Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Got that warm fuzzy feeling inside today

I must say, one of the best feelings in life is to know you or something you've done has been appreciated. Today I was lucky enough to experience that TWICE!!

Ian and Eli
This morning, the mother of the 2 little boys I watch (Ian-8 and Eli-4) thanked me for doing what I do for her sons. She hugged me and told me I make them feel so special with the things I do for them and with them. She mentioned the Valentines Day hearts I made for them (which they have hanging on their doorknobs) and the stuffed penguins I included in their holiday gifts. Ian sleeps with his penguin everynight and even though he successfully acts as the "tough older brother" he apparently talks about me all the time. They are all so sweet.. I love them.

Madelyn and Ava
Tonight, I am babysitting the 2 girls I normally see, Madelyn(3) and Ava(1). It's usually an adventure trying to get Mommy and Daddy out of the house without one or both of the girls screaming in a tantrum.

Today when I showed up, it had obviously been a difficult day. Both girls saw me and immediately started clinging to Mommy... We have a good time, really, but no one likes to see their mommy go out without them. Madelyn sat on Mommy's lap while we watched Ruby and Max on NickJr. but Mommy had to get going for her date with Daddy.. We looked at each other and prepared for the coming "natural disaster" of a tantrum.

Mommy passed me Madelyn and ran.. I held Madelyn and drew her attention to the tv. She yelled and then was silent for a second.. ::the calm before the storm::.... I waited for the scream.. waited.. waited........ uhm... waited..?

I don't know WHAT went on, but somehow she didn't scream.. and she kind of curled up on my lap. She cuddled with me for the rest of the night... I told her that I liked cuddling with her and she looked at me and said "me too."

This may sound nice and sweet and normal.. but this has never happened before. In fact, it's unusual if lil Madelyn goes a whole night without telling me something to the effect of "go away" or "you're a witch."

These are the kinds of things (the compliments and cuddling, that is) that make each day worth it. It all makes me remember how lucky I am and how important it is to be happy...

Til next time.. Live Swell!

(Photos in this post - thanks to Webweaver)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Volunteering pays off!

A couple posts ago I mentioned how great and beneficial it is to volunteer for a cause or event. Well since then I've gained a great PAID opportunity from volunteering!

The weekend of Feb 8-10, my boyfriend John and I volunteered at the Atlanta Comics Expo for comic distributor Tales of Wonder.. we applied to be Convention Leads that weekend and we actually got it!

So last weekend on Feb 23rd we went to Ma-Con (ha ha!). A comic con[vention] in Macon, of course. We had a little set up in the fossil room. It was a lot of fun.

We will be doing a handful of comic con's this year.. and it's a real job! It's great experience for both of us.

Til next time.. Live Swell!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's the little things in life..

As I've mentioned before, I try to live life to the fullest and enjoy myself through everything I do. "Little things" are very important to me. My boyfriend thinks I get excited easily like a little kid and my friends think I'm crazy because I get a thrill from post-it notes. Okay okay.. maybe it really doesn't take much to amuse me.. I really don't think there's anything wrong with that though. =]

I think everyone should have little thrills in life. If you can't enjoy yourself in the process of work and other annoying obligations, your day-to-day life can get dull, stressful and depressing. We all deserve to have things to smile about.. it's good for your spirit and your health.

Here are some of the little things that make ME happy:

I love to start off my days with a cup of hot tea. It's a most essential part of my day because it fuels me. Tazo Zen tea is my most preferred blend and I highly enjoy it and recommend it. You can find it at Starbucks of course, but it's cheaper to buy a box of it from Publix or Kroger's tea and coffee aisle.
I drink tea because I'm really not a coffee person. I enjoy an occasional fancy coffee but on a day-to-day basis I'm most happy with this herbal goodness. I drink it totally plain and although it takes a minute to get used to it, it's much better than having it "light and sweet." In addition, herbal teas can be very good for you.. Cheers!

I love things that help make my life easier! Little things like this "Leashables" chapstick holder/keychain just tickle me. Have you ever bought a chapstick, stuck it in your pocket and washed it? Or left it in the pants your wore yesterday? Well.. not with this little tiny piece of material joy. You almost always need your keys, right? Well, your chapstick is always there with you. Let me also mention that it's actually really easy to access your lip lube while you're driving.. I don't condone multitasking while operating a motor vehicle BUT sometimes you just NEED chapstick.. you know.. for when your lips REALLY hurt.

Meet my buddy.. her name is Trace-in-the-morning! This is a tattoo on the inside of my right hip. She hangs out right on the top of my low rise jeans. She's got a twin, too, who lives on my best friend/tattoo inspiration Tracy.
Trace-in-the-morning is a super cutie who I sketched in high school. She was just a musical, Hawaiian beaut' until I decided to be funny while naming her. Now she is a symbol of the friendship Tracy and I have!
Tracy lives in my hometown back in New Jersey. So, in August 2006, after meeting up in Myrtle Beach, SC, we decided to be silly and immortalize my work of art.
Tell me you wouldn't smile every time you saw this thing!!

