I have been slacking on the blog lately and I don't really feel bad about it. We had Holidays, travelling, illness, and a bout of negativism. Anyway, I think things are picking up a little.
We had family parties on Christmas Eve at Steve and Jen's house, Christmas Brunch here, Christmas Dinner at Steven and Jen's again (my parents were snowed in at home with no power so we missed seeing them), and then Saturday with my dad's extended family in Centerville, and Sunday with my mom's extended family in Orem.
My coworkers have been passing around a nasty stomach bug and I started feeling it on Christmas Eve. I missed work on Friday and slept most of the day. I thought that was done, but I went to bed last night feeling pretty nauseous and woke up feeling it as well. Plus, I think I'm getting a cold on top of it.
Life is good overall. I'm busy on some jewelry and scrapbooking projects and I'll try to share photos soon. Hope things are going well for everyone.
This year, we had 90% of our shopping done before December and it has been awesome. Here's what we did for family this year: I found the huge red bowls at Walmart for like 1.97 and I ordered vinyl lettering for them from onceuponadesign. I don't know how it'll hold up, to be honest. I'll tell the recipients to handwash the bowls if they want to preserve the lettering. I'd kinda like to buy and label a barf bucket now. We had one growing up that was named "Beeston." It would be so stinking awesome... Anyway, we followed a movie night theme. It was fun and easy.
Last year, we made jammies for everyone. It was a lot of fun and a ton of work. I don't mind spending time on a gift, but it was stressful. We bought tons of flannel way in advance and then waited until a week before Christmas to actually make them, so there was a major time crunch and not enough enjoyment in the project. This year, I did a lot of online shopping and was done in just a couple hours. Perfection!
I got this today. Just the wrapper. Not the chocolate. My coworker thought it would be a nice reminder for me. (It says: Holiday magic starts from within) I happen to like being Scrooge-ish. Haha. He thinks I'm bad for being cranky for four weeks out of the year and he's cranky for 52 of them ;)
Holiday House Tours! Check it out at the Hooked on Houses blog. I love houses and decorating, so these online 'parties' are so much fun! In past years, I've done more decorating, but I scaled back some and I'm glad that I did. There's enough decor, but not so much that its overwhelming. I definitely don't want to repeat last year - I got tired of the tree being in my way and I took it down a week before Christmas.
Starting at the front door, I have a fun Christmas wreath. I like non-traditional colors for decorating, so this lime-y green, pale pink, and light purple is great. I made it two years ago.
My mom has had this nativity for as long as I can remember and I've lusted after it for as long, so I figured I should get one of my own. Luckily, I found one last year and bough it for myself. I love it and I look forward to displaying it every year.
The apothecary jars sit on top of my computer armoire. One is filled with gold bells and assorted ornaments. The other is filled with tiny gold pinecones. I wanted the smaller jar to have faux snow and a fun ornament inside, but I couldn't find an ornament that I liked enough.
I liked the view of the tree from the mirrors hanging on the wall. If you click the photo, you can see the tree topper. It's a birdcage ornament that I wired to the top of the tree and added a bird.
The bowl on my coffee table is filled with scented pinecones. It is festive and fun. That bowl's contents change according to the season... just last week, it was filled with mini pumpkins.
This year, I thought it would be fun to make the tree match the decor of the room. Our color scheme in the living room is aqua/teal, chocolate brown, and muted gold. To be honest, I wasn't sure it would all come together on the tree. I bought a little at a time (and carried fabric swatches from my living room so I could match things) and hoped that it would look cohesive and not thrown together. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I think we'll stick with this "theme" for a few years. I've decided that it is impossible to take a photo of the tree that will do it justice.
I pondered all the things I could do today as I laid in bed this morning. I could wrap presents. I could sew pillows. I could make jewelry. I could take photos of jewelry I've already made. I could scrapbook. I could venture outside and take some wintery photos. I could fold the mountain of clean clothes and put them away. I could sew the duvet for my bedroom makeover. Honestly, I could waste my whole day trying to decide...
So, I've been awake for 20 minutes and I've made my decision. I'm gonna tackle the pillows, then the mountain of clean clothes, and then scrapbook. I hope this creative vibe sees me through tomorrow too. I need to recharge and being creative helps me do that.
Heather Melzer has been doing a fun "12 Days of Holiday Cheer" giveaway this month and I offered up one of my necklaces for a giveaway. So, if you want to win a gorgeous necklace or one of her other great prizes, be sure to stop by her blog today! The necklace is also available in my shop :)
Last year, I got so tired of having the tree in my way that I took it down a week before Christmas. I had strangers stop me at work to tell me how sad that made them. Whatever. Scrooge can do what she wants. LOL. As much as I dislike Christmas, I do love putting up a tree and displaying my nativity.
I was smarter this year and bought a 4.5' tree that fits perfectly atop the chest I have under my living room window. I should have done this YEARS ago. We have changed themes every year and kinda wanted something that matched the decor of our living room (aqua/teal, brown, and muted gold).
I've bought a few sets of ornaments in the past month or so and hoped that I'd be able to make them work together. I actually LOVE how it looks. I'll try to get a decent photo of the whole tree and share that later. It'll take some practice though... photographing a tree is hard work (for me, anyway!) LOL
There's one problem with using beads I've had stashed for a long time - I ended up making a necklace that I just love and I'm not able to reproduce it. Sigh. Luckily, I was able to track down some very similar beads online, so I'll be able to make a few more. Whew! That's good, since I had someone ask to purchase one when she saw me wearing it for the first time. Soon enough, I'll have a few more completed so I can post one in my shop as well.
We had planned on going to my aunt's house in Centerville, but late Wednesday, she called and said my aunt in Pocatello was hosting instead. No biggie. I'm kinda smack dab between the two.
We had a yummy meal and then half the family went shooting and the other half stayed and played games. Later, we had pie, played pool, ping pong, and wii. I honestly love Thanksgiving. It takes some planning and preparation, but it ends up being a very laid-back, happy day with people I love and don't get to see much.
There was no lemon pie, but otherwise the day was perfect.
I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. I like Thanksgiving, but it marks the beginning of insanity. Five weeks of cranky people, busy stores, and snow. I really don't like Christmas. For the record, I hope you (a collective you) love Christmas. Someone has to and it's not going to be me. I'm just not that into holidays.
My shopping is done and I will decorate for the holiday. I'll find myself at several holiday parties. I'll probably even bake. Sadly, I won't enjoy it. I never do. I try every year and every year I feel more detached from this season. Like I'm going though the motions without feeling anything. I can't wait for 12/26/08!
I have many reasons for feeling this way and I tend to find people that disagree with me and think I'm just cold-hearted or something, so I won't get into it. Maybe my perspective will change when I have kids. That would certainly make things more fun. Until then, you can call me Scrooge.
So, I caved and created a Facebook account. I was bored. LOL. It has been fun to find people though. There are people from high school that I forgot about (hey - it's been almost a decade since I graduated), family members that I see only once or twice a year, friends that live far far away, and friends that live a block away that I see only once or twice a year. LOL.
Creating a profile is... interesting. I think I'm boring and can never think of anything interesting to list under "about me" types of things.
This whole thing is new to me. If you're out there and want to be my Facebook friend, let me know or send me an invite :)
I am a very visual person. I love to see things and I learn best by either reading or watching someone else demonstrating. There is only one drawback to being so visual... if I see something, it's very difficult to not see it over and over again in my mind. Ironically, sight is my only 'flawed' sense. Without corrective lenses, I can't see anything clearly past what is required to read a book.
My dad loves to share movies with us. He brings a stack for us to watch every time he comes to visit. He brought one a couple weeks ago and has asked us several times since how we liked it. It was a war drama. Probably my two least favorite genres - war and drama.
