A Quitter’s Giveaway

All that talk about me being a quitter in last week’s post reminded me of a quote I found once on Pinterest.  It was a quote from Sonja Foust, an author, that read, “If you don’t like what you’re doing, stop. Sometimes you get it in your head that you want to be a writer or a painter or a weight-lifter or whatever and then when you start doing it, you don’t actually like it that much, but you keep trying because it was your dream, dammit! Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s your dream and you can kill it if you want to.”  Now, on the heels of my emphasis on determination, I thought I would clarify that it is okay to change your mind and stop doing something.  I’m doing a quitter’s giveaway to clarify my point.

Your Dream

So, here’s the deal.  When I started diving into The Power of a Bucket List at age 19, I had a much different list forming.  It had a couple of items that I THOUGHT I dreamed of doing; for instance, sewing.  Making my own clothes sounded fabulous.  I had purchased a sewing machine with high hopes, but they flitted away as a friend of mine taught me how to make pajama bottoms.  It was fun at first, but it slowly became a frustrating task and I found that I was often handing over my pajama bottoms to my friend for her help.  The project made me realize that I do not like sewing.  Using the machine had its perks and I enjoyed the results when things turned out properly, but overall it’s a very meticulous activity that I have little patience for doing.  Plus, it’s not as affordable as I thought it might be, so I couldn’t even justify sewing as being worth my time and money.  I learned that what I really wanted was the ability to sew on a button and fix a hem, when the need arose.  All the really cool creations are best left in the hands of my Step-mom, who is an excellent seamstress, and my daughter, who can get lost in the activity for hours on end.

That being said, I would like to give away my copy of Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics.  It was given to me in the days when I longed to sew my own clothes.  I’d like this book to go to someone who finds peace in sewing versus frustration.

I joke that this is a quitter’s giveaway, but I truly don’t consider myself a quitter on this matter.  I think it’s perfectly okay to try something out and realize that it’s not for you.  Isn’t that what all those years of dating were all about?  We can learn new things about ourselves as we grow older.  Many times our experiences lead us to re-prioritize what matters most to us.  Sewing is certainly a great skill to have, but it’s not the type of skill that I want to further develop.  I’d rather put forth the time to become healthier physically, which is saying a lot about how I feel about sewing.

Have you tried something that you thought you would love only to find out that it’s not really your thing?  Or, did you think you wanted to try something but realize that it was more the idea of such an activity than the reality?  I know at one point I contemplated sky-diving, just because it seemed cool.  However, after giving it real consideration, I don’t have the desire at all.  Also, as I mentioned in last week’s post, I thought I wanted to run a full marathon and then admitted to myself that the idea of running that long sounds horrifying.  A half marathon will do nicely.  To enter this quitter’s giveaway, share with me your changed opinion about an activity in the comments below.

Remember, it’s your dream.  You don’t really need to be quite as violent as Sonja’s quote above and “kill it,” but there is truth in her words.  It’s perfectly okay for YOUR DREAM to change to fit the real you, who you’ve come to know, versus a forced idea of what you once thought you wanted to be in life.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Second Anniversary Giveaway

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Ours was certainly a beautiful one!  It started off rainy, but quickly turned to blue skies and sunshine.  It was a lovely weekend to be outdoors.  And that’s what I want to share today for First You Must Begin’s Second Anniversary Giveaway: the outdoors.  Particularly, an 11×14 matte print of a picture that my brother, _stevenwilson, captured off the Southern California Coast.  This one is called “Blue Barrel,” and it’s one of my favorites!

2nd Year Anniversary Giveaway

You may recall, that I did a post about _stevenwilson and his amazing ocean photography for a First Friday Find earlier this month.  His work is so breathtaking, that I thought it would be the perfect thing to give away for my Second Anniversary of First You Must Begin.  Especially since my brother’s artwork is a perfect example about beginning something new.  Two years ago, when I started this blog, my brother wasn’t even posting pictures of ocean photography.  Now, due to his desire to embark into the world of ocean photography despite his lack of knowledge, he has grown and developed in the field.  He took his love for the ocean and found a way to share it in such a beautiful way.  I admire the hard work and dedication that he has put into improving upon his talent.  He makes it look easy.

Each of us can begin something new.  We can find something within ourselves that we want to improve, we can dedicate ourselves to a new passion, we can work to face our fears, we can strive to live healthier, or we can simply get up and try a little harder than the day before.  But, first we must begin.  So, here’s a Second Anniversary Giveaway to celebrate all the beginnings in our lives and all the beginnings that continue to blossom into something magnificent.

**Check out the Rafflecopter Giveaway below where you can enter to win an 11×14 matte print of _stevenwilson’s “Blue Barrel.”  All you have to do is tell me how you heard about my website, First You Must Begin.  The winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter a week from today.  Good luck!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Friday Find: Three Life Hacks & 100th Post Giveaway

Can you believe it?  This marks my 100th post on this blog!  Pretty exciting stuff!  Let’s celebrate by doing a modest giveaway, as I’m a modest girl.  More details about the giveaway later in this post.

