Sunday, December 6, 2009

Creating outside your box!

One of the most enjoyable things for me about CTMH and my scrapbooking/card making/ crafting hobby, is that the more I create, the more creative I become! Honestly, when I get on a roll making things, the creativity keeps coming, and coming and coming!

This is something that I have enjoyed throughout my entire life of crafting, but is something I particularly enjoy now as I craft with children. This weekend, we took an inspirational trip to Bargain Bill's, a fantastic store with a wonderful crafting area and found some inspiration. We made our family holiday card together, assembly line style with both my daughter's assisting me. We used our Cuttlebug machine to emboss, and the girls were very proud to report they did all the embossing themselves. Here is our card:

After working on cards together, we started talking about other projects we have been wanting to try. We had purchased some supplies, and with a little ingenuity and a lot of patience, here is what we ended up with - Word Rocks:
And if that wasn't enough, (see what I mean about the "on a roll" part), we made some magnet gift sets:
We hope that our family, friends, teachers and other receivers of these wonderful crafts love them as much as we loved making them. They were a memory making way to provide handmade gifts of love for the holidays.

If you need any tips on these projects, just send me an email and we'll help you out.

Bloggin' a Bright Idea,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ME time!

I'll admit it, I don't take much time for myself. Well, I do exercise, so I guess that is "me" time, but really, let's be honest, it's a job. I exercise so I can hopefully control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol (God's special gifts to me) so my heart doesn't explode someday. I enjoy exercise more than I don't, but it really most often doesn't feel like a "treat".

ME time for people, women in particular, is hard to come by. Really, as the relational, caretaking people we are, we often don't have time for an activity that feels like it is just focused on us!

Enter my love for scrapbooking. 4 years ago, I became an independent consultant for a company called Close To My Heart (CTMH). I joined on a whim. I had a friend (cousin) who was a consultant, and I was interested in scrapbooking and stamping, because I really wanted to know the trade secrets of how stampers color in their images so well. I am an artist myself. I love to draw. I draw cute customized cartoon characters. I could draw them cute, but I wasn't so talented at coloring them. I had never scrapbooked or stamped. So, I signed up, got my consultant kit, and guess what, I'm not even sad to say that I haven't drawn a thing in 4 years!!

I am now in the fortunate position of having many ME time opportunities that also are relational in focus, so they are a perfect fit. What do I mean by that? I have NEVER, ever, ever, felt gulity or torn about money or time spent scrapbooking, cardmaking (or drawing) for that matter. Everything I make is either preserving a memory or celebrating a relationship! Plus, the process of creating feeds my artistic side, and gives me the relaxing zen experience I find when I'm creating. You've read my blog, so you know it's also fed by journalistic side. My writing has increased since starting my blog (which I did first for my CTMH business). And, since I've started writing more, my public speaking (which I've done for my job) has also stepped to the next level, and I'm doing some public speaking on larger Statewide and Nationwide venues!! Wow!! Look at what the creative ME time I've invested into CTMH and ME has resulted in!

One other unanticipated blessing of CTMH has been the relationships I have built with women everywhere. I've made friends with fellow consultants who share the same passion I do! I love hanging out with fellow consultants because we are all on a mission- we are so focused on creating that sometimes we don't even spend the sufficient amount of time chatting and connecting personally. That might sound sad, but it's a perfect fit for me- I've always been "mostly business" and the balance I have with the CMTH sista's is 90% CTMH business (which is a wide category) and 10% other stuff. Because scrapbooking is such a personal pass time (we are preseving memories!) your strickly business time together still fosters a personal connection.

Last weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to attend a CTMH regional celebration in downtown Minneapolis. I spent two ME days being inspired, educated, entertained, pampered, developed, loved and nourished. My creative soul was bubbling over when I left Saturday night. I loved every minute of the two day experience (Friday 8a-5 and then open crop 7p-12a! and Saturday 8:30-6) and it FLEW by. Amazing.