My parents dropped by yesterday. My mom and Stephanie left to visit my sister-in-law and my cute niece and adorable nephews and my dad suggested He and I watch this movie he's talked so much about. After about 10 minutes, I'd seen things I didn't care to see. I got up to use the bathroom and I took out my contacts. I then "watched" another hour of this movie with him before I went to bed. The sounds of the movie and the dialogue didn't bother me at all. The images definitely did, though.
Yeah, maybe I was wrong to not just tell him I didn't want to watch it, but he was so excited for me to see it and I didn't want to let him down. I figure we were able to spend some time together and that's what matters.
Sometimes I like my job; sometimes I really hate my job. Most of the time I fall somewhere in the middle. It's the kind of job that takes it toll slowly - building and building - until you find yourself crying in a bathroom stall. That was me last Saturday. Nothing all that bad happened, but I had let things build so long that I found myself at a breaking point. I had a sweet friend supporting me through text messages and I got through the day. He deserves cookies. LOL.
Needless to say, I took some time off this week. I have been happy and productive and I'm feeling so much better about work, home, etc. Yesterday, I cleaned and organized my bedroom. I searched all my local stores for a fabric I could use for the pillows in my living room and didn't find anything. I already have most of the fabric I need, but wanted a solid blue that had a different texture than twill or silk (which is what the other fabrics are). I finally found one online and I hope the color is close to what's on the monitor. I was too impatient to order a swatch this time. I just want this project done. Now I just have to decide which fabric goes on which pillow.
I bought a basket and pillow forms with my bonus. I have enough to buy a down comforter and a lamp still, but I'll have to get the comforter online and there wasn't a shade I liked at the store when I found the lamp base I wanted. One of these day I'll get both of those things.
with my Christmas shopping, and I started this morning. Online shopping is awesome. I didn't have to listen to screaming kids and cranky parents. I didn't have to wait in long lines with inept cashiers. And, I didn't even have to get dressed. Not only is that awesome, but I found some great deals on the things that I was looking for. Finding a bargain always makes me happy!
I need to go exploring tomorrow morning to find some other items locally... My goal, which I WILL accomplish, is to have Christmas shopping completely done before Thanksgiving. We were done early last year and it was so incredibly nice. To be honest, I could be done tomorrow if I find what I need in town. That makes me smile!
I'm also going to buy myself some new things tomorrow - probably sheets and a new down comforter. I got a small bonus at work a few months ago and I've been trying to decide what I wanted to buy myself since then. Who knows, maybe I'll get to the store and make another decision. Can't wait!!
(pardon the bad photo please - what looks like dust and uneven painting is actually a result of using a flash) Here she is! I finished the second coat of paint on Tuesday and now I'm just letting her get good and dry before she's moved to my bedroom. Really, I've just been busy with other things and haven't yet made the time to move the old nightstand out of the way yet.
My latest project is an afghan for my bed. I'm making a duvet cover, bed skirt, and pillows, and I wanted a cute throw blanket too, but couldn't find something in the right color. I found yarn in the perfect color and it was so inexpensive (2.59/skein and on sale at Michaels for only 2.00 this week! Wahoo!) It's so soft, but holds its shape really well. Luckily, I can work on the afghan while I'm at work, so it's coming along pretty quickly.
I've been on the hunt for a new bedside table for about six months. Everything was either too expensive or not quite right. I guess I was just looking for something that spoke to me and said "Hey, I would look awesome next to your bed." followed by "And I won't break the bank to do so."
I was having a cranky day last week and needed some space, but I wasn't gonna get any. Steph suggested that we go to a thrift store to look for old books... It was kismet. I heard those words that I'd been listening for. A great table sat before me. It needed a little love, but I was more than willing to supply it.
I took a peek at the price tag: How's $10.00? Yeah!! This table had spoken to me and had practically no impact on my budget. It's solid and sturdy and awesome. I snagged this baby right up, hurried home, and started sanding away. The first coat of paint was applied yesterday. I have one or two areas on the legs that need a drip mark sanded off and then I'll get that final coat of paint applied. It's looking so awesome and it's not even finished yet.
I'm happiest when I'm being creative (something I've known for a long time) and I try to do something crafty as often as I can. I'm gonna try and update here with the crafty things I'm working on. Soon, I'll be able to share photos of my awesome table in her new black coat ;)
I am, indeed, in hot water. Sunday, Steph started running water for a bath and I thought "oh, I hope she doesn't use all the hot water." Maybe two minutes later, she came out in a towel and told me there was no hot water. We wondered if the pilot light on the water heater had gone out, so we opened the utility room door and found some moldy, yellow sludge coming from the water heater. YUCK! I didn't take a photo because it was gross.
We store our vaccuum, broom, and mop in that room and I hadn't seen this sludge a few days earlier when I'd been in there to get the broom. We didn't want to bother the landlord on a Sunday and figured we could both survive ONE cold shower. (For the record, my shower lasted about 16 seconds. I got the top half of my hair wet and couldn't stand it any longer than that). It was COLD!
Stephanie, who rarely cleans, was so excited to boil water to wash dishes. Yeah, I don't understand it either. LOL.
I called the landlord yesterday morning and he came right over to look at the water heater. He couldn't see anything wrong with the heater itself, but found some problems with the pipes leading to it. In the time it took for me to make an impulsive purchase at Michaels, the plumber had everything in working order. (I know, because I was making an impulsive purchase at Michaels while the plumber was at my house).
So, last night, I had a LONG, HOT shower and it was awesome!
Saturday, we did our grocery shopping, bought a wedding gift, went to my cousin's reception, bought brake pads, and worked on projects. Another cousin was planning to visit, but she decided to visit today instead.
Sunday, I woke up sick, took a three hour nap, went to a get-together at a friend's house, and then went to my brother's house so he could change my brake pads. He left for Basic Training this week. It'll be weird to not see him until Christmas.
Monday, I worked on several projects around the house and did a little shopping and errand running. I've been thinking a lot about organizing projects and home decor ideas.
Yesterday, I didn't have to work, so I did some cleaning and organizing in my bedroom, arranged some flowers, cut out fabric for a quilt, conducted an experiment with paint to decide if I wanted to paint some furniture, and had second thoughts about the arrangement of fabrics for the quilt. I started organizing two of the closets in my house as well.
Today, I'm back to my routine. Work, boredom, and a headache. LOL. My cousin, Sarah, should be here this afternoon. I'm also trying to decide what pillows to make for my living room (size, color, texture, etc.)
Today, the Nester is having a "handmade holiday" link party. I just had to join in the fun! Check out my Etsy shop to see my own homemade wares.
I'll post more info once I'm at work and have some free time... oh, the irony!
** I'm at work now, with ample free time to blog :) ** There's a certain thrill that can come only from buying homemade. Knowing that the item you just purchased was lovingly made, and possibly loved before it came to be yours. The homemade items seem to have so much more life and personality than the mass-produced things you can buy at a retail chain.
I've never been disappointed by a homemade purchase and I try my best to make sure that anyone buying from me can say the same. My items are lovingly created with great attention to detail. I often make two of each item - one for me and one to sell - because I fall in love with almost every piece I create.
Go. Buy homemade! To sweeten the deal, anyone that orders from my Etsy shop between now and 10/26/08 will get a free gift included with their purchase.
Tuesdays are becoming my least favorite day of the week. I don't exactly know why, either.
I spent some time organizing this weekend. I moved the games from the cabinet at the end of the hallway to the cupboard above the fridge. I also moved all my paints up there as well - spray and acrylic. I rearranged the pantry and freed up a lot of space. The hallway cabinet will soon store craft stuff, probably. I also have a deep, lidded basket that I'm going to store extra linens in, and that will go either in my bedroom or in the living room somewhere.
