Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year and My Word Revisted!

It is the Year of the Horse!  

My one little word for the year is LEARN and my sub-word for January was FINISH. This month I learned to not procrastinate (as is typical for me) and to finish what I start (or start over).  I finished a scrapbook for my Mom's cousin's granddaughter.  That was good.  I gave up on the crocheted baby bag (the baby is too big now anyway) and started a raglan sweater for the child instead. 

I am happy that I chose to participate in Project Real Life at Big Picture Classes. Not only am I learning and loving a new memory keeping process, but this week's theme has me rethinking how I organize. NOT every area, I have a place for everything, but I have reorganized an area for Elliot's clothing so that it's more easily accessible.  The same for my hair accessories.  

I took the Weight Watcher's 2014 New Year, New You Challenge and am learning (again) how much better I feel, how there is no indigestion, more energy, just an overall lightness. Feels GOOD! AND the scale is moving...DOWN!  This month, I am going to add more walks, and more veggies and more me time.  

I am excited for 2014 and although we had a few rough spots this month and too many colds, I am ready to LEARN and FINISH and conquer what's next!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I realize we are almost through January and here in Pittsburgh we have spent most of the month (and will continue) hibernating as this very cold blast moves through.  The furnace broke in my daughter’s house and she and kiddies are coming over for a staycation (ages 15, 6, 4 and 9 mos.) so I’ve compiled a list of things we can do through the end of January.  Also, my car is still in the garage as the mechanic is having trouble finding lenses for my 15-16 year old car so we are definitely homebound.

1.            Make Kool-Aid Play Dough.  I’ve found many recipes on-line and will use the recipe found at Kraft.     

2.            Make hot chocolate.  I have made this recipe since my children were wee little.  They love it and it’s always a treat.  I’ve always used Hershey’s Cocoa and this recipe.

3.            Have a movie night.  Percy Jackson, Wolverine and The Croods on On Demand this month.

                Note to self: Pick up popcorn.

4.            Found at Little Wonders’ Days, I am loving this Frozen treat idea!

5.            Have a WII Bowling or Just Dance competition, or both.

6.            Play board games.

7.            Cook a meal together.

I think this list is a good start to a great weekend.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Project Real Life

When I saw that Big Picture Classes was offering Becky Higgins' Project Real Life class again, I knew it was time.  I'd been pulling away from the actual act of scrapping and just taking random photos. That's not the legacy I want to leave for my grandkiddies.  So, I signed up for the class and then hopped on over to the Home Shopping Network (HSN) to see what they had to offer (it's a budget thing).  Wow! Was I lucky. There were two Jade Collection Kits left.  These kits included:

the album;
the core kit; and
a big box of pocket pages.
All that for $59.  So I couldn't help but add another core kit to my cart:
I received all this happy mail over the weekend and got right to work setting up the foundation.  I have to say I am really happy I chose to participate in the class as it has really helped me focus and I am excited to get scrapping again.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

For the Love of: Plants

Plants.  I am a killer of plants.  I love green, lush, leafy plants. I like how they prettily liven up a corner that needs “something.” However, unlike my Mom and my three children, all of which have incredible flower/vegetable gardens, my skills in keeping plants alive are lacking.  Now, I do have one plant that has been with me since my Grandma C. passed numerous years ago.  It thrives, I’m not sure how or why, but it does and in fact I just had to it cut back as it’s tendrils were crawling across the floor and getting stepped on.  She’s beautiful (her name is Emma) and I’ve tried so hard to give her company only to find yellow leaves, brown leaves, no leaves, dead plant.  

Luckily for me, recently in my inbox from “HomeMadeSimple,” there was an article entitled 5 Indoor Houseplants You Can’t Kill.  PERFECT!!!!  AND K-Mart was having a sale on Jade and Cactus plants.  


I also took one of the cuttings from Emma and that’s currently sitting in water (growing beautifully) til it roots. 
Sprout of Emma
I am hopeful that these babies hang in there with me so that I can eventually accent every room in the house with big, beautiful plants.  AND, if my house is still filled with greenery at the end of 2014, I will have realized one of my goals.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Presently . . .

