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I was sick on New Year’s Eve. Awesome, right? I didn’t feel like going out, so I stayed in my jammies and offered to drive my husband and two of our friends, Andy and Olesya, to a NYE get together. We pulled up to the party around 11:50pm and decided that we’d all sit in the car together and ring in 2013 as a group. Just before midnight, Andy suggested we all say what we plan to leave in 2012. At the time, I said I’d be leaving my cold in 2012…but the idea kept me thinking. What would I be leaving in 2012? What am I bringing with me into 2013?

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions – they feel like too much pressure, I guess. Too much to live up to, with the expectation that you won’t.  So instead of resolutions, I’m packing a suitcase for 2013. Full of everything I want for the year. The difference is slight, but meaningful. I’m packing them up. They are mine. I’m owning them from here on out. So here we go – a candid (somewhat embarrassing, but completely honest) list of what I’m bringing with me into 2013.

{A SKINCARE ROUTINE} My mom used to joke that I’d wash my face with laundry detergent if that’s what was around. I never tried the  detergent technique, but the sentiment is pretty true. I sort of treat my skin like it’s on lease. As if I’m gonna get to trade it in one day. Well, I think we can all agree that’s not gonna happen. I don’t have the time or money to invest in regular visits to the esthetician but I do think there is a happy medium here. In my suitcase, I’m bringing an effective, doable skincare regimen that will keep me looking…but most importantly feeling like my best me.

{80,000 pageviews} It wasn’t until the rebirth of Damask Love that I began to understand all the details of blog statistics. Pageviews are kind of a big deal when it comes to blogging as a business. Pageviews are also a nice measure of growth over time and reach. It’s no secret that I want to expand the reach of this blog. I want to spread the crafting addiction to as many people as possible! The more the merrier. So with that in mind, I’m bringing 80,000 pageviews per month into 2013. It’s not a ton – there are plenty of blogs that get WAY more than this, but for me, this number feels significant and ambitious. It represents hard work, networking, collaboration and growth. (It also represents the fact that pageviews reported by Google Analytics are WAY lower than the ones reported by Blogger, so it’s going to take some hard work and time to reach the 80,000 benchmark).

{A BOOK PITCH} This one is tough to put out there. In my suitcase is a book. The book that I plan to pitch in 2013. I recently took a class through Altitude Summit where one of the participants said “Every blogger should have a book.” I like the idea of that. I know several bloggers with books and it’s a goal of mine. I’ve already begun to develop several ideas. Of course, I can’t control whether any of my ideas are accepted for publication, but I can control the quality of my pitch…so that’s what I’m bringing into 2013. A strong proposal for Damask Love: The Book (of course that’s not the title…you’ll have to wait and see on that).

{AN INTERN} Delegation is something I struggle with. I typically just do everything myself, which, as of late has become an unmanageable vice. I’m bringing an intern into 2013. I haven’t hired this person yet but believe me, it will happen. The administration of Damask Love and Drawn Together is a large task, and I’m finally learning that I can be a better, more efficient person with the help of others.

{POM POMS} I know, you’re confused by this one, right? In my suitcase, I’m bringing a cute set of pom poms…so that I can be a cheerleader for everyone out there. The inspiration for this one comes from Susan Opel, the creative editor at Paper Crafts Magazine. Susan used to be a cheer coach and it totally shines through in her attitude. She is the best cheerleader ever!  Too often, I get bogged down with comparing my work to all the other talented crafters and bloggers out there who’ve reached a level of success that seems unattainable for me.  From there, it’s easy to quickly devolve into a dark place of envy and isolation…and that’s just not cool. My 2013 pom-poms are the remedy. Truth is, if I’m feeling envious of a particular person- it’s because they are awesome! Time to break out those pom poms and cheer that person on! So beware, me & my pom poms are probably coming your way.