Steph and I asked our parents to buy us food storage for Christmas this year, so I've been trying to come up with places to store some. We want to buy a cabinet for the living room, but the empty shelf in the pantry and the storage available in the laundry room may be sufficient for the food storage.
I'm also trying to get rid of things I don't use. We have TONS of clothes, yet I wear the same 15-20 things over and over again. We have lots of shoes. Same story there! I need to just say goodbye and let things go. I also have a lot of crafty stuff, metal tins, random crap, etc. that I keep because "I'll need it some day" or "it's really cool." I'm feeling the urge to live more simply.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things done, but I just disappoint myself for things like coming home from a long day at work work and watching movies all afternoon or not having certain projects done within a certain time frame. I'm trying to go easier on myself. Maybe my expectations are too high. If I'm having a bad day, who cares if I watch feel-good movies until bedtime? Does anyone even know that I bought fabric to redecorate my bedroom in February and have yet to even cut it? (Well, anyone reading this knows now. LOL).
I scrapbooked yesterday and made a fun layout. I'll try to remember to share it soon!
I love houses. Love floorplans, decorating, home tours, I even love home-improvement stores. I considered being an architect and did a stint as an interior design major in college.
There are lots of things I'm interested in; scrapbooking, jewelry making, sewing, reading, etc. but houses are my true love. Seeing photos of a beautiful home will inspire me for weeks.
I love attending the Parade of Homes each year. It's better than Christmas! I actually get excited for the house tours... Sadly, I missed it this year. And last year. I haven't had much luck since they moved it to June. I'm definitely going next year - no matter what!
Anyway, I recently came upon a blog that makes me SO happy! Hooked on Houses is awesome!! She goes on home tours and shares photos. While there are some that are definitely not my style, most have something I can appreciate. *LOVE*
I can't remember the last time I was really, really sick. It's be a few years, and for that I'm thankful. What happens instead is that some nasty bug will get passed around. I'll feel run down, have swollen glands, sore throat, headache, etc. and everyone around me will be full-on sick. I can tell you, my situation isn't better. It's not worse either, but I'm still sick even if I'm not coughing up a lung or something.
So, that's been my week. I haven't done anything. I'm also in a funk with my day-to-day. I want something different to happen just once in a while. I start to get a little stir-crazy when things are monotonous.
a quick update on nothing:
Last weekend, Stephanie spilled Pepsi on my brand new suede shoes. That was awesome. She felt bad for spilling in the car. I didn't care about the car... the floormats are grey and can be washed. The shoes are tan and SO cute AND comfy (how often does that happen?). Thankfully, they weren't expensive. I'm probably gonna buy a second pair anyway.
My nephew, Mason, was blessed on Sunday. My brother and sister-in-law planned on the first weekend in October without realizing it was Conference Weekend. Steve leaves for basic training in a few weeks, so Sunday was the only time available. It was nice and simple, in their living room, with their bishop, our family, and a few friends. Mason is so fun to snuggle.
My parents hung around all day Sunday. My dad made some delicious stew in the crockpot while my mom crocheted. Ben joined us later that day. We had a fun time chatting with the family. I think Ben's coming over some time this weekend too. I sure like that crazy kid!
Oh, I've ripped 3 contact lenses in 3 weeks. I'm not too happy about that! I've worn contacts for 13 years and I've never really had a problem with them. I think I got a bad box or something. It's been the right lens every time. The left have been just fine. It's so frustrating. I'm on my last right lens and I bought enough to get me through February. Grr! I guess I'll be ordering more soon.
I got a small bonus from work and I'm having a really hard time trying to decide what I want to buy with it. I'll probably buy a craft table and a lamp for my bedroom, or maybe the table and some bed sheets. I have everything I need and I try not to think about the things I want too much or I start to find myself dissatisfied with all that I don't have. It's a fine line... LOL.
Ok, I think that's all that's happened since I blogged last. My weekend starts in about 7.5 hours and I'm really excited! I NEED to be productive or I'm going to lose my mind. That is my least favorite part of being sick - the whole laying around, not doing anything part. LOL
I've always said that I don't care to have a wedding cake when I get married. I must amend that... Now, the official word is: These are FREAKING AWESOME and if I came into enough money to justify it, I absolutely would! There are a couple pages of photos and it was worth the ten minutes I spent looking at them!
I love General Conference Sundays! Maybe because I don't feel lazy for not getting my bum to church. LOL. I generally wake up early on GC Sundays, which I did today, and make an awesome breakfast. I didn't buy any breakfast foods this time around though. My brother and sister-in-law are having a brunch at their house later this morning.
Time is flying today! I've been busy in my Etsy shop this morning and I plan to work on some projects around the house. We're having fabulous weather today (I love storms!) so I'm as happy as can be! Hope everyone else is having a great Sunday as well!
I finally made time to scrapbook last night!! I'm such a SLOW scrapper. LOL. I was also trying to watch season 4 of House, so I was a little distracted. This first card uses papers from KI Memories for the stripe and maroon floral, the text is 7Gypsies, and the polka dots are by Making Memories. I also used a Hero Arts stamp, Versamark ink, and embossing powder. Nothing real groundbreaking, but I used only scraps and had fun anyway. I thought the bird paper was so cute on this one, but it's not something I'd really find myself using on a layout. SEI makes that one, KI Memories again for stripe and 7Gypsies for the text paper (I'm not gonna lie... the black and white text papers and the polka dots are among my very favorite papers ever and I use them all the time). The 'thank you' is by Hero Arts and the flower stamp is Heidi Grace, I think... I'm not positive though. There's also a rubon from DCWV. Wish I'd just sewn instead of pulling out the rubon, but I was too lazy to change the white thread to black. Haha. I want to work on some layouts or mini-albums too, but I need to get some photos printed first...
I'm trying to decide if I'm gonna bother sending holiday cards this year. I sent "Happy New Year" cards in January, which was fun beacuse we could focus on what we wanted to do this year, rather than look back on last year - I have a hard time rememberring the fun things we did or what we accomplished that would be of any interest to the people receiving them.
I also want to do some scrap-shopping. The local scrapbook stores leave a lot to be desired. I have a great big list of things I want to buy... like more of these, and this, and this is sure pretty, and I could have fun with this... I could go on and on.
I'm kinda bored today at work. I try to bring projects to work on when it's slow. Today, I didn't have anything set aside to bring with me. I've been here an hour and I'm going nuts! LOL. I've read the news and talked to my coworker that works the early shift with me. I've had 16oz of orange juice and ate my whole wheat bagel. I've even blog hopped. Sigh.
*Note to self: set out several projects tonight to avoid this feeling of boredom tomorrow*
In other news, I posted two new items in my shop yesterday and have photos of a bunch more that I'll be adding in the next week or so.
I'm REALLY in the mood to sew and scrapbook... perhaps I'll work on one of those things after work tonight.
20 years ago... 1. I lived in Rexburg, Idaho 2. I loved to play Barbies and ride my bike 3. My best friends were Amber, Lisa, and Mandy 4. I was seven years old, and in second grade
10 years ago... 1. I had just started my senior year of high school (WOW!!!) 2. I was very quiet and not very happy 3. I worked at Mack's Drive-In 4. I looked forward to starting college
5 years ago... 1. I had recently transferred to Utah State University against my better judgement, hated it, and dropped out after a semester of anxiety attacks. 2. I worked a crap job and was looking for any way out 3. Steph and I had lived in Logan for a year 4. I bought my car, Ditto.
