Sunday, January 20, 2013

Crafternoon: January Edition

So, I totally failed at photographing today's Crafternoon (all I photographed was chubby baby cheeks), but it was a big success!

Projects included couch cushion cases, mod podged glitter jars, buttons, a purse closure, fabric flowers, wedding thank you's (ahem, it hasn't been a year yet!), a little seam-repair, and lots of knitting!  The food was excellent, the company grand (hello, new friends), the baby adorable, and the flicks chicky.

All in all, a great afternoon of crafting and lady time.

Did you take a picture of your craft today? Attach the pic in the comments (here's how you do it) - CC, I'm looking at you!

Thank you, ladies, for a wonderful Crafternoon yet again!

*this blog post is kind of boring, but I wanted to document Crafternoon as best as I could. Please, friends, add your pictures!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happier at Home

Last week, my dear friend Alyssa (friend for over 15 years, baker of our wedding cake) reposted something from Apartment Therapy, called 10 Simple Things to Make You Happier at Home (see Alyssa's post here, with her commentary). I liked it so much, I decided to repost it myself, with my own comments.

  1. Make your bed. I started doing this last year, thanks to Jolie Kerr's "Let's All Make Our Beds" (LAMOB) series on The Hairpin. I don't do hospital corners or anything, but let's be real - I don't do hospital corners when I put new sheets on the bed anyway. I do, however, pull the duvet up and straighten the pillows every morning. That counts.
  2. Bring every room back to "ready." This is just about my dream. The first step is actually de-cluttering it all and cleaning up to begin with, of course. We're getting there (over a year after moving in), but I think in the next few months, we'll be at a place where a bit of daily maintenance will mean this is pretty easy to maintain. And it will make me so, so happy.
  3. Display sentimental items around your home. We are good to go in this arena! Our home is full of sentimental items, yo! There are a few rooms that could use some sprucing up, but overall, my decorating style (and thus, Will's) is a mix of old and new, with family photos, heirlooms, and mementos all around us. It's mostly from my family's side right now, but slowly we're adding things from Will's family as well, which makes me quite happy.
  4. Start a one-line-a-day gratitude journal. AT says to jot down one happy memory from that day before bed, because reflection is an important part of happiness, etc etc etc...and yeah, that's probably true. My therapist has asked me to do something similar. I suppose I should start doing that. Maybe I actually will.
  5. If you can't get out if it, get into it. I could stand to do better at this one...if there's an unpleasant task ahead of me, finding a way to enjoy it will certainly make it easier. See: bootcamp.
  6. Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. This is something we do at the beginning of most yoga classes, and I think it's totally legit. I don't know if I'll remember to do it, or if it'll feel silly (sometimes I feel silly doing it in yoga, but it is helpful to have something to come back to throughout the class), but it can't be a bad thing to think about.
  7. Do small favors for your housemates, expecting nothing in return (not even a thank you!). I've started to do this recently, though it's been more for me than for Will. I figure if I'm doing housework because I want to, I won't feel resentful if I don't get thanked or if I do it alone. And strangely, as soon as I started intentionally doing housework for me, I noticed all the work Will actually does on his own, without me noticing or appreciating it. Funny how that works. I did do several loads of dishes today, hoping he would notice...but it would be interesting just to do things as favors :)
  8. Call at least one friend or family member a day. I try to call friends/family while walking home from work most days, though sometimes it's nice to just be quiet with my thoughts. Every day might be stressful to maintain, but I do love checking in via phone as a regular activity.
  9. Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. Did AT just give me justification for buying more stuff for the house? Not that I need any help with justification...I'm kind of awesome at that particular skill. In all seriousness, I don't need someone to tell me to save/spend money on things that will encourage us to have people over and entertain. It's one of my favorite things to do -- we have a wonderful collection of "things" for entertaining. The next thing we're saving for is a grill for the backyard...but for now, we're pretty well-equipped for party-hosting.
  10. Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. I'll quote AT here:
"Whatever your spiritual beliefs — or non-beliefs — may be, studies show that connecting to a high power is correlated with happiness. Just stepping back to realize that we are part of an enormous universe can put some perspective on your annoyance with the those-are-definitely-not-mine-and-they-are-abso-fricking-lutely-repulsive socks under the coffee table. Before bed, spend just a few minutes contemplating something larger than yourself. Take a walk in nature. Write in a journal. Create a sacred space in your home. (Or if spirituality is really not your thing, create a home spa: light some candles, soak in a hot bath, delve into a good book… are you feeling better yet?)"
I'm not a very spiritual person, but I do believe in connecting with nature, and I try to take a minute to appreciate the world around me while I'm walking to work, or looking out a window, etc. And I can totally get down with a home spa...

So there you go. 10 things. What do you think?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Uhhh Bootcamp? I mean, Yeahhhh Bootcamp!