At the Regional Celebration there were contests that could be entered. I love contests. I like to challenge myself to achieve and I'll be honest, I shoot to win. I gave my best, but I didn't win. And that is because all of the other entries were better than mine! The amount of talent was AMAZING. I'm still proud of my entry, and thought I'd share it for you. It is a scrapbook page dedicated to the birth of my new niece, Nora Kaye. Check it out:

Not a first place winner, but I think it might be the best page I've ever made. I think that's called a Personal Best (can you sense my competitiveness?). I wanted to be sure to dedicate today's blog entry to what CTMH has meant to me- precious, wonderful, inspiring, valuable ME time. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Wow. Thank you CTMH, thank you CTMH sista's , thank you to my family, and thank you God for helping us find each other.

I think YOU should join my CTMH family. It can mean for you what it means to me. If you know me, you know I'm a straight shooter and what I say isn't a sales pitch. Send me an email, and I'll share it all with you. And then you, can come with me (and Kelly!) to the next Regional Celebration (or convention in Washington DC in July) and be inspired too.

Bloggin a Bright Idea,


Monday, September 28, 2009


Have you ever found yourself wondering how unique you really are? Or thinking about other families in the world, and imaging one just like yours? Could there be another family like mine out there in the universe? One with a 6 foot 4, dark haired husband, and a 5 foot 1, blonde wife? A family with a boy and two girls? Even a family like yours that drives the same vehicle you do? Sometimes, when my mind is wandering, I'll wonder how individualized we really are. The world is so big that it seems pretty possible in my mind, that there are families close in similarity to mine, and probably engaged in the same activities that I am, at the same time.

The power of the possiblities that exist in this universe are astounding. Of course, those powers can be used in a negative fashion, and the "what if's" can be used as a constant fear tactic where we are all encouraged to be "afraid" for the things that might happen. Playing the deck of cards in that fashion can cause people to disengage from one another, to create a perceived haven of safety (which we often assume is one in isolation or seclusion) and to try an further the imagined individuality and uniqueness of ourselves and our families, to put distance between us and the "danger" that lurks out there.

This weekend, while watching my son play football, my mind was wandering around in thoughts like those I have written down here for you. The spin I took on them was to take in the commonality of the day. At that football field, there were hundreds of young boys ready to play football, and hundreds of parents, family members and friends ready to cheer on their number one player.

I watched a family get out of their vehicle behind me. They drove a truck (ok, not a crossover like my Pacifica), the father was short and balding (not like my husband) and the mother was tall but blonde (close, but not exactly)! But, they had a son who they obviously adore (as we do ours). They parked the truck, got out the lawnchairs and water bottles, lovingly tucked in their sons football jersey, gathered the sisters, hugged the son and walked across the field for their sons big day. Every single one of those actions was an exact replica of my family that day, and a mirror image of our experience as a family- love.

In our nation and our culture, in bad economic times, and well honestly, much of time, we like to facinate ourselves with the "bad scenarios". We like to focus on the negativity or the problems or the gossip or the danger. Perhaps, in our nation and culture, in bad economic times, and well honestly, most of the time, we should focus on our commonality. The relationship we share with one another- as families, sons, daughters, friends, citizens and employees is powerful- it's one of community. The strength in a community can lie in its desire to do for the greater good- knowing that the greater good will likely benefit you as well. This isn't a blog about politics or reform, this is a blog about humanity and appreciation. Enjoy your neighbor, love your family, and appreciate your good fortune. Even where there are problems and issues, if you look carefully enough, you can also find blessings and opportunties. Just appreciate and embrace them. They become more obvious that way.

Speaking of blessings, I am still thankful for my new camera. It continues to allow me to capture great photos for my scrapbooks. Here is one of my better photos from the football game- my son, Taylor, is #54 in the blue:

I'm looking forward to this weekend, where I will be attending a conference with Close To My Heart (CTMH), the direct sales scrapbooking company I sell product for. I am thrilled for an opportunity to be with talented artists from across the nation, and to spend some time learning new techniques, seeing new products and putting them all to work- during the Pajama Open Crop- making scrapbook pages of my most precious memories. If you wish you were going to be there too, join my CTMH scrapbooking team and next year, you will be!! Email me for more details.

