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Filtering by Tag: smash journal


liz lamoreux

notes to myself...

Ellie and I are visiting family for a few days. And I made a huge choice: I didn't bring my laptop. I feel so much lighter. Checking email a handful of times a day and only answering what needs to be dealt with right away. Staying mostly away from Facebook. Yes. Lighter.

And I'm playing in a Smash book again. (Found the black one on clearance at Target.) Needed one when all this space not having the laptop creates began to fill with some brainstorming and thoughts that needed to be caught.

The words above are the ones I'm returning to over here. Thinking about how taking even a little break from the online world helps me to hear my own voice again and to shed layers of comparing and shoulds and why haven't I done or why didn't this happen and how the list goes on. 




And just being really present to all the stories this little two year old in my life has to share every minute that she's awake.


How are things in your corner? What are you shedding, trusting, listening to?


a family self-care (smash) journal

liz lamoreux

 adding to the list


Yesterday, I was talking with a friend about the idea I have that so often we are triggered by another's blog or Facebook post etc. because we fill in the blanks of what someone doesn't share in these posts with our assumptions. (I talked about this idea in this February post.) We were talking about how we can think that someone's life is a certain way because she doesn't ever talk negatively about this or that or that someone's life must be so perfect because she is doing so much or "makes it look easy." 

A simple example: Sharing photos of your happy smiling family doesn't mean that everyone is always happy and smiling. But, it would be a bit odd to begin taking photos "for your blog" during an argument, wouldn't it? Yet somehow when we see these smiling happy photos on a day when our own family might not be smiling or happy, we might find ourselves triggered and thinking "well, my life isn't like hers because she has it so easy + a book deal + cuter clothes + a better camera [or fill in some other similar thought here.]"

My point in sharing this today is that over here, we are navigating the experience that is a marriage in the midst of toddler world + a growing business (and not enough childcare) + other things that are real life things and too personal to share here. In some ways, I touch on these things in my posts, but really, this is a story that involves more than just me and many pieces of it feel too personal for this space.

That said, I really want to begin to share (as an accounting of myself of sorts) some of the ideas we are implementing to support one another a bit more over here. Ideas that are about leaning into living and figuring out how to let in more light + love in the harder moments. 

A few weeks ago, I gently pushed Jon on the idea that he doesn't have many self-care moves. And you know me, I am all about the self-care. But, I do know from experience that it isn't easy to implement simple self-care practices if you don't know where to begin.

So we've started a family Smash journal.

 We are beginning to fill it with sections on adventures we want to take, go-to meals + recipes we want to try, solo adventure ideas for both Jon and me, and self-care ideas for Jon. There is a section called "home" that will include lists of things we need to do but also a few lists of what we wish and dream for our little home. We are making lists of things to do with EJ when it rains and when we are exhausted but she isn't (for real - this will be a good one). And this weekend I hope to make a list of dates we would like to go on.

I've also started a "Summer Manifesto" inspired by Ali and Andrea, and I'll share it soon.

I want this journal to be a resource for Jon and me because the truth is that sometimes it is easier to focus on "getting through" instead of living deeply. For example, on the days when I don't eat before Ellie gets up and then her needs (and business stuff) takes over and then suddenly she is napping and I find myself still in pajamas and nauseated from hunger...yeah...those days are more intense than they would be if I just spent a few moments bringing more awareness into the day and into what I need. And I see Jon adopting similar patterns when he is on break from work. Sometimes we need pajama days, but we've noticed that life is softer when we bring in more awareness and, well, fun.

I will share more about this journal as we keep using it, but today, I just wanted to share the idea in case you want to create a space to hold your "go-to" family self-care moves. (We are using the orange Smash journal because it seems to have more blank pages than the other colors, which makes it nice for lists.)

May your weekend be full of lightness and good things and rest,


poetry and smash books

liz lamoreux


I am having so much fun over here in the land of poem it out and smash books and cheese and my mother's cooking that I wanted to check in with you in a video today.