I've always been curious about bootcamp. The thing is, all the bootcamps I know about are at crazy pre-work hours. Hours like 6:30am. 5:30am even! Who are those crazy people who choose to work out  (and wake up) at such ungodly hours? Ok, I know who they are. I have a few pre-work bootcamp friends, who have gotten totally fit doing it, and don't seem to mind waking up so early. I'm a girl who likes her sleep though, so I've never gotten into it.

The thing is, I'm not so good with the post-work workouts either. By the time I get home, I'm far too tired (lazy). I can rally for ballet most weeks, because I love me some ballet, but other than that, it's hard to get motivated. All I want to do is cook dinner and sit on the couch. Sometimes I even shower. I know; It's amazing the things I can get done between 7:30pm and bedtime (which, by the way, needs to be 11pm - no more staying up super late, Kim. You're too old for this.)!

Sarcasm aside, I need to infuse some working out into my life. And inspired by the fact that I can no longer button jeans that fit just fine pre-holidays, combined with the 93% off bootcamp Groupon deal, it looks like I am now a bootcamper. At least for the next two months.

Starting on Monday, January 14, I'll be going to "30-day Bootcamp" two days a week - it's on my way home from work, and it's in the evenings, and it's close to BART. No excuses, right? This, combined with Yoga on Tuesdays and Ballet on Wednesdays means I've got four days a week of exercise on the agenda. I need to buy resistance bands, and a jump rope, and one of those bags that holds a yoga mat and stuff. While I just might die, I also just might get into shape.

Do you bootcamp? Am I going to die? Are there things I should be tracking, for my own personal edification?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year

We've just returned from a whirlwind and a half of holiday travel, from sunny (but cold! no, I swear!) Los Angeles to rainy (and a teensy bit snowy) Olympia to seriously snowy Tahoe, and it's nice to be home. It's not nice to start the year off discovering a flat tire, but we count our blessings and remain thankful that we noticed it back in our neighborhood and not while descending the icy (ish) mountain roads or barreling along on the highway. It's the little things.

Speaking of little things, there are a few "intentions" (thanks, Natasha, for the new word for something that's sort of not quite a resolution) that I'd like to put out there in the Internet universe for posterity or whatever.

In 2013, I intend to:

  • Exercise more, by finding a routine that I enjoy. First thoughts: Kinect games (Just Dance and Kinect Adventures for cardio), setting up the stability ball recommended by my PT (sit on it and do a few exercises before sitting on the couch), and incorporating weights into my at-home routine. Plus, yoga on Tuesdays and ballet on Wednesdays.
  • Eat more hearty salads. First thoughts: I need a serious detox after two weeks of gorging on cheese, beer, and baked goods (oh bagels and La Farine baguettes, you will be the death of me). For a month or so after we returned from our honeymoon, we stuck to salads for dinner a few days a week, and it felt really good. Raw veggies, kale, and eggs/beans were excellent for getting rid of that "my insides are coated with butter" feeling, and it's time to revisit our old friend the salad. 
  • Feel healthier and stronger; take care of myself. First thoughts: I'm sure this will come from a combination of the first two things, but it's time to start really taking care. I need to get my eyes checked. I need to lose weight, not for looks, but because it will alleviate pressure on my knees. I need to actually do my PT exercises and strengthen my core. Time doesn't go backwards, and we don't get younger and healthier as we age. That's not how it works, people. Did you know that?
  • Spend more time in the present; disconnecting from the gadgets more. First thoughts: It's ironic that I'm saying this while on my laptop, sitting next to my husband, who is on his laptop. I'm calling this the last binge since we just got home and had a little online catching up to do, but starting tomorrow I'm in it for real. This means no checking my email while I'm walking to the train. No texting while I'm talking to someone or at dinner. No checking Twitter while watching TV with Will. Focusing on one thing at a time, and not feeling the need to be connected with the entire world every minute all the time.
  • Get organized about our finances. First thoughts: After the wedding, we started talking about how now we were Grown Ups and should probably start thinking about things like our savings goals and such. Time to start filling out worksheets and making a plan. Pretty exciting, actually.
  • Make a plan for finishing areas of the house. First thoughts: I'm saving for a sofabed for the office/guest room, but that room needs a LOT of work before it'll be ready. I also want to get our big storage closet in better working order, organize the pantry, and rearrange things in the basement. And it's time to get planning for next summer's veggie garden too. It's only a rental, but we love it, and I'd love to get some of these "oh man we've been here over a year" projects done.

2012 went by faster than I can even make sense of. That sentence was terrible, but it's almost 2am and I'm ok with that. I can't believe the year is over, and that we're already on Day Two of 2013.

What are your big plans for the new year? Have you gotten used to writing 2013 yet? Will we ever? Are you making resolutions or intentions or goals or vision boards?