A while back, I took a poll on Facebook asking what kind of shoes people find comfortable because my feet were killing me.

When I was pregnant with Samantha, many moons ago, I gained a bunch of weight and my arches collapsed.

Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

Fast forward sixteen years later and not surprisingly, my feet often hurt.

I tried going to the podiatrist and was not impressed with the value of help for the cost.

So I put the question out to my Facebook peeps and I was impressed with the voluminous response.

Apparently, if you have sore feet, you are not alone. It does not matter why. What does matter is finding and wearing comfortable shoes as soon as possible.

Here are some brands to help you get started. If you order online, be sure to read about sizing first.

Most Comfortable Shoes For Women

Abeo Janet walking sneaker (I wear these with the Walking Company’s best insert) their website

Vionic on Amazon or at their website

Clarks on Amazon or at their website

Dansko on Amazon or at their website

Finn Thing on Amazon or at their website

Chacos (Ped Shed) on Amazon or at their website

Born on Amazon or at their website

Taos on Amazon or at their website

Naot on Amazon or at their website

Spenco on Amazon or at their website

Olukai on Amazon or at their website (Ohana Sandal was recommended)

Fit Flops on Amazon or at their website

Allegria on Amazon or at their website

Keen on Amazon or at their website

Wolky on Amazon or at their website

Merrell on Amazon or at their website

Ahnn Hiking Shoes on Amazon or at their website

Oofos on Amazon or at their website

Sofft on Amazon or at their website

Soft Spots (professional style) on Amazon or at their website

Bella Vita on Amazon

Comfortable Sneakers For Women

Brooks on Amazon or at their website (Trail Running Shoe was recommended)

New Balance on Amazon or at their website

Comfortable Shoe Stores

The Walking Store (if you go in person, know what you need and plan to spend at least an hour trying on shoes)

Zappos Women’s Comfort

Jay’s Wide Shoes

Shoe Inserts

Superfeet Green Inserts on Amazon or at their website

Next shoes I’m going to get…Taos Crave Boot.

Still haven’t decided on summer sandals, but I’d better decide soon! Let me know if you have specific suggestions.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

~ Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

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Every once in a while I need to write about timely things I love.

One thing I love right now are lilacs.

My lilac bushes are in bloom and our home is filled with vases of lilacs large and small.

Why do I love lilacs so much?

They were not part of my childhood. You know how sometimes you discover something later in life and you are like, where has this been all my life? This was the story of lilacs and me. Our yard had a lilac bush for the first time about ten years ago, and the rest is a deep romance.

Others tell me that lilacs remind them of someone they loved who grew lilacs.

I am always happy to give away some of my lilacs while they are blooming because I always have more than I can use and lilacs are better when shared.

What if you do not have any lilac bushes or your lilacs are not blooming yet?

Here’s an idea. Go over to Instagram and type in the hashtag: #lilac. Watch what happens.

You could scroll all day, right? Unless, you have your own lilac bush, in which case you will probably want to go outside and hug it.

Now try the same thing on Pinterest. You won’t regret it!

With Mother’s Day coming up, you might want to pull together a lilac care package. Here are a few lilac-related products to help you get started:

Mrs. Meyer’s Lilac Products

Lilac Hand Cream (any type)

Nail Polish In Lilac Colors

Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac Body Wash

Lilac Bath Bomb Fizzies

Lilac Blossom Rollon Perfume

Lilac Candle

Lilac Girls, A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac lipstick

Lightweight Lilac Shawl

Lilac Tote Bag

Lilac Craft Paper

Embroidered Lilac Pin Brooch

Lilac Stud Earrings

Lilac Necklace

One Dozen Homemade Lilac-decorated Sugar Cookies

Lilac Paintings

It’s spring, so go ahead and surround yourself with lilacs and lilac-related things. You won’t regret it.

I know I don’t!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

I attempt to collage daily in my Joy Journal. What this means is that I collage most days. Collage journaling is a straight path to self-discovery, inspiration and everything that makes me tick. What I love most about collage journaling (which I call Joy Journaling) is that it helps me stay up-to-date with myself.

What do I like, want, and need? I can find the answers by flipping through my Joy Journals.

When I stay up to date with myself, life is an exciting adventure. When I don’t keep up to date with myself, it’s too easy to fall into serial monotony. I don’t want to live a life of serial monotony, and that is the primary reason I have a daily creative practice.

While I recognize that there are many possible daily creative practices, I enjoy collaging at this juncture in my life. Since I’m a professional writer, I can use all of the daily inspiration I can get.

I am grateful that supplies for joy journaling are readily available locally and online. I make an effort to use what I have on hand or can find inexpensively around the house in my Joy Journal. Since my journal reflects me uniquely, it makes sense to find scraps from my life. However, it’s also important to choose supplies that make collage journaling fun and inspiring, since that’s the whole point.

