As April is fast approaching, this short blog post is dedicated to “Spring Cleaning.” What do you need to hold onto in your life and what can you discard? Can you repurpose something old into something new? Is there a way to approach this process with less stress and more fun or creativity?
I am no Marie Kondo, but here are a few creative up-cycling ideas:
- Take old fabric (with interesting patterns) and use it to make tambourines or a toddler fabric box.
- If your Tupperware collection is getting out of control, use plastic containers to make lanterns or nebula jars.
- Cut up old necklaces and repurpose the beads to make stretch cord bracelets or necklaces.
- If your gift wrapping box is overflowing, use old ribbon and a cereal box to weave a placemat.
- Extra plastic spoons taking up space in your silverware drawer? Use them to make maracas!
- Got some white clothes with stains? Try your hand at tie dying!
Happy crafting and hope to see you soon!
Hi there! Apologies for the radio silence. The Frosted Flamingo is alive and well, and I am writing to share some business and personal updates!
Summer of 2022 was a great success. We were proud to host crafts at the following events/locations: Bacon and Bourbon, Wine and Jazz, Bluegrass and Beer, Oktoberfest, The Dillon Farmer’s Market, Baby Bird Art at Wild and Free, Building Hope, Silverthorne First Friday; Frisco Fun Club, The National Repertory Orchestra Family Concert, Gravity Haus, Broken Compass, Town of Dillon, Town of Breckenridge, and Mountain Top. We also hosted a large number of private events (including family reunions, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and more).
Starting in September, I took a part-time teaching job at Breckenridge Elementary and Upper Blue Elementary. I have been teaching Spanish to Kindergarten through 5th grade at both schools, and I am very grateful for the experience. While I will not be (classroom) teaching next year, it has been a pleasure to get to know more kids in Summit County, and I have been reminded that teachers are incredible superheroes. If you are reading this and you are a teacher, I cannot express enough gratitude for everything that you do. This year has reminded me that no one works harder than teachers!
This summer, you can find the Frosted Flamingo at the Keystone Festivals and Silverthorne First Fridays, and no matter where you live, you can order packaged kits (for all ages). If you don’t receive our newsletter, be sure to sign up through our website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added.
PS: the featured image is my son, Levi (now 20 months old)!
Last month, I decided to apply for a Ted Talk. My proposal was sadly rejected, but here is my “big idea worth spreading.” Enjoy!
What is your “Big Idea Worth Spreading”?
Life can present unexpected hurtles, and we can suddenly, without notice, be barred from doing what we love. When we conflate what we love with who we are, and we can no longer do what we love, we feel stuck, confused, and downright depressed; But there’s a catch: while many folks have life-long passions, activities that have been honed and cherished from a young age, most adults that I know can name a handful of hobbies that they have acquired later in life. While we tend to define ourselves and rate our happiness by what we are currently doing, if we interviewed our former selves (even 5 or 10 years ago), we would likely provide different answers regarding what we love, and in turn, who we are. When our daily routines change unexpectedly, we can adapt. We can find different forms (and perhaps even more) happiness in new patterns and actions. With a little resiliency and creativity, we can pivot with grace by redefining who we are and what makes us happy. When circumstances in life make it difficult (or impossible) to do what we love, we can shut down, or we can embrace novelty, and remember that what we do is who we are. It is this dynamic relationship that makes life so sweet.
Why are you the right person to give this talk?
I started a business in May of 2018. I had a baby in June of 2020. Between these events, there was a global pandemic. When I was pregnant, I naively thought I could continue to operate as I had before. “I’ll just bring him along to all of my (business) events,” I told friends. Well…I got a rude awakening when I found myself chained to my couch with a colicky baby that never seemed to sleep! Slowly, I felt myself letting go of a business I had worked hard to build. I stopped emailing, marketing, and planning. I didn’t have the mental capacity to do more than take care of my son. Months passed, and I continued to spiral downwards. I stopped exercising, making art, and spending time outside with my husband. I told my mom that I thought I was having an identity crisis. I didn’t do anything I loved to do anymore. I didn’t mountain bike, ski tour, or rock climb. I couldn’t operate my mobile art studio, let alone make art. “But Becca,” she said, you only started doing those sports when you moved to Colorado, and you only started your business a little over a year ago. What did you do before that? And before that?” Her comment hit home. How quickly I had forgotten my former selves. Determined to be happy, I envisioned ways to try new activities and modify previous activities. I pitched and taught a Mommy and Me Barre Class at the fitness studio where I had previously taught. I developed a Baby Bird Art Class for artists as young as 6-months-old. I bought a Peloton. I began working on my business after I put my baby to sleep. I scaled down my business so I could be a stay-at-home mom. I signed up for baby music and swim class and met other moms. Instead of dwelling on what I wasn’t doing, I embraced my new life, and to my surprise, I began to find happiness. I expanded my notion of self from a limited and immediate version, to a dynamic identity, encompassing learned experience and untapped possibility, past and future iterations of the wildly fluctuating, unique, me.
