“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.”
Where’s Derby Thursday? Well, I’ve taken an unofficial break from roller derby until we move in the spring. Attending practice an hour away has been difficult for me. So until I start attending practice again, Derby Thursday will be...
Tee-hee-hee. I love that double entandre for crocheting! I’ve been a little crochet crazed lately. For Lex’s birthday I made a set of characters from Where the Wild Things Are using the patterns from CraftyisCool. I was so thrilled...
It’s that time of year again…Halloween! I’ve been hard at work getting this house finished…or at least finished enough for now. I set myself a deadline of October 15th to get done, and obviously that hasn’t...
As you may know, last weekend the hubs and I went on a much needed get-away to Eureka Springs. While we were there, we stumbled upon an awesome little shop called The Curious Crow. What drew me in was the street sign advertising steampunk...
Look! I can try clothes on and like the way I look again! Well it’s Week 6, and I’m still doing pretty good on this here Weight Watchers. This past weekend was a challenge because the hubby and I went to Eureka Springs to celebrate...
It feels like forever since I’ve written, and it’s because I’ve been BUSY. I mean, busier than usual–busy at work, at home and even socially (crazy, right?). I’d been wanting to blog about a dozen times about all of my little projects, but then I didn’t have good pictures and so I didn’t do anything. Not to worry, though: I’ll do some catching up shortly.
I feel like I’ve recently emerged from a fog or a flurry (or maybe a foggy flurry?) and suddenly saw all the chaos that has been going on in my life. And now I’ve finally steeled myself up enough to do something about it. As you may know, I have anxiety issues. They frequently lead to procrastination. Then I get all crazy OCD on stuff, become satisfied with what I’ve done, pat myself on the back, and then repeat the cycle. Now I’m trying to break the cycle. It’s not easy. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. I never really questioned it until recently. I guess I thought it was normal and that most people live this way. But now I realize that it’s a really crappy way to live, at least for me anyway. It makes everything more stressful. When I’m stressed, I’m irritable and I fight with my husband and get mad at my kids about little things. And then I don’t feel like doing anything and then I feel guilty for not having done anything. NO MORE!
I have begun utilizing all sorts of things that have been at my disposal for a while now, and I’ve been doing it on a semi-regular basis. I’ve been keeping up with my dishes for the last week and even getting some laundry done. (Everything kind of went to hell during the holiday/post-holiday foggy flurry) And I have a new mantra: progress, not perfection. As long as I’m making some progress, I try not to get down on myself for not doing it perfectly or if I don’t get everything done that I wanted to.
See? I made a to-do list of all my stuff with Astrid. Love it!
I’m still trying to find the balance between housework, family time, social time and me time. And all of those things are constantly in flux, so it’s just one of those things that must constantly be adjusted.
Is it weird that I’m just now realizing, and I mean really, fully comprehending, that nothing in life is ever really finished? It’s so strange to me that I am only now fully aware that there will never come a time to simply rest on my laurels. Life is a constant struggle. And really that’s a good thing. If we had nothing to do, nothing to struggle for, we’d all be bored to death.
I guess when I was younger I had this sort of vision of the future where I’d have a certain kind of life and my goal was to get there. I never really thought about what would happen once I was there. What I didn’t think about then was that the future is not a place; it’s always moving and always out of reach.
I say all this because I’ve realized that yes, I can lose weight; yes, I can organize my stuff; yes, I can make myself a schedule. But all of those things have to be maintained every day. I have to wake up each morning and make the decision again that I’m going to lose weight or stay organized or follow my schedule. And it’s hard. It’s hard to make that same decision every single day. It’s easy to read a story about someone else who’s done it and get really motivated for a day or a week or even a year, but the hard part comes when that initial excitement has waned. You have to keep reminding yourself of why you want it and make that decision again.
I’m not going to lie. It’s been difficult for me to keep to my diet. I’ve stopped wanting it as badly as I did before. I’ve got to keep reminding myself not to go back to the way I was before and not to let all my hard work go to waste. I’ve been pretty much eating whatever I want lately, and I’m starting to pay for it. Seeing that little bit of flab show up again has snapped me out of my denial again and I’m trying harder now. I think getting back to blogging is going to help keep me accountable, too.
Even though it’s hard right now, I’m hoping that, like most things, it will get easier over time. Maybe it will even become second-nature. We’ll see.Read More
We’re only a little over a week into the new year, and I’m feeling kind of meh about my progress on my goals and resolution so far. Last year I was very motivated to lose weight. I had been mentally preparing myself for it for a few months before hand, something I tried to do again this year, and I was just plan tired of being fat. This year’s different for some reason. I’m finding it hard to not give into temptation…a lot. It’s really frustrating. I mean, I worked really hard to form good eating habits, but now I feel like I’ve destroyed those good habits by letting them slide for the last couple of months. And now my will power is depleted, and I keep eating sweets like there’s no tomorrow. Even when I see the number on the scale creeping up again, I still can’t find the will to just say no. It’s the age old story of logic vs. emotion. Logically I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to end up gaining back all the weight I worked so hard to lose. I also know that eating better will make me feel better and be healthier in the long run. But emotionally I’m tired of restricting myself. I want to eat as much chocolate as I want, whenever I want. My inner child is becoming more rebellious and winning out more often than not. It’s definitely something I need to work on.