{MY LOUD MOUTH} I’ve said it before . God set my volume on high. I’m loud. Always have been. For years, I felt really insecure about it. People would say “Oh my gosh! I could hear you from down the hall!” or “Amber! I can always tell if you’re in the room.” Well, guess what…I’m loud and I talk a lot. At this point in my life, I’m not insecure about it. I’m not apologizing for it. It’s the way I am. I’m loud and I have a lot of energy. If I meet you somewhere, I’ll give you a hug. If you say something funny, I’ll laugh really loudly. If you want to hear my opinion on something, I’ll give it to you. If you didn’t ask for my opinion on something, I may still give it to you because I have a big repertoire of facial expressions and you can usually tell what I’m thinking by looking at me. It’s just the way I’m put together. I realize some people may not be a fan – but what can I say?  I can’t really fake it. So, for 2013, I’m bringing my loud mouth with me. Proudly. No apologies.

So there is it, the contents of my 2013 suitcase. Here’s your challenge: Leave a comment here telling us something that you’re bringing into 2013. Be honest. Be vulnerable if you want. I’d love to hear what’s in your suitcase.

Keep on crafting with these other posts

30 thoughts on “What I’m Packing for 2013

  1. Oh my goodness, girl! I LOVE it! What color will those pom poms be! And I pretty much heart that loud mouth of yours. A lot. And a book? Wow – you are attacking 2013 with a vengeance. Mwuah!

  2. Hey Amber. It’s Rose from Canada and I’m still dreaming of our yummy Mexican food from Cincinnati

    Jut wanted to wish you best of luck in 2013. And to tell you you are just delightful the way you are 🙂

  3. HOLY ambition, lady!! This is *awesome*.

    I also have a loud mouth… though only when you get to know me. I have fooled many into thinking I am a quiet, reserved lady. HA!

    You make me want to work HARDER. I love it.

    I love the pom poms… I really think I need to do the same. I always assume the good ones know who they are, so they won’t miss my comment, even if I am completely blown away by their talents. I know that’s wrong, so I want to do better with actually voicing my awe.

    AWESOME post, my friend!!

  4. First, I’m gonna buy a new suitcase – the old one is dunzo and it’s time to grow up and get a cute age-appropriate and functional suitcase, carry-on, of course! And, i’m bringing my artistic side with me into 2013. Law can be boring as hell, so I’m going to look for ways to spice things up. Also, I think A LOT about everything and I plan to write more – I think I’m kind of funny and smart, so I want to see what happens.

  5. Hi Amber!! I loved reading this post:) Cheers to you in 2013! As for me I am bringing a word to 2013 “nourish”.

  6. Love the contents of your suitcase. Love your work. Love how you share of yourself. I’m not making any resolutions except to try to be more positive this year. It’s my word for 2013 – POSITIVE! I hope I can feel motivated to get back into stamping and crafting some day. Thanks for sharing.

  7. NO shoes?? How can a girl with all your style go without shoes!!!

    Your suitcase is packed and ready to go “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!!”
    “You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

    My suitcase has a TON of lululemon in it that is going to be worn out by the end of the year with all the running, zumba and tire throwing I will be doing. My pom-poms are green ~ they match my beetle and it is perky color!! I will be looking for a signed copy of that book. Kiehl’s is amazing ~ 80K no problem and I have a loud mouth too 🙂 My kids only know they are in trouble when I use a middle and last name ~ And find an intern who will make you laugh ~ a deep belly laugh because sometimes when things get too serious you just need that moment.

    Cheers and a Happy New Year !!!

  8. OK, I first need to get me a suitcase, threw the other one out some time ago. I’m packing No-Nonsense for 2013. I don’t have the time or energy for it, Next I’m packing “It’s All About ME”…(sometimes I get so involved doing for others I forget about #1, ME). I’ll still make time for family and friends, but won’t go overboard this time around. Book?, well this has been popping in and out of my head for a few years now. Another things is “Healthier ME”, I have a 3yr old and I want to make sure Mommy can keep up with her for a long time. I’m ok now, but I could be a little better. These genes won’t last this good always…LOL! There’s a few more, but I won’t take up your blog with my rambling…Happy New Year, Girl!

  9. I love all the things in your suitcase! Your pom poms are fantastic…it cracks me up that you find levels in craftiness that are unattainable. What? You are that person to me! But, you also work at it much harder. I’m packing in some time management – it’s a tool that I’ve owned in the past and have somehow lost along the way.
    Thanks for another fantastic post! Can’t wait to hear what the book will be about!