3 years ago... 1. I had made a close friend who would later become my sister-in-law 2. I got promoted to a less crappy position, which made my job SO much better! 3. I struggled with some relationships and had a very difficult year 4. I had scrapbook pages published in a magazine for the first time
1 year ago... 1. I had just ended a friendship with a guy that wasn't right for me 2. I considered going back to school, but didn't feel good about it 3. I decided that I'd like to retire at 30 (everyone needs a dream, right!? LOL) 4. I started focusing on my hobbies, which I'd neglected during the above friendship
So far this year... 1. I started an Etsy shop 2. I finally got my car paid off 3. I took a vacation to Bryce Canyon (note to self: finish the scrapbook already!!!) 4. I'm still living in Logan and I love my apartment
Yesterday I... 1. Had an awesome dream about the guy I like and spent all day wanting to cuddle with him 2. Painted some candlesticks for my bathroom 3. Organized my craft area (it's almost done!!) 4. Skipped church to avoid attending the Linger Longer - and I'm on the LL committee.
Today I... 1. Woke with a headache :( 2. Bought a $30 home decor item for $3 with a little help from a 40% off coupon and a gift card (IMO, gift cards do not count as money because I don't have to consult the budget in order to use them) 3. Need to do some laundry and dishes 4. Want to sew!
Over the next year... 1. I want to get my debts paid off 2. I would love to improve my photography skills 3. I need to focus on being a better person 4. I could make my peace with falling in love...
I have been busy making jewelry to add to my shop. That's the easy part. Next comes photography and coming up with a decent name/description. The photos already in my shop aren't as great as I want them to be. Getting a great shot of jewelry is honestly a pain in the butt. I'm trying though. (click to enlarge photo)
The bracelet above is one of the very first pieces I ever created and I get compliments on it every time I wear it. I have a couple made up to sell now as well. I just can't come up with a name or a description. Help a girl out! In fact, I'll make it a giveaway... please leave a comment with a name/description for this and I'll enter your name into a random drawing to get one of these babies free! (I'll announce the winner on Monday morning, so get your suggestions in by Sunday night).
Today has been such a good day. I was sick last night and woke up feeling crummy, so I took the day off work. I was already awake and had no desire to lay about all day long. I wanted to be productive.
I've been busy all day. And oddly, I only feel sick if I stop or slow down (that's good incentive to stay busy!!) My Etsy shop has been neglected for a while. Sure, I've added things here and there, but I haven't focused on it at all. The biggest reason was that I needed to buy jump rings and I just never sat down to place an order online. Silly, that a 30-minute task got put off for two months... whatever. LOL. I finally placed the order and it came last week. Since then, I've been cranking out jewelry. It's so fun to see something new come together. Now, all I have to do is take a bunch of photos and try to come up with some great descriptions. Be watching. It'll be awesome!
I want to work on some other projects tonight, but I can't decide if I want to scrapbook or if I want to work on projects for my bathroom redecoration.
Oh, a SAD story about my bathroom. I bought fabric about a year ago and made a shower curtain. It's cute and it's central to the whole decorating theme of the room. I noticed that I squirted some hair dye on it when I was coloring my brother's hair a few weeks ago :( It's not totally obvious, thankfully. If I could get more of that same fabric, I would make a new curtain. I can't, so I'm gonna deal with it.
Anyway, I'm rambling and I have things I can be doing. Have a good one!
I'm not an "outdoors enthusiast" but I do like to go camping once or twice a year - generally for family reunion. This year, we got a motel room for reunion, so we haven't taken a chance to camp.
We realized that Summer is over, Autumn is about two weeks long, and then snow comes (ugh!), so we spent yesterday evening around a campfire up Logan Canyon. Well, for some of that time, we sat around blackened pieces of wood. They would not catch fire! We quickly burned through almost all the paper items we had and any pieces of dry wood or brush we could find. Still nothing.
Hand sanitizer to the rescue! Steve squirted some on the wood and it lit up and stayed lit for the rest of the night. (Disclaimer - hand sanitizer should probably be used as a last resort. It was slightly explosive.) We had bratwurst and s'mores and cuddled with cute babies until our bladders needed to be emptied, then we put out the fire, loaded up our camp chairs, and came home to sleep in our warm houses and soft beds.
To be honest, I had camp food, fun conversations around a campfire, cold, and a full bladder, and a great night's sleep. With the exception of a great night's sleep, it sounds like camping to me! LOL Thanks Steve, Jen, Austin, and Mason, for a fun evening :)
I fell asleep at 5:00 yesterday afternoon - woke up an hour later to use the bathroom and take out my contacts - went back to bed - got up about 3 hours later to shower and change into pajamas - and then slept clear through until my alarm went off at 4:30 this morning.
Total, I slept for about 10 hours and for me, that's a TON! I'm so hoping that I'm not coming down with something. That's the only time I really ever sleep for a long time. It felt so awesome though!!
I've been working on my five projects and I finally have some progress to report! My black and white quilt is done! Wahoo!! My scrapbook closet is getting VERY close to being done, my Bryce Canyon scrapbook has two pages left to complete, and the bathroom decorating has only a few projects remaining. The living room will take a little more work. I need to sew some pillow and decide what other things I want/need to decorate with. I may have also worked on some jewelry, decorated my bedroom, worked on the blog makeover, and created some cards. So much for sticking with the five projects... Steph and I stopped by DI to look for old books we could use for decorating purposes. This is one case where it's probably okay to judge them by their covers. LOL. We ended up getting 13 books for $20 and have books to match many of the rooms in the house. I loved the little "Mustard Seed" book and one of them is titled "My Crooked Family." LOL There's also one we bought that doesn't actually match anything in the house, but is a poem that my Grandma (and now my mom) shared with new mothers, called "Day Old Child." We thought it was sweet to have something sentimental.
Thanks to everyone that voted on the blog redesign yesterday. I'll make my decision and get everything changed to the new blog design later this week. I think I'm deciding between two at this point.
Many of you asked how I make these designs. I use Photoshop Elements (any photo-editing software would work) and I read a lot. I wanted a 3-column template and played around with adjusting one of the templates available through Blogegr before I decided to just find a template online that I liked and make the changes I wanted to it.
I found a free 3-column template and changed it a lot! LOL. I haven't been trained in html, but I used a lot of trial and error (and the preview button) until I got things looking the way I wanted. The Blogger Help is a great resource. There are several other great resources available online that I have bookmarked at home (I'm blogging from work). If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll post the links. I found the things I learned about html pretty fascinating and I may consider taking a class or two to learn a lot and creating even better blogs/webpages one day.
Back to Photoshop... I download a lot of digital scrapbooking freebies. I think I've only ever paid for a handful of things. There are numerous resources available online for this as well. I check here quite often and snag the things I know I'll use. I did take one digital scrapbooking class online that I honestly thought was a joke. The teacher was really good at doing things herself, but couldn't teach to save her life. I just started playing on my own and learned what I know in Photoshop that way. There are lots of awesome free tutorials online as well that I DID learn from. There are also classes you can pay to take that I've heard awesomething things about.
Scrappinfor5 and Woodlandbliss, I'd be happy to help you. Keep in mind I'm not a professional. LOL. Sandra Collins and Lemon Cupcakes, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have as you learn. I'll get the links to the resources I used if you want them. I'll try to answer any questions you have as well. Again, just a hobbyist trying to make my own blog look good, but I'd be happy to try.
Ok, I finally got the rough drafts of the blog makeover options done this weekend. You could really help me out by voting on your favorite. If you have any thoughts, you can leave a comment too. Suggestions too, if you have some. (click to enlarge) These really are just rough drafts - they won't really have two "profiles," for example. Oh, and I thought up another blog idea last night that I may create at some point this week. Yeah, I may like playing in Photoshop a bit... LOL
Stephanie and I make an awesome team. One of our favorite things to do is to peruse the fabric store and come up with great combinations. We try to have an idea in mind beforehand so that we know how many different fabrics we'll need, how much we'll need, and what theme or feeling we have for the finished project, etc. (click to enlarge) In this case, I saw a similar quilt in an old magazine I had laying around. It was a much larger quilt, on a different scale, and was bright green and hot pink. I knew I wanted to create a quilt with lots of great colors - and I knew that I wanted it to be boyish.