I did, however, manage to make myself work out last night, mainly because I felt guilty for the amount of candy and cookies I at yesterday. The work out was hard, but afterwards I felt fantastic. I got that nice endorphin rush that exercise gives you, and it reminded me that yeah, I do enjoy this. It’s not a chore. It’s something I do for me. So I thought to myself that perhaps my goal for this year shouldn’t be just to drop another 20 pounds. No, I think it’s going to be to become more physically fit. If you recall, the reason I started exercising last year was to help speed up my weight loss. When I started doing it, I realized that being active is really enjoyable. Now I want to focus on being active for the sake of being active, not simply use it as a means to an end. I’ve found that for me the best motivation for exercising is to have a specific goal that I’m working toward. This year I have two. One, to run a half marathon. Pretty ambitious, I know, but I think I can pull it off. I found one here in Arkansas that’s in December so I’ll have plenty of time to train. Two, to pass my MST for roller derby. I’ve been taking a little break because getting to practice in Cabot was starting to make my home life stressful. Once we move, I plan to start back up with a vengeance. And I want to pass that darn test! Speaking of roller derby, I skated outside for the first time Sunday and it wasn’t too bad. Now if I can just make myself do that more often I won’t feel like a total noob when I start going to practice again.
Now onto my resolution: getting more organized. It’s pretty vague, so let me clarify. First I want to establish a daily routine that allows me to keep up with daily chores (dishes and laundry, specifically), exercise, and keeping the house 15 minutes away from “guest ready,” meaning if I had 15 minutes notice that someone was coming over I wouldn’t be terribly embarrassed by the state of my house. Now that doesn’t mean I want my house to look perfect at all times, just mostly clean and de-cluttered. Secondly, I want to de-clutter my life. I’m frequently overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have in my house, and I’m in a mood to purge. Thirdly, I want to organize my cabinets and drawers and all those places where stuff just gets unceremoniously tossed when it’s in the way. Fourthly, I want to organize my finances. I’ve been letting them get out of hand the past few years and it’s really time to take action.
So far I’ve been somewhat successful at establishing a daily routine. For the past 4 days I have been doing my dishes and laundry daily. I’ve also been making my bed each morning; such a little thing that yields big reward. I’m amazed at how much better I feel about my bedroom when the bed is made. It just looks so much nicer! And it only takes 5 minutes max to make it up each morning. Having my sink clear and most, if not all, of the dishes clean makes cooking so much easier. Each night I “swish & swipe” my bathroom sink, counter, and toilet, which takes about five minutes, and I have a clean bathroom every day. I’ve been trying to think of it as making preparations rather than cleaning. I’m preparing my kitchen for the next time I need to cook. I’m preparing my clothes to be worn again. I’m organizing things in preparation for the next time I need them. For me, at least, changing the way I think about chores makes me more likely to do them. If I can stay positive about it, I’ll get it done quickly and gladly rather than dragging my feet and sulking about it. I’ve been trying to keep my daily to do list realistic and not beating myself up if I don’t get every little thing done. When I worked for Verizon they had a little motto that I really liked: “Our best was good enough for today, but tomorrow we’ll do better.” It reminds me that I did the best I could at that particular time but I can always improve. Right now the plan is to keep plugging along at the routine and work on a big project each weekend. This weekend is baby free (thanks, Dad!) so I’m planning on finally making progress on the cubby shelves for Lex’s room. I really hope I can get it finished. *fingers crossed*
Check out my organizing Pinterest board here for some ideas I plan on implementing, and please share any other ideas that have worked for you. I need all the help I can get!
Well, here we are at the end of another year. I suppose it’s only fitting to look back at my craft goals and see what I’ve accomplished this year. Usually I dread this, but this year I’m feeling pretty good. Let’s take a look, shall we?
So, I’m seeing a lot more red up there than any other color. Regardless, I’m still pleased with what I did manage to accomplish this year. Crafting did take a back seat for most of the year because I was focusing on losing weight and trying to keep on top of housework at the same time. That brings me to my New Year’s Resolutions for last year and this year.
