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A Lesson from the Turtle

“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”  ~James Bryant

I admit it…I’m someone that loves my comfort zone.  I’m a creature of habit and find joy in the familiar rituals of my life.  I enjoy taking trips and going on adventures, but I always give a little sigh of relief when I come home and can get back to my routines. Give me my cup of hot tea and the local newspaper in the morning, and I’m a happy camper!  Being content with the way things are and  loving the life that you have now is a very a good thing.

That being said, I’ve learned that it is also so important to stretch and challenge yourself in different ways. We each have our own comfort zones, like the turtle has it’s shell. But if we aren’t brave like the turtle and step out of those comfort zones from time to time, we would miss a lot that life has to offer. Stretching can be as simple as taking a class (or teaching a class), finding a new hobby, starting your own business, writing a book, travelling to a foreign country, or giving an unfamiliar restaurant a try. It’s okay if it’s something little…it doesn’t have to be big and scary, but it’s good if it makes your heart beat a teeny bit faster.

For me asking the owner of a local coffee shop if I could sell my art prints at his store was getting out of my comfort zone.  My heart raced a little as “what if” questions ran through my mind.  What if I ask and he says no?  What if he says yes and no one buys any of my prints?  To calm myself, I always ask myself…what’s the worst that could happen?  In this case I answered that if he says no, I can just try another store. If no one buys my prints maybe I can try to sell cards or calendars or another style of prints.  But…if he says yes, I will be glad that I took a chance.  Luckily the coffee shop said yes to my request, and that gave me the confidence to go to other local stores and also to open my Etsy shop.  One small step can help with the next step.

Challenge yourself to take a risk.  Make a list of things that you’d like to try and break them down in terms of time.  What can you attempt to do today, this week, this month or this year?  Take a deep breath, be like the turtle and stick your head out.  You may need to break down a big goal into smaller steps first.  Do some research, ask for help from friends or family, and know that things don’t have to be perfect before you start.  Just have fun with it and trust that it will be alright, even if it doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. You might learn something about yourself along the way.

What are some risks that you’ve taken in the past? Were you successful? If not, did it discourage you or did it make you more determined to succeed? Did you learn any life lessons from it? Did you have fun?

 

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”  ~Soren Kierkegaard

This article was written by Dawn Smith.

 

#TCMeveryday September Images + Team Happenings

It is a busy time of year as school is starting, summer is ending and fall is on its way. We love taking a peek into your everyday world through your #TCMeveryday images.  Share your own everyday moments and follow these featured readers and The Creative Mama on Instagram.

@jenn.rutledge     @reneeyemma     @jamiefaulkner    

@thehandcraftedstory     @lizzie_jane     @jamieolsen7

@sevgimac     @_xojanice     @naomiliester

Our hope with this monthly feature is that you’ll connect with other creative minded mamas, documenting their days.  Remember to tag your images with #TCMeveryday for the chance to be featured each month.  Thank you for sharing with us the wonderful ways you capture this season of life.

Team Happenings

As a collaborative blog, The Creative Mama offers many inspiring ideas and perspectives.  You will likely enjoy following the various personal/ professional pursuits of our artistic writing team.  Here are a few of the latest team happenings:

Ginger Unzueta is participating in a collaborative photography project called “what ___ looks like.”

Jamie Blake‘s beautifully illustrated children’s book The Adventures of Buffalo Joe is available as well as Kimberly Peck‘s stunning book, Farm. Food. Life. Photographs & Recipes Inspired by Local Farms.

And Alison Bickel is interviewed by MOMables Radio about how she and her family eat and simple cooking.

Pumpkin Cookies with Walnuts and Raisins

pumpkin cookie recipe | The Creative Mama | Clair Dickson

Hanging onto summer or jumping into fall? That seems to be the question lately. Cool temps have been teasing us here in Kentucky, but as soon as I light that cinnamon vanilla candle, the temperature soars to 85 degrees again. However, my calendar told me yesterday that fall is officially here, and for me that means baking pumpkin cookies like Mom makes.

pumpkin cookies | The Creative Mama | Clair Dickson

Following this recipe is a treat for me (and my hubby) as my kids don’t get too excited about the pumpkin flavor. (I remember my little Seth happily helping with the mixing only to be unpleasantly surprised when he licked the batter. Ha.) But I really, really DO get excited about these cookies. So I’ve decided that since the kids prefer chocolate chip, this year there will be no altering the recipe to try to match their likes and avoid their dislikes. I’m not leaving out any of the good stuff… it’s heavy on the walnuts and raisins which truly make these pumpkin cookies divine (to all who have exquisite taste.)

Pumpkin Cookies with Walnuts and Raisins
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup pumpkin
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/2 tsp allspice
  11. 1/2 tsp salt
  12. 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  13. 1 cup raisins (optional)
  14. cream cheese frosting (see note)
Instructions
  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients– flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Add nuts and raisins if desired.
  6. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 min.
  8. When cool, spread with cream cheese frosting.
Notes
  1. This recipe makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
To make cream cheese frosting, mix together the following
  1. 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla
  4. 1 lb. (about 4 cups) powdered sugar
The Creative Mama http://thecreativemama.com/
Every fall, I like to whip out a double or triple batch to share with neighbors and friends. Pumpkin cookies may just be my specialty. “Mom! Here comes the pumpkin cookie lady!”

I hope you enjoy these treats as much as I do. Even if you choose to leave out the nuts and raisins, we can still be friends, as long as you don’t skimp on the cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin cookies |The Creative Mama | Clair Dickson

This article was written by Clair Dickson.

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