I liked the brown print a lot and used it as my inspiration for the other fabrics. Ideally, I would have backed the quilt with the brown as well, but I didn't for two reasons: 1-I wanted the print on the back to be less busy than that, and 2-The other fabrics in the quilt were much less expensive (it's backed with the red print).
I got the fabrics home, cut, and laid out, and then sewed it all together. It's a super simple pattern and it came together pretty quickly. We liked the circular theme throughout many of the fabrics and wanted the quilting to follow. We picked a pattern with a varied swirl and Stephanie got it marked and started quilting.
Stephanie finished the quilting and binding last weekend, so we were finally able to give it to my newest nephew, Mason. My sister-in-law loved it. I hope they get a lot of use out of it!
I look forward to Thursdays because I get to watch Bones. It airs on Wednesdays, but I don't have tv reception and I'm too cheap to pay for it, thus I watch things online the following day. Such a fun show. It combines humor, science, and logic. Perfection! I sometimes think I would have made a great scientist - this is, of course, before I remember that I'm far too impatient, I hated both of my chemistry classes, and didn't like wearing lab goggles. Yeah, I'll stick to a non-scientific profession. It's best for everyone!
I ordered some adorable papers from Adornit, which happens to be a local scrapbooking company, on Tuesday and I got them today. I'm excited to play with them. There is a great one with little stylized trees on it. So cute! Yay!
I've been working on the blog makeover and I think I'll be posting some options on Monday and I may let people vote. I have a favorite or two and my sis definitely has a favorite. We'll see how things go.
Work went well today. I got in a silly mood and started laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my face. My coworkers were laughing too, but I think they were laughing at me more than they were at the conversation. Haha. That works for me! They laugh at me a lot. Once I get comfortable with a person, I let my funny side show.
My tummy hurts. I ate some sugar and I shouldn't have. I didn't have a wednesday weigh-in this week because I didn't see the point in weighing myself when I've been cheating on the diet for over a week. I blame my brother. LOL. I was doing really well until he had a craving and my sister-in-law and I ran to the store to indulge him/us. Luckily for him, he has the metabolism to pull it off. Me, not so much.
I'm kinda dreading work tomorrow because last Friday sucked so bad. Hopefully we won't have a repeat. I'll snap if we do.
I haven't blogged much lately because there hasn't been anything I particularly want to document or remember. That sounds bad. I was sick, and then I was stressed, and then I had some issues with a friend of mine, and then I was stressed again. Oh, and I got a flat tire. See, nothing that needs to be publicized.
My stress level is good now. I don't get stressed easily, so this month has been weird. I'm feeling better. And things are okay with my friend. She apologized 250,000 times and I let it go (I don't like to hold on to things that are relatively trivial).
I've been working on my 5 projects, trying to get them done. I'm honestly SO sick of being limited on what I can work on. I'm never doing that to myself again. I will just try not to start more projects (as in new hobbies). LOL
I've been working on the blog remodel as well. It's coming along... One of these days...
In happy news, Meg took our family photos on Saturday and we had a lot of fun. Steph and I, and our parents, had dinner at my brother's home on Sunday. It was fun to play with the kids and eat yummy food. We bought Office season 4 today and we're not telling anyone (except anyone reading this) because we want to actually have a chance to watch it. It seems the other seasons are always on loan to someone.
Oh, my 2-month-old nephew has a tooth. It's not a front tooth either. I was the same way - got teeth early, and not in front first. Still, it's weird to think the he's got a tooth already!
Steph and I did some bargain shopping today. We got 6 shirts and a pair of shoes for $27.00. Yeah, we're freaking amazing. We saw an adorable plaid jacket and knew it was coming home with us, regardless of cost. Then I saw it was on clearance for $7. At the register, it rang up $4.20. Yeah - SO awesome! Now I'm just trying to think up an awesome necklace to make and wear with it.
This is my newest nephew, Mason. He is such a precious baby. We snuggled on Sunday and ended up falling asleep on the couch together. There's something so peaceful and hypnotic about a baby. I need to borrow him once in a while to just have a totally awesome nap! (it kinda reminds me of that episode of Friends when Joey and Ross fall asleep watching a movie and have such an awesome nap that Joey attempts to get Ross sleepy so they can nap again...LOL!!)
My brother and sister-in-law asked me to take some photos of him, so I dropped by their house bright and early Monday morning. It was stormy and cold, which was awesome for me (I love storms) but not so awesome for a teeny little bundle, so we took some photos inside by their big living room window. Mason takes after me... he hates being in front of the camera. He fussed every time he heard the click, saw the flash, or saw me coming at him. He got fed up with us and fell asleep. I wish the weather had been better so that we could have gone outside and used the natural light. Hopefully there's 2 or 3 decent enough photos in the 180 I took (LOL, but also a little sad).
The diet slid a little this past weekend... It was Labor Day. That's how we're justifying it, anyway. I can handle sugar, but white flour kicks my butt. It makes me sluggish and I think it causes breakouts. Sugar doesn't affect me, so long as it's in moderation. I was starting to get hungry despite having just eaten, so I've started eating more grains now as well. I was surprised that I lost anything after enjoying food Sat-Mon. LOL. I'm more likely to see the added weight this week, I guess. I'm back to being good as soon as the orange juice in front of me is gone :)
Today I'm going to weigh-in on: taking time for myself. I once read that intorverts need time alone to recharge, while extroverts need time with people. I'm definitely an introvert! Years ago, when I had a busier social life, I would schedule "time off" so I could just do my own thing. Now, I have plenty of alone time during the week and practically none on the weekends - and it's taking its toll!
I'm trying to find ways to get what I need on the weekends so that I can function at the start of the new week. I have to take care of myself, and this current trend of mine leaves me frustrated and exhausted right off the bat. Perhaps changing my work schedule to half-days on Tuesdays or just setting aside some time for myself - without errands to run - on Mondays. I'll come up with something :)
I had a nice, relaxing day. I finished running the errands I hadn't completed yesterday, ate lunch, and spent the rest of the day being creative. I split my creative time between scrapping (digitally, today) and beading.
My Etsy shop is looking pretty bare... not that I mind really. It's bare because things are selling :) I placed a small bead order today and I'll be placing a larger one in the next week (from two different companies). I also made 2 necklaces and a pair of earrings, and discovered a cute set I made while I was on vacation in July and totally forgot about.
The digital scrapping was focused mainly on the blog makeover. I'll have four proofs soon that I'll share and then decide which I want to commit to (for a little while, anyway). The one I worked on today is adorable. Haha.
I want to do some traditional scrapbooking as well, but I need to get some other projects done before I take more on. One of these days...
This past weekend was pretty fun. I didn't get anything done, but I babysat two of my nephews and hung out with my brother and sister-in-law. We had dinner and watched a movie, which = me, asleep on the couch. I cannot just sit and watch and not do something else. I like to be working on projects while I watch movies. I'm a multi-tasker extraordinaire. LOL
I'm really starting to hate my work schedule. I have Sun/Mon off, which is fine... but I attend church and choose not to shop on Sundays and then end up running errands ALL DAY MONDAY and get no chance to unwind, work on projects, clean, etc. Tuesday comes and I crave some time to be creative. By the time my 8 hours is done today, I'll be mentally exhausted and I won't get anything done this evening. That will continue to happen Wed-Sat and then I'll start my whole frustrating weekend over again. Sigh.