Bloggin' A Bright Idea,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

How Exciting!!!

In my opinion, excitement, is one of the best emotions in life. Being excited can make a person feel so ALIVE. All of your senses tingle, with a rush of adrenline, in response to the event that you are anticipating, and looking forward to with promise.

Today, I had yet another up close and personal view of my husbands "pre-golf trip excitement". My husband, a 41 year old man, bubbles over with excitement like an 8 year old boy, on the eve of a golf trip. His excitement is almost ritualistic. It starts building with a count down of the days until the golf trip. Then, it moves to an hour by hour count down. It is accentuated with phone calls, emails and texts to his friends, talking about their trip, making plans and doing research. His research includes hourly checks of to see what the hour by hour forecast looks like. Or, views of the destination golf course web site to make his game plan, right down to the club he might consider using on the hole. Usually, by the time the day arrives, just like today, there is some sort of overflow of this excitement that causes an issue. Just like an 8 year old that is "over stimuated" with excitement and has a melt down, my dear Lee usually "melts down" and that is evidenced by something he can't find, because his overstimulation causes him a state of temporary blindness. Today was no different. At 5:30 AM, he couldn't find his sunglasses, and I was awaken by every light in the house being turned on and off, and the sense of his energy turning from excitement to anxiety. At 6 AM, I got up and in exactly 3 minutes, found the glasses. At 6:30AM, he got in his car and drove away for three days. And just like every year, the energy expended getting Lee to the door for his trip, causes me to say HOORAY as he drives away. I miss him when he's gone, but really- all of this craziness for that 3 day trip??

As I pondered his excitement, I started to think about the excitement I find in life in general, but especially in my favorite things. Scrapbooking for example. As a consultant for Close To My Heart (CTMH), I experience quarterly excitement around the release of a new catalog. I expend energy communicating to my friends about it via email, blogs, bulletin boards and text messages. We anticipate the catalog by wondering and wishing for certain new products. When the catalogs arrive, we anticipate the call from a friend to discuss "well, what did you think?". I always sit down with the catalog, pretend that money is no object, and make a list of EVERYTHING I'd like to have! As I did this yesterday, I audibly "ooooeedddd" and "aaaahhhheeddd" about the thrilling contents (ie. chocolate colored buttons! oh-my!). My son Taylor thought this excitement was over the top, "really, Mom, do you have to make those noises!" Very similar to my response to Lee's excitement about golf!

As I put Lee's pre-golf excitement in the context of my scrapbooking excitement, it makes me smile. It's less irritiating as I admit I act the same way. And, really, that is something to not be irritated by, but to be thankful for. How fortunate and blessed are we, to have things as frivolous as golf and scrapbooking, to be excited about?!!

I'll end my blog today, with a photo of the family I'm so blessed to have. They make every day exciting for me. Our family motto has always been, "work hard; play harder". Here's hoping for my dear husband Lee, that the golf Gods look down upon him, and help him over come his excitement and help him find focus, so he will have success at his golf tournament. He will have fun, there is no doubt in my mind about that!

Bloggin' a bright idea,

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Have your ever really sat and listened to what a cheer from a crowd sounds like? A collective "Hooray!" screeched from a throng of excited, happy people? As I sat at the public swimming pool this weekend, I was priviledged to not only witness a large group "Hooray" but to be present and focused enough to really give some appreciative thought to the blessing of "Hooray!"

It was hot and muggy, and the crowd was one of the biggest I have ever seen at our local pool. The lifeguards had whistled that they were taking a 15 minute break. As the crowd waited for the whistle to blow again, you could feel the anxiety (that can be a good word too!) and excitement build in the crowd- all of the crowd regardless of age. The life guards count down with a hand signal from five, four, three, two, one and blow their whistle to signal it is safe to return to the pool- and I experienced, with both my eyes and my ears, a collective "Hooray!". Some children threw their arms in the air, shrieks of joy were heard, and of course, dozens of people simulataneously threw themselves into the pool. What a joyful sound!