This past month, Building Hope asked me to contribute to their Hope in 5 article, which they have been running since the start of the pandemic. I hope it brings you some hope (and joy!) wherever and whoever you are!
While we’ve been given a ‘shot of hope’ with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, we’re likely still months away from maskless hugs, nonchalant travel, schoolrooms filled with kids and regular indoor dining at restaurants. As we proceed cautiously and hopefully into a new year, we still need to maintain a culture of mask safety and physical separation. How do we keep this up for another few months? Here are a few tips.
1). Smile with your eyes. Even babies can tell when you’re smiling — it’s all about those eye crinkles! Smiles are contagious, and eye contact can show respect and connection. Say hello to people in passing. Your light will impact them – and you, guaranteed.
2). Embrace a new normal. Creating a modified version of the things you used to do is better than abandoning what you (used to) do altogether. I am a workout fiend, but I have a 5 month-old baby, so my definition of exercise has changed. While I’m not outside ski touring all day, a 40-minute stationary bike ride provides enough endorphins to keep me happy.
3). Balance nonfiction and fiction. Read the news, stay informed, but give yourself a break, and pick up a novel that transports you. The last book I read, “American Dirt,” told the story of a Mexican family seeking asylum, and I was left feeling immense gratitude for my safety and freedom.
4). Try, learn, grow. Make something with your hands. Set down your electronics, and bake, draw, knit, or hammer! The satisfaction that comes from creating something can be transformational. I love it when people who say they aren’t creative step out of their comfort zone and surprise themselves. I strongly believe that trying new things (and especially things that make you uncomfortable) is the only way we grow. Even if the finished product is not perfect, you’ll feel empowered, and soon enough it will be a repeating cycle: try, learn, grow.
5). Think like a marathon runner. You’ve made it this far. Would you quit at mile 23? You’ve got this! We’ve all made a lot of sacrifices since March 2020. Imagine it’s 2080, and you’re telling your grandkids about this crazy time in history. I’d like to say that I did everything in my power to improve the situation. We persevered, we were resilient, and we stuck it out in the darkest hour.
I’m not (yet) a parent, but I’d like to acknowledge all of the parents who are currently working double time to keep their kids safe and happy. Let’s face it parents, your job is tough. Talking to your kids about COVID-19 is a challenge. Getting your kids to wear masks and gloves might be impossible. Telling your kids they can’t touch or play with other kids on the playground is heartbreaking. Spending more time at home is a major adjustment.
Remember, you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work and stay strong.
And…for your sanity, give yourself a (mini) break and register your child for Creation Station: an online program tackling relevant themes (where has all the toilet paper gone?) and safety principles (wash your hands, stay at home, and wear PPE), brought to you by Mountain Top Children’s Museum and The Frosted Flamingo.
Creation Station Workshops are divided into three segments: Learn and Explore, Interactive Game, and an Arts and Craft session. Your child can check-in with us every week so you can check out!
Zoom account is not required, but preferred. Details on how to use zoom included in confirmation email after registering.
Ages 3 and up welcome. Workshops are separated by age.
Creation Station Craft Kits are available for purchase through The Frosted Flamingo, and include everything you need for the Arts and Craft portion of the workshop. To make your life easier, we are offering FREE delivery, right to your door! Details included in confirmation email.
It’s free to register, but space is limited. Click here to sign up today!
It’s hard to believe that the world has changed so much over the past two weeks. No matter what you do for work, where you live, or who you are, you are affected by COVID-19. Now more than ever, we must build our tolerance for adversity and uncertainty. It’s time to develop new routines and hobbies. We are presented with a unique opportunity to slow down, grow, and reflect.
Below are 2 resources that I have found helpful in these changing times.
1). “Conversations Menus” from The School of Life might provide some respite from only talking about COVID-19 in the coming days. Maybe something to use for virtual dinner gatherings with our loved ones we can’t currently see in person. This resource comes from my friend Arrington McCoy.
2). Eight Reasons to Embrace Shelter-in-Place (from my mom)
- You radically reduce your carbon footprint by not constantly driving or flying.
- You get re-acquainted with pleasurable, generative activities that tend to get sidelined when your time is consumed by work, social engagements and charitable activities.
- You (have the opportunity to) spend more time away from your desk, standing, walking and observing, being physically active rather than passively sitting.
- Instead of monosyllabically texting, as a way of staying in touch with friends and family, you now have time to write letters and converse with them on the phone or via skype.
- You are compelled to really look at and think about your surroundings– your home, the natural environment that surrounds you, your community, and your workspace– and decide whether they are what you want them to be; and if not, how you can change them for the better.
- If you have children, and they are at home, you have the gift of spending real, uninterrupted quality time with them.
- You have time to replenish your intellectual capital: reading, exploring, observing, questioning, learning.
- You have time to think about and be grateful for all of the blessings life has conferred upon you.
Thanks for reading!