Giving my Resolutions a Little Wiggle Room

So the new year is almost upon us and I thought I would get in on the resolution-making that is happening out there. But instead of setting myself up for failure, I gave myself some wiggle room.

1. Exercise 1 hour every day. Does repeatedly walking from the desk to the fridge count? No? Okay, then scratch that. How about exercise more? Doable right? No rules about type, frequency or duration. Just more. Considering I was a sloth from August to December of last year, this should be easy.

2. Read a book a week. Now I know there are people out there who consume a book a day, but that’s just not me. A couple of years ago, I’d completely fallen out of the habit of reading. Sure I flipped through a couple of Better Homes and Gardens magazines here and there, but I never touched a full-length novel.  Now I’m back in the game and loving it. And I’m ready to do more. Maybe a book a week, we’ll see, but I just want to do better than last year.

3. Write a thousand words a day. Ha! Even when I spend a full day writing, this just isn’t my style. There are days I reach over a thousand and then days I only hit 500. And (gasp) there are days I don’t write at all. Sometimes I just have to step away, take a break, maybe have a few wacky life experiences to fuel my creativity. So, instead of forcing myself to write a certain number of words a day, my goal is to have my second novel finished (and by finished, I mean fully edited, revised and proofread) by the end of the year.

And for those of you who recall the challenge I placed before myself at the November, I have an update. My goal was to have the first draft of my current WIP revised and ready to be chewed apart by beta readers at the end of the month. This month. Well, I failed. And here is my excuse: the holidays. See, this is what I was doing instead:

Making chocolate. It was really easy. I found the recipe on Oh She Glows and just had to try it myself–only 4 ingredients, about 5 minutes for melting/combing, and then a little freezer time. They were super yummy.

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Homemade chocolate!

I saw this snowman on Pinterest and just had to do it. Here is the blog link.

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We made these wreath ornaments to hand out as gifts. They were really easy once you find the mini wreath forms. The tutorial is here.

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This is one my husband made. He’s so crafty 🙂

Lastly, I made this woodland scene advent calendar for my husband. Under each item was a treat or an activity to do together. The blog link for this is here.

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Check out the narwhal in the lake. They really live in the ocean, but I was taking creative liberties.

Now, I did get some work done on the novel and it’s going a little more quickly than I first imagined. So, my new goal is to have it ready mid-January.

4. Journal every day. I tried this last year, even giving the two-sentence journal a shot. I think my last entry was in the end of March. So, I saw this on Pinterest and decided to make one. Here is the link to the tutorial.

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It’s a calendar, with an index card for every day of the year. You pull out the card for the current day, write the year and then a sentence or two about what happened. My husband and I started the day after Christmas, sharing the responsibility for jotting down something witty and memorable. As the years go by, the cards will fill up and you get to reminisce while you journal. I this will be more doable since it is a shared duty and it’s on the coffee table staring at me every night, making me feel guilty.

So that’s it. I could resolve to eat better, but my husband would probably die from laughter. I just discovered you can wrap almost anything in moist bread and deep fry it–no batter required. The possibilities are endless…

UPDATE:

I know it sounds weird. I found a recipe for Indian Bread Rolls stuffed with potatoes on Veg Recipes of India and it was amazing. Then I started thinking of all the other mixtures that could be wrapped in bread and fried. Here are a couple of pics from the Veg Recipes of India website showing the bread rolls being made and what they look like after being fried.

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Image courtesy Veg Recipes of India.

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Image courtesy Veg Recipes of India.

 

Happy New Year everyone!!

A Bridal Shower Took Over My Life (and I’m still here to talk about it)

craft suppliesGlue in your hair, burns on your fingertips, and a coffee buzz so strong your crafting materials sing show tunes right before your eyes. This is what happens when you host a bridal shower … a bridal shower inspired by PINTEREST.

I mentioned in a previous post that my cousin got married. Well, I offered to host the shower (because I have a foolish desire to make tea sandwiches and have strangers peer in my medicine cabinet) and became part of the whirlwind/sinkhole/minefield that is the wedding industry. It was amazing/utterly consuming.

My planning began innocently with an Internet search for bridal shower ideas, which piqued my interest in tissue poms. And that’s when I saw it: my first Pinterest page. It was beautiful. Dotted with images of tulle poms, felt flowers, paper rosettes, pastel and vibrant colored bunting. Things that no mere mortal could have possibly created. I was hooked.

I signed up for my own Pinterest account and soon I had the entire shower mapped out in a collage of images.

Almost all my free time was committed to the shower. I enlisted the help of my reluctant mother who eyed the glue gun nervously and cut cardstock with trepidation.

Soon, strings of fabric were embedded in the couch, rhinestones became tiny, foot piercing land mines, and wayward strands of glue floated in our wine glasses.

I tried to remain organized, but the crafting supplies quickly took over the house.

There were bags upon bags from Joann Fabric and Hobby Lobby to keep track of. Accusations spewed from my mouth when I couldn’t find the scraps of tulle I knew I’d saved.

Me (pacing the room): You threw it away, didn’t you!?!

My husband (staring blankly at the computer): I didn’t touch anything. I swear.

Me (now dumping the contents of bag after bag on the floor): Then, why is it gone? You just throw things away. That’s what you do. You’re trying to sabotage me!

My husband (still staring blankly at the computer): Did you try downstairs? Or in the bedroom?

