Category Archives: goals

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

If my word for 2013 is MORE then my mantra is “Bloom Where You Are Planted”.

If I have learned anything over the past year I have learned the following.

  • There is never a perfect time, “Just Do It”.
  • Make certain to tell friends and family you love them every chance you get.
  • Go after what you want. Period.
  • Move forward, even if it’s half a step. It’s progress, there is no need to be perfect.
  • Get out in nature every day.
  • Play a game that DOES NOT involve your computer.
  • Hugs, kisses, cuddles and laugher are NOT overrated!
  • Be brave.

This year I am putting my focus on me. I have some pretty specific goals that involve friends, finances, travel, school, health and getting out in the real world (less computer time and more face to face friend time and getting out in nature) that I will be tracking. I’m not certain how “public” I want to be with these goals so for now I’m probably going to list ways in which I am incorporating MORE of them in to my life.

Today as far as MORE is concerned, I spent no money – not even at Starbucks on coffee, I went to Yoga, I drank prolly ten glasses of water, hung out briefly with a friend and I made a date with another friend for a healthy dinner next week.

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Looking Ahead to MORE

I am ready to step in to 2013 with a fresh outlook. A year ago today I returned to my previous place of employment and that has been a blessing. But this year, has been a hard one with more loss and heartbreak than I would like to repeat any time soon or at all.

This year has also brought me not only great new friends and strengthening current relationships with others, it has brought me so much more clarity for my life and what I want out of it. I have a few things to finalize in the new year and it could take a bit of time but I no longer live in the past.

So for this year to come, there is but a single thought and goal to my life. I will do MORE.

More of everything that I love to do, more spending time with my excellent tribe of friends and family, more getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and nature, more Yoga, more travel, more walking my dog, more hugs, more kisses, more game nights, more girls nights, more sewing, more knitting, more Geocashing, more listening, more card playing, more schooling, more reading, more random acts of kindsness, more exploring, more LIVING!

Watch out world – you ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

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Ch Ch Ch Changes!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a major life change about a month ago. Even though it has been stressful and REALLY hard, now that I have had some distance I am learning so much from it. It has touched every aspect of my life. I understand now the lessons I need to learn. Without going in to too much detail I have the opportunity to make some changes in my life. These changes will make me a better person. One who is strong and knows herself well. One who is fun to be around and the laid back person I used to be. This will make me a better friend and person to all those that I love.

When you reflect on your life and the changes you want to make sometimes it’s hard to realize the bad behaviors that have been a part of your way of life, especially if they were gradual over a long period of time. They are so ingrained in you that it becomes your reality even though you were not a happy person. Essentially you become functionally depressed. When you wake up one day and realize that leaving the house (unless you are going to work) is actually scary for you  – you know you have some issues to work through.

The behaviors I have learned to rely on in the past were not working for me and my loved ones and for that I am truly sorry. On the outside most people saw a relatively happy person and had no idea what was really going on. The people closest to me were seeing a MUCH different side of me.

I owe them true apologies and in time I hope they will allow me tell them in person and forgive me.

The thing about change is it’s scary and it’s also awkward. You don’t know what you are doing as you are learning a new way of being in and looking at the world. Your actions that served you before (even if they were not the healthiest) are all you know or were modeled for you. To change those automatic reactions isn’t always easy. Meditation, yoga, working out at the gym, journaling and true reflection are helping so much with my understanding of what I MUST do to change and repair the damage I have caused. It’s a challenge that I am up for and one that I have accepted wholeheartedly.

Real change comes with time and acceptance. It was made painfully obvious to me what the behaviors I need to change are. Upon reflection I know that person is right. At the time and even now those realizations hurt. You never want to think of yourself as the type of person who hurts others intentionally. It was never meant to be purposeful. I was stuck in a pattern and way of thinking that didn’t serve me and my loved ones well at all.

For now I am taking it one day at a time. In recent weeks I have been getting back to the things I used to enjoy before this gradual shift in my attitude. I am trying new things as well. I am doing less reacting and more thinking about what it is that is REALLY going on. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I have realized my perceptions in many instances were off and that is why I have reacted a certain way in the past. The filter I was running things people say through is a paradigm that doesn’t really serve me at all. It doesn’t make it right but now that I understand that I can make the necessary corrections and stop my old way of doing things and shift to a healthier way.

As much as I want to go back in time, I can’t change what happened. I do wish it didn’t have to come to this for me to wake up and take action. I do hope for a Mulligan in order to make things right. It’s definitely a wake up call for me and one that I am NOT going to ignore. Personal growth is the answer and people will begin to experience a more positive and healthy me showing up instead.

So stay tuned! 🙂

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Couch Slipcover – Finally Finished

This is a long one so grab a coffee and a pastry and settle in to your favorite reading spot…..

