Musings

How to write a heartfelt Valentine

It's that time of year and if you're anything like my husband, you'll find it difficult to write a Valentine for your sweetheart. He always tells me how much pressure he feels when he's writing any card but especially Valentine cards. Truthfully, it's probably because I love stationery and everything from picking out a card to writing in it just makes him nervous. Will I like it? Is it a good enough card?

Still, every year he worries and every year he writes the most heartfelt messages in those wonderful cards he so lovingly picks out.

The key to writing a good Valentine, is to write from your heart.

Sounds pretty simple right? It's absolutely true. But how DO you write from the heart? It's not always easy to do, but it can be done and here are my 3 tips for writing a heartfelt Valentine:

1. Make sure you have of plenty of time.

One of the biggest problems with writing out a card is that most of us usually rush it. You're wrapping a gift in a hurry, you quickly grab a card and then of course, you can't figure out what to say. You're rushed, you're stressed and you need to get it done. That's a perfect recipe for drawing a blank. Instead, set some time aside for this very special task. Try sitting down with a cup of tea and a little bit of patience. Grab that beautiful card you spent weeks picking out and, of course, your favorite pen and start thinking about your loved one.

What comes to mind when you think of him?

What feelings does she evoke when you're sitting there contemplating how lucky you are to have her? When you start to think about your loved one, all your memories, the things you've been through together, the plans you have for the future, you'll be overcome with lots of beautiful things to put into your message.

2. Write a quick draft.

I don't know about you, but I rarely know exactly how I want to say something even when I know what I want to say. That's where jotting your thoughts down really helps. On the rare occasion that the words flow, I might write directly on the card, but often, I write down a few of the things I want to say on a separate sheet of paper and piece them together. It doesn't ever take more than simply writing these thoughts out and then stringing them together in my head. Then, once I sit down to write the card, I know exactly what I want to write and I'm not anxious about it.

3. Allow yourself to feel what you're writing.

Once you've conjured up all the emotions and memories that will help you with that draft, allow yourself to feel them. Remember that time you ditched class with your sweetheart and spent the day together. Allow yourself to feel that excitement you felt when you got the keys to your first home. Think about the wonder you both felt when you held your firstborn in your arms.

It is when you think about these moments that your words become heartfelt and genuine, because you're reliving those beautiful memories and reminding, not only your sweetheart but yourself how much you really love each other.

Don't just do this for a partner either, it's just as effective with a good friend and specially your children. The key is to really think about this amazing person that you're taking the time to send your love to. Think about all the wonderful ways this person enriches your life. Let your relationship with them fill your mind and heart and it will most certainly come out on paper. 

So those are some of the things I do when I write out the few Valentines I send out each year. Do you do something special to get you in the mood for writing out a Valentine? Let us know in the comments below.

In the meantime, good luck with those Valentines, have fun with them!

Hello there, 2016

I hope any of you still out there reading, have had a wonderful start to the New Year!

I did something out of the ordinary for me this holiday season. I closed up shop for about 2 weeks and completely stayed off of social media as well. At times, I will confess, I got very nervous and wondered if I was crazy. Closing up the shop during such a busy time of year?

Other times, when I settled in with my boys or hung out with my husband, I felt, "I should be able to do this and not feel guilty, isn't that what all of this is for?"

The truth is, I enjoyed my time off and I had lots of time to think about what I'd like to do for 2016. I'm not one for resolutions, I actually don't like them at all. Could be my secret fear of failure or the fact that it seems once you make a resolution you're more likely not to follow through, but I prefer to set goals, and plan for them.

My husband makes fun of me for my rather thick Traveler's Notebook, but secretly loves that it's "lived in" and that's where I write down all these goals. I don't like to be generic in my goal setting, which is what I feel a resolution is. I like to be very specific and if we're getting specific, I love lists! Lists make me happy, they give me a sense of purpose and accomplishment all at the same time.

The only thing that's better than writing a long list that organizes and breaks down all the mess you have ahead of you for the day, is the act of checking those list items off one by one!

