Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Your mind is the enemy of your creativity." I went to a professional training seminar yesterday and this has really stayed with me. The facilitator used me as an example because I raised my hand when she asked who thought they were creative. Here's the thing, I don't think it, I know it. It's such a part of who I am I put it on my license plate. The facilitator went on to say that while creativity comes from the heart, logic comes from the mind and therefore there will always be conflict between the two. This resonated with me. When I am in my creative element, time doesn't matter. Then my mind will notice the time and the conversation goes like this:

Mind: Heifer, it's 3AM!!! You have to go to work in a few hours!!!
Heart: Aww, come on. It's almost finished.
Mind: Who cares! Go to bed.

Too often I let my mind win and my heart is saddened because it knows it may be awhile before I make the time to finish what I started. I say all of this to ask are you listening to your heart when she wants to create? Whether you scrapbook, sew, crochet, paint, write...have you made the time to create a physical representation of your God-given gift lately? I don't know about you, but I will be listening more often. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creative Spark - My Craft Room

I have a thing for purple and butterflies.  Imagine my delight when my mother (God bless her) told me she would be okay sleeping on a futon so that I could reclaim the guestroom and turn it into my creative space. It's far from finished (my creative brain still wants to improve my creative space!).  I love the fact that I can go in the room, shut the door and create to my hearts' content or at least until one of my daughters call for me.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Creative Spark - Upholstered Banker's Box

The saying is "necessity is the mother of invention".  I say, "I'm bored...let me make something".  This time around, I really did need something to put family picture albums in.  I got sick of looking at them on the dining room chair.  In the process of cleaning my dining room, I came across a banker's box that I used to transport items to my 40th birthday party.  I had a lightbulb moment...I have fabric and batting to cover this.  I used upholstery fabric leftover from when I recovered my kitchen chairs, batting left over from quilt that I haven't finished, scissors, stapler and a glue gun.

Here's the box covered with batting:

Box partially covered with fabric.  I got stuck on trying to figure out the pleating...

Finally figured out the pleating:

Here's the inside of the box.  The obsessive compulsive in me will probably finish it out at some point, but I just wanted to get this puppy done.

Can't forget the lid.  How lucky was I to have a perfectly matched solid in almost the same type of fabric?  It wasn't was leftover fabric from covering my kitchen chairs for the 4th time.

Here's the finish product.  I am so happy how nice it turned out!  My girlfriends have all requested a box to match different rooms in their house.  I'm thinking about making some more to match my craft room.

Now, if I didn't tell you, would you think this was a banker's box wrapped in upholstery fabric?  If I was looking for fabric to match my living room furniture, I would still be searching for it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Making myself a priority

When I started my weight loss journey, I was so focused.  Tracking everything I ate, making sure I drank enough water and exercising.  Fast forward 11 weeks and I have only lost a total of 3.8 lbs.  I have a great week, a horrible week followed by a worst week.  I get refocused, re-energized, follow the program and drop weight without a lot of effort.  I've come to the realization that I'm an emotional eater and I do not put myself first.  I resolve to do the following this coming week:

  • Track my food and be honest about my points.  That coffee that I drink in the morning is probably closer to 5 points than it is 3.
  • Drink more water.  Lots more water.
  • Eat more fruit.  They are 0 points.  Seriously, I can get full and still have points leftover for a snack.  That's truly a no-brainer.
  • Exercise and give my Fitbit what it wants....10,000 steps, 10 flights of stairs, 1000 activity points and 5 miles a day.  However I can get the stats, I'm getting them.  Wii Just Dance, walk during lunch or hit the treadmill.  Come hell or high water, I'm going to give it what it wants.
I can prepare for the week ahead, but won't pack my breakfast and lunch.  Seriously?  This week, I will make myself a priority.

I think I'm going to start posting my weight next week...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Do you know who you are?

I was on Pinterest looking at all things purple and came across this graphic.  As I started to read the words, they resonated with me.  At any given moment, I could be described by all of words listed below.  Depending on what hat I'm wearing (mom, wife, administrative professional, friend, president of a chapter, etc.) I run through all of the description s in a span of 24 hours.  I'm learning to be a little bit more patient with myself and giving myself some slack.  I'm not perfect and I've stop trying to be.  Amazing how I give so many other people space for imperfection and growth while denying myself the same luxury.  

Pinned Image

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Best Quote Ever About Creativity

This is, by far, the best quote I've ever read about creativity.  I hope it inspires you to embrace the creativity that inside of you.  

