Two women trying desperately to navigate this crazy life —creatively—-in our own beautiful ways
Author: A Creative Pair
Two enthusiastic mommas and now grandmas crafting everything in sight! We've done it all! Quilting, beading, lampwork glass, decoupage', drawing, painting, photography, trash to treasure, health and beauty products and teaching! You think it, we'll make it.......or we'll teach YOU how to do it! We are crazy about using essential oils to make our lives easier and healthier. Join our team! Young Living Member #12019038
Paper Pumpkin Club is the first Thursday of each month (6:30-8:30 pm CST) if you care to join in person or virtually. Who can join? Anyone with a past or current Paper Pumpkin subscription and a kit to create!
Don’t have a subscription? I can help!
Get your Subscription here and join us on the FIRST Thursday of each month! Subscribe
Kit contains enough supplies to create 8 cards—4 each of 2 designs—and coordinating envelopes. The kit’s contents include printed card bases, die-cut paper pieces, embellishments, adhesive, and more!
(How on earth does this relate to creativity???? Read on!)
Today, I am on day 2 of reintroduction to onions with 1/4 of an onion. Who knows what torture may be in my near immediate future, but this ‘diet’ has been such a game changer in my life. This isn’t a FAD diet nor is it one to try for ‘losing’ weight purposes. This scientific diet might just be the answer to people who struggle with IBS or IBS-like symptoms. I had zero clue that my symptoms were related to IBS. I have an immune deficiency, not Celiac Disease and no allergies to food so why all the bloating and what I now know as IBS(D). My IGA levels are always near the bottom which somewhat explained that there may be a link to what I thought was a gluten intolerance. So, many blood tests later, my gastroenterologist suggested I use the low-FODMAP diet to see if it helped.
The scientists at Monash University in Australia have discovered this gut connection which you can read about here >>>> https://www.monashfodmap.com/.
He recommended a cookbook and gave me some printed materials and scheduled my follow up appointment for the end of January (3 months later.) I went home, sat at my kitchen table and perused the printouts with the list of no’s: garlic, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, bread, green peppers… the list seemed endless and included so many of my favorite foods. Did I ever mention I AM ITALIAN?! I live and breath garlic, onion, bell peppers, and bread! I’ve already gotten through the bread issue since I thought gluten was the largest culprit but the veggies that I ‘should not’ eat were a total shock to me! The other issue was that this diet does not take out complete food groups so it was/is confusing! I nearly cried! I love a good portabella mushroom anything!
As a runner, I abstained from many glutenous foods because it really helped me feel better during a recovery period and would use carbohydrates as a quick fuel for long runs or races that were longer than 6 miles. For half marathon races, I enjoyed every minute of a pasta dish or a pizza/calzone type meal the night before. During regular running or exercise, I mostly ate a variety of vegetables and meats and would still have a bloating reaction and unknowingly would be hard on myself for not reading ingredient lists well enough or blaming a type of oil or product that had hidden gluten and thought it was to blame. I had a hard time not beating myself up about what passed through my lips in my quest to stay healthy. The ‘diet’ became this ugly four-lettered word instead of this meaningful definition of how I was nourishing myself.
Fast forward a couple of years after repeating bouts of respiratory infection after infection and doctors just wanting to pass it off as allergies and treating me symptomatically, I began to dig deeper. I am not a fan of taking medications if I can avoid it. I tried so many things! I took out gluten for about a year and a half, with lots of good results but not resolving all the issues. I have been through allergy testing multiple times, but the latest doctor I saw listened to ALL my craziness and saw that I was just being repeatedly given steroids and antibiotics and antihistamines. All those ‘allergies’? 4. I am actually only allergic to 4 things; 2 of which are molds, plus cats, and dust mites.
What was discovered in this process of 22 vials of blood tests for allergy determination is that I actually have an immune disorder and not a gazillion allergies. I have Common Variable Immunodeficiency aka CVID. Basically, my immune system doesn’t work properly. Due to my low IGA, which has connections to GI issues, I began testing to rule out various other issues. This is where I landed in the office of a gastroenterologist who looked at my upper digestive tract and reviewed my previous lower digestive tract images. Definitely not celiac but I do have a hiatal hernia and had some damage from ibuprofen type medicines and some gastroenteritis.