Last year I made it my resolution to lose weight. My goal was 139 lbs. My plan was to use the Dukan Diet to reach that goal. If you’ve been following me this year, then you know that I did lose weight this year. I got down to within 2 pounds of my goal weight, to 141, so I’m going to call that a win. Confession: this past month and a half I gave myself a free pass for the holidays and gained back 3 or 4 pounds. Still, I lost a lot of weight. I’m still planning on slimming down a bit more this coming year until I get to my ideal weight of 125 lbs. That’s the absolute smallest that I want to be, and I know now that it is possible to get there. It’s just going to take more hard work and perseverance, but I can do it! I’m also happy to report that I’ve inspired my dear husband to jump on the weight loss train with me. He’s committed to starting the Weight Watchers program, too. I’m so proud of him for taking this first step toward improving his health and quality of life. I know that when he starts exercising and eating better, he’s going to feel much better overall. Not to mention that it’ll be easier for me to stay on track since he’ll be there with me.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 is to become more organized. I know, I know, it’s very cliché, but it really, truly needs to happen. This year I discovered Fly Lady, and her awesome program for keeping your life clean and organized without becoming overwhelmed. I followed the routines for a while but then I quit. When I was doing the routines, I was amazed that my house stayed mostly clean all the time. I never had to worry about doing the laundry or dishes because I did a little every day, and it never became a problem. I also didn’t have to worry about people dropping by unexpectedly because my house was not a wreck. I’ve started back on the Baby Steps and can already see a difference. For me, the challenge is going to be to remain consistent with the program. I’m great at making plans and getting really excited about a new program, but I’m not always great about following through. I mean, I still can’t believe that I managed to stay on a diet for the better part of a year and actually see results. I know now that I actually can do things when I am determined, and this year I am determined to literally get my house in order and, most importantly, keep it that way.
This organization resolution also includes getting my finances organized. As a young adult, I made a lot of stupid mistakes financially. I’m a very intelligent person, but when it comes to money, I can be really stupid. For years I have been avoiding and ignoring the problems, but that, of course, has not made them go away. This year, however, is the year we (my husband and I) are determined to turn it around and starting rebuilding. I’m sure it’s not going to be easy, but it’s something that needs to be done. We have actually been pretty good about managing our money this past year (as in being able to pay all the bills mostly on time), but we still need to address the consequences of our financial mistakes in the past. I’m looking forward to actually sorting it all out and sharing what I learn with you all. This issue has been a sore spot for me for a while, and I want to get it taken care of once and for all.
Now I’m going to revise my goal list for 2013. There are so many things I want to do! Do you make goals or resolutions? If so, please share!
Where’s Derby Thursday? Well, I’ve taken an unofficial break from roller derby until we move in the spring. Attending practice an hour away has been difficult for me. So until I start attending practice again, Derby Thursday will be on a short hiatus.
Since the first of December I’ve been frantically trying to make a little something for everyone on my list this year. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do for everyone that would be appreciated and not take a whole lot of time. Until, that is, my good friend Mandy brought me a book called Creepy Cute Crochet. I’d seen this book before and thought it looked pretty cool, but I haven’t bought any craft books in a while since they tend to sit unappreciated on the shelves for the most part. Mandy had perfect timing with this, though. It has the cutest little creepy critters, and there is a wide variety of them, too.
Since I got it this weekend, I’ve already finished one and gotten about 90% finished with another and about 50% finished with a third. That’s why I love crochet– it shapes up so quickly! I also love following other peoples’ patterns because I get to learn new techniques. If you’re a Facebook friend or you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen these, but here they are again.
The second creature I’ve been working on, a Day of the Dead gal. All she needs is a face and her crown permanently attached.
Here’s my first batch of eyes for the creatures and a couple of button eyes for my fairy doll. I wouldn’t have considered making eyes from polymer clay if I hadn’t read about it in Creepy Cute Crochet. They’re easy to make and attach (with glue instead of sewing). I would use safety eyes if I were making something for Lex, though, as these could pose a choking hazard. Since the recipients of these gifts aren’t prone to sticking inedible foreign objects in their mouths out of curiosity, I think we’ll be ok.
Here are the button eyes attached. I used a silver embroidery floss to sew them on, which I think looks pretty cool, almost like a glint in the eye. The face did not end up looking the way I originally envisioned, but I still like it. Kinda creepy but also cute. I’m sure Ophelia will love it.
Ophelia is a girl after my own heart when it comes to making stuff. She’s thinks it’s super cool. Last weekend she was upset because she was bored, and to cheer her up, I agreed to help her sew something. She chose a teddy bear. We looked for a pattern online, and decided on this one. However, you had to buy it. It looked pretty easy to figure out, though, so I winged it. The result, while not exactly the pattern online, was very cute and floppy.
Not bad for my first teddy bear pattern attempt, eh? And Ophelia did help with it. She stuffed an arm and a leg, and she helped sew up the straight parts on the sewing machine (with a little help from yours truly). She also chose the fabrics we would use and the buttons for the eyes. Now that I look at the inspiration bear, I see that I shouldn’t have sewn a line between the body and the head because Ophelia’s bear has no neck support (oops). But it was still a success, I think. Lex also liked the bear and fought over it with Ophelia a bit. It was pretty cute.
Speaking of Lex, I’ve barely started on his Christmas present. There is so much to do in the next 12 days! I’m starting to feel the familiar stress of the holidays. *Deep breath* Nothing to do but keep moving forward!
Good luck and godspeed with all your Christmas crafting!Read More