If your my friend on Facebook then you have already seen the finished result I posted this morning. Below are the dirty details.

In the 11 years C and I have lived together our living room furniture has changed three times (we even swapped our living and dining rooms once). When I moved in C had a love seat (which now resides at my parents house) and a really long couch (which we sold to friends) both in navy blue. C also had a large entertainment center. This was just too much furniture for our tiny living room which is open to the hallway and dining room plus one wall is a sliding door to the backyard and there is a fireplace on a 45 degree wall. Needless to say this is a really challenging space to decorate. (Note to self: when purchasing a house – NEVER buy anything with angled walls!).

For a few weeks we had a futon which I hated with a passion but it was free and it certainly beat sitting on the floor! The second incarnation was a couch we bought at IKEA. I loved the idea of it initially. It was space saving (only one piece of furniture) and we could fit the entire family on it. It was L shaped but had a part that could come out and up and make a full size bed, plus it had storage under the L cushion. It was extremely firm and we tried to live with it. It was also navy blue (at the time the only color choices were navy and white). Eventually it had to go. Mama was NOT happy!

I had this idea that I wanted an eclectic slip covered sofa that looked like I had pieced together a bunch of fun coordinating fabrics with patterns of houndstooth, herringbone and plaid (my sister has sipcovers like this – that was my inspiration) so we were on the lookout for a new (to us) comfortable sofa. One day at a thrift store I found it. It was $30. We paid for the couch and had a friend with a Suburban help us move it for the cost of $20 in gas and the muscles of his teenage son. We sold the IKEA couch. This was in June 2010. 

Now I had a neutral colored couch for the base of my “master plan”. This was going to be great – I could envision cuddling with the hubs watching a movie on my great new couch. World peace would enevitably ensue.

The only other requirement we needed in our living room was to be able to sit four or more people comfortably. On the weekends we have my husbands two teenage kids visiting us. We were on the lookout for two comfortable low profile chairs that would be placed facing the TV (now mounted over the fireplace on the 45 degree wall) and the dining room. If you are at the dining table you can see the TV so we didn’t want the view obstructed by heads or furniture. The answer were these two rounded chairs.

We lucked out in finding on Craigslist two IKEA chairs for $100 (regularily $100 each) in a neutral creme color. Comfortable and low profile. The goal is to eventually slip cover these to match the couch.

A few weekends ago I found two cranberry colored Pottery Barn boucle throws at the thrift store for $10 each. These throws are nice and soft and warm. After spraying with room spray (a scent that invokes sultry weekends in Cuba) and tossing in the dryer (to get rid of anything left behind) the slip cover idea has faded in to the background – for now.

A few months after buying the neutral thrift store couch I purchased two very large canvas drop cloths at our local Home Depot (the eclectic pieced slip cover was proving to be too expensive). One spring day in 2011 I ventured to create my slip cover. After carefully cutting the back cushions off (the dog refused to move for my photo) I was left with the basic frame (don’t mind the surge strip peeking under the couch – we often sit on the couch with our laptops).

The cushions that were on the back of the couch were too firm and we couldn’t “sink in” to the back like we wanted too. Never fear, I had plans for those cushions. C built a wood frame the length of the couch and the depth of the cushions. We placed the cushions on the top of this frame and secured it by stapling down muslin to the frame. This ottoman serves two purposes. When it’s just C and I we have a totally comfy lounging couch to sit (or lay) on and when we have tons of people over we can move the ottoman in front of the fireplace for extra seating (we can easily seat three or four people on it).

I’ll do a seperate post on the ottoman (with photos) after that slipcover is completed.

The drop cloth measures 12 ft x 15 ft and has a French seam down the center. I placed the seam where the back meets the base of the couch and proceeded to cut and pin around the couch until I ended up with an inside out slip cover. For those of you who watched Trading Spaces this will be a familiar process.

That is as far as I got before putting all the fabric in our bedroom for several months – pins and all. Yesterday I cleaned off the dining table (our catch all) and brought all the fabric out as well as my sewing machine and spent the afternoon and late in to the evening sewing.

The pins were my sewing guide and I test fitted the slip cover MANY times to ensure it would fit when done and that the hem was nice and even. In the back, just below the arm I sewed on velcro for ease of removal for laundering (people – we have a geriatric cat).

The cushions for the back of the couch are compliments of my sister. She bought me four pillows for my birthday that I also slipcovered with the same fabric.

The accent color of the main living space (living and dining) was initially supposed to be blue and green based on a peacock wreath and an entralac wrap I knitted.

One day at IKEA C discovered a print he had wanted for a couple years was 50% off. It’s a London city scene (he is a total Anglophile – I can’t really blame him) with a double decker bus. It’s black and white but the bus is red. I liked it too and we bought it for him for his birthday. It is mounted over the couch and due to the red color we decided to accent in cranberry instead of blue and green.