Notes from the video:

I talk about how I am using yet another Smash journal (this time the "mod black" smash folio) to catch all of my ideas and inspiration about poeming. (And I share a peek at the new HUGE Smash book you can find here.) Best prices on the new large ones might be at Michael's with your big coupon of the week (oh and I want to share that I get the weekly coupons by email and just learned that you can just open the link to the coupon on your phone and they can literally scan your phone!).

I read a poem by William Stafford (and a short excerpt from an interview with him) from the book The Answers Are Inside the Mountains: Meditations on the Writing Life by William Stafford. 


And after several emails asking me to share book and journaling recommendations, especially poets/books to begin with when one wants to really become friends with poetry, I decided to do two things:

1) Begin a new series of posts about some of my favorite poetry collections and poets and books about writing and poetry. Look for the first in this series next week.

2) Create an Amazon store to have a place where you can easily go and check out the poets (and a few other god things) that I recommend. There is a section called "Poetry: Start Here" that lists the books I think might help you fall in love with poetry. There is another ever-growing section of the books of poetry I turn to again and again. (And as a writer, I feel really moved to say: Consider buying your books from your local independent bookstore or checking them out of the library.) And just to be totally clear: If you do buy through my Amazon store, note that it is part of the Amazon affiliate program, which means I get a small commission of your purchase. Next week, I will share a bit about the dream I had in my 20s of opening up a bookstore called "Curled Up (With a Good Book)" and how adding things to this simple Amazon store feels a teeny bit like choosing books to fill that fictional bookstore.

May your day be full of lightness and moments to just rest. Thank you for visiting my corner over here...


PS speaking of poetry, have you seen what Maya Stein is up to? oh my goodness how that woman inspires me.

PPS if you are new to my corner of the blog world and want to find out more about my wholeness practice and how the Smash journals are helping me with it, check out this series of posts on journaling.

from dream to do (in moving pictures)

liz lamoreux

Recently, Grace, a kindred spirit who attended one of my retreats last year, sent me an email with the following questions: You wrote recently about a new dream project you are working on. So my question has to do with when you have in inkling of an idea, and the more you think about it, the more you are convinced it's something that must be brought to light, how then do you move your mind from dreaming and thinking to fleshing out and planning (especially when you haven't done anything like this before)? What is it that you are doing/saying to yourself to move into that space?

When thinking about her questions, I felt moved to share my response in a video. However, as I mention in the video, I recorded this as a really organic off the cuff not at all planned without any notes response to Grace's questions, which means the video is a bit long (about 18 minutes). You might just want to read the rest of the post below that includes the main points I made. In the video though, I do share about why I decided to begin to host and organize retreats and why I created Poem It Out when the idea tugged on me in just the last couple of weeks.

I don't always do things in the following order, but here are some of things I do to move an idea from the dream stage to the "do" stage. 

1. I listen to my heart and choose one or two ideas at a time that have me jumping up and down with excitement. [Reading this later, I think I will devote another post to this piece soon.]
2. I circle with my kindreds/think tank to get some feedback. (Hiring a fantastic, soulfull business coach has helped me with this big time.)
3. I use an idea journal to begin to visualize how I can make the idea happen. (My Smash journals are helping me so much with this!)
4. I simply try to believe that I will find my way to make it happen (that I can do it). And part of this is being honest with myself about what I am good at and what I most want to do. [This feels a bit like I am a product of staring at those posters and mugs in Successories when in my teens (remember that store?), but believing I can implement what I most want to do is a big part of living an idea into reality. Though I guess I should say thanks to my mom for always having some of those cards/posters around.]
5. If something doesn't work but it still stirs my soul, I try to rework it or look at how I might not be explaining it well enough to my audience. In other words, I repeat numbers 1-4.

6. I try to let go of the ideas that don't continue to really excite me (even if I think they might make money).

And as I look through this list above, if I had to sum all of this up in one phrase, I would say: I try to get out of my own way.