Speaking of goals, accomplishments and failure, one of my "un-resolutions" for this year is more focus on my blog. I have a weird relationship with my blog. I don't feel like many people read it but I seem to keep wanting to put myself out there. Obviously not often enough if you see how often I post.

The truth is, sometimes I feel like I don't have anything interesting to say, so many people seem to lead these wonderful lives full of direction, organization and beauty. Mine is full of chaotic little boys, anxiety over dinners I hate planning for and long nights printing and playing with paper.

That doesn't sound very glamorous or post-inspiring to me so I often get stuck when I think of topics to write about. What can you learn from me? What am I going to tell you? Are you going to care?

Perhaps this is why I've taken to Instagram more often, because it's easy for me to post a quick update. Nothing fancy, just a snapshot of what I'm currently doing. It's always easier this way because I never really have time to sit and do anything for an extended period of time while the boys are awake.

The other reason my relationship with my blog is weird is because I've been blogging longer than it seems. I've switched my blog twice now and both times, I didn't really bother to transfer my content. This last time was very scary because I had nicer posts with helpful content that people actually engaged with. To most, I think it would seem like a bad move to leave that behind, all that SEO (gasp) and engagement, but I just wanted a fresh start. So far, I haven't been posting all that often and no matter how much I want to commit, it's hard to find the time to write and I find myself still trying to find a way that works for me so I can post more regularly. 

For those of you out there that blog, how do you do it?

Do you write your post on the spot like I'm doing now? Do you plan months worth of content and then schedule it? That actually seems like such a great idea except for the fact that you have to take one day and spend all of it writing. I don't know if I have the attention span for that. Same reason why I don't plan out meals and cook them all in one day as I've seen so many advise.

So yes, I'm trying to figure out how to work it all out. I love Instagram, it's my favorite platform, but there's something nice about having a place to go when you want to say a little more and there's something nice about having someone who wants to listen. I love reading about people, what their lives are like and what inspires them.

Although my life isn't that glamorous, I assure you, it's full of inspiration. Maybe this year, I'll have to just share more of it, even if it isn't Pinterest worthy.

So here's to 2016, being less afraid to share and being more comfortable in my own skin so that I can tell you more about my adventures, if you like that sort of thing. :)

A Peek + A Download

I’ve finally come out of my hole!

It’s been a long couple of months of sketching and designing and I finally sent everything off to print! What am I even talking about? The 2016 Calendar, of course!

This past year has been a rather turbulent one for me. Lots of things in my personal life have been out of my control and I’ve found it rather hard to cope with at times. Couple that with the decision to move back home after not even being in this house for a year and you’ve got a pretty decent recipe for a large batch of stress.

So without really thinking about it, I started sketching flowers a lot. I do this often but these were rather quirky and for some reason, brought me lots of peace. Then I thought to make these into patterns that I could use around the house. And then, I finally thought that a calendar, full of beautiful blooms coupled with short, inspirational quotes about growth and overall positivity, was something that I wanted very much for 2016 and I had a hunch a few others might appreciate it as well.

Here’s a sneak peak at one of the months, this one is inspired by my mother who used to draw flowers for me when I was a little girl.

Her birthday and Mother’s Day are both in May and this being one of my favorite patterns, fit perfectly.

The idea behind this calendar is that once you’re done with the month, you can cut the left side and have the quote to frame or keep or to send as a postcard to a friend. It will be digitally printed to enjoy all the beautiful colors and letterpress printed for that extra special touch.

 


In the meantime, I couldn’t help myself and I made a couple of wallpapers because I actually love the December pattern as well and wanted it on my phone. So here are May and December for you to download. If you also want the iPad versions you can find May here and December here.

Hope you enjoy those downloads and stay tuned as I will be converting the rest of the patterns into lots of different things. If you'd like to see them as something in particular, let me know in the comments or comment on my instagram feed as I've been posting a lot of my behind the scenes work there too like the video below.

A video posted by Kimberly Costa (@honizukle) on

 

For now, have a happy Wednesday, a particularly happy one too because it happens to be my eighth wedding anniversary today! :)