That experience caused me to pause and just cherish how simply rewarding a "Hooray" can be. Really, "Hooray" is appropriate when the whistle blows at the pool, but is also appropriate today, as a steady rain falls down on to our thirsty earth- "Hooray" for rain. "Hooray" for Diet Caffeine Free Rootbeer (I'm sipping with a smile right now), "Hooray" for the Northern Wisconsin State Fair and other opportunities to celebrate with friends and families, and "Hooray" for our blessed ability to simply be here today enjoying all of them.

Scrapbooking is all about the celebration of life. I think that is why I enjoy it so much. It allows me to photograph, journal, and preserve our life of "Hooray" moments in a form that is artistic and inspiring for me. Here is a recent photo that makes my heart call out "Hooray"! This is my daughter on a recent trip to the Museum in Milwaukee. We visited the butterfly exhibit, where butterflies roam freely, and land on you, if you are lucky, for a visit! If you look at Iris' eyes, you can see a silent "Hooray" called out to the beautiful visitor on her finger. This will make an awesome scrapbook page- don't you agree!

You know, even the most challenging moments often offer something worth celebrating. It might take you some time to find what that is, and to feel thankful for it. But, without challenges in life, we wouldn't have the simulatenous opportunity for growth. It's often the growth opportunities that lead us to "Hooray" moments. Not as sweet as Diet Rootbeer to swallow, I know, but true nonetheless.

As you start your week, I challenge you to look for the "Hooray's" you encounter. When you find one, take a moment, and smile!

Blogging a Bright Idea,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Power Of Happiness

One of the most powerful emotions we have has humans is happiness. Studies have shown that if you live a life of more engaged, hopeful, positive intentions it can result in increased happiness, despite other more negative circumstances. What does that mean? The power of positivism can override many negatives!!

There is now an entire field of psychology dedicated to this very subject. It is called Positive Psychology. Its principle is relatively simple- being happy is the best medicine. So, what do you do to make yourself happy? You could find a therapist trained in the field of positive psychology, or you could apply a principle of common sense- if it makes you happy, do more of it!

That is how I feel about many things I do in my life. They make me happy. I do things that make me feel happy, and I don't do things that don't make me feel happy. Sometimes, the decisions I make are very simple. Today, for example, running two miles was not something that I was feeling positive about (I was resenting the idea). So instead, I walked. Walking, felt managable to me today, it still has a poistive impact on my health (and my mood!), and it wasn't as negative feeling to me as the thought of running. Keep in mind, I love to run. I just ran 3 miles on Sunday. I loved every step. Today, I didn't love it. So, I didn't do it.

If you spend more time doing what makes you happy, you will be happy. See what I mean about the common sense part?

I have a friend that called me recently and explained that she was feeling "out of sorts". She was feeling anxious, maybe a bit sad, but she couldn't put her finger on why. In talking, we discussed that she did something different that morning. She had spent the evening at a hotel for work, and had the luxury of watching the morning news (instead of cartoons!). When I asked her what she saw on the news, she told of a feature in which they interviewed several families who had lost their homes to foreclosure. She went on to wonder out loud about the security of her job, her spouses job and to question some plans she had made to make some home improvements. What was my advice to her? Don't watch the news.

Really, if it doesn't make you happy, just don't do it. There is no need to over analyze your feelings or where they stem from or what they mean about you, sometimes (very often) things are simply not that deep. Living in the present, and staying focused on the here and now, means that you hold the power to create your own happiness.

Speaking of doing what makes me happy- if you've read my blog at all, you know scrapbooking makes me happy. In creating my family scrapbooks, I feel very passionately about having excellent photographs. I have been wanting an upgrade in my camera for months. I have been unable to capture excellent shots of my children in sports. They would come out blurry. Well, blur no more! I got a new camera last week, and have been trying it out. Here is one of my better shots from this week:

This made me HAPPY. I am very excited to take more photos, and even more excited to scrapbook them. I'll be sure to post some for you to see when I have them done.