  10. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention how much I love your first item. I started working at The Body Shop earlier in 2012, and I had never taken care of my skin. Hitting 35 this year also told me that I needed to do something for myself because things will soon be changing. Now I have a makeup remover, face wash, toner, stem cell gel stuff, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, primer and night cream!! Ha! Seriously good stuff though, and it truly doesn’t take me very long to do it all :o)

  11. Hi Amber,
    I loved your post. I can relate to being loud. i was raised in a loud family. It was our way of being heard above the rest I guess. I look at it- that we are alive and participating in life.
    Skin care- I personally go the simple route – cetaphil and moisturizer at night. Always, Always wear sunscreen. there are plenty of moisturizers that come with sunscreen so you can wear it all year round. Forgo the expensive stuff. It wont do much to prevent wrinkles . That’s where no smoking, sunscreen and plenty of water come in. Your young take care now- remember 1 alcoholic drink, 1 glass of water.

    One of my items in the suitcase is to “put myself out there”. Take some risks

  12. Amber, this post really resonated with me! You’ve packed an awesome suitcase there! Your last point about packing your loud mouth is wonderful. I might stop apologising for being loud, and just start loving that part of me, too! I’m a big fan of the pom-poms. 80,000 pageviews a month, wow! Beyond the realms of imagination for me, but I’m sure you’ll achieve this goal yourself. Your new, structured approach to Damask Love is sure to win this many and more! For me this year, I have decided to focus more on what I like in my cards, and enjoy my own style. The card-makers that I truly admire most are always recognisable by their work, and I’d like my work to scream “I’m a Michelle card!”. 🙂

  13. Good golly Miss Amber, I like this suitcase idea. I’m really going to have to ponder what I’d put in it though.

  14. What a great post. I am inspired to think about my own suitcase, and I can totally relate to you and your repertoire of facial expressions. People never have to wonder what I’m thinking either!

  15. I love the packing it for the year approach. And I “cheer” for you every time I see your creations they are gorgeous. Keep up the crafty love in 2013 thanks !

  16. Hi! I have a pretty small blog with 6 followers, it’s been up for a year now, I know the design is simple but I can’t seem to generate more interest on it, I love to craft And putting what I do on display gives it a different flavor, I really enjoy it! So my suitcase for 2013 has my blog in it, my love for crafting And a dreamed business built from that.

  17. HA! Amber…I’m loving the “I’m loud”! When I first came across your website the first thing that drew me in besides the awesome crafts was the wide, sunny smile in your picture…so full of light! I had a feeling that anyone who smiled that widely and freely had to be bubbly code for “loud”…I’m glad I wasn’t wrong. All the best to you for 2013.

    In my suitcase I’ve got my heart. I’ve decided I need to be more open and to share the real me with the people in my life who deserve to know who and what that means. So that’s what I got…it pretty much filled my suitcase.

    Light & Love to everyone who commented.

    And to Margarita…keep going.

  18. I don’t really set resolutions but I appreciate your candor in sharing yours. I’m glad that you have gotten more comfortable with yourself. I wish you good luck with your goals and congratulations in seeing the Sandy Hook project through. You are truly amazing and you have a good heart.

  19. First time to your blog, found by way of Studio Calco’s website, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Love the idea of the suitcase! Four years ago I participated in the one little word challenge and decided this year to give it another try. I will share my word with anyone who ask….so her it goes, Stay. I have a real problem with “staying the course” as the year goes on so I have chosen Stay. Stay motivated to work out, stay determined to save money, stay focused on self-control, stay secure in my husbands love, stay connected to my family in TX, stay content, stay strong, stay positive! I could go on forever with all the possibilities with my one little word. I’m very proud of e word I have chosen. I will me watching your blog as the year goes on and wish you much success and growth!

  20. Amber – love the idea of your suitcase, and so appreciated reading what everyone else would put in theirs! This year my goal is to get out and enjoy life more, and to have fun. I tend to be a worrier so I am going to learn to let go a little. I also want to document my life better. So my suitcase definitely has my camera – now I just have to learn how to use it better – LOL! All the best for 2013! 🙂

  21. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m determinined to make 2013 a special one also and my bags are ready…turning 45 this year on 03/13/13… That to me sounds like the luckiest day!

  22. I’ve always stayed away from resolutions, too, but I love this idea. I like that you embrace things about yourself that are a part of you and how you make subtle changes in perspective on others. Can’t wait to see what the year brings.

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