Saturday, September 23, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017


I read a quote yesterday that really did something for me. I usually read a quote, think it's good, and then move on, but this one empowered me toward application.

"All Negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry -- all forms of fear --are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. 
--Eckhart Tolle

I was in a good place when I heard this and feeling optimistic. A few minutes later, I was driving home, by myself. I had time to think without a two-year-old screaming, a five-year-old saying "Guess what?" or older kids mad at me for something I didn't get done. I had silence and time for just me.

It wasn't long before something from the past crept into my thoughts and I noticed immediately the change in my mood. It was such a contrast. I'd been hopeful and with one small thought, that hope was gone. 

Instead of lingering on those stupid, negative thoughts, I told them to go away. They were past. Done. Finished. And I no longer needed them. Those worries were over, needed to be over, didn't help me in any way.

As I finished my drive, I focused on my senses to center me in the present moment, where I once again regained hope. The inside of my car was quiet. Occasional quiet for me, a mom of four girls, is a good thing and I began enjoying where I was. I was able to drive without feeling pain in my body, something that isn't always the case--another good thing. The mountains around me are beautiful--another great thing. The smell of the perfume my husband bought me a few years back still lingered on my shirt, reminding me that I'm loved. And the gum in my mouth reminded me that through the help of friends, I learned that chewing gum helps me to not be carsick anymore. So in that moment, everything was fine. Everything was good. 

If I'd focused on that negative thought, my mood would have been so sour when I reached my destination. It was definitely an eye opening experience for me. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Marriage Therapy: Lesson 3

This week's post wasn't my idea. I asked my husband what he thought and here goes:

Let your spouse be right.

See that there wasn't lots of froofy talk before I got to the point? I figured that's how he'd put it.

But seriously, how often do you let your spouse be right (even if he/she isn't)? Sometimes we battle over opinions and when we do, we're pushing each other away. Maybe you're positive the freeway entrance in the blasted city you graced is to the right, but your spouse is sure it's to the left. Why don't you just go left? What does it hurt? Some time? Some pride? And if they're wrong, what happens if you rub it in? The better question is what happens if you don't?

I could tell you the science and cases behind this thought, but the best way for you to understand it is to try. The next time you're about to contradict your spouse, stop what you were going to say and change it to something like this: "You know what pumpkin, or sugar, or snickerdoodle, or computational device (hey, I don't know what's sweet to you!) -- you just might be right."

Go for it. And who knows, maybe you're both right. The truth is if you're fighting about it, you'll both be wrong. 

P.S. Don't choose a major decision for your first try. That could be bad, very bad. Do something simple. 

Spouse: "I think Mouse Trap's pizza sounds better than Meat Lover Supreme."
You: Swallow. "I think you may be right" (And I certainly won't rub it in your face if you're wrong) "Mouse Trap it is."

P.S. If you're wondering, I create all the graphics on the pictures...for better or worse. ;)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Marriage Therapy: Lesson 2

Are you excited for this week's post? I am! I've thought of this one for years.

This week's assignment requires you to use a little imagination and a trip back to the 70's (don't worry if you weren't alive then, I wasn't.)

You've heard of rose colored glasses right? They change how an image is displayed by altering the colors, making everything prettier. This week, I want you to put on a figurative pair of rose-colored glasses and we're going to only see the beauty around us. We're going to ignore dirty socks, comments and words that cut, cold shoulders--whatever it is you're dealing with.

We're going to notice if a meal was made, or hours worked, a hug or kiss, or a compliment. We're going to see the good around us in our spouse. It's there. Everyone has good. If you look for it, you'll find it.

Every time you see something that would normally bug you, put on those glasses. If you see that pair of socks lying there next to the hamper, put on those glasses and be grateful you've got someone to share this crazy life with. Even though some days it might not feel like it, it's better than being alone.

I hope this week you find more beauty. If you don't or things aren't improving as you try my excercises please start to consider professional counseling. Sometimes extra help is needed and it can take some time to warm up to the idea. Think about it and keep trying! Please, keep trying. Marriage is one of the most special, wonderful things on the earth and worth whatever the cost to fix. Marriages are fixable!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Marriage Therapy: Lesson 1

I’ve been lost for a while. Lost because I didn’t know what I was really doing to bless and benefit others. Yeah, yeah I’m a mom and I know that I can bless my kids lives every day, but there is something else that I need to give. That I want to give.

I’ve been working hard trying to develop any possible talent or interest that I have to see if one of those things is what I could give. But nothing has clicked. Nothing feels like it helps. Baking cookies and making meals doesn’t feel like it’s changing any worlds. So I’ve been down. For months. Maybe even years.

Tonight, something changed. I was doing some spiritual reading and something clicked, something was brought to my memory.

I used to give marriage tips and advice on my blog and I’ve had outpourings of people telling me that my words, my thoughts, helped to save their marriage. I wanted to write more, share more of the things I learned through my degree and my observations of others and practices in my own marriage. BUT, and here’s the big but...I let doubts creep in. I worried that no one would read my advice and I would waste time that could be better served making a casserole or something for someone else. (That thought was stupid seeing as I’d already had over a million page hits for my marriage article that went viral—obviously people are reading what I’m putting out).