"Make it a great day," I heard someone say today. That is a subtle, yet impressive statement. Not "have a great day", but MAKE it a great day. It's yours to experience, so make it good.

Blogging a bright idea,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Embrace The Present- It's a Gift

Have you ever heard the saying "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, Thats why it's called the Present"? What a powerful idea. As a self-professed "multi-tasker" I often worry that I'll be so busy, I'll miss the gift of today.

I'll admit. That is why I started scrapbooking. I didn't want to forget, and I was (and am) worried that I will. I have a horrible memory. Someone once suggested that I easily forget, because I am not focused and present on the here and now..... I'm always thinking (or moving) ahead or looking behind. That is likely true. Of not only me, but all of us. Especially here in the United States.

I have a friend who just returned from a trip to Rome. She talked of a different pace. A different attention and appreciation of details. Not just the ornate and breathtaking beauty of a place like Rome, but of the food, smells, textures, wine and the good company. She told of having afternoon long conversations, in which no one spoke a common language, and thru which only gestures, and a translation dictionary, served as the platform on which a friendship was built. What makes Rome special? What made those experiences, sensations and friendships special? The focus on the present. The centered energy that allowed the details of the present, every single minute, to be clear to one's sensory experience in a way that hard wired the details to memory in a more powerful manner than any photo or scrapbook page could have ever accomplished.

Tonight, I created Birthday Invitations for one of my ornate beauties, my Daughter Ava. Here it is:

There aren't a lot of fancy details on this card. It is simple. I didn't want the card to compete with the beauty in the photo. I only wish I had the skill to photograph it more clearly so it would do justice to my point. My amazing baby daughter is turning 6 (on May 6th!). Celebrating her golden birthday prompts me to pause, and appreciate the present before me. My baby girl. She is like her mother in many ways, including her creative, artistic tendancy. Notice the pose? She posed for 6 photos this weekend at the cabin, all with a very sassy swing of hip, or toss of her hair. She posed in a manner of confidence and energized spirit that I hope she will always possess and carry with her as a torch and a tool, that will enable her to go great places, create great memories, and enjoy a present that will be plum full of gifts, ripe for her enjoyment.

In spirit with the Romans, raise your glass of wine with me (you do have a glass of wine, don't you?) and toast to the powerful and impressive present. Savor the flavor, smell the scents, enjoy the touches, and embrace it, for the gift that it is. It's a blessing.

Blogging a bright idea,


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blessings for the Bride

Last weekend, I hosted a "Bachelorette Party" for my dearest friend, Cyndi. Cyndi is 20 years old, and is getting married in May to a wonderful young man, Bailey.

Cyndi and I have a special relationship. We met when she was 3 years old. My husband and I lived across the street from her. If I do the math, that means I was about her current age when I met her! I was 21 and newly married myself. Cyndi was so cute. She'd sit on the curb across the street from my house and call out to me with her "cuteness". I'd go over and talk with her, and it became a daily routine. Each day I'd come home, and there she'd be. I walked over and introduced myself to Cyndi's family, and we have had 17 years of friendship from there!

Cyndi asked me to be her Matron of Honor. As you can imagine, as a 38 year old woman with a bridal party of 20 somethings, I was a bit concerned. But, when Cyndi looked me right in the eye and said she wanted me to be her Matron of Honor because I have been her "best friend for 17 years"....well, what can one say to that other than "yes".

For Cyndi's party, one of the activities I planned was making a Bridal Wishes scrapbook. Each guest made a 6 x 6 page, and decorated it with a photo with the bride (taken upon arrival at the party) and then wrote a special blessing message for Cyndi. With some help from the Bind-It-All, I assembled all the pages into a book. Here's how it turned out:

Here is my page, with my photo with the beautiful bride, Cyndi:

I read through each of the messages and my favorite came from Cyndi's step-sister Erin. Erin is a freshman, and wise beyond her years- here's her message: "Cyndi and Bailey, Laugh together, cook together, write together, travel together, BE together". How touching! This Bridal Book ended up being a Blessings Book.............. it's filled with Blessings in friendships, family relationships and loving messages. I think Cyndi will treasure it forever.