Low FODMAP it is. After the initial shock, I found the Monash app and a Spoonful app that helps in determining the level of FODMAPs in a food that is prepackaged or in the ingredients list. After about 2 weeks, my bowel movements had completely changed. I though my movements were the way they were because of all the fiber I consumed through my veggie laden diet. Nope. I still eat a variety of veggies but now I can say I am quite back to normal in the bathroom department.
Which brings us back to the question…”How on earth does this relate to a blog about CREATIVITY?!!!” Well, now that I am not bloated all the time, depriving myself of delicious foods I love, and having hurried and multiple rushes to the restroom, I am able to be more creative and get more done that I choose to get done! It hasn’t been fun completing the trial period, but it has been quite enlightening! I am now in the reintroduction phase to determine just what triggers my system in not-so-nice ways so I can add back in more of the ingredients I love. I know that lactose is a problem for me. Now…I eat lactose free vanilla ice cream with low FODMAP ingredients like walnuts, tiny amounts of dark chocolate and blueberries or raspberries for toppings. I enjoy lactose free milk in my coffee with maple syrup or organic sugar. I love a hot cup of tea without honey because there are other ways to enjoy it that don’t cause discomfort.
So, at my workspace, my tea cup is as full as my heart. Part of creating is the delight in the moment: a hot beverage I enjoy on cold days or nights along with a book in audio form or a good movie or TV series on in the background. It’s the act of cutting apart fabric or paper to put it back together in a new way. It’s the process of making something that brings a smile to the faces of others.
I am grateful for the doctors who listen. I am grateful to the doctors who consult on my situation so I receive the best care. I am grateful to those who have a passion for medical questions and solving complicated things so I can, in turn, enjoy my passion. Never be afraid to seek out a second opinion; especially if you don’t feel heard. And above all, be creative in whatever way makes you feel whole.
You may have heard that Stampin’ Up! will be revealing it’s newest mini- catalog on Tuesday January 5th! Here’s a sneak peak of some projects made with the newest items! I for one am in LOVE with the beautiful color combinations 🙂
Check out these SWEET papers and Ice Cream Cone Builder punch! These papers, stamps and punch will be the feature products in My Equally Creative Birthday Card class February 20, 2021. This class is only $10! You’ll create a sweet box, tag and coordinating card! Sign up now on the Creative Classes and Events page!
These special boxes are going to be available only while supplies last! There are 10 boxes in a set. They come together so easily and are perfect to treat your special Valentine with a little something sweet, cough drops, tea bags and lip balm to get over the winter cold season. This one was covered with an exclusive set of papers available in January to anyone who wants a great discount! Ask me for more details!
Come Shop with me on January 5th and get even more for FREE! SHOP
The Sending Hearts Paper Pumpkin Kit is perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. But, that’s not all you can use this heartfelt, heart-themed kit for! This love-filled kit can be used to celebrate a variety of other occasions, like weddings, bridal showers, and anniversaries. Or, you can use the kit’s cards to simply put a smile on a loved one’s face at any time of year!
There’s so much you can make with January’s kit; you can make even more with January’s add-on! The Little Love Boxes add-on includes printed mini boxes and additional die-cut paper pieces you can combine with the Sending Hearts Paper Pumpkin Kit to create tiny treat packaging, gift tags, and even more cards. Whatever your heart desires, this kit and coordinating add-on have it!
ABOUT THE JANUARY KIT
Name Sending Hearts
Kit contains enough supplies to create eight cards—four each of two designs—and coordinating envelopes.
If you’re like most around the globe, you are ready to tear down that 2020 calendar and replace it. Like, yesterday, right?! That 2021 calendar has some big shoes to fill bearing all the weight of clearing out the COVID blues and all. Join me in creating this cute desktop tear away calendar! We’ll make a cute card to match! I’ll demo these on Wednesday, December 30, 2019. Check out An Equally Creative Living on Facebook for a live demo @ 7 pm CST.
You can get all the materials shipped to you free with a $25 purchase! Of course you get to shop from our annual catalog, our seasonal catalog and with every $50 spent- you also get free items from our Sale-a-bration catalog! So much FREE in January!
If you’re still buying clearance items or Fall Seasonal catalog items while they last, use the December Host Code 3PDCTGFY.
If you want to earn free product from our Sale-a-bration event, wait until January 4th to place your order and use January Host Code KTXVRN6X
Either way, I look forward to sharing this pretty desktop calendar using our newest Fine Art Floral Suite of products. (Get the materials for this project free see ☝️)
Time is running out to order your November Paper Pumpkin Kit!
