Monthly Archives: October 2011

Wishing you a sweet Halloween!

Ben is a "karate guy"

Nico, at one of the many block parties we attended this weekend

Sponsor Spotlight: Kelly Rae Roberts and Miss Stephanie’s Potions

 A huge, warm welcome to my sponsors- and so impressed with all these creative and talented folks! If you’d like to be a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights) we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Dani at: [email protected] to get all the details.

*Holiday sponsor spots will go quickly, so feel free to reserve now!


The online shop is all stocked up and ready for your holiday orders. This year, the 2012 calendar is better than ever! Each page features new elegant linen embossed paper stock with 12 full color images! I’ve personally signed each calendar so they really make a special gift! These won’t last long so come on over and get one now!
Kelly Rae Roberts: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter.


If your child’s bedtime routine has become a challenge because of monsters, Miss Stephanie’s Potions has the cure for you! Our sprays repel all kinds of monsters (or turn them into friends if you happen to spray one directly), our Monster Armor bath products cover you in Monster Armor for all-night protection, and our Essence of Fairy Dust sprays and bath products attract fairies who bring sweet dreams.

I developed my products in response to my own child’s fear of zombies. When I gave him the first prototype to test out, he happily grabbed the bottle, sprayed it all over his room, and actually went to sleep with no complaints for the first time in weeks. I soon realized that I could help other children and parents.

My products are all-natural, deliciously scented, and manufactured by a certified green manufacturer. Visit us at and enter coupon code GET20 for a 20% discount! You’ll not only be buying local, but you’ll be helping your child to naturally conquer his or her fears of the dark!

Cracking the code on procrastination*

beaded curtain, shot with iphone

I am not a procrastinator by nature. Especially since motherhood kicked in, I do most everything at lightning speed, knowing that I have maximum 45 minutes to do pretty much anything on my list.

What I have noticed though is that there are certain things I see on my list that fill me with dread. There are certain tasks that I overlook, that I have a certain blindness to, or that I flat out ignore. (ie. bookkeeping, bill paying, writing that freaking bio and backing up the damn computer)

My aha moment

But I realized something HUGE this week. If I am procrastinating on a task, it probably means one or more of the following:

1. I am afraid of something
2. I don’t know my next step
3. I have shame surrounding the task
4. The task is outside of my skill set
5. I need some support

Let’s take bookkeeping for instance. Even though I’m not afraid of numbers and love math, I am afraid of my numbers. Of the bad news they might bring. Of the irresponsibility they might reveal. I am afraid of what those numbers might mean about me.

I also don’t know the next step to take to unravel the puzzle. Do I buy Quickbooks? How long would it take me to learn? Do I have all my receipts? Sure, I always pay my taxes but it’s a total nightmare at the end of the each year. It takes weeks of hair pulling.

And this brings me to number three: Shame.
I have so much shame around this bookkeeping thing. The voices in my head are loud: If you were a real business person you would know this stuff. How could you be so irresponsible?

Number four and five. I finally realized that bookkeeping is outside of my skill set and I got some support. I hired a bookkeeper this year! Best. move. ever. Sure, I still have some shame about the mess I’ve made of my books, but she is patient with me and we are organizing it together. Together is so much better than alone! Especially where shame is present.

Does this resonate for you? Can you think of something you have been procrastinating on?


What are you afraid of?
Do you know your next step?
Do you get that tightening in your belly that shame brings?
Is it time to get some support?

Let me know if this helps… and let’s bust through something together this week.

Savoring the goodness*

Ben eating ice cream at our friend's 40th birthday party over the weekend. And yes the house has probably been in Architectural digest

This is one of those times in my life when I’m trying to savor as much as I possibly can. You know when you’re actually afraid to go to parties because people will say something innocuous like, “How are you?” and you’ll have to fake a smile through your gritted teeth and say, Good, good… when you actually want to say, “Things are going to hell in a handbasket. How about you?”

After an intense year of things falling apart in a variety of ways, things are miraculously coming together.

I feel happy.
I feel hopeful.
I’m excited about my life.
Healing is happening.
I’m being brave.
I’m learning some really good lessons.
Some big dreams are coming true.

During these times of pause, between the big and small stresses and catastrophes, I am noticing how important it is to savor. Not to wait for the other shoe to drop, but to appreciate all that it is to be in a place of joy.

Sponsorship Spotlights: Creative Courage, Jennifer W. McCullough and Lindy Gruger Hanson

 A huge, warm welcome to my sponsors- and so impressed with all these creative and talented folks! If you’d like to be a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights) we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Dani at: [email protected] to get all the details.

*Holiday sponsor spots will go quickly, so feel free to reserve now!


How would you like to start 2012 with a festival of color, creativity, light, and joy?

I’d like to invite you to join Creative Courage, an international e-course about finding, following, and realizing your creative dreams. In week 4, we will journey together for a virtual tour of Barcelona, Spain and immerse ourselves in beauty, art, architecture, and culture via our private website.