I am crocheting a sweater for Baby E.
I am reading the current issue of Real Simple magazine
I am watching Tim Gunn's Under the Gunn
I am listening to Artful Dodger and Robbie Craig, and Craig David. Particularly Craig David.
I am eating breakfast - everyday
I am drinking very hot Seattle's Best coffee
I am happy, very happy!!
I am wearing slacks and a turtleneck and a sweater (it's 0 degrees outside, yes, that's a big fat ZERO).
I am enjoying (I love you K and E) but presently I am enjoying the peace and quiet of my solo-ness
I am "spring cleaning" my bedroom
I am planning a weekend at Castaway Bay for me and my daughter and children
I am making a shopping list for the weekend (need unsweetened kool-aid and salt for an art project for the boys, recipe found at Kraft Recipes)
I am thankful, thankful, thankful for my life. It's not perfect, but I like it!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Goal List for 2014

I realize we are two weeks into the New Year and I am just getting around to posting my 2014 goals, but it has been a BUSY two weeks.  Going by WAY too fast!!!  Anyway, without further ado, my humble, and most broad list:

Goals for 2014

1.         Living up to my chosen word (Finish).
2.         Fill the house with green plants and keep them alive!
3.         Read a book or two, or three a month. Okay, a book.
4.         Create a realistic budget and stick to it.
5.         Get fit (by walking – my favorite; and in turn wearing that cute dress that’s been hanging in the closet, with tags, since, um, well, for a while).
6.         Finish what I start.
7.         Create more.
8.         Learn more.
9.         Do more.

10.       Be organized!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Favorite DIY of 2013

One of my very favorite DIY projects came from ABeautiful Mess.  I loved Elsie’s Restyled Cocktail Cart.  I have one of those retro carts just hanging out in the downstairs kitchen and when I saw hers, I knew I had to repurpose that piece.  I have six grandkiddies and 4 step grandkiddies and while I just turned 55, I also have a great grandkiddie.  I have hosted a dozen plus birthday and holiday parties in this old house, especially over the past two years and remaking that cart into a beverage/paper goods cart has been a time saver.  I am waiting for warm weather before I repaint this piece, but for now it stands stocked with paper plates, cups, plasticware, sodas, bottled water, juice bags, and an ice bucket.  The kiddies (and adults) can help themselves.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Up for a Challenge?

If you are looking for a simple and fun challenge and need to shed a few “Christmas Cookie” pounds, you may want to check out Weight Watchers 2014 New Year, New You Challenge.  It's only for four weeks and you can find it here.  The most I’ve ever had to lose was about, hmmm, close to fifty pounds to goal and I did it through Weight Watchers.  Luckily, I work in an office that supports our staff and they encouraged Weight Watchers at Work.  Since then (and that was 2010), I’ve put 13 back on and I am determined to get rid of the 10 lb. plus sack I am carrying around with me.  
The first task is to set a goal that has nothing to do with pounds or clothing sizes, but a goal that will see you through to the end of the Challenge.  Mine is having more energy.  I know when I was walking upwards of two - four miles a day in 2010, I felt fantastic! My head was clear, I was more alert, I was active. I want to revisit that feeling again.  I also know that at the end of the first day of WW, the very first day, I had no heartburn. None. I only have it now if I've eaten badly and that's not too often.  I've switched to organic milk and also like Silk Soymilk. Salads are a mainstay as well as Pepperidge Farm Very Thinly Sliced Bread. I love vegetables, not so much fruit, but I keep a glass bowl of Cuties on the coffee table in the living room for snacking and because the grandkiddies love them. I have tons more to change, but I am excited to start this Challenge and to SUCCEED!!!!
So, today, I am taking the Challenge.  Want to join me?
thinner in 2010

Friday, January 3, 2014

OLW - January 2014 - LEARN

I mentioned at the end of December 2013 that my One Little Word for 2014 is L E A R N.  I love learning!!!! I love learning through reading books, blogs, asking questions, traveling, doing.  I also thought I would have a sub-word for each month.  A sub-word makes sense for me right now because LEARN is so broad and I want to zone in on the more definitive.  So.... 
January’s sub-word is F I N I S H.  Not easy for me to do.  I can start 100 things (exaggeration) and finish none (not an exaggeration).  That is frustrating for me.  This month, January 2014, I will finish: a commissioned scrapbook for a cousin’s granddaughter, a crochet baby bag (a request) for a granddaughter, and numerous other projects started and not finished.  I know that I will feel so much better finishing so much that’s been started so that I can enjoy the process of learning the remainder of the year.  So, this month, I learn to finish what I’ve started.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Here's What's On My Mind

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”  - Saint Francis of Assisi 

Two years ago, I created a master list of all that needed done to my house, i.e., fix roof, paint kitchen, clean stove, move yellow bookcase to family room, move glass cabinet to kitchen, etc. (plenty of it is still ongoing).  I walked through each room and literally put down everything that needed done from lying new tile to scheduling an electrician to fix sockets to getting bids for a new roof and so on.  I set the list up for printing out on Avery 1/3” file labels and typed each task onto each label. As each task was completed I stuck the file in my planner on the date it was complete.  (I use a DayMinder Weekly/Monthly planner).  Looking back over that planner has inspired me to do this again and keep track of my progress.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IT'S 2014!

                                                                                                                        Ralph Waldo Emerson