So the doubts amplified in intensity to what stopped me from moving forward--what if I said something wrong and someone’s marriage fell apart because of one of my ideas. Ouch. That doubt has kept me from speaking out, it’s been holding me back. It’s made me bite my tongue more times than I want to admit.

But no more. I’m done. Yes, I’m not perfect. I may say something stupid or my advice might not work specifically for every single case. But I have something to give. I have ideas and thoughts that HAVE worked. That HAVE helped.

So, here’s to a fresh start. And here’s this weeks Marriage Therapy, Lesson 1:

This week’s assignment is to list 5 strengths and 5 talents of your spouse that you wouldn’t want to live without.



If you don’t think it’s easy, then you and I need to have a little talk.

I think I have a gift of seeing the good in others because after talking to someone—anyone—for about 20 minutes, I could probably list off 5 strengths and 5 talents. With that said, this next part I’m going to say is going to hurt if you can’t easily come up with this list in your spouse. Ready? It’s going to sting. I warned you...

You’re an idiot.

Sorry, I had to do it. If you can’t see 5 strengths and 5 talents in your spouse then you’ve kept your eyes shut tight. You’ve been allowing yourself to ignore the amazingness (yes, I made that up) in another human being that you’ve pledged to spend your life with. That sucks for you and I’m sorry. It sucks for your spouse too. Thankfully, life is forgiving (even though it often doesn’t feel that way). In this next week, you can open your eyes and figure out 5 strengths and 5 talents your spouse has that makes your world go round (and you’ll see how big of an idiot you’ve been for not noticing earlier—again, I’m sorry).

So, do your assignment and then check back in with me next week. If you want, tell me what this assignment has done to help you and your spouse and your marriage. If you have a negative experience, I’m truly sorry. But, I’m pretty confident that if you have a negative experience, you’re doing something wrong.

I’ll be back next week with another idea and I hope and pray (I can’t tell you how much I’ve prayed for other people’s marriages) that this will help.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Savings Tracker Printable

With  the popularity of my debt payoff coloring pages, I've created this savings tracker printable.

The PDF has 10 total images--each sheet represents $1,000 of savings for a total of $10,000. Each coloring section represents $10.

If you'd like the whole set, click on the pictures above to purchase on Etsy.

If you'd like to try it out, the first page is available for free here: FREE PRINTABLE
(this will take you to one of my shops. Click the download button and then you'll have access to print a copy for your own personal use.) 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Debt Payoff Coloring Pages - FREE Printable

You and I are a lot a like. How do I know and how are we similar? We may not have the same taste in music or food, wear the same types of clothes, or even live in the same country, but if you clicked to the point of being at this very spot, this very post, then I know you don't like debt. Maybe you're in the dislike category, or maybe even loathe or hate, but both of us can't stand that naughty word. It keeps us up at night, wears on our relationships, and drives our decisions.

Speaking of decisions, I have a gift for you that I know you'll like (it will help with your financial decisions). Since you don't like debt, you'll love this free printable. It will aid you in your money-spending decisions so you can get rid of that nasty, painful debt.

➤➤Here's how it works. A lot of time, our debt is hiding in spreadsheets or papers and it's hard to visualize how looming the problem is. With these coloring pages, you'll be able to heft the weight, touch it, see it in a whole new way. And when you can visualize it and know it, you'll be more motivated to eliminate that debt. Plus, once you start to color some in, you'll want to keep going and that is motivation enough to curb a little spending. Even if you're not able to put any extra on right now, you can track your principle payment progress. Progress feels good. Trust me, I know.

And after you try out my free printable for debts $10,000 and under, I think you'll want to try out my other, larger versions. The first, pictured above is a picture variety, currently at debts under $200,000. The other is below, in simple numbers and is good for debts under $300,000. Both are available for purchase at Etsy or my website. 

Click on the image above to access the free printable. (It will take you to my website, click the download button and you'll then be able to access the pdf)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Watercolor Flower Printable Countdown

If you can't tell, I'm kind of on a watercolor kick. And the truth is, I'm probably not going to stop anytime soon--maybe never--unless I run out of paint!

Here's a free printable, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it. Click on the picture to reach a download page.

Free Download

Friday, May 26, 2017

Summer Schedule Posters & Watercolor Flowers

Custom Summer Schedule Posters are available now in my printables shop. Our summer vacation started this week and already, our schedule is keeping the kids and momma much happier. 

The newest watercolor set is up too: 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Watercolor Flowers and Buy 3 Get 3 FREE

Prettiful Designs is shifting gears to a new product line - Watercolor Flowers. Stock up on existing products with Buy 3 Get 3 FREE as we make the transition.

Add caption

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New Bundle with only 3 left

This unique product is available once a month to six lucky customers. 

For $79 you get ALL of the paper packs in my database--over 400 packs--much more than listed on Etsy. 

This is available first come first serve so when it is gone, it won't be available again until the following month. 

A download link will be generated and emailed to you within 1 business day. 

Coupon Codes will negate this offer.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

30,000 Sales Celebration Sale!!!

Celebrate with us in honor of 30,000 Sales!
Everything is 50% Off at through Wednesday Feb. 25!

*Don't forget to follow PrettifulDesigns on Pinterest at