For those that are new to the site, I thought I would share a little about what a “First Friday Find” is here on First You Must Begin.  In short, it’s anything I find that is worth sharing.  The criteria I give myself when deciding what I share on the first Friday of each month is simply:  What is something I have discovered recently that is worth sharing in an effort to make other’s lives better or easier?  In the past year, First Friday Finds have ranged from an App I’m passionate about (Chatbooks), to a YouTube series that makes me laugh (True Facts), to a craft that was easy enough for me to pull off (Lost Socks), to a book that has helped me as a parent (The Care and Keeping of You) to a silly toy (Splat!) and beyond!  The best part is knowing that no person or company is paying me to say these things, so you can be at peace knowing that I only share from the heart.

That being said, this month’s First Friday Find is a life hack that I discovered while on vacation.  We recently visited family and friends down in Southern California.  A dear friend of ours was willing to host the shenanigans of a family of six and even convinced us that she was sad to see us go when it was time for us to leave.  Either she is an excellent actress or she really likes us.  I’m opting for the latter.  I digress.

When I was using her shower, I noticed that she had sliced a standard loofah sponge to use as a way of keeping the soap from sliding off of those forever-too-small-and-slippery coves for bathing products to sit on.  It seemed so simple and yet so ingenious to me.  Even better than not having to keep the soap from falling, was realizing that I could utilize the soap remnants that accumulated on the loofah sponge.  At the end of the shower, I took the loofah sponge and gave my feet a good scrub.  Huzzah!  A dual purpose life hack!

This life hack brought to my mind two additional life hacks that my husband has taught me from his experience working in the Emergency Department.

Thinking about giving your child a Popsicle and all you can envision is the sticky mess that will inevitably be all over their hands and the floor?  Try grabbing a paper or Styrofoam cup and slicing a hole in the bottom of it, then slide the Popsicle stick through the hole.  The base of the cup catches the drippings and makes for a quicker clean up process.  Styrofoam cups are best since they can be peeled away as the Popsicle gets smaller.  I had to pre-cut the paper cup shown, which slows down the process a bit.

The last life hack to share will be best appreciated by parents everywhere!  Getting an infant or toddler to successfully take a full dose of liquid medicine, when needed, is near impossible.  Before this trick, I would often be cleaning all the medicine from my baby’s face and neck versus knowing it was safely in his or her system.  Then I witnessed my husband’s technique to get medicine to go down versus coming out.  First, place the medicine dropper in the back corner of either side of their mouth.  I think most parents are aware of this step.  Next, dispense the medicine.  I suggest doing it in smaller portions of the complete dose.  Lastly, here comes the trick, give a quick blow in the the child’s face.  The surprise of the blow causes a reflex reaction for the child to immediately swallow.  TA DA!  Amazing, right?  I’ll be sure to pass along your gratitude to my husband.

Now that I’ve wowed you with these three life hacks, let’s talk about celebrating the fact that this is my 100th post.  Hang on to them hats and glasses, it’s gonna be a stellar giveaway (said in sarcastic voice)!  100 dimes just for you to honor my 100 posts!  That’s right! Ten whole dollars!  Let’s make it a little more personal and make it $10 to Target.  I told you I was modest.  Truthfully, that’s about all I can afford to giveaway this time of year.  I’m a stay-at-home mom with four kids, people!  However, I really am quite excited about reaching 100 posts and it’s been so much fun to develop this website, that I want to share the love!  I hope you’ll want to share the love too by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Continue reading…

Anniversary Giveaway – Anchor Locket Necklace

This Friday, May 23, marks one year since my first post here on First You Must Begin!  I have been planning this giveaway for a few months now and I am so excited that it’s finally here!  Although, I will admit, I kind of want to keep the prize for myself.

Thanks goes out to Deadly Romantic for providing this beautiful handmade Anchor Locket Necklace.  I just love lockets and this one is particularly beautiful!  Deadly Romantic can currently be found on Etsy, but I know her official website is in the works.  You can count on a future First Friday Find, as soon as her website has the jewelry collection up for sale!

Since this giveaway is to celebrate First You Must Begin’s one year anniversary, I thought it would be fun to enter the giveaway by sharing which post you enjoyed the most during this past year.  If you feel so inclined to share our website with your friends, like us on Facebook, or pin one of our images, all the better!  You may enter anytime between now and 11:59 PM PDT on Friday, May 23.  Winner will be chosen on Saturday, May 24.

Thanks for all of your support this past year! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue reading…

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway


As you may already know, I have the privilege of contributing on Over the Big Moon (OTBM) every third Sunday of the month.  It’s been such a wonderful opportunity to work with OTBM Co-founders, Pam and Lisa.  I am joining with them and their other lovely contributors to offer this $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!  This is my first giveaway here on First You Must Begin and I’m excited to report that I already have another special giveaway planned in the near future!  But before I get ahead of myself, take a look at the amazing contributors that have made this week’s giveaway possible!
OTBMVal Adrienne Lauren April LaTisha Sara Lyndi Amie

Now onto the giveaway!  Again, it’s for $100 Visa Gift Card and it’s open for everybody – US Residents and International Residents!  The giveaway will run from April 15th through April 20th at 11:59 pm!  Winner will be chosen Monday, April 21, 2014!   You have 20 ways to enter using the Rafflecopter below!  

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue reading…