Bake up a batch of cute Christmas crafts with the Jolly Gingerbread Paper Pumpkin Kit! November’s sweet, gingerbread-themed kit includes enough sugary supplies to make gift card carriers, tasty-looking tags, and more. Don’t miss it—this fun and festive kit is a holiday must-have!
Want to craft with a few others? We will be making these gift card holders and tags on December 3, 2020 from 6:30-8:30pm.
Want to do this on your own time? Prefer no risk? You’re in luck! These kits come with everything you need to put them together!
I was given the honor of creating some wedding cards recently. With all that is going on, love still prevails. check out a couple of the cards I put together then let me know what you think!
These cards were a dream to make and came together fairly easy. Want the products used here? I can help you place an order. Want to order custom cards? Send me an email and I’ll get it done! Want to learn how to do this? I’d love to teach you how to make beautiful cards! Drop a line or send me a message and we’ll set something up!
You read that right! I’ve been getting ready for Christmas! I bought an amazing wreath and a cute table topper from a talented friend. I’ve got these out in my studio to keep me feeling the spirit even though it’s still it a bit sweltering outside 🥵
So what does this mean for you? It means you can get into the holiday spirit with me early!!!! But don’t fret, there’s plenty of time to craft some beautiful cards. Never stamped before? No problem! I’ll do the hard work, prep it all, and make this an easy process! You have fun and your friends and family will love receiving a special piece of mail for the holidays. ❤️🎄
There is limited in person seating in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Cost: $50 per person
You’ll have all the supplies and instructions to make 20 Christmas/Holiday cards, one set of gift boxes, and a creative packaging for small gifts.
In addition to your precut card supplies, you’ll be receiving the following to use during the class and beyond! ( a $40 value in products)
🎁One full sized pack of holiday designer series paper
🎁1/2 pack of 6 x 6 designer series paper
🎁One full bolt of ribbon
🎁One pack of embellishments
🎁One Multipurpose Liquid Glue
🥗🥪 We’ll enjoy an easy lunch, light snacks, holiday treats and yummy beverages! Linne will make her most delicious and beautifully decorated holiday cookies. Yummy 😋 You don’t want to miss this!
Over here at Equally Creative, we find ourselves often contemplating and wondering if what we do makes a difference. We know so many people who are just stuck in the rat race, even now, as the COVID pandemic continues in full force.
So what do we do to make sense of the world? What can we do to make a difference? We’ve donated masks, donated food and funds as we could afford. But what if we could do more?
Social media, whether you love it or hate it, has good and bad effects on your health and well being. As I too am addicted to seeing friends and family post pics and updates of their lives, all too often I see hate spewing about. Much of the time my mental health is in check and I scroll on by. Occasionally though, I have decided to snooze or unfollow. These people have their own battles that I cannot judge. If we are friends on Facebook, I found some value in you as a human and I will continue to value your worth.
As I contemplate my own posts and actions, I repeatedly return to thoughts of authenticity. If you’ve ever read The Four Agreements, you’ll know being authentic is one of the agreements you should make with yourself. Are your actions congruent with your true beliefs? It is so easy to get caught in the social media frenzies and share pictures, memes, and posts. We use humor to deflect the seriousness of the situation or political content to show distaste or support.
One half of the “Equally Creative” team is a school teacher. (Me, it’s Nicole here). I try hard to be politically correct and as ‘safe’ as possible in my postings. I’m sure there’s some stuff somewhere that could be misconstrued as not so socially acceptable. My point here is that I have for so long taken my public persona so seriously because at my core, I am and always will be, a teacher. My authenticity is always being checked. I frequently ask myself if this post is in line with what I believe? Is it how I want others to judge me? Does this comment or statement represent who I am? As a teacher and leader, do I want my coworkers to think this is what drives me?
As a result of my questioning, “Can I do more to make a difference?” I am reminded that treating others with respect and throwing kindness like confetti is my authentic self. What if more people were kinder to one another? What if you offered a kind hello or a good morning smile on your way into work or school? Can I do more? Absolutely, I can teach my kids how to love unconditionally and forgive mercilessly.
So, I’ll leave you today with the question, “What can you do more of to see change in the world?”
Drop a comment below and tell us how you are making your piece of the world a better place.
Cyber Hugs from The Equally Creative Living team ❤️