration to others whether your are DIY-ing your home, or in your personal life. I think you are right we all have those moments to shine and step forth with out unique set of skills and circumstances that have molded and shaped us into who we are and what we have to uniquely offer.

    Thank you for that reminder. I think it goes well with Studio 5's theme for the month to "Live without Pretending" to live true to who you and do it with purpose. I have fallen into that trap here in Utah being surrounded by amazing women that have so many great ideas, its tempting to fall into that pit hole of thinking that your idea isn't as good, or that you will never amount to anything. It takes courage to try and fail and try again until you succeed. Thanks for the pep talk if I ever win a Grammy you will be in my acceptance speech girl!!

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  58. Thanks for the encouragement! This is great! :)

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  59. Thanks for the encouragement! I continue to be inspired by someone who not only is creative and devotes her time to helping others in the home design category, but also as someone who has stepped out of the "based on my blog my life is perfect" box and gotten real with us! I love that and I love that you are beyond encouraging in other arenas. Thanks so much!

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  60. This was my family picture too! I-Twin girls 22 months older than my youngest baby girl. THE TRENCHES!!!! I'm knee-deep in it right now. 4 and 2. WHEW. It's a tough day. :)

    Linday

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  61. This is just the thing I needed to hear. I LOVE pinterest, but sometimes, it makes me start to feel like I'm not original and I start to feel like I won't come up with anything "good enough." We all need a little reminder to stop comparing ourselves to others and just be proud of what we can do! Thanks for this.

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  62. i couldn't have read this post at a more perfect time! thanks...glad i took the time to catch up on blogs tonight instead of watching everybody loves raymond ;) literally it's my life right now! i normally don't fall in the trap of comparing others...but tonight right now i was. because i was frustrated that my stinkin' scrapbook room still isn't done...i have babies to take care of and i just want to create! my s(crap) stuff is all over the kitchen table and i'm frustrated that i can't find a box of kit bags that i need by tomorrow!!! ahhhh! doesn't any body hear my frustrations! ok. i'm done. some days i wish everything was done and that my "stuff" had a "place" instead of in the kitchen! thanks again, awesome post ;)

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  63. OMG! I am so thankful you wrote this...wording was perfect! As as women tend to always compare ourselves to others. Why??? I love how you pointed out we need to accept our own individual creativity...sometimes it just needs to be let out by our own mind!!! I am new to blogging and seeing so many wonderful blogs make me sometimes think "what am I thinking" but you know I remind myself that I am doing it for me. It's a creative outlet for me to show what I'm proud of accomplishing in making my new house a home for our family. It may not be completely original in thought but it is original because it's done by ME!!!! I am going to power through and remember your words and perhaps come back and then to refresh my mind ;) Thanks again!
    ~K www.ourlittlehome98208.com

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  64. Inspiring much? Thank you for this post! Sometimes reading blogs makes me feel so lame, but someone else being awesome does not detract from my awesomeness!..... Awesome is not a finite resource. I just confused myself, I think.

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  65. I love this post. I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog, and reading this post have made come to the conclusion that I really want to do my own blog. Thank you for inspiring me.

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  66. Finally got around to pinning this post. I have it saved and keep rereading it, so I needed to put it on a board so it is always forefront to remind me what an awesome person I am. :) Thanks for the reminder.

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  67. Hey Shelley, I've never even made a comment on any online anything...actually took a moment for me to figure out how (oh scroll down, duh) I put your site on my bookmarks bar, right beside google maps probably a year ago and just today, at the God appointed time I clicked on it thinking "hmm what's this?" (sorry I didn't already know ;-)). So I read this post through tears...I really needed this at this specific time in my life! Thank you Shelley so much for all that you do and thank you especially for this post <3 I watched your videos and y'all are so adorable <3 Thank you again to all of you...and "Hey Dad, thanks for the tips!"
    Brenda

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  68. Hey Shelley! I've never commented on an online anything so I had to actually figure out how to do it (oh, scroll down, duh) I put your site on my bookmarks bar probably a year ago, right beside google maps and clicked on it today at the God appointed time thinking, hmmm what's this (sorry I didn't already know). I've read this post through tears as this is just what I needed at this specific time in my life. I too will be printing this off and reading it often. Thank you all for all that you do and share, I watched your videos today and y'all are adorable!!! I also appreciate how you explain everything so thorough and share how much things cost.
    Oh And "Hey Dad, thanks for the tips! Gonna go get me a miter box soon ;-)"
    <3 Brenda

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