Crafts!! Little crafts, like this bottle-cap locket, make me so happy. I love making crafts, sharing them and showing them off! This particular one is a picture of my boyfriend and I. I have it hanging from my cars rear-view mirror. Crafting is very calming for me... and being creative is one of the best feelings!

I was very excited when I bought my first new car. A black 2007 Nissan Versa is actually the 5th car I've owned.. but the first one newer than a 1992....

I think that deserves a YAAAAAY!!!

There are definitely more little things I enjoy in my life.. this is just a glimpse. What are your little thrills in life? I'd love to hear about what makes you smile.

Remember, even if it's in little ways, Live Swell =]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

These days, I unfortunately find myself with little time to create the crafts that I think about all the time. However, last night I babysat and stayed overnight. I had some free time to use so I made some Valentines for all the kiddies I watch. They are not all in the same family - they come in 2's and the last one is my boyfriend's niece. Anyway, my new favorite craft supply is those foam sheets. You can make ANYthing out of them!! Very exciting.

These are my 9 children. I love them all.. the angels as well as the monsters ;)

I sketched hearts in red and pink foam, cut em out and glued them together with "glitter glue" - which was the only glue I had on hand. I used black tee shirt paint the write the names and I poked holes in the top of each with an end of the scissors for ribbon.

I figured they could hang them on their door knobs or something. Just little reminders that I care for each of them!

Happy Valentines Day... I hope you had a good one.. whether you're single or taken. <3

Til next time.. Live Swell!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Atlanta Comics Expo - Feb 8 - 10, 2008

I must have been more exhausted yesterday than I thought.. I spoke all about joining and volunteering and didn't mention what I volunteered for YESTERDAY!

My boyfriend John and I volunteered at the Atlanta Comics Expo which lasts from Friday Feb 8 to Sunday Feb 10. We worked for the Tales of Wonder booth, helping set up on Thursday and helping customers on Saturday from 10 to 3pm.
John really enjoyed it because he loves comics and knows a LOT about em. I enjoyed it because it's more event experience for me..

After our shift I got a "cadaviture" from Dave Cook and we bought an awesome print from Tyson McAdoo. We met some really nice guys and had a lot of fun! Let me tell you, you don't have to be into comics to enjoy an event like this. I came home with some great books and great art in the process.

Til next time.. Live Swell!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Altanta Craft Mafia and Joining clubs.

I am excited to share some news.

I applied to be part of something called the Atlanta Craft Mafia.

I'd like to share their "About Us" page with you, because they can explain themselves better than I can!
"The Atlanta Craft Mafia was formed in the fall of 2007 by seven local independent crafters with a strong DIY ethic, a shared love for all things crafty and a belief in the beauty of all things hand-made. The Atlanta Craft Mafia seeks to provide support and resources for other members of the Atlanta crafting community through public events, networking opportunities and collaborative marketing.

The Atlanta Craft Mafia is part of an international extended “familia” known as The Craft Mafia. The first Craft Mafia was founded in Austin in 2003 and serves as the model for all Craft Mafia organizations."

I have just been accepted into the Atlanta Craft Mafia, and although I am not sure what it will be like - since they are brand new and I have not paid my dues because I haven't signed up for Paypal yet - I am VERY excited to meet the lovely ladies who started the Atlanta chapter. I am also very excited to see what kind of events will be happening.

It's a really cool thing to feel like PART of something. I guess it's that age-old thing where being "accepted" into any kind of group makes you feel like the cool kid on the block.


There are a lot of ways to get involved with some kind of cause, club or community. I, myself, have been involved in several throughout my life. That includes girl scouts, field hockey and school clubs/publications. There have also been a handful of festivals such as the Atlanta Dogwood Festival (to the left you can see a picture of my friend/co-volunteer Jess and I at Dogwood) that I have volunteered for in my quest for event planning experience. (If you missed it on my 'about me' section at the top right, I would like to work in event planning as a career!) I'd also like to become involved in the 3Day walk for Breast Cancer.. The rewards are two-fold: In addition to all the personal benefits, you're helping OTHER people as well.

I'd highly suggest, to anyone, find your interests and then find the people who are interested in the same thing. You really can't go wrong. You gain knowledge, experience, friends, contacts and more often than not, you have a lot of fun!! I think everyone likes to feel like they are part of something.

Happy joining and good luck!

Til next time.. Live Swell!

Error, correction and excitement!

I made an error! In the previous post, here, I stated that the newsletter sign-up was for organization tips by NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers.

CORRECTION: The tips are by Donna Smallin, the author of the book I mentioned: Organizing Plain and Simple. The original blog post is now corrected as well.

Donna actually found my blog, herself, and brought it to my attention!! ::blush::

Thank you Donna; I apologize for the error!! =]

Friday, February 8, 2008

Organizing: Finding the way to "do it right."

This is going to be very brief, but I learned something today I just HAVE to share with you.