My kitchen is a pomagranite red so it flowed nicely (plus I scored those totally awesome cranberry Potterybarn throws). The wrap and peacock wreath moved to our master bedroom which is currently blue but we are going to paint dark grey this summer.

The two polka dot pillows are from IKEA and have all the neutral colors in them we are currently decorating with.

Once the living room is completely finished I will post more detailed photos (hopefully with a better camera!).

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January Recap

January is behind us and a new page is turned on the calendar. I was hit and miss with some of my goals. I reread my project list for this month last week and realized I had a few things I had planned to do that until the last week of the month I had not gotten done let alone started.

Book Club – I read five books this month. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris was the book club goal. I also read another book club title, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Can’t wait to read the next one and see the film! The third book I read was Seven Up by Janet Evanovich (I’m working my way through her series – really want to see One For The Money npw that it is in theaters). I was able to borrow all of these from the library. On my Kindle (library ebooks) I read The Spy by Clive Cussler and Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke.

For February I am reading Rules of Civility by Amore Towles on my Kindle and will be joining in the discussion over at Pancakes and Frenchfries at the end of the month.

Fun fact: Janet Evanovich didn’t start writing until she was 40. Hmmmmm.

Screenplay – Remember I mentioned that I looked at my January list last week? Yeah, had not touched on this one all month. I tried to dedicated some time to it. Its hard when you have a very general idea about what you want to write. Last week I did come up with an idea that I am exploring and have a friend who has written a screenplay who is willing to look it over for me when I have some stuff down on paper. So the log line and outline will have to be goals for February. Unfortunately these things don’t write themselves.

Blog – Not a ton of posting this month, although I started out well. But significantly more than I have been doing in the latter half of 2011. Obviously I am writing about things that interest me. Economical home decor, debt reduction, interesting reads, decluttering. Eventually there will be some travel entries as well.

Alternative Menus – We used the juicer a few times this month. Less than I would have liked. It’s quite the project prepping all the fruit and veggies (that is what I did) and throwing everything in to the juicer in the morning and cleaning it afterwards (that is was C did). I find that for me the juice is hard on my esophagus. I am trying to find out why but I won’t give up just yet!

I bought a cookbook called The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook by Dawn Altomari-Rathjen & Jennifer M. Bendelius. I read it the day I bought it and tried a few recipes. Love it! Wish I had not donated my Quisenart (it was given to me for free). I really regret it. One day I will have to purchase another one.

I have a venti Starbucks glass that I keep on my desk at work. My goal is to drink two of them during the course of the day. I’ve been really good about this one. Still went to get coffee more than I would have liked this month. I can only do better next month.

Get Moving – After getting to a rough start my first week and not doing any active exercise I ended up doing really well. My goal was to work out for twenty minutes after work five days a week. I would do Wii Fit four days a week and break it up by doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred on Wednesday nights. Week one ended up being the week of the 8 – 14. I did great until Friday. I was so tired that I took a three-hour nap. Week two and three were the same – I just got distracted on Fridays. Week four was a bomb as I am little bored with the routine and need to find something to shake things up.

Reduce Debt – I had forgotten until I reread my entry at the beginning of the month that my goal for our credit card debt was to reduce it by half this year. We reduced our credit card debt by 24% but unfortunately I was a bit too aggressive and we had to use some credit we had paid off. It was a banner month due to some work I did for someone in November that I was paid for. The next few months will be leaner but to start off the year like that feels great!

On the budget front, one of my (and C’s) favorite TV shows, Weeds has season 7 coming out at the end of this month on DVD. We don’t have cable so I have to wait until the season comes out. Typically I sit home and watch it in one sitting on a weekend. This show is one of my guilty pleasures! 

Of course, Sunday night February 26th I will be planted on my couch for the 84th annual Oscars. Every year my goal is to see all the nominated films before the show and I never seem to get to that point. We have Midnight in Paris sitting here from Netflix. I will probably watch that this weekend.

Clutter – Another project I forgot about until I read my entry was going through the dresser in my dining room I use as a buffet. This task was ignored and will have to be done in February. I need to consolidate my craft items and store them using less space. This will allow me to move our printer / scanner / copier down below (after cutting out a notch in the back for the cord) so the top of the dresser could be styled a little better. This way I can more fully utilize as a buffet when I want to.

Condo – Last summer I had cut out and pinned together a slip cover for my couch. It’s been sitting in a pile of fabric and pins since then. I drug it out last week and it’s still sitting in a pile but closely located to my dining table so I can pull out my sewing machine and get that project completed – also for February.