Thanks again for the questions Grace. I am excited to share some more on this subject and have tucked a few more ideas for future posts into the "blogging intentions" section of my creative wholeness journal. Stay tuned...


brain lint :: journaling

liz lamoreux

The first sentence of this page of my journal says, "this is the page where i am going to just dump the stuff that i don't need to hold onto like worry and not enoughness and how the **** will i get it all done..." Since writing those words, I have turned to this page and filled it with uncensored fears when I get distracted while working.

The idea to do this came to me while I was working in my red Smash journal that houses ideas for my ecourses and other online projects I am working on. While putting these ideas to the page, I can find myself pulled by the "what ifs" and the "shoulds" and how the list goes on. On this day, I was writing down ideas for a possible ecourse connected to the project Jen Lee is producing that will be out later this spring (will share more about this project soon! we are having so much fun putting the finishing touches together before it all goes to print), and I had a flurry of a brainstorm that got me very excited. But then I got stuck as some gremlins came up. So I flipped through the journal to another section to give myself a break from thinking about this idea and came to this page that said, "Brain Lint." 


Because this is exactly what the not enoughness is sometimes: lint that is just taking up space where something else could reside.

I love how my Smash journals often provide just the prompt I need when I am working. They really seem like magic sometimes. (Not kidding.) You can read the other posts in this journaling series inspired by my excitement over my first Smash book here.

An Invitation

Reserve a few pages in your journal for some uncensored brain lint. Let it be a safe space for you to let that not enoughness or the fears or the worry land so you can lean into the real work.

And consider joining us over in the Notes for the Journey Flickr group where we are sharing pages from our journals and where we are journaling. Also, if you are on Instagram, a group of us are using the hashtag #journeynotes when we share our journals. Oh and if you use an app like Instagram, you can easily use the blur feature to blur out your personal journaling but still share your photo. 


liz lamoreux

here #journeynotes

this week, i have been leaning into rest. i have been reading (just for fun) and working in bed while she naps and even napping once or twice. jon and i went on an impromptu valentine's day date (the babysitter had come over so i could work, but instead jon picked me up and we had an early dinner...it felt like breaking the rules in the best of ways). i have been trying to get to bed earlier. and i've been trying to observe myself with a more compassionate focus.

i am noticing that life feels softer when i rest more. i feel softer. i am more likely to move through my day with kindness and love (toward myself, toward others). it seems so obvious but it simply is hard for me to remember some days (and weeks it seems). 

tonight, i am thinking about how the remembering feels like a dance of getting to know myself again and again. and i choose to see this as a beautiful gift i give myself. because there will be days full of overwhelm and misunderstandings and forgotten deadlines and unexpected bumps in the road. but i will keep reaching for compassion, and i will try to remember that rest is so often the answer.

the poem that is pasted into my journal in the photo above is "love after love" by derek walcott. it is about remembering yourself. i keep it in constant rotation over here. i invite you to add it to your self-care toolbox. you can read all of this poem over here.

a poem and t-shirts (and other good things)

liz lamoreux




an in this moment photo from my 365(+1) self-portrait project
(and, of course, my smash journal yet again)

I am pretending we are having tea this evening as I want to share a few things with you:

I keep meaning to tell you that I wrote a poem and shared it at Roots of She earlier this month. I love poetry (big). 

Bella's video has me simply delighted. Every bit of it. The shadows. The music. The simple moment captured. (Of course, I also love that she mentions that she likes her One Word Girl necklace...but...really, I am inviting you to head over there to watch her video).

Speaking of Bella, she interviewed me this week over at 52 Photos Project. I so enjoyed her questions and sharing about self-portraiture and other good things. And I love that this interview pushed me to continue to own that I am indeed a photographer. (I tend to think of myself as a person who uses my camera as a tool to capture the moments of my life and sift through them, but I seldom use the word "photographer" when describing myself. Working on this one.)

