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Last month, I saw that a fellow author and colleague had been through some tough stuff in 2016.

And as I read the list of painful occurrence after painful occurrence, I had an inspiration.

I’d put by some old craft supplies instead of recycling them or donating them, because I couldn’t let go of them, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them either.

By the time I’d finished reading this friend’s list of hardships, I knew I could turn those supplies into something fun and playful that might cheer her up.

So I sat myself down one snowy Saturday afternoon with a smattering of supplies strewn all across the kitchen table.

I did not know what to send, so I just started making stuff up. Next thing you knew I was having a blast and the ideas were just flowing.

I gathered items to share with her from around the house, embellishing them with cute labels and vintage papers, until I had about 12 or so items.

I added a few store-bought items to finish off the care package. Nothing pricey, just a few things here and there to supplement what I’d already pulled together.

Then I pulled out a box holiday gifts had come shipped in, which was fairly large and full of packing peanuts and I buried all of the fun things I’d created inside.

When I was done I thought to myself, “Now this is the kind of care package that I would love to get.”

So I sent it, once I could finally get to the UPS store, because there was so much crazy weather.

And a little while afterwards I got a thank you card. It said, “I opened your box like a kid on Christmas morning. I cannot express how much joy and gratitude I felt…”

And I felt like the heartfelt intention behind my inspiration had been fulfilled. And that was a really good feeling.

A little while later, I thought, “Dang, that was fun!”

So I considered my options. Did I want to do it again? How often? To whom would I send the packages?

And eventually it all kind of came to me, as many things do. I would ask for folks to send me their extra craft supplies. I would  create care packages when I found a good match for my efforts. And I would send about one per month.

And now it’s almost time for me to create the next care package!

So I thought I would ask for some help.

I need your leftover craft supplies. I am looking for the ones you are not sure you really want to use again.

They may feel old to you, but they will feel new to me. Even a large envelope full of bits and pieces will surely spark my imagination. It does not need to be a lot of supplies.

If you don’t have any craft supplies but you still you want to support my efforts, you can always send me a gift card to Michaels. I get most of my craft supplies there, and I promise to get good discounts on any care package items that I find there.

You could also get me a gift card to Etsy, and I promise to use it only on craft supplies. They have lots of cool craft supplies on there that I love, and you might, too. Check it out!

[This is not technically part of my business. This is more like a charitable hobby. So nothing is tax-deductible and nothing will be claimed on my taxes. But since I am asking readers for help, I will update you on my progress as I care-package my way through the year.]

And if this post inspires you to send out some whimsical care packages of your own, I think that’s great. Why not comment on this post or on a later post and share your process. You can also post something in your blog and do a pingback to this post.

In the meantime, here is my address. I hope you will participate in helping me spread a little cheer in the dreary New Year!

Christina Katz
PO Box 1354
Wilsonville, OR  97070

Thank you in advance for your support!

Christina Katz has been a self-care advocate for women and moms since she wrote the popular article, “The Art Of Making Time For Yourself,” which lead to an appearance on Good Morning America. Since then, she has written gobs of articles on the self-care, which are regularly published in magazines all over North America. To learn more about taking better care of yourself, check out her new video class More Joy Now, her ebook, The Art Of Making Time For Yourself, and her 50 self-reflection questions for women, Creative Knowing.

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I have been saying for a while now that the world will keep spinning even if you go ahead and live your life.

One of the ways I am able to follow this advice is by getting The Skimm in my inbox.

The Skimm is a news summary service that was started by two young women name Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.

They use reputable news sources to learn about what is going on in the world and then summarize it for me in an email in my inbox. The result is a quick read the timely and to the point.

As a sensitive person, who often feels bombarded by sensationalism instead of informed by it, I so appreciate The Skimm.

They have a way of delivering even the worst news in a way that makes it digestible and not terrifying.

They don’t use a lot of the typical jargon that other news outlets use, so I always feel like I’m being kept informed by a good friend.

If this sounds like something that might help you stop wasting time online and so you can stay focused on living your life, I hope you will try it.

If you do, please use my referral code, which I have included in the links. I don’t think I get anything except credit for referring folks, but I like credit. I’m not really interested in swag or any other incentives like that.

When I find something genuinely helpful to creative types, I like to share it. And I’ll keep doing this, as long as you think it’s helpful.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

When you take excellent care of yourself, you can live the most creative life possible. And getting The Skimm can certainly help manage news overload.

Christina Katz has been a self-care advocate for women and moms since she wrote the popular article, “The Art Of Making Time For Yourself,” which lead to an appearance on Good Morning America. Since then, she has written gobs of articles on the self-care, which are regularly published in magazines all over North America. To learn more about taking better care of yourself, check out her new video class More Joy Now, her ebook, The Art Of Making Time For Yourself, and her 50 self-reflection questions for women, Creative Knowing.

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I am reading Quiet, The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking [LINK], and every time I share about this on social media, folks seem interested and ask me what I think of the book.

So, I thought I would tell everyone what I think.

I think it’s great. And I highly recommend it for introverts like me.

Unless people know me pretty well, they don’t realize I’m an introvert.

I like people, I like public speaking (now I do), I like  socializing (occasionally), but I am happiest, most productive, and most creative when I am alone.

I mean totally alone. Like with no one in the house with me except pets.

And I mean alone for long stretches of time, without interruptions, and concentrating deeply on my work.

I have realized over the years, if spending time happily alone was a competitive sport, I could definitely be a contender. I have far more stamina for it than most people I know.

And this book by Susan Cain, explains in well-researched detail, why I am the way I am. She also explains why I have struggled in the past by trying to mold myself into the dominant extrovert paradigm of our society.

I know plenty of extroverts. My husband is an extrovert. My daughter is about a 50/50 extrovert/introvert. And I am a hard-core introvert.

This book also explains why I like the Internet so much. As a tool, the Internet really helps me interact with others in ways that do not drain my energy.

So if you have ever wondered if you are in introvert or how much of an introvert you might be, you will find a lot of answers in this book.

I also like that the book talks about the POWER of introverts. Introverts can do a lot of good in the world, and this book describes how. Don’t think for a second that this is a book about how inferior you are if you are an introvert. That’s the common misperception that this book turns on its head.

This is not a formal book club, but when I am done with the book, we can have a discussion about the book here in my blog. I used to do an online book club and folks were crazy about the idea, but it wasn’t a profitable use of my time, and I am a creative professional, so I had to quit doing it.

I have a bit more time now, and basically I am just sharing a tool that is helpful to me, so if you think you might be an introvert and this book might benefit you, too, then why don’t we read it together?

Good things are better when shared. So join me, if you feel like it. There is no hard deadline, because blog posts are forever. But let’s aim to finish the book by the end of February.

And if you have already read the book, let us know if you liked it, but don’t give away too much, okay?

Onward! Into the quiet…

So much inspiration, so much time! Please subscribe to the Create, Share, Prosper blog and sign up for The Prosperous Creative ezine for exclusive discounts you won’t find elsewhere. Click on the Enter School tab above to put your creativity to prosperous use right now. Like words? Check out my Etsy shop. And you haven’t seen anything, if you haven’t seen all the helpful offerings in my online shop. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing this post with fellow creatives!

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A Writer’s Got To Eat: Amy Hatvany’s Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

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