I’m Stephanie Levy, an American illustrator living in Europe, and the next session of Creative Courage will run from January 9th – February 24th, 2012.

Creative Courage includes my personal story of becoming an expat and working abroad, and we will enjoy 12 guest interviews with thriving artists, photographers, writers, and coaches from around the world.

Our guests this session include Andrea Scher from Superhero Design, Kelly Lynn Jones of Little Paper Planes, artists Mati Rose McDonough and Jill Bliss, Amy Ng of Pikaland, Heather Smith Jones of Blue Sparrow Press, creative coach Michelle Ward, plus many more.

As a special bonus in Week 4, we will travel on a virtual field trip to Barcelona, Spain to enjoy European art, architecture, culture, and design. I’ll even send you a personal postcard featuring my collage artwork directly from Barcelona!

Creative Courage will refresh and energize your mind, body, and soul. You’ll get 7 weeks of fun, color, inspiration, tools, and resources to revitalize your creative life.

The next session of Creative Courage will begin January 9th, 2012. Spaces are limited and the last session sold out, so please register quickly to reserve your spot. I hope you’ll join us for this unique creative adventure!


p.s. – If you would like to purchase Creative Courage as a holiday present, I will be happy to send you a downloadable, colorful gift certificate. What a wonderful way to start 2012!


“Neverlose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein

 Spiritual Life Coaching
Are you someone who believes there’s more to life than theobvious and more to who you are? Do you wonder how to integrate your spiritual journey with your human journey? Would you like to live from your heart more than your head and your soul more than your ego? Visit Jennifer W. McCullough to learnmore about coaching services or to schedule a free consultation!

Jennifer is a firm believer in the power of storytelling. Your Stories: Guidance & Support for DeepWriting is a one-on-one, unique to you course that centers on taking time and having support for deep writing – for writing that goes beneath the surface story. It’s about getting to that place where the voice of your soul gets a bit louder and the voice of fear and ego softens. Support is also available for specific writing projects. Your stories are waiting for you. Are you ready to write?


Hi, my name is Lindy Gruger Hanson and I spend most of my time in my art studio creating colorful, whimsical paintings! I love vivid color and it is always one of the most important elements in my work; this is followed by the liberal use of flowing, swirling line-work and textural pattern and shapes, giving each painting its own unique energy and movement. I hope my art can lift your spirit! I have colorful prints for sale in my Etsy Shop  and original paintings can be found on my website . And for all Superhero Journal followers, use coupon code Superhero2011 to receive 10% off any purchase in my Etsy Shop.  Come say “hi” at my blog too.

this has everything to do with us

striped plant, shot with Canon Xsi

The last thing I remember doing with my whole heart might have been weeding in the garden last weekend. This is the garden we have ignored for the last two years, the garden we are ashamed our neighbors have to see from their living room window.

We weeded the shit out of that garden.

We dug deep, into the roots that had created an entire universe of capillaries, that threaded their way under the cement. We found the earthworms and the rolly pollys, we discovered how deep the bamboo can go and that their roots are called rhizomes and they are near impossible to kill. We found fresh dark earth that we turned and cleared of old rusty screws and pieces of plastic, coins and seashells. We pulled and pulled until our backs hurt and the green bin was completely full.

We picked out a collection of native plants and succulents at the nursery down the street, plants that don’t need much tending but ones that caught our eye. Being new at this, were so happy when the cashier complimented us on the array of plants we chose.

And I see the parallel here.
The way that Matt and I are doing this together.
This digging, this clearing, this tending, this deciding what to plant anew, has everything to do with us.

That doing this with our whole hearts, that putting our attention on this thing we have been ignoring for so long, is as powerful as a therapy session, or a hot date or an epiphany.

That our toiling amounted to so much more than we can imagine.

colors I collected this week*

all the colrs in the rainbow, cafe tables and chairs at Flora Grubb in SF

white cranes in the alameda shipyard against the blue sky, shot from the ferry to SF

magenta bouganvilla petals, it almost looks like a tree

my friend Melita who has the best kids band called Octopretzel

Have you ever said yes to that little whisper in your heart?

Ben and I painted raised planters at an urban farm, shot with Canon Xsi

Ben painting, shot with Canon Xsi

Ben and I went to a Sukkot celebration at an urban farm syesterday. There were chickens and goats, a whole acre of vegetable beds growing delicious things, fresh baked cookies from a cob oven, face painting and awesome music. What got Ben most excited though was when he saw that kids were painting the sides of the vegetable beds. He sprinted over to the paints, found a brush and went to work, all within ten seconds.