Here’s a quick list of supplies I use regularly.

Old magazines: Stop by your local library to see if you can purchase their old magazines. Ours has magazines on a rack in the library store. Visit library stores in surrounding towns, if you want to acquire a bunch of magazine on the cheap. Also consider asking your local friends to drop their used magazines on your stoop when they are done with them, or ask professionals who have magazines in waiting rooms if you could pick up pubs they no longer want. You can subscribe to magazines you love inexpensively at https://www.magazines.com/.

Scissors: I use the orange-handled Fiskars most often, but I also have several types of scissors on hand, including hair-cutting scissors. Try gathering up all the types of scissors you have in the house and test-driving them until you determine what other types of scissors you might need. https://amzn.to/2JIYtty

Cutting pad: I use a pink, self-healing cutting pad from Michael’s. Check out these cutting pads. https://amzn.to/2KoyWqx

Exacto Knife: I use the Fiskars Heavy Duty Die Cast Craft Knife. Choose your own cutting knife. https://amzn.to/2jlLKlu

Bins/Storage Boxes: I use a storage bin from IKEA that slide into cubes from IKEA. But you could also use a paper sorter or a plastic bin. Paper sorter: https://amzn.to/2jnJ4ng Plastic bins: https://amzn.to/2HLm6Ry

Elmer’s Disappearing Jumbo Purple Gluesticks: These are my favorite gluesticks, and I like that they are inexpensive. https://amzn.to/2JJA8Ue

Strathmore Sketchbook, 100 Sheets: I use this sketchbook for my collage journaling. I used to use a drug store variety, but I prefer the sturdier pages that this journal provides. https://amzn.to/2w5nzRe

Washi Tapes: Recently I started collecting washi tapes I come across on sale. I stick to color schemes that appeal to me. Adding washi Tape to almost completed journal pages provides a fun flourish.
Narrow washi tapes: https://amzn.to/2FxUL3e
Regular width washi tapes: https://amzn.to/2JLbhzv

Baggies: I use clear plastic Ziploc baggies to divide my materials up into categories. I currently have bags for small images, words and quotes, and ephemera. Keeping everything sorted allows me to work on my journal in phases without getting overwhelmed by too many choices. https://amzn.to/2HKanmm

Ephemera: Start collecting scraps of tissue paper, wrapping paper, ribbon, doilies, cup cake wrappers or any other type of flat materials you can use to embellish your joy journal pages. Keep these in their own baggies or in plastic storage bins. You can also find fun ephemera collections for sale on Etsy.

Round Vase: I use a large round display globe to store my washi tapes so I can easily see them and dump them on the table when I want to use them. Mason jars also come in handy for holding scissors, glue sticks and and pens or markers. https://amzn.to/2reDcRq

Feel free to make suggestions for collaging supplies, and I will add them to this post!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

There are really no words to describe how much I enjoy my Joy Journaling practice.

As I collage regularly, I reap the benefits of connecting with myself in ways the world does not provide for me.

This is what I hope to address in my work: bridging the gap between women and daily self-expression for its own sake.

The world is never going to offer ourselves to us. Instead the world is going to provide a new distraction, a new goal, a new thing to buy, new breaking news, new gossip, and a new list of shoulds to get us to conform to today’s trends.

But the world is also full of awe and wonder, and our collage journal becomes our map to what matters most to us. So my collage practice helps me filter an overwhelming amount of data by helping me become more aware of what I care about.

I care about the earth, women, girls, mothers, kids, self-expression, art, creativity, writing, gardening, theatre, film, health, personal transformation, feminine power, and spirituality most. But there is no limit to the number of things I am allowed to care about.

My collage journaling process has an impact on me and then I have an impact on the world. It’s incredible how much your perspective can change when the only person you have to impress is yourself.

What if the only person you had to please was yourself? How might your life look different?

Women are deeply trained to become pleasing machines instead of individuals guided by intuition and passion.

Life starts to look completely different and a lot more fun, when you let your heart help you navigate a distracting world.

Do you know what you want out of this life? Do you do what you love? Do you embrace the day?

If you are not sure of the answers to these questions or if you feel caught up in the daily grind, having a Joy Journal can help.

I offer a monthly Joy Journaling group by subscription. You don’t have to be actively journaling to join. You can be getting ready to journal or simply be ready to take some baby steps.

You are welcome to join by paying what you can each month and participate as much as your schedule allows.

I used to do work that involved putting the pressure on. But now I do work that involves taking the pressure off. Pressure is just not helpful or sustainable.

What kind of life do you want to live? A life of pressure and shoulds or a life of honest, organic choices?

I want to live in a world where women can be more authentic and honest. I want to live in a world, where groups of women can share self-expression from all over the world.

And that’s the world I am creating. I hope you will join us!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

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