Let's all take Erin's advice, and this week, despite all the busy things on our calendars, commit to take some time to just BE with those you love.

Blogging a Bright Idea,


Sunday, March 22, 2009


The past week or two I have come down with a case of over-do-it-itis. This is a common virus which I am easily suspectible to, have been my whole life. I try hard to practice preventative medicine, and take steps to avoid catching it, but it always gets me in the end. Like usual, I detected symptoms of the coming attack, but it was too late to do anything to stop being affected. I just had to hunker down and take it. The first symptom is being tired. Now, that one is easy to miss, because tired can be a common condition. But, over-do-it-itis can bring a different kind of tired, commonly described by those affilicted as "really tired". You know, the kind of tired where you actually notice it?

I was tired on Wednesday, and then really tired on Thursday. On Thursday, like I always do, I taught aerobics. As a result, on Friday, I was really tired, and really, really sore. What part of doing lunges, then lunges with weights, and then squats with weights did I think was a good idea? (note to self: you are no longer in your twenties!). So, Friday, I move through the work day, really tired, and really sore, and as a result I was really inefficient. I made a number of mental errors, and wasn't on my "A" game. Have no fear, Friday night card making club went on as scheduled! I got my house cleaned (with assistance from my amazing husband !) (that's not sacrasm, it's true!), and then entertained 7 guests for our monthly card making club. Here is one of the cards we made:

Now, a card like that, and a group of talented, fun women to hang out with can only bring joy. And it did! I love card club! Over-do-it-itis doesn't necessarily mean you aren't having fun! It's all fun; that's why you have to do it all! (another symptom-a nuerotic pressure to over-do!) On Saturday, I had more fun! I had 7 different crafty women at my house (I know lots of crafty women!). Seven of my sista consultants from Close To My Heart came over for a unit meeting. We had fun, information, scrapbooking time, prizes and food. Plus we laughed a lot! After that, the day was young! There were craft sales a mere 6 blocks from my home and some extra money in my pocket. Yee-haw! No matter that I'm still really tired, and still really sore, my girlfriend Kelly and I headed for the sales! We had fun, even though my pulled leg muscle occassionally caused me to walk with a limp, it was all good! After that fun, the day was still young (over-do-it-itis slows your perception of time...the days last forever!) Why not go to the mall with the family! There were great sales, and items of need on the list. My son has needed new underwear for weeks. He showed me how they are now cutting into his skin (ouch!). Perfect ammunition to get Mom to go shopping! Finally, when we get home Saturday night, it is time to do just what a case of over-do-it-itis needs................ handle household chores! I had Saturday night and all day Sunday to get groceries, clean house, do laundry, wash my work clothes, pay bills, assist with family genology homework assignments, visit with my aunt, decorate with the crafts I bought yesterday, make dinner, give baths, and last but not least, update my blog. Whew.

Over-do-it-itis is a very interesting in how it runs its course. It requires one to eventually stop and do something (ironic, I know). Maybe that is stop and rest (well, in a few hours it will be bedtime), or stop and relax (probably not happening) or........ stop and be thankful. Yes, thankful. I know that my rendition of a week of over-do-it-itis might sound like complaining, but read carefully, between the lines, you will see evidence of many blessings. Blessings of family, friends, opportunities and gifts. Being thankful, and expressing graditude is the perfect medicine to treat over-do-it-itis. A thankful moment, to count your blessings, will soon cause you to sigh, slow your breath, and with that your mind, and in no time at all, you'll find yourself moving at something less than the speed of light. This will create moments for rest and relaxation which will provide just enough recuperation to get ready for Monday! :)

Counting my blessings, and blogging a bright idea,

Holly Hakes

Sunday, March 8, 2009

How about those Bright Ideas

While on a recent vacation in Florida, I read an excellent book by Wisconsin author, Sandra Kring, entitled "The Book of Bright Ideas". This is a book about two girls, that come into each others lives due to difficult circumstances, and a joyful friendship that emerges. One of the girls keeps a journal of sorts, in which she documents her bright ideas, as well as the bright ideas of her new friend. Those ideas are captured with the clarity and innocence of a nine year old girls mind- and it makes them delightful!