I am incredibly frustrated today. I'm not going to get into it. My normal tolerance for all things minor is completely absent. The girl sitting about 6 feet from me badly needs some mucinex. I want her to go home so I don't have to listen to her. Scratch that. I want to go home. I'm ready to flip out.
**Edited to add: I worked for one hour and then took the rest of the day off. I ate bad stuff (sugar) yesterday and I think it's messing me up.**
After being sleepy all day, I took a 45 minute nap on the couch and woke up alert (that's VERY rare for me)
I watched episodes of The Office while working on my black and white baby quilt
Stephanie saw some flannel that screamed "EMILY" so she bought me several yards. It's awesome!! It has stylized trees, apples, and owls. Now I need to decide what I want.. pajamas, a blanket, or something different altogether?
I worked on my blog makeover today as well. I've made a couple different banners and I'm trying to decide what I like best. Perhaps I'll post them here this weekend and let people vote.
My favorite hair care product came in the mail today. I ordered it like 3 days ago and totally forgot. It was definitely a happy surprise at the mailbox. (Redken Weightlifter - my hair is fine and most volumizing stuff is too heavy. This stuff is wonderful!)
I had some fun interactions with my coworkers today :)
My friends and I scheduled a game night a couple weeks from now. It should be a lot of fun! I'm really excited!
I'm going to bed early tonight - like 9:00 - I've been tired for the past 3 days because I've only been getting 6 hours of sleep.
I've had this great, bubbly, something-awesome-is-about-to-happen feeling. I feel like I'm smiling on the inside.
Four jobs I have had in my life: 1. Cleaning a car dealership. My dad was my boss. It was a great way to learn some work ethic and understand the satisfaction of a job well done. 2. Mack's Drive-In... making shakes and stuff. Yum. I don't miss working in the 'food service industry' though. 3. Ricks College- cleaning the Clarke building. I loved this job. I worked 4-7 in the morning and had a lot of time to sort through my thoughts while I swept, mopped, vaccuumed, etc. My arms got buff doing all those repeated actions 3 hours a day for 2 years! 4. Convergys. I have been here almost seven years! I answer questions and take supervisor calls and it's not bad. Anyway, it pays the bills.
Four movies I have watched more than once: 1. Juno - so many funny lines, catchy tunes... a fun movie! 2. The Producers - hilarious! I watched it 3 times last weekend. 3. Hitch - funny, yet spot-on. Dating is hard work! 4. Mamma Mia - yep, I went to the theater TWICE in two weeks! An odd behavior from me for sure!
Four places I have lived: 1. Rexburg, ID (I left my heart in Rexburg, Idaho!) 2. Orem, UT 3. Tremonton, UT 4. Logan, UT
Four TV Shows That I Watch (we don't have TV, but we watch online and use Netflix): 1. The Office - Brilliant. Hysterical. I love it! 2. Bones - Awesome. Humor, mystery, and medical/forensic stuff all rolled together. 3. Alias - Sydney was kind of sloppy for a spy, but I liked this show a lot anyway. 4. House - cynical. Awesome.
Four Places I've been: 1. The republic of Myassoncouch 2. California. North and South. A few times. 3. Washington state 4. Pretty much nowhere interesting!
Four people who email me regularly: 1. Melinda :) 2. Etsy/Ebay/Paypal 3. My aunt spams me all the freaking time. sigh. 4. "People" that seem to think they can enlarge my penis. I'd like to see them try that!
Four of my favorite foods: 1. Veggies! Broccoli, mushrooms, peas, brussel sprouts, peppers, celery, tomatoes, zucchini - there are few veggies that I don't love! 2. Dark chocolate. 3. Steak. Medium Rare. YUM! 4. Ice cream. Now, a distant memory. I wanted a banana split so bad yesterday!
Four places I would rather be right now: 1. Home! I LOVE being at home! (I'm at work as I type) 2. Rexburg. 3. Shopping for things to finish decorating my living room and bathroom. 4. Snuggling with a cute boy (particularly the guy I'm crushing, but I'd be happy to snuggle one of my adorable nephews too).
Four things I am looking forward to this year: 1. Finally getting my blog makeover done! I worked on the new banner last night and it just needs some tweaking. The format of the blog itself has 2 things I'd like to change still, but I've tried every piece of the html code and those 2 things will not budge. Sigh. 2. Paying off some bills :) 3. Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. It would be my favorite even without the yummy food. As it is, I'm not eating bread or sugar right now, so that cuts out 75% of the meal anyway. (I will cheat for Double Cream Lemon pie!!!) 4. Continuing to eat healthy, feel awesome, and perhaps lose some more weight.
Four things I'm working on: 1. Bryce Canyon scrapbook 2. A darling black and white baby quilt 3. Decorating my living room and bathroom 4. The blog makeover!
Stephanie made cookies for a work party last week and I didn't eat any of them. They smelled really good though. I've continued to eat healthy. I'm feeling well, I have more energy, and my skin seems to have cleared up some. That alone is pretty awesome, but I finally lost some weight too...
Haha. 2.5 pounds! It may just be some normal fluctuation, but that's okay by me. I hope it continues.
Today I'd also like to weigh in on Spirituality. I do a lot of things right. I read scriptures, write in my journal, and pray daily. I seek the guidance of the Spirit a lot. And I have never doubted my religion. But, my church attendance is horrible. I was doing really well until about a year ago when I got a severe migraine while I was at church and went home early. I think I've been back twice since then. Well, THREE times... Steph and I were there this past Sunday. We'd like to make a habit of it as well. Sure, it's sometimes boring and being in a Single's Ward sucks, but I have to make the most of it until my circumstances change.
Classes started yesterday at USU. Steph skipped a class already, LOL, but this semester is kind of a repeat of her last semester. After our car accident, we both suffered a little post traumatic stress and it took it's toll on her classes. She didn't fail anything, but she wants higher grades than she got last Spring.
Anyway, I'm not a student. This starting school year should have little to no impact on me. But... I'd forgotten how busy Logan gets when 18,000 more people show up overnight! UGH. There's more traffic. More people that think bikes are cars and slow down the busier traffic even more. Shopping yesterday was crazy - Walmart was out of apples last night. Apples.
On the plus side, the people-watcher in me had a delightful time watching six strangers shop together. New roommates. I kinda miss being in school and having roommates. Those were some good times! (well... 80% good times. LOL) I loved Ricks College. I would go back there in a heartbeat. I know things would be so much different now though. :(
I'm looking forward to Autumn. Those glorious two weeks between HOT and SNOW.
I'm not outgoing (I am friendly though) so I've always hated getting my hair cut... I never knew what to talk to a perfect stranger about while they cut away at my glorious tresses [cough]. That's why I was SO excited when my second cousin, Kayla, went to cosmetology school. We always have things to talk about - we know each other's families, we have things in common, etc. The hour that she spends washing, cutting, and styling my hair goes so quickly. She does a great job too.
My hair grows quickly and I should get it cut every 4 weeks, but I'm lazy. It's been um, months since my last cut. The ends of my hair would no longer obey simple commands. I was forced to go with my natural curl most of this week just to try and camouflage the degree to which I needed a cut!
Kayla is newly engaged and it was so much fun to hear about how they met, how he proposed, and what their future plans are. I'm so excited for her.
I think I want to dye my hair, but I won't do that until this weekend. I'd have Kayla do that too, but my hair won't hold permanent dye more than 3 weeks, so I can't justify the expense. It did look awesome when she's dyed it before though. My hair is this weird color (ok, it's not weird - but hard to describe - it's light brown, but golden, with occasional hints of red...) and I prefer it to be darker. Medium brown-ish. I can't wait!
