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Reality Check

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

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.

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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.

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Making Some Progress

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

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. For other related article about financial loans visit https://www.perfectpayday.com.au/cash-loans/.
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. Applying in consumer loans will fix your finances for they let you låne penger. For more details, you can visit loans.no

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 even got the best kitchen tools, you can learn more about it here. 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!

 

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The End of 2012

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Blog | 2 comments

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?

Goals for 2012

  • Put the finishing touches on Memaw’s apple afghan Nope. Sorry, Memaw.
  • Viking hat for Lex Yes, and it still fits him this year. It’s a big hit whenever we go out.
  • Awesome birthday cake for Anthony Yes! Creeper cake achieved.
  • Science Craft Swap Yup, done on time 🙂
  • Hem ALL the pants! Nope, didn’t happen. I think I hemmed one other pair. This goal was mostly for the hubs’ benefit. Maybe next year, sweetie.
  • Convert dress into skirt Didn’t happen either, but I still want to do this once I lose all my weight. 
  • Lex’s room This one is my biggest disappointment, and therefore my number one priority for the new year. I got hung up on one thing, but I think I’ll be able to finish it up soon. 
  • Build at least one thing from ana-white.com This also makes me sad. I tried to make this happen but hit a few bumps. Now that I have the proper tools, I’m confident I’ll get it done in a snap.
  • Make something festive for each holiday Meh, sort of. I did a much better job this year of decorating for each holiday. I actually got my Halloween decorations up, and I made a cute garland for Valentine’s Day. There’s still room for improvement.
  • Make curtains for the living room I did this one! I made some curtains out of drop cloth for one of the windows in the living room. It took a lot longer than planned. Now I just have two more windows to go…
  • Finish the spooky dollhouse No, not quite. I did make a lot of progress, though. Next year!
  • Make a quilt Nope. I’m feeling much more comfortable with the idea now, though.
  • A year of handmade gifts I did pretty well with this one. I tried to include at least one handmade gift for each of my family members and succeeded for the most part.
  • One Pinterest project a month I completely forgot about this one. I did a few Pinterest projects this year, though, and this goal was designed to motivate me to actually DO stuff, not just pin it.
  • Make more cute things with felt & embroidery I’d say achieved on this one. I did quite a few embroidery projects this year and some things with felt. I’m sure there’ll be much more to come.
  • Improve photography skills I didn’t get as far along with this one as I’d like. I did learn a few things and have played more with Photoshop, but I do want to learn how to use my DSLR properly.
  • Stockpile handmade gifts Unfortunately, no. This goal is definitely going to roll over into 2013, though, and I plan to use my Creepy Cute Crochet book to help achieve it. 
  • Become a better cook Yes, I do believe I am a better cook now than I was last year. I’ve paid more attention to how I cook and found some really great recipes. 
  • Make more miniature things Yes! I learned how to make mini books, and I experimented more with clay and making miniatures.
  • Make steampunk costumes for me, Vincent and Lex Nope. This one is at the top of the list for 2013. I want to be done before Halloween next year at the latest. 

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.

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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 Share Prices Australia organization 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!

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Derby Thursday

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Hey everyone! Sorry I skipped Derby Thursday last week. It’s been busy around here, and, as a result, I wasn’t able to go to practice that week. I did, however, get to go last week, and OMG you guys, I can totally do cross-overs now! We did some drills where we practiced skating on one foot at the apexes, which is really hard for me, and I’m still not able to skate on one foot the whole time. But after we did those we just skated using crossovers and it just kind of clicked. I started crossing over so smoothly that it was amazing to me. But then if I thought about it too much, I started messing up. When I just go with the flow, it works. Crazy!

We also practiced more jumping, and I’m getting better at it. Soon I’ll be brave enough to try jumping the little cones instead of just the lines. Then we worked on the dreaded backwards skating. I got some help from Evie Duzzit and seemed to be doing much better. A lot of it is getting used to using muscles I didn’t even know were there. I’m still working on getting the movements for backwards skating down, but I’m getting there. I used either the wall or Evie for support the whole time but I’m sure soon I’ll be able to do it on my own.

In case you were planning on coming to the next bout which was supposed to be this Saturday evening, it’s been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. But there will be plenty of bouts next season! And CARD (Central Arkansas Roller Derby) has a bout that same day at Skate World in Little Rock. Go support your local roller derby!

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Wee Spooky House {Update}

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Blog, Feature | 0 comments

vintagefronthouse

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 happened. But I’m still getting closer! Here are some detail/teaser shots.

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Wee Spooky House Update

Posted by on Sep 19, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

So, it’s been a while, but maybe ya’ll remember the wee spooky house I was working on around this time last year? I got a bit burnt out after holiday crafting last year and my little house got set aside for a while. Then I got a bit un-inspired, I suppose, and hadn’t messed with it much since before Christmas. I’ve still been gathering little things that could potentially be used inside and storing up ideas but no real progress had been made.

Then I went to Michael’s and saw all of the Halloween stuff for sale and got excited about my spooky house again. I decided to make the time to work on it and gave myself a deadline of October 15th. Here are some pictures of my progress so far.

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I really like the dimension that the moss gives the outside. It could still use a bit of cleaning up, but I really like the direction it’s heading. What do you guys think of the pterodactyl fossil? The hubby says it’s too light-colored and I should paint it darker. I think I will to give it a more authentic look.

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That little book shelf is now filled with tiny books. I’m not sure that I like the black and white, though. I’ll probably do a little more tweaking this week and hopefully get the study mostly finished.

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How cute is the little brain in a jar? My friend Amber made that for me in our Science Craft Swap. It’s going to end up behind the book shelf in the study in that little alcove, sort of like a secret room. I think it’d look cool from the outside with some green LED lights incorporated somehow.

Tiny books

To make the miniature books, I used this tutorial. They turned out really awesome and weren’t that hard to make. I will say that I like using decorative paper for the covers better than fabric, especially on the scale I’ve been making them. If I were doing bigger books, I’d also try faux leather. That’ll be a project for another time.

While I was at Michael’s I couldn’t resist using my 50% off coupon to get another little house. This time I got the Gothic one, and I want it to become a Victorian steampunk mansion. I’ve got some ideas percolating already but I will not do anything with it until this spooky house is finally done! Speaking of the Gothic house, check out this interpretation on it. It’s really great work, and it also made me laugh out loud.

I’m so happy to be working on my little house again. I love getting lost in imagining what I want it to look like and then making it become reality. It’s been the best kind of challenge where I’ve found out that I really am capable of making something amazing from scratch. It’s a great confidence boost.

If you want to make your own wee house, go for it! Check out the Craftster thread that got me inspired. All of the ladies there are super supportive and full of ideas. They’ve also listed a lot of links for tutorials and inspiration. I’d love to see what you guys come up with!

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