We did pretty well at the beginning of January taking the old tile off the hearth. We have about 3/4 of it to go. I hope to get all the tile off this month. I am also budgeting to buy the rest of the new tile we need for the project this month.

Vacation / EventsSteampunk Ball was this month and I made a new outfit for it. A long Indian style top and pants in the style of lounging pyjamas.

We don’t have much in the way of plans and events this month. Of course there is Valentine’s day in a few weeks. I want to make dinner at home and possibly go out for dessert.

Sorry there are no photos but there are TONS of links (got a little link happy). Here’s to a goal filled (and completed) February!

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Time Flies

When last I posted I stated the project for this week was to complete the slip cover for the couch in our living room. That so did not happen.

I did however meet another goal which was to get back to working out on a regular basis. I have found the trick for me is to do it right when I get home. I changed my hours at work so I can leave at 4:30 and I am walking in the door around 5:15. I quickly feed the furry children (code for our cat and dog), change in to my workout gear and get to it. Right now I am just focusing on getting 20 minutes in a day. For the rest of this month I do Wii Fit four days a week and Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred (ass kicker of a workout) one day a week.

I am happy to report I worked out four of five days last week. I would have done five but Friday I was not feeling well and took a rather long (three-hour) nap when I got home.

So I still have that silly slip cover to complete as a goal this month. I still have two weeks but also have some other sewing to do for the Steampunk Exhibition Ball coming up at the end of the month. I am still half way through Me Talk Pretty One Day. I got distracted by The Spy I am reading on my Kindle. I got it from the library and can only keep it for two weeks.

Last weekend along with our new lamp and more tile for the hearth we also bought a blade for our Dremmel Multi Max to cut through the grout to make it easier to take up the tile. Sadly that little project has also been left untouched this past week.

It snowed yesterday in Western Washington which brings out the crazy drivers. It put a kink in our plans for the day as well. My parents had tickets to see West Side Story downtown and with my dad not being able to drive since his surgery C and I played chauffeur. We were happy to do it and they had a great time.

We did get out to a few thrift stores and I scored to Pottery Barn knit throws in cranberry for $10 each. I had been looking for something for our living room and these are perfect and super warm!

At some point I am going to need to invest in a better digital camera. Ours died and all I have is my camera on my phone which really does not do anything any justice.

Lot’s to do today. I need to clean off my dining table and drag out my sewing machine and the slipcover fabric so I am all set to start working on that after my workout tomorrow. Meeting a friend for lunch who is in town as well. Have a great Sunday and stay warm!

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The Kindle

I have been considering a Kindle for a couple of years now. Just like with my iPod which I wanted for at least two years before I actually purchased one. It took a bit for me to “pull the trigger” on the purchase. If anyone knows me they know I love to read (and watch movies and listen to music). As much as I love the actual physical book, I don’t have a ton of space in my 900 square foot condo. Enter the Kindle.  The perfect way to continue to read books and not take up extra space in my limited abode though I suppose reading in a bath would be a bad idea.

My husband actually “bought” it for me for Christmas but I ordered it from my Amazon account so I would not have any problems when I wanted to download new books (tip from my in-laws). We decided on the Touch for $99 instead of the very popular Fire which is retailing for $199 (an iPad was just out of the question financially – especially since we got my husband a MacBook a few months ago). Although I love the idea of a color screen I honestly am only going to be using this to read books – not books with photos but as Crazy Aunt Purl would say, lit-tra-chure. If I ever get a magazine subscription online then I will consider trading up to a color version but I honestly don’t see that happening any time soon. My husband would be happy with the Touch (hopefully we can transfer it to his account down the road if I get a new one).

Pricing for ebooks is great. Much less than the physical versions. Not only is it space-saving but it’s money-saving as well. I can check out ebooks from my local library with the device. I’m a gal who likes to read stories more than once too. So having a book saved in my device/account that is easy to select is awesome. As our debt get’s paid off we will be able to travel more and nothing says vacation to me like a favorite book (or books) to read on the plane or wherever. So much easier to travel with than a thick stack of books.

Last night I ordered the two year extended warranty and this flip jacket. I think this will be a great carrying case for my Kindle. Once I start commuting by bus to work, having my Kindle (and iPod) all charged and ready to go will be awesome for the commute! This will also help me with my book club plan for 2012 as many titles are available to download through my local library which cost nothing (you should see the stack of actual books I have at home right now). An easy way to read through the entire Stephanie Plum series!

It’s smaller than I thought it would be but the screen is awesome. Very clear and no glare what so ever. Very lightweight. I am totally loving it! I have already downloaded a book from the library which I have been reading.

Speaking of reading. I am halfway through Me Talk Pretty One Day which is amusing. Dare I say I may even get through more than one book this month for book club 2012. Next up, The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston.

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