Reading this book caused me to contemplate several 'bright ideas' of my own. Whenever I am on vacation, my brain kicks into overdrive thinking about things that I might not normally have the time to ponder. Those things are usually of a creative vein- like starting a blog, or writing a book, or new scrapbooking ideas! Well, that trip was part of what started my motivation to blog, and that wonderful book is what sparked my blog title, "Blog of Bright Ideas". I know my ideas won't hold a candle to the precious ideas of the characters in that book (which I hope you will get and read!), but the concept of hunting for and capturing bright ideas is a good one for all of us. You'd be amazed at what you will discover when you give yourself a minute to look for something inspiring and motivating!

Speaking of good ideas.....I just finished the family scrapbook page for our trip to Florida. Because we always have a lot of good scrap-worthy photos, I frequently go to my CTMH template book, "Cherish" and use template Fab Fifteen to complete pages with many photos. This time was no different (that template has documented many good memories!).

I typed the journaling this time, including small strips of journaling to help specify all of the great things we did on that trip. I know someday I will be thankful for the extra attention I've taken to document our family memories. I am already thankful!

Here's hoping that you have a great week, filled with inspiring ideas.

Blogging a bright idea,

Holly Hakes

My Inaugural Post

I have been contemplated becoming a "blogger" for some time. No secret to you, it's "all the rage". I've read many blogs, and most of them are from other women who share one of my passions- scrapbooking. I love to scrapbook, and I love to read about and see examples of artwork by women who love to scrapbook like me.

Why haven't I started a blog then? Well, there are a few other irons in the fire. I was hesitant to throw another one in, not because I couldn't handle it, but because I knew I'd probably enjoy it, and then I'd have not another hobby, but another "love" to attend to.

As I mentioned in my profile, I am a lover of many things. And the biggest problem I face in my life, is a drive and a passion to be excellent at all of them. Not that I am excellent at everything I do, but I strive for excellence, and that can occupy a large space of time (and a large part of my subconscious mind chatter!). Regardless, today, I was inspired. Actually, I got a push this last week. Fellow scrapbooker, and CTMH Consultant "Sista" Tammy Hellstren beat me to it. Tammy has a blog ( Tammy's blog gave me a push (thanks for the push and the scraplift of some of your set up!), and then today, I got inspired.

Here's what inspired me today:

This is a scrapbook layout I completed today. I didn't design it myself (I don't have THAT much time!). Like all the pages I created, it came straight out of a CTMH design book, "Reflections" (which you can order from me if you are interested). Even the quote around the perimeter of the page came from the book. It says, "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. And live everyday as if it were your last.".

That quote was the perfect inspiration for this page I wanted to make featuring a favorite photo of my youngest daughter, Ava. Ava, who is five, is very funny. She most certainly the clown of the family, and is the one who lives life to the fullest. This page is the very last page of our 2008 Hakes Family Scrapbook. I love the picture. It captures her humor, her personality and her zest for life. Working on this page today, got me to think more about the blog, the things that could bring me joy from publishing a blog, and just thinking about life in general.

Do you live everyday as if it was your last? As I was uploading the photo of the page on my computer this afternoon, my daughter Iris, age 7, came in and was admiring the page. She read the quote out loud (she is so proud of her reading ability!). I asked her, "if it was your last day on earth today, what would you do?". She replied promptly, "build a snowman, go swimming and buy a new puppy". What an eclectic trio of wishes for how to spend a last day (and way to pour on the "I want a new puppy guilt" to your mom)!

I hope that my blog can inspire you to create something beautiful, to do something that you've been thinking of, or to just take a minute and ask yourself, what you would do if it was your very last day on earth?--- and then, do it.

Blogging a Bright Idea,

Holly Hakes