Author Archives: Shelly Revels

10 Ideas to Inspire Your Creativity

Your muse goes missing. Inspiration seems elusive. Creative blocks are burgeoning. However you describe it, we’ve all experienced those slumps in creativity. And it doesn’t matter what your niche is, a lack of inspiration and ideas can be pretty frustrating  when you’re  trying to write a book, run a business, or enjoy a hobby.

So should you let the slump run its course or should you catch up to it and show it who’s boss? Do you have your running shoes on? Good. Let’s go.

Here are 10 ideas to get you back in the creative spirit:

  1. Spend a day at a museum. Any museum. Other people’s brilliance and ingenuity will remind you how amazing human creativity is. It is a gift within all of us.
  2. Go to an open mic event at a local coffee shop. Buy yourself a treat, relax and enjoy the beauty of others’ thoughts, ideas and delivery.
  3. Take an art or how-to class. Choose one that is outside of your current niche.
  4. Go to a play or musical. It does not matter if it’s a Broadway production or a local community college production. Just marvel at the pro.duct.ion.
  5. Attend a cultural event. Preferably one outside of your own. You will have fun learning the intricacies of a culture.
  6. Watch any movie by Laika Entertainment. The stop-motion animation studio never ever disappoints. Their creativity, attention to detail, resolve is astounding! (Imagine the patience it takes to partake in stop-motion animation.)
  7. Attend a writer’s group meeting. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, writing and sharing ideas with observant and thoughtful people (cause that’s what we are ;-)) gets the wheels turning.
  8. Go to a costume party. They’re not just reserved for Halloween! You can attend Cosplay, a Renaissance fair or Victorian era party, Diner en Blanc, etc. Anything that forces you to play dress up.
  9. Upcycle/repurpose something. Make it a project to find something cheap or free from a yard sale or thrift store. Repaint and repurpose it.
  10. Go to a bar or winery. Take your notebook of bright ideas with you. Lord knows all we need sometimes is a little liquid courage to get past our inner critic. Enjoy!

Which one of these would you choose first? Also, name something you would add to the list!

Let’s follow each other on Instagram!

My Own Happy Hour

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On Wednesday I decided to forget about the basket of clean laundry hiding in my closet for the past four days as well as all the other unattended things in my house. Even though I am a homemaker above everything else I do, am I not allowed to take off days or at least make my own version of happy hour just like every other kind of worker? After my son weans I am investing in a flask for my nature walks. Ha! How’s that for happy hour? (I kid.)

October was a busy month for my Etsy shop. On top of that my husband was out-of-state and I was incredibly busy driving my oldest two kiddos to-and-fro and taking care of the littlest one. I rarely got a moment to sit and breathe and be present in my surroundings. And even though part of me feels invigorated by October’s sales and I literally want to stay up all night to make all the things, I also feel the need to sloooow down—especially since I’m still not sleeping through the night cause my son is still a mega-nurser. I’m deciding to listen to my body when it says ‘take it easy.’

So how could I choose laundry over the sight of these vibrant colors and the musky smell of damp, fallen leaves? I love, love, love trees more than I’ve ever loved a beach, and that’s saying a lot considering I’ve lived in Hawaii. Kinda makes me sad though that I’m such a forest nymph while the rest of my family is a school of fishies. They love the water. Maybe I was an owl in my past life. Or a monkey. (Yeah, owl sounds better.)

Anyway, my backyard is literally a state park so I decided to take a hike with my son. I’ve adopted it as our own little happy hour.

Enjoy the pics!

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What is your own version of happy hour?

November Over Everything

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I love November. Like, a lot. It’s a time to enjoy all the Halloween candy and fall foliage, good food and family, and the calm before the gift-buying, tree-erecting December frenzy.

This year, my anniversary falls on Thanksgiving. We did not plan for this to happen every several years. We did not plan anything, really! We got married at the Justice of the Peace during my husband’s lunch break. Our “lunch break” marriage is what we call it, and that marriage has lasted 12 years so far (16 all together)! So it feels super-special to celebrate our love, longevity and family of 5 on our “Thanksiversary.” Hehe 🙂

Also, the Baltimore Writer’s Conference is always in November. I went last year and loved the little fire it lit under my write-loving butt. Looking forward to attending again next weekend, perhaps with a few of my writer’s group friends.

Today I plan on taking a little hike in my backyard (which is literally a state park) to breathe in all the dank woodsy smells and hear the squirrels and other wildlife—including myself and my son—crunching the dry leaves beneath our feet. I love you, November.

Happy November, y’all!

Which month is your favorite and why?

Love On Your Neck

imageNecks are so sexy. They protect important things like our upper vertebrae, thyroid, jugular vein, larynx, etc.; hold up our head; and protect nerves that carry info from our brain to the rest of our body. Despite how important they are for the normal function of our bodies, can we just appreciate their aesthetic b for a moment?  I mean, how lucky are those damn giraffes with their gargantuan yet slender necks and long, pretty eyelashes?

Necks can be a real pain too. The wrong pillow, bad posture or an unfortunate case of whiplash can cause us inordinate neck suffering. It’s important we appreciate and take good care of them as not to take them for granted.

Why not give our necks some extra lovin’ by adorning them with all the pretty things? With the comeback of chokers a la 1990s, this is the perfect time to do just that!

I mean, that gives us humans one up against those neck-y giraffes. Ha!

What was your favorite 90s fashion trend?

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Ritual Love

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I am a very ritualistic person. I don’t know if it’s my Catholic upbringing that followed me well into adulthood or what, but there are certain things I do that require certain rituals. Thankfully, none of them dictate that I sit through a boring homily or confess my bawdy sins to a flesh and blood man anymore. Nowadays it’s more of a ‘I need tea to do this’ variety.

I’ve discovered something. People like to shop online in the middle of the night. Do you? Is it like a secret society or something? Cause I had no idea people do this! I wake up in the morning and I have two or three sales notifications from Etsy that came through at like 4am EST. It’s like midnight snacking or sleepwalking, isn’t it? Keep up that twilight shopping, folks! I’m not complaining.

So when I get up in the morning, make my older kids’ lunches and see them out the door, I put on my tea and get started with my orders while my toddler continues his sleep. I cannot, cannot do it without my tea. Join the club! You might be saying. We all need our morning caffeine fix! 

…except I use decaf. ::hangs head in shame::

I’m Jesse Spano on caffeine, y’all. Even just a little bit. This summer when my parents visited us from Texas (home), my daughters and I took my mom out to a fancy afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday. I got a little carried away and drank two whole kettles of tea over the course of our tea time, and guess what? I completely forgot to order decaf. When all that caffeine hit me an hour or so later I was THE hottest mess. My heart was beating out of my chest. I was anxious. I thought I was going to die.

So, no. It’s not about the caffeine for me. It’s about the joy of a ritual. It’s about the warmth and the mug of the day, and the memories of all the teas I’ve ever shared with my girls and my mom and friends.

Do you have a ritual associated with blogging or business? And what is your favorite tea or coffee?