This past week has gone well. I'm getting into the habit of healthy eating and it seems to be paying off already. Well, I haven't lost any pounds, but I can see changes in my body already. Plus, I've had a better attitude (I noticed this phenomenon when I ate well before) and I've felt a lot more energetic. I still need to eat more. Ideally, I'd like to eat 6 small meals a day as opposed to 2.5 small meals a day. LOL.
This week I want to weigh in on getting projects done:
I LOVE having lots of hobbies and interests. I also love being able to move between scrapbooking, sewing, beading, digital scrapbooking, photography, decorating, etc. I do NOT like having unfinished projects... and I seem to be the Queen of just that!
I'm going to focus on just five projects at a time (so that I can still move between things a little bit). I know this 'restriction' can't last forever. I don't even want it to. I really just want to get myself into the habit of seeing a project through to the very end (I usually get each project 80% done anyway).
So, I'm going to work on my Bryce Canyon scrapbook (75% done), a black and white baby quilt (80% done), decorating my living room (90% done), organizing my scrapbook closet (80% done), and decorating the bathroom (90% done). Once those things are done, I'll be okay to work on anything my heart desires... for a while, anyway!
Edited to add: I didn't get everything done, but I did make some progress.
I took the day off work for no other reason than I wanted to. I've found myself feeling pretty stressed this past week or two (for no reason I've been able to determine)and I'm feeling quite a bit better now, so I'm rewarding myself with a vacation day. Yay!
Of course, there's SO much I'd love to get done today. More than I could possibly fit inside one day:
• work on my Bryce Canyon mini-album
I worked on the album for about 3 hours and it just needs journaling and embellishments now. I can't wait for it to be done.
• cook 2-3 meals today and eat leftovers all week
I cooked one meal which I ate for dinner and I have 5 servings in the fridge to eat throughout the week.
• run to Walmart and Home Depot
I made it to Walmart, but not Home Depot. Steph wanted to buy some new clothes, so we spent some time doing that instead.
• stop by the scrapbook store for that ONE paper I need.. (who am I kidding?)
Of course, they didn't have the ONE paper I needed and I still spent twenty bucks!
I'm won't know when I'll be available until tomorrow morning, so I'll make the appointment from work.
• possibly start redecorating my bedroom
I REALLY wanted to start this project. I bought the fabric in January or so and I haven't done a thing yet. I hope I make the time for this project soon!
• fold and put away the laundry
Um, nope. But I did do another 2 loads of laundry.
• place a bead order so I can make more jewelry (I'm completely out of some basic supplies that the stores in town do not carry. Sigh)
I'll do this from work tomorrow as well. I have my shopping cart pretty well stocked, I just need to add a few last minutes things and I'm all set.
• work on my blog makeover
I wanted to get this done today as well, but I didn't get to. I wasn't feeling inspired on the banner yet... it'll be done one of these days!
Yes, I'm in the process of making over my blog. I wanted something cool and fun, but I don't know html, so I've been learning as I go. Once I can get a new banner made, create all the fun lists and links and such that I want, and fine tune the layout, I'll have it up and running. I'm excited!
My father managed movie theaters when I was a child and I got to see many films for free (popcorn, too!) and that's ruined me for life... LOL.
I NEVER go the the movies now. It's so expensive, the local theaters are FREEZING cold, I really like to DO something while I'm watching (scrapbook, clean, make jewelry, etc.) and I honestly prefer watching dvd's of television shows to movies. I don't watch current tv (except The Office and Bones, which I watch online) so I never see movie previews anyway.
My parents were over today and asked if I'd like to see a movie with them (that was the premise of my last theater-going adventure as well... 9 months ago!). The three of us couldn't decide on one movie though, so my dad saw Tropic Thunder and my mom and I saw Mamma Mia. My mom wasn't expecting a musical, but she likes Abba music and musicals, so we were okay. It was great! Very energetic and fun, great music, and a beautiful location. My mom's going to buy the soundtrack and I'm gonna buy the dvd.
My sister was at work and is going to be so jealous. Haha. If she wants to see it in the theater, I'll happily watch it again... even AT the theater!
The diet has officially started now - today is day 2 - I've weighed myself to get a starting point and I need to take body measurements after work tonight. The first four days of this lifestyle change have been the hardest for me in the past, but it hasn't been tough at all so far this time. I do need to eat MORE. I tend to skip meals and I need to stop doing that.
I plan to also "weigh-in" on another area of my life needing focus each Wednesday. Today's pick? Keeping my house clean:
I hate clutter. I hate disorganization. I hate for dishes to pile up in the sink or for clean laundry to pile up on the couch. However, if you were to walk into my house right now, you'd find clutter, disorganization, a sink full of dishes, and clean laundry (folded) and piled all around the living room. Sigh. Having my house in its current state impacts me. I'm less likely to be creative, less likely to be productive, and less likely to feel the Spirit. My house isn't gross by any stretch of the imagination, but there's MUCH room for improvement.
Cleaning is therapeutic... if I'm stressed, my house is generally spotless. Having a cluttered home is probably a sure sign that my stress level is low. I AM glad for that, but... I'm really tired of feeling uneasy. Uncreative. Unproductive. Especially when I know the solution is SO simple. This week's goal is to get the kitchen and living room clean and uncluttered, and KEEP it that way! If I can do that, the other rooms in the house are sure to follow. And the productivity, creativity, and increased Spiritual promptings are bound to come my way as well!
(no weight loss yet, but I'm only on my second day of healthy eating)
I was bound and determined to be more productive today than I was yesterday. I got dressed and did my hair, so I was ahead pretty early this morning. I did a load of laundry (and I'm going to do another), folded all the clean laundry, took out the garbage, had a good breakfast (scrambled eggs and herbal tea), got a paper cut under my fingernail, looked at scrapbook ideas online, browsed online stores for new scrapbook products, organized my digital scrapbooking folder on the computer, deleted all the unused and redundant icons on my desktop, and created a new image for my desktop wallpaper, ate dinner, watched Penelope (which I didn't think I'd like, but I really did!), removed the chipping polish from my toenails, got the mail, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, dug out my last bead order form to double check the items I want to reorder, checked my email, and wished my mom a "happy birthday." (click the images to enlarge. August desktop was created by Rachel Martin... I altered it slightly to fit my screen's resolution, inked the edges, added a background, created the word art to make it totally awesome, and added a photo of Steph and I.)
It's 10:31 pm and I'm in my pj's.... still. Yeah, I didn't bother to get dressed or do my hair. I did do my makeup for some reason. That's about all I have to show for today though. I did attempt some stalking, but I've lost my touch and I got bored and gave up after about 5 minutes (I used to be an awesome stalker! I could find anything on anyone...) Good times.
I HATE being unproductive, but I'm the only one to blame for my unproductivity. Sigh. I even made a list before I went to sleep last night so that I could wake up and just work on projects rather than waste away.
I'm not feeling super great either. It's probably the two cans of spaghettios I ate today (one for breakfast, one for lunch) or the fact that I've had about 6 oz. of water the whole day. Yeah, I realize this behavior isn't supporting the diet idea, but the pantry is 95% cleared of junk now. I didn't eat dinner either, but it's too late now. I'm off to drink a tall glass of water and then I'm going to bed. I'm going to make tomorrow a better day and I'll be sure to post the grand tales of my productivity!
This was me a year and a half ago... At that point, I'd been living a new lifestyle for almost three months. That lifestyle did not include my dear friends sugar, white flour or anything fast/overly processed. I felt amazing! My somewhat chronic headaches were gone, my skin was clear, I had tons of energy and required less sleep, I was more happy than ever, and I felt powerful. The cherry on that big sundae of goodness was that I'd also lost 25 pounds.
All great stories must eventually come to an end. The end of this one had many factors, the biggest being frustration at no additional weight loss and a new boss that I did NOT get along with at all. I started allowing the foods that I'd been so good about keeping away and I started gaining the weight back. I gained back all the weight that I'd lost and they brought about 15 friends along with them. Sigh.
My reality is that now I'm bigger than I've ever been before and I hate it. I want the happy, powerful, energetic, ME back. And at risk of being vain, I want to be cute again. I want the double chin to say it's final goodbyes. I want my skin to clear up. I want the boobs to shrink some more. I want to smile constantly like I found myself doing back then...
So, I'm starting over. I'm going to try cutting out sugar, flour, and processed crap again. I'm going to exercise. I'm going to give it my all. I have to. I remember how amazing I felt. People often commented that they could never restrict their eating as much as I did, but I honestly loved every minute of it. Wish me luck as I embark on this path again.
(I'm going to have a "Weigh-In Wednesday" post each week where I talk about my successes and failures. I'll talk mostly about my diet, but I'll also talk about other things that I'm working to change as well. I'm ready to make my life what I want it to be!)
-In an effort to avoid falling asleep on the couch, I avoided the living room altogether. Instead, I fell asleep on the kitchen counter. Yes, the kitchen counter.
-I ripped a large hole in a pair of slacks as I was getting in the car last night after going to a party.
-I made cookies for the party and melted the butter on accident instead of just softening it and screwed it all up. I threw the whole bowl of dough away and started over.
-I went shopping with a friend and didn't want to buy anything then. I've thought about one particular shirt since then and it was on sale 50% off, so I may go back and get it this weekend.
-My house is in dire need of a cleaning. I'm not disgusting, so it's not disgusting, but I love it when my house is spotless and it's far from that right now.
-I've fallen asleep twice while writing this post and I'm at work. LOL
-Beads are on sale and I need/want some, but I have NO desire to go shopping for them.
-Last night, I had to explain to my coworkers (for the 1000th time) why I'm not dating my flirt buddy. We flirt. We always have. There's not really any interest beyond that, mutually. Besides, I don't flirt with the guy I do like. I'm too busy just gazing at that one :) And thinking about how funny and smart he is. Anyway...
My work schedule changed a little bit, starting this week. I go in an hour earlier and my lunch is a half-hour later. Not a big deal, right?!
I got SUPER cranky today because I was hungry. LOL. I was answering a question and another kid said "Amy! I have a question!" I wanted to keep walking, but I spun around and said "Do you mean EMILY?" He apologized and I fought the urge to rip his freaking face off. I did answer his question politely, though.
I rarely get called by my own name. No biggie. My job keeps me in contact with literally hundreds of people on a daily basis and a lot of them don't know my name. I don't know all of theirs. It works. My sister and I get called by each other's names all the time. Even my own mom resorted to "Stem" a long time ago rather than Stephanie or Emily. Today, "Amy" rubbed me wrong.
My friend, Brad, thought it was funny and suggested I not be around people the rest of the day. I went to lunch soon after and my mood was great the rest of the day.
Lesson learned: Eat a BIG breakfast and take a break before lunch. LOL
We're home now, but I'm in definite need of a vacation to recover from vacation. The passports were a big hit and the quilt book I made was very well received. We stayed at Ruby's Inn right outside Bryce Canyon and the family campsite was fairly close by. There were about 130 people in attendance for the reunion and that was actually a small turnout. The weather was good, although we did have some rain every day. There were a lot of activities available for us to do... hiking, biking, swimming, atv rides, etc. We went into to Bryce Canyon with my uncle, Les, who is a National Parks buff and he was a great tour guide. There were some frustrating things as well. I'm only going to mention one because I don't want to complain, and because things worked out really well in the end... We were cruising along on our way home when the tread blew off one of the tires. Scary! The tire didn't lose any air though and my mom was able to move the car to the side of the road. My sister and I hopped out to get all our bags out of the trunk so that we could get the spare. Blanche and Brad (my aunt and uncle) happened to pass at just that moment, so they pulled over and helped us get the tire changed. Dan and Warren (my mom's cousin and his friend) stopped just as we were finishing to make sure everything was okay. We have an awesome family. Anyway, we had about 5 more hours to drive and knew that driving that long on the spare wouldn't be a good idea. Have you ever been in the middle of nowhere (rural Utah) on a Sunday afternoon? There's nothing out there, let alone something that would be open. We saw a billboard for a tire place that was open 24 hours so we pulled off in Fillmore to find that they're open 24 hours Mon-Sat. Luckily, there was another tire place across the street that was actually open. Less than an hour later, we were cruising along with 4 complete tires again. We stopped in Orem at my grandparents' house (they fixed dinner for everyone in our branch of the family tree that was traveling north), but didn't stay long. It was getting late and we still had a few hours of driving to do. We got back to my parents' house just after 10:00 and then Steph and I got all our stuff loaded into our own car and drove back to Logan. Coming home from vacation is the BEST feeling in the whole world. I think that's why we go on vacation - to have a renewed love for our own familiar surroundings. Logan was sure a welcome sight for us!
Favorite Moments from our vacation: Mom wished that we had cones to put out on the road while the tire was being changed. She and I were wearing orange. I reminded her that there were four orange cones on the road already...
My uncles, Les and Josh, posed like fairies in front of the Fairyland Canyon sign.
The bananas, that one particular tree, and the re-created lyrics to a song courtesy of Uncle Les.
Skipping Sunday School with Christy, Tim, Bryce, and Stephanie.
Europeans. Honestly, there were a ton of them. It was cool to hear all their different languages and see all the different styles of clothing and such.
"Firetruck candy" what Victoria calls salt water taffy.
Winning the grand prize for the family trivia contest ($25 GC to the gift shop) which I used to buy a snuggly sweatshirt.
Seeing my extended family. 75% of the people there anyway. LOL Planning special items for next year's auction...
The sweet smelling trees. Literally. The bark smells like caramel or something.
2 water bottles and 6 milkjugs in the backseat, when Grandma rode with us into the canyon.
Fireworks! I'm not even a big fan of fireworks, but it was a lot of fun. The town of Tropic had their 24th of July (Utah's pioneer/state celebration day) festival and we were able to see the fireworks from the lot of our motel. Not just see, experience. They were right overhead. It was awesome!
We're headed out to our family reunion in Bryce Canyon tomorrow morning, so I've been scrambling to get crap done all week. Oddly enough, I'm not packed yet.
Stephanie and I had pedicures on Monday (part of my birthday gift from my mom) and they were nice, but I could happily continue being LOW maintenance. I can paint my own toenails and my mom gives a better foot rub. I did enjoy it, though.
One of the projects I've been working on is a passport... My mom's family holds a reunion every summer and the location changes most years too. She has mentioned in years past that she always thought it would be fun to have a passport and get a stamp for each 'destination.' I took on the task this year.
I designed what I wanted in photoshop and had custom clear stamps created by ImagineStamps. I was then able to easily stamp and emboss the covers. (They look so awesome in person!) The logo or seal or whatever you want to call it represents a tradition the family has of making having all the people in each of the different generations stand in a circle and have photos taken. It's called "Cousins Circle." And rather than having a country of origin listed, I chose to list our common ancestors as our origin. The first page has a spot for a photo and some simple information to identify the passport holder.
I did create a destination stamp for Bryce Canyon too, but my photo wasn't great and I've been up for WAY too many hours at this point to go take another. Clear photos are starting to look blurry anyhow...
• Clean the kitchen • Finish the laundry • Go to the bank (will do this after vaca!) • Organize projects to take on the trip • Buy any needed supplies for said projects • Fill the gas tank • Pay bills • Pack my bags • Finish the “passport” project • Bake cookies (will do this after vaca, too!) • Run any last-minute errands • Call mom to coordinate travel plans
And I’ve got VERY limited time to get this crap done! Sigh.