When I was younger I had a pink diary with a key. I could lock the pages so I felt safe writing my secret thoughts and feelings. No one else could see what I wrote.

Today, we don’t have diaries; we have journals. By definition, journaling is keeping a record of daily experiences, thoughts, and activities. People no longer need a locking diary to journal because they openly share their lives on social media. The need for a key to lock up our thoughts isn’t necessary when we post online for the world to read, but this isn’t appealing to everyone.

Some of us like the idea of pen and paper.

There are all kinds of journals. Some are just blank for you to designate as you wish or just write your daily thoughts. Other journals have a theme or specific purpose like a gratitude journal. There are also nature journals, art journals, or dream journals.

Journaling is a healthy habit that helps to clear our minds and record our thoughts. The process of putting our feelings into words is amazingly therapeutic. It is one way to document our lives and, in some ways, gives our lives meaning and value.

The best way to make this a daily habit is to set aside a block of quiet time to dedicate to your journal. Ten minutes is all you need, but sometimes you may start writing and want to spend longer with your journal.

So, pick up a journal, your favorite pen, and empty your mind on to the paper. It doesn’t matter how you journal, when you journal, what you journal, etc. All that matters is that you give it a try!

Featured photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash.

Handmade Gifts

Handmade Gifts

Receiving a gift can really touch my heart. Not only is the gift special, but it is also that this person took the time to think of me. And if the gift is handmade, well I will probably treasure it forever. For me, the best gifts to receive are those that are handmade. When we make something with our hands, it is filled with our heart and soul. Nothing compares to a gift like this.

As part of your gift giving this holiday season, consider what you could make instead of buying a gift from a store. What are you good at doing? Do you cook? Maybe you could bake cookies, breads, or fill a jar with goodies. Do you paint? You could paint a small picture and frame it. Think about your hobbies and skills. What can you offer to someone else? Check out Pinterest or do Google searches for ideas. Even if you are not crafty, there are so many simple gifts you can make. (Better yet, learn a new craft!)

There are so many benefits for making your gifts. First, a handmade gift usually doesn’t cost very much or at least it usually costs less than a store-bought version. Handmade gifts are one-of-a-kind. They are special and unique. That’s why they are treasured by the recipient. Finally, handmade gifts show how much you care about a person. Time is a valuable resource and a gift like this requires you to spend time making it.

This year, I made something special for my daughter-in-laws and daughter this year, but I cannot tell you in case they are reading my blog. It costs less than anything else I purchased for them, yet I am most excited about giving this gift! I did pour my heart into this gift and I hope they will love it! Honestly, I am not sure who benefits more from making a handmade gift because it is so much fun to put it together. While I am working on it, I am thinking of them.

Next year, I would like to have handmade gifts for everyone! I cannot think of a better way to show how much I love the people who receive these gifts.

I would love to hear about your handmade gifts. What did you make? How was it received?

Featured photo by Kristina Balić on Unsplash.

Thank You Cards

Thank You Cards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This is a holiday that encourages us to be grateful for what we have. (The actual history of the holiday is a little controversial. I will let you read about that on your own.)

What I do like about this day is taking the time to realize all that we have. More importantly, it is a fantastic time to be thankful for all the people in our lives. Our lives are enriched when we share our time with the people we care so much about.

Sending a “thank you” card seems to be an etiquette that is disappearing as technology is becoming more present. It is easier to send a text than an email, and an email is easier that writing a handwritten note.

Technology is supposed to make our lives more efficient with our time, but not meant to replace the few personal touches we have left.

This Thanksgiving, send a thank you card to all those people you care about and tell them why they mean so much to you! Your holiday will be more meaningful when you focus on others.

Featured photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash.



No one has ever said, “I can’t color.” Everyone can color – just pick up a crayon and fill in the shape. The same is true for painting and yet so few people, allow themselves the pleasure of painting.

All you need is a mixed media sketch book and some little bottles of acrylic paint. Use the cheap stuff to get started, because you are just playing. Get a pack of assorted brushes and you are ready.

Let yourself have fun and experiment. It doesn’t matter if it becomes a masterpiece. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You can throw it away in the end. If you must, make a simple sketch and fill in the shapes with colored paint. Just do it! It will make you happy!

I don’t know why, but every time I paint, I smile!

Featured photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash.

Find Your Creative Spark

Find Your Creative Spark

I was on vacation, the same one described on my About Cledo page, when I learned how important art was to me. We were in Georgia, walking around the city when we found a craft booth that you could paint your own piece of pottery. You came back the next day to pick it up. I loved the lady running the booth. I couldn’t decide which color to paint my piece and she said we could choose but it was really up to the kiln gods how our piece would turn out. Funny thing happened. My piece came out green when I thought I had painted it blue! But I loved it!!

Painting that pottery was the highlight of the trip and I realized that it had been a very long time that I had done something creative. I felt rejuvenated and alive!

In an article entitled, Creativity Can Reduce Stress — And Become A Habit, author Owen Poindexter wrote, “It’s common wisdom that relaxed people have an easier time being creative than their stressed out counterparts, but research suggests that the reverse is also true: creative activity is an effective strategy against stress. The focus, emotional expression and perspective that come through creative acts disrupt mental patterns of stress and anguish, and help people lead more fulfilling lives.”

It is good for your health to spend time creatively. It will reduce your stress and help you relax. So find your creative spark!

There are many ways to be creative. What excites you? Is it music, drawing, dancing? Visit an art museum or an art store. Get inspired and then try something that looks fun. Explore and discover and play!

Featured photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash.