Today I was making some notes for ideas concerning various creative endeavors. I noticed as I went along that the pages of my brainstorming notebook (Christmas present from Andrew!) look more like a To-Do list. Could this be the reason why I feel so stressed out when I get a burst of inspiration?

For instance, this morning I started three such lists (is it awful that I immediately turn to a list to organize my thoughts?) and titled them as follows: "To Make" , "To List" (as in, for the shop), "To Photograph"

When I took a minute to evaluate why I had such tension in my chest and shoulders I made these changes:

If you're like me and stress yourself out over things you're supposed to enjoy leisurely, taking the pressure off might make you more likely to get things done!


Sometimes, after a particularly trying day at work, where he’s been lifting and unloading boxes of poorly made sweaters sold for more money than our current two-month-unpaid electric bill, my husband will come home exhausted and downtrodden. He’ll enter our one-bedroom apartment quietly and with a stone face, until he catches the eye of our 6-month-old. And he’ll force a smile, open his mouth in mock surprise (an expression that never fails to make our babe giggle) and wait until the next naptime to slip back into complete despair. I’ll say, “Tell me your woes,” while brushing his hair, and he’ll say, “I’m so tired of being poor.” And I can’t help but agree deep down: Sometimes, I am so tired of being poor.

It’s easy to float through the days with the same “there’s nothing we can do” attitude. We are poor. This probably won’t change any time soon. Yes, Andrew will put his head in my lap and sometimes we cr

And the truth is this: for our occasional distress it remains that we do have some things we can show for being so determined to live the life we’ve always wanted for ourselves. We are not without some luxuries and delights. We own clothes we like and are able to host a small trove of treasures in our apartment ranging from the kitschy and unnecessary (mine) to the slightly extravagant but very awesome (we each have Macbooks and I have an awesome sewing machine.) Andrew even owns a couple of $200+ jeans and a pair of Frye boots– all of these very worn and several years old, mind you, but the fact still stands. Spear-headed, we still shop at Whole Foods, and go to market, even if it stretches us a bit thin, and supplement the rest at Harris Teeter. We even grant ourselves the treat of having a cocktail or two when we get a date night.

And most importantly, we have a roof over our heads (albeit a small one,) we (almost) always have food in our pantry, we have two cats, we have a space heater and a fire place, and most importantly, our son and any of his medical needs will be taken care of by the government (thank goodness for Medicaid!)

We need to remind ourselves of this constantly, not because we are in danger of falling into a depression (we are not,) but because its just a waste of time to feel sorry for ourselves (we shouldn’t.) Because of this, I have started this blog.

Here I would like to share the many reasons we have to be thankful, the things that get me through each stay-at-home, Etsy-preneur, budget-watching day … and who knows, maybe I can offer some tips to those who are in similar situations and find themselves wondering if they can live like the people they admire, too.

I will also put forth into the vortex what really gets me going, material or otherwise. I will put forth stories of others doing good their my community and my own. I will remind myself why it is small things in life should be appreciated. I will try to remind us all why we are lucky.

Share what I make by hand, what I cook, what I sell in my shop. I will share my growing son and the father who helps me raise him.

I will tell you how we cut corners, save money, eat healthy on a budget and teach Abbott to do the same. I will tell you about the days we break down into rubbish and about the days where the sun shines in all the right places. I will tell you about making wrapping paper from scratch and about researching good, affordable education for our kids.

And I will tell you about other people and their projects, which I believe in.


We do have those days, as everyone does, where it all just feels hopeless. We run out of firewood. We have to eat Kraft Mac and Cheese. I haven't showered yet, or Andrew's hours fall short. The baby won't nap and I can't do anything with my life -- sort of day. And then those days leave us and we're fine and so forth, for a few sweet days or weeks even. And so it goes.

Have I mentioned we have each other? Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and remember that you have it better than you realize.