That book by Donna Smallin that I told you about in the last post, Organizing Plain and Simple; it's got a great paragraph about perfectionists and their clutter and procrastination on page 161. She says, basically, perfectionists have to do it right or not at all. If you have seen my room, you know I have done the latter.

I also found a similar paragraph in an article she wrote for MyLifetime

Donna states, "Believe it or not, perfectionists are some of the biggest procrastinators. You could be one of them if you put things off because (1) you don’t feel you have enough time to do the job right, (2) you don’t have the “perfect” tools for the job, (3) you haven’t yet figured out how to do the job perfectly or (4) all of the above."

Remember I told you I was a perfectionist? This makes me feel so much better about my messes. I am still not going to let them take me over BUT at least I don't have to beat myself up about 'em! I will beat them!!

In addition, check out Donna's website, Unclutter.com. Once you're there, check out the right sidebar, underneath Donna's photo and you can sign up for a free monthly newsletter of her organizing tips.. I just signed up for it today.. so I'll check it out and let you know how awesome it is =]
Another interesting resource is The National Association for Professional Organizers at napo.net. They are, coincidentally, located in Norcross, GA.

Til next time ;)
Live Swell!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I really do major in "organization" ....kinda.

..Let me clarify. I am an Organizational Communication Major. It doesn't really mean what I WISH it meant - which is that I am taking classes on how to Organize everything in my LIFE. It's moreso about Organizations - as in companies. However, I don't see why they can't go hand in hand. Being organized is a big benefit in any aspect of life, right?

Let me give you a little background on myself.
I am a Virgo.. Virgo's are "perfectionists." While I am far from perfect things that are less than perfect often bug the crap out of me! Furthermore, I get great, sometimes borderline creepy joy out of anything that helps me organize. This includes organized people, classes on organization, organizational tools and organizational references. I'd like to share some with you.

I understand completely that organization may be a terrifying thought for some.. but you don't have to be afraid. Really! A lot of authors make it exciting or at least slightly amusing to pick up after yourself.

Just remember the following tips from me, personally:
  • There's a home for everything.. don't be shocked if you realize that the GARBAGE CAN is on the list of homes..

  • Letting go is a big part of organization.

  • Lastly, if you CLEAN as you go, you will never have a huge, terrifying mess to clean up. That one is actually compliments of my mom. Those crazy moms, they actually know what they're talking about sometimes. ;)
Today we'll start with references which will include 3 books and one magazine for now.


As a gift, I bought a ReadyMade magazine subscription for my boyfriend's sister, for her birthday.. conveniently, I also bought one for myself! In an even stranger coincidence, this is the first issue I recieved. "Get Organized!" -Perfect!! The subheading of the magazine is "Instructions for Everyday Life." Ohhh I get tingly. Further, the website's subheading reads "A Bimonthly Magazine for People Who Like to Make Stuff." If that is NOT my middle name, I don't know what is. If the content in this paragraph excites you as much as it has excited me.. well thank goodness I'm not alone. Between organizing, creating, decorating and just finding new things to tell your friends you found it first.. this mag is pure joy. Check it out here!

If you have never checked out Amazon.com, you are definitely missing out. Besides all the interesting things you can find, there are some amazing prices! For a person, like myself, who buys books faster than she can read them AND finds joy in just LOOKING at her overflowing bookshelf, Amazon.com is the perfect heaven.

I recently found 2 books very cheap on here. I began searching for Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. (Okay, THAT title is my middle name...) Although, I did find this book available for purchase, I didn't buy it in time to get it for $3.09. I've read some reviews on it and am yearning to own it. However, I'm so cheap.. I can wait.

The books I purchased came from a book store a couple towns away from me and I actually spent a total of no more than $12, I believe. Shipping was about $3.50 and you do the rest of the math.

Tell us Bob... the actual retail price of these two books was a total of $35!! I love a good deal. The overall process of buying books online is great. All you need is a credit card and an address. (Preferably both belonging to yourself.. or at least someone who is aware you are using theirs!) I got my books in just a couple days!

Donna Smallin.. you're a genius.

So far, I've read the first one.. Not cover to cover. It's not meant for that. It's actually meant for just quick referencing. It's organized (hah) very well into categories like spaces, papers, etc. I think this would make a great "coffee table" type book. Really.

I will keep you posted on my readings.
Til then.. Live Swell!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

About SwellBeing

Welcome to my new blog, SwellBeing! Before we get started, I'd like to explain a little. According to Merriam-Webster online the title of this blog is literally "excellent life."
swell : adjective
excellent —used as a generalized term of enthusiasm
being : noun
conscious existence : life

I believe in living life to the fullest. So, in everything I decide to do, I try to find the good in it and make myself happy while I'm at it. Otherwise.. what is the point?

SwellBeing is a blog about creativity, happiness and wellness. That means whenever you visit this page, you will find posts exploring the easiest, most organized, most fun, most creative, and most beneficial ways of living life. (You may also find the occasional craft!)
The topics come from my own experiences and I share with you any research I find helpful!

In addition, I look forward to your input and comments..
'til then.. Live Swell!