It has taken me years to get a brush back in my own hand. It was my first love and I imagine myself as an old woman, still painting my heart out. It’s the medium that gets me deeper than anything else, that gives me more joy than any other possible thing. Something about brushing those rich colors around, putting pinks next to oranges next to the brightest blues and lime greens. It makes me want to squeeze the tubes of paint directly into my mouth and devour them. (It is at these moments I completely understand how Nico would want to do the same)

Once, many years ago, I took Bari Tessler’s Conscious Bookkeeping class. She led us through a visualization where you imagined what you would be doing for work, how you’d want to be spending your time (and with whom) if you knew you had 10 years to live, or five, or one. Then we imagined knowing it was our last day. (This exercise is totally intense, right?) Anyway, what I remember so clearly from that exercise is that even though I hadn’t done it in years, painting is what came to mind in every scenario.

So you’d think I’d rush out and hop to it, right? buy some canvases and begin. But no. I am human. I am like you, perhaps? Which means I still haven’t done it, all these years later. I go for what’s practical, what’s my habit, because (as far as I know) I’m not dying this year and I figure I’ll have plenty of time to do what I love.

So yesterday, when Ben darted over to the painting area, the first thing he did before beginning was spin around and smear a ginormous streak of royal blue paint across my dress. This is my favorite dress, one that I have blogged about, the dress I have been wearing almost daily. And then I surprised myself. Instead of getting mad, I took it as an invitation to get messy, to grab a brush and go for it. The planter that Ben and I painted is pictured above. It’s no Picasso, but man, it felt amazing. I felt free, I felt happy, I felt more me than I have in a long while.

How about you?

Is there something you love to do that you haven’t done in ages? Do you feel like a million bucks after yoga but never get to class? Does dancing make you feel totally alive but you always have an excuse about why you can’t go? Have you decided that you just don’t have the money to travel? Case closed?

For someone like myself who teaches a course in dreaming big, you’d think I’d have this stuff nailed. The sky’s the limit! You can have anything you want! Just write it down and you’re half way there!

But we teach what we most need to learn.

There is a painting retreat that I am longing to go to. There are about a hundred reasons I am telling myself it isn’t practical and yet some part of my heart is bursting at the thought. Some piece of me is whispering, This is going to change your life! This yes is a doorway. This is the life you dream of having, one in which you say yes to things exactly like this…”

Have you ever said yes to that little whisper in your heart? What gifts did it bring you? What did it open up in your life? (Please tell me your story in the comments below!)

Sponsor Spotlights: Soul*Full eCourse, Shiny Object School and Get Your Paint On

 A huge, warm welcome to my sponsors- and so impressed with all these creative and talented folks! If you’d like to be a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights) we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Dani at: [email protected] to get all the details.

*Holiday sponsor spots will go quickly, so feel free to reserve now!


Soul*Full eCourse

Are you looking to:
Expand your awareness?
Let go of limiting beliefs?
Create more meaningful photographs?
Embrace and live from your highest potential?
Transform your life?

If so, join photographer Catherine Just in this Soul*FulleCourse designed just for women. Therewill be inspiring video and audio interviews with Catherine’s favorite life leaders: Miguel RuizDouglas BeasleyAndrea ScherBeth NichollsSheri RosenthalMee TraceyAline Smithson and Susannah Conway. We will dive into photography to help you re-learn how to “see” and writing exercises to move more toward gratitude. There will be opportunities to expand your spiritual experience through fun rituals that can help you learn to let go and trust. Mix all that with some healthy recipes, pampering, rest and rejuvenation and you’ve got the ingredients for a more Soul*Filled Life! Join us!

The October session is sold out
Don’t miss your chance this New Year starting January 16th.

Register Now!


Do you have great ideas but lose focus when your excitement fades? Do you wander from the fridge to Facebook to your to-do list without getting much done? Do you ever feel like a flake? Shiny Object School can help you with this.

My approach is one part delving deep, one part fairy dust and one part inspired action. I will not bootcamp you into focused submission. Instead, I’ll show you a practical method to get anything done on your own terms. It really works.

Working with me is better than Valium.

I am a non-linear/ADHD-to-the-max life coach who gets things done. Even if you love shiny objects, it is completely possible to get your projects born + into the world AND you can have fun doing it! True story.

Shiny Object [project] School, group love starts October 20. Click here.
Shiny Object [project] School, just you + me starts now. Click here.

Superhero special: Sign up for group love & get a FREE one-on-one project assessment with me. ($99 value)


Get Your Paint On: Beyond the Basics

with Lisa Congdon and Mati McDonough

October 24 – November 27, 2011

Add to Cart


Artists, illustrators, authors + close friends Lisa Congdon and Mati McDonough have once  again joined together to bring you Get Your Paint On: Beyond the Basics, a follow up course to Get Your Paint On (GYPO)GYPO: Beyond the Basics is designed for people who are interested in taking their painting practice to the next level. The original GYPO class (which was offered in both Winter and Summer 2011) is not a pre-requisite for GYPO: Beyond the BasicsBeyond the Basics is designed for all levels, including beginners. GYPO: Beyond the Basics features more instruction of technical painting skills like layering and creating dimension in your work. Lisa and Mati will share with you how they each approach painting through video demos, written reading on important topics, visual inspiration and support & guidance to participants.


Just a little Nico laughter to start off your day.