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. You might say, I am not the creative type. If that is how you feel, think again. Creation is your opportunity in this life….. Start small. Creativity does not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you. You will make the World a better place. Improve, beautify, extend, smile, cultivate, develop, create." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Here are some more great quotes:
And I found that when I built my own place and just shut the door, the creativity was endless.
Billy Sherwood

Anxiety is part of creativity, the need to get something out, the need to be rid of something or to get in touch with something within.
David Duchovny

But out of limitations comes creativity.
Debbie Allen

Can anybody be given a great degree of creativity? No. They can be given the equipment to develop it-if they have it in them in the first place.
George Shearing

Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.
Dee Hock

Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.
Edward de Bono

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My 40th Birthday Party

Let me start by saying that I've wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday in a BIG way since I was 35.  I've talked about it, dreamed about it and couldn't wait to start planning it.  It almost didn't happen because I allowed someone's thoughts about extravagant parties change my view.  I'm so glad that I listened to my heart instead of someone else.  Memories from my party will be with me for the rest of my life and no one can take that away from me.  Lesson learned: Always celebrate your major milestones, even if you are the only person excited about it.  You will find that there are more people than you think that are just as excited about it as you are and they will help you celebrate.

I created the save the date cards, invitations, rsvp cards, thank you cards, program/menu, bar menu, guestbook page sign, the card box, design of the centerpieces and the overall layout and color scheme of the room.  I hired myself to give myself a party :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Low Tech Weight Loss Buddy...

Last week's weigh in was a happy one...2 more pounds gone.  Combined with getting compliments from co-workers saying that they can see that I'm losing weight, last week was awesome. This week strategy was letting go of stress any way possible.  What worked for me was doing a to-do list every day.  I had lists going for work, home and as President of the Prince George's Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  Simultaneously, there were multiple balls in the air and I had no one to delegate to.  It was beginning to stress me out and I couldn't focus on where to get started.  One night I wrote down each area of responsibility on separate pages in my notebook and every night I would write down what needed to be done.  Not that I expected to get everything done the very next day but it released my mind from the pressure of how much had to get done.  You know what happened? I slept like a rock every single night which meant I woke up energized which meant I didn't crave sugary, carb-filled foods during the day.  No emotional eating, no eating to keep me awake.  The wonderful, incredible to do list was my weight loss buddy this week.  So low-tech but oh so very effective.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Not A Fluke...

After being very disappointed by my weight gain during my birthday and the holiday, I stepped on the scale today at Weight Watchers and was very happy.  I lost what I gained and even though I'm basically broke even, I know what I did right in order to lose weight this week.

One of the things I did right, at the urging of a very good girlfriend, was purchase a FitBit (  This little gizmo is about the size of a bluetooth earpiece and fits comfortably on the strap of my bra (and it stays there all day until I go to bed).

It tracks how many steps I've taken in a day and converts it to miles.  It also tracks how many flights of stairs I've climbed and what my activity level was throughout the day.  I've found myself checking the number of steps I've taken during the day and doing whatever it takes to get to the magic number of 10,000 steps.  It even tells you, based on your height and weight, how many calories you burn a day before you eat a thing.  This is an awesome device that helps you realize how much you are moving and how active you are.  You may not think that you are being very active by running around and playing with your kids, but if you check your activity levels throughout the day, you can jump from lightly active to very active while dancing around to the opening song to Yo Gabba Gabba.

If you thought all of that was cool, place it in a wristband and it also tracks how you sleep.  Yeah, you read you sleep.  Did you know that how you sleep has a direct effect on your weight loss?  I found that out a month or two ago and makes perfect sense to me.  FitBit tracks what time you go to bed, how long it takes you to go to sleep and how many times you were awakened during the night.  What a HUGE revelation!  The nights that I fall asleep in 5 minutes and awakened once or twice resulted in mornings that I bounced out of bed, bright eyed and bushy-tailed. 

Okay, enough of me sounding like a commercial, I just get passionate about things that I love and I love FitBit.  You don't have to take just my word for it, check out the reviews on the FitBit website.

Always Ayanna

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm No Jennifer Hudson...

But I'm singing it's a new day and I'm feeling good.....

Okay, before I get into that, let me first say that this blog as been neglected (kind of like how I've neglected myself) and its content is all over the place (kind of like how I say yes when I should be saying "no").  I love putting together beautiful personal parties in intimate settings, I love realizing that losing weight for a "special event" is for the birds (I need to do it for my health) and I love doing projects around my home and being crafty.  When I thought about what I loved, it became very clear about what I needed to write about: parties, weight loss, home projects and crafts.  Sounds like a lot?  It is, but it's who I am and it's what makes me happy.  If you aren't doing something that you love, what is the point?

Ok, back to the reason for the post...I joined Weight Watchers about 8 weeks ago and so far I've lost 5.8 pounds.  Doesn't seem like a lot over the course of 6 weeks but for me its a huge achievement because I'm losing weight and not gaining :-) Slow and steady wins the race (or at least that's how the saying goes).  This isn't my first time enrolling in Weight Watchers.  As a matter of fact, this is my 5th time.  You might be asking, "Why did you enroll for the 5th time??" The answer is simple, the program works but I wasn't putting the work in to see results.  Your next question is probably, "Well, what's so different now?"  That's a real easy answer...ME.  My goals are realistic and I'm running my own race.  I'm not comparing my journey with anyone else's journey.

Here I am at my 40th Birthday Celebration on 12/10/11 (5.8 pounds lost).  I'm a visual person, so seeing progression is important to me.  Hope you don't me mind me chronicling this journey.