I have so enjoyed this recent session of Emerge over at Live It to the Full. Teaching with Jenna and Viv is so much fun and deeply inspiring for me. And both of them have some incredible offerings right now. Check out Jenna's writing workshops and ecourses here (her intimate MFA-style writing workshop looks awesome). Find out more about Viv's photography ecourses here (and I am so so delighted that she is bringing back Swan Dive this Spring as I am so ready for it).

Have you seen Jen Lee's new t-shirts as part of the release of The Iconic Self? Oh my goodness that girl knows just what her kindreds need to hear (and wear). I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of her "Gentle Spirit...." tanks a few weeks ago and I have been known to wear it for several days in a row when I most need to be reminded of my hidden badass self. I am going to snap a photo of me wearing it soon. And I will also be sharing more on The Iconic Self next month. (Jen is sharing such good good things with the world.)

a self-care letter :: journaling

liz lamoreux

self-care letter (more on the blog soon)

a page in my creative wholeness journal (in the eco-green smash journal)

I am deeply enjoying the conversations about journaling that have been happening since I posted my first video two weeks ago. Some of you have mentioned that my posts have encouraged you to get back to journaling; some of you have emailed me and said you are going to try your own version of a "creative journal" where you hold yourself accountable to the big dreams or the day-to-day business stuff. I am guessing some of you just kind of fell in love with the Smash journals when you saw them. Some of you are trying the "Jen Lee-inspired method" of keeping one main notebook/journal of everything. I just love how these conversations are unfolding and I so appreciate you sharing your experiences with me.

Seeing your journals pop up on Flickr and Instagram and Twitter made me think that it would be fun to have a journaling Flick group where we could cheer each other on and share ideas and pages and other good things. I have decided to call the group "Notes for the Journey" because that is what journaling feels like for me; notebooks and journals in all their forms become a place to capture pieces of ourselves that often become the notes we piece together to make sense of our experiences.

This group isn't just for Smash journals or business journals. It is simply a group to share photos of your journals and where you journal. You might share the pages inside your journal, notes about how your are journaling, and so on. If you are trying to create a daily journaling practice, you might post a photo each day of your journal and the mug of tea you drink while you write. If you are a journal buying addict (ahem...I now know I'm not the only one), you could share your finds. My hope is that we can support each other through sharing photos. I know it will help me hold myself accountable just a bit more so I keep going with this practice.

Just click here to join the group and start sharing (you will need a Flickr account). 

UPDATED :: A group of us is now using the hashtag #journeynotes over on Instagram if you want to join in.

As I focus on my own journaling habits and needs, I will continue to share what I am discovering and talk about how holding myself accountable is affecting me. I also plan to share some prompts or invitations every now and then that might inspire you to write in your own journals (or on your blogs). In that spirit, I want to tell you about an exercise I did this week.

A Self-Care Letter

As I mentioned in my previous posts about my new "creative wholeness journal," I have a section about self-care. In this section, I am listing my go-to self-care practices so that I can turn to them when I begin to notice I am feeling depleted but also when I just have a few minutes to myself and need a place to begin.

Earlier this week, I turned to the page shown in the photo above and decided to write myself a gentle reminder to rest. I thought about all the women I have connected with through the Be Present Retreats during the last three years. I thought about the stories they have shared and the ways in which we have held the space for one another as these words are spoken aloud. I thought about you and you and you and what I would most want to tell you if you needed a reminder to rest so that you could keep living your dreams into reality. And then I wrote the words in letter form right into my journal.

An Invitation

In your journal, write yourself a self-care letter that tells you whatever you most need to hear in this moment. Maybe you need a reminder to rest or to pay more attention to when you are hungry or maybe you need to give yourself permission to write and dream and know you are enough.


A few people have emailed asking about where I have purchased my Smash journals. Here in Tacoma, there is a local store called Artco Crafts that is carrying them and has them on sale right now. I have also seen the accessories at Michael's and their website indicates the stores carry the journals. Amazon has quite a few Smash journals and products available (and they have the best prices I think). It looks like they are available at Paper Source. Please share any shops where you have seen them.

Blessings and light,