Me (splayed out in a pile of felt, ribbon, buttons and despair): Yes, of course I checked.

My husband (now pushing a pile of fabric strips to the other side of couch and flicking on the TV): Well, go buy some more.

Me (bolting upright): And admit defeat! I won’t do it. I will find those scraps of tulle if I have dig through the dumpster!

My husband (shrugging): What do you want to watch tonight?

Me (walking into the bedroom to resume my search): Uh, never mind, found it. He he. It was stuffed behind a fake plant.

Then after my last day of work (woo hoo!), I went into full strategizing/crafting mode. I assigned priorities, duties, and command posts.

There were a couple glitches, but overall I think it turned out pretty awesome. Here are some pics:

Shower overview

The chair décor was made with fabric cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch strips and then sewn with a running stitch, leaving two loops on either end–I knew how the chairs would look before I started these, so I had an idea of how I would attach them. Various size tulle poms were taped to the top of the tent using fishing wire and clear duct tape.

table

table close up

We had mismatched plates on the table that my aunt was very kind to donate. For the flower vases, I wrapped old soup cans in thin scrapbook paper and embellished some with ribbon and buttons.Then, I used scraps of the same paper as cards for the guests to write their well wishes, etc. Lastly, the napkin rings were made from yarn poms. These are essentially the same concept as the tulle balls, you just wrap the yarn around a fork instead of a larger item like cutting board or large book. Then I tied a longer piece of yarn around the center of the pom, so that I now had two long strands that I could tie around the napkins after they were rolled.

bags

boxes

felt flowers

For the serving tables, I wrapped plain white gift boxes in ribbon and mixed this with cute gift bags stuffed with tissue paper. I also scattered some Scrabble tile words around along with some felt flowers.

photo booth

This was our photo booth (and we used it for the backdrop as the bride-to-be opened presents). I made bunting and rosettes using the same pack of scrapbook paper. For props, I made flower headbands and also a cowboy hat with a veil. The cowboy hat was easy. I just found a cheap hat at a party store, got a few yards of tulle, wrapped the tulle around the hat and tied a not in the back. Other props included: flowery dishwashing gloves you can sort of see in the picture below, an apron, broom, some mixing bowls, tea pot, big sunglasses, boas, masks, pinweels, and those big nose/fake mustache glasses.

Here are a couple pics of us enjoying the party:

The girls

Doting on Lindsay

We had a few people hang out after the shower (a shower isn’t a shower without an after-party) and in case you’re wondering, this is what one of my beautiful tables looked like the next day:

day after

Of course, now that the party’s over I’ll have to focus on why I quit my job in the first place–my novel. I’ve been doing some webinars and working on this author platform thingy everyone is talking about. I mean you can’t subsist on Pinterest crafts alone.

Pinterest: Now offering shots of courage

Courage can come from many places: supportive words from friends and family, an inspirational story, or from deep within yourself.

Well, for me, it came from Pinterest. Not the site per say, but from the quotes I had curated (doesn’t that sound fancy) on one of my boards.

In my last post I talked about my mind-blowing decision to quit my job. But, I still had to give my notice. That would be easier said than done. I’d worked with these people for what felt like forever in my 36-year-old mind. The night before I gave my resignation I frittered about, unable to settle myself. My husband offered me a glass of wine and I said, “no.” Yikes!

Then I logged onto Pinterest and found my new board of inspirational quotations. You know things like “hang in there” or “there is no I in team.” Well, instead of those gems, I had pinned things like:

“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.” –Lemony Snicket

“If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.” –Dr. Gregory House

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” –Margaret Shepard

I read through quotes from the likes of Mark Twain, Calamity Jane and Pablo Picasso. Some were not credited to an author; some were about unicorns and mermaids. The butterflies in my stomach settled and my mind stopped rehearsing the resignation speech it had been stuck on all day.

The jitters found me again in the morning, but I pushed them aside. I walked into my boss’s office and just did it. She took it well and that was it. I was a victor over my own self-doubt and society’s insistence on a life of conformity.

The remaining weeks of my six-year tenure, floated by. My last day came and went as if nothing special had happened. I mean, people said their goodbyes. I had a lovely going away party. I gave away treasured items from my cube. Who knew a picture of Ace Ventura with my head plastered over Jim Carey’s would be so coveted?

But nothing special happened inside me. I just walked out of the building for the last time and loaded my things in the car. I didn’t crumple with regret or have confetti thrown over me with trumpets blaring. I didn’t feel sad or afraid or excited or anything. I just was. It was strange. I guess I was just content, satisfied maybe?

I woke up the next day and logged onto my Pinterest account. I clicked on one of my favorite quotes and “the people who pinned this also pinned” feed came up. I scanned down until I found it. The perfect quote:

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different…” –C. S. Lewis

Then, of course, since I am a Pinterest addict, I also found:

“That was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit.”

Very appropriate I thought, until I stumbled upon this one:

“Oh, dear. I really ought to do something but I am already in my pajamas.”

Wow, it’s like they read my mind. Not really though, I am actually quite productive in my pajamas. What do you think I was wearing when I wrote this?

P. S. If you’re wondering about the mermaid and unicorn quotes here they are:

“Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.” –Author Unknown

“I still like to pretend I’m a mermaid whenever I go swimming. (I’m 28)” –Author Unknown