I took a few short videos with my iphone while I was on the Disney cruise, so I put them together in this short little video.
I took a few short videos with my iphone while I was on the Disney cruise, so I put them together in this short little video.
I am preparing to record the fifth episode of my Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast. With each episode, I learn a little bit more about this whole process, and I continue to get encouraging feedback from my audience, small as it may be.
If you have missed any or all of the previous four episodes and want to catch up, there are two ways to watch. First, you can stay here on my weblog. Just select the category (listed on the right) for the Crafty Princess Podcast. I have embedded the videos there along with show notes and links related to each episode.
Another option to is to watch directly through my YouTube channel; you just miss out on show notes. However, the cool thing about YouTube is that you can subscribe to my channel and get notifications sent to you when I have uploaded a new video.
Finally, here are links to each show, which I try to keep under 20 minutes each:
I am going to just admit that I may not be the intended audience for this book. It made me feel old! I say this because many of the suggestions are things my well over 40 body just cannot do any more. The book offers a number of ideas for very short workouts, which in theory I love the idea of that. The concept is that you can do a lot of small 10 minute workouts, and if you do enough of them throughout the day, they add up. Great! However, here is an example of why I say my body can’t do most of them. One of the “strength” mini-workouts they suggest has you hold hand weights on the ground as you do push ups while still holding the weights, and then you are supposed to pick up one of the weights while you are still in plank position. It tells you to do as many of these as you can in five minutes. I know I could not do one in five minutes. Now, maybe when I was 30 I could attempt this, but now? This is an extreme example, but for the most part, many of their suggested activities I found more intense than I could manage.
The other reasons this seems to me to speaker to a younger crowd is the constant motivation to be positive about your body and yourself that rings throughout the book. That, of course, is good. I know women can by hyper-critical of their bodies, especially younger women. I actually find that sad. I’m not perfect. I do need to lose weight and become generally more active and healthy, but I do not constantly beat myself up about it.
There are a lot of very positive reviews about this book, so it must be helping some women. I’m guessing it tends to help those who might, for really the first time, be trying to lose weight and exercise more regularly, and this book offers a lot of concrete ways to do that.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
What a long weekend, especially for him. To say he had zero energy left after all of this is putting it mildly! So, of course, we did not get everything done in one weekend. We did, however, get the cats settled in there while we wait until this weekend to finish the details like the trim. They have all given it the kitty paws up!
I had just about figured out how I wanted to arrange the furniture back in the room, removing some and adding an old Popasan chair that my cats love, when we came into a snag. This is the snag:
This set up with the table and cushion on it next to me was not part of my plan! Ack! But, even my husband has realized we are going to have to figure out a way to get this set up configured in my room when we move all the furniture back.
I know it is crazy to arrange furniture to accommodate cats, but seriously, how cute are these two? How can I say now them?
There is still a stack of untouched hardcopy essays from Composition II to grade, and then there are the emails and web papers that I need to get to this weekend too. I’m taking Saturday off from school work, so that means those are my Sunday projects.
So today I blog and craft and do laundry and ignore the fact that I need to vacuum, but tomorrow, I clock back in as “teacher.”
One task on my holiday break to-do list was to get my home office organized. I would show you a “before” photo, but that would be way too embarrassing. Let’s just say “dang, girl, it was a hot mess!” As a Thirty-One consultant, I have been slowing gathering products with this in mind, a Caddy here, a Fold N File there. In fact, I’m still waiting on my outlet order that has a wall hanging unit and another bin that I will also use in my office. But for now, I’m pretty darn pleased with the results. It took me about half a day and half a box of kleenex (oh the dust!), and voila, it looks amazing. And I feel like I am so much more productive.
Here are a few close up photos to show what I did.
The Fold N File on the left I’m using for my school paperwork. This is handy because, if necessary, I can tote the entire thing to my school office, or I can just pull out a few items I need and bring those with me. Plus, yeah, I can finally use the shelves behind it for actual books. I have my school books in the middle and craft books on either side. Some of the craft books I plan to review on my blog, so it’s nice to have them right there ready for when I’m ready to write about them instead of hidden under piles of stuff.
To the right is a Littles Carry-All Caddy with my tissue, pens, calculator, lip gloss, etc. I love these caddies! In fact, I ended up getting three more for my desk. See the photos below:
They hold all those little items that tend to be all over my desk, and I can keep them contained now. Plus, I can move the caddies around if I need to spread out. I pushed the handles down when I don’t need them.
Along with craft books, I have an assortment of jewelry items that need reviewing and/or used in future projects. These were originally crammed in a tacky plastic basket and had dust all over them (yup, I have dust issues in my house!) Now I have them all in this Your Way Junior Cube and Lid. I have the clear side facing me, so again, I won’t forget about them, and the lid helps keep the cats out and the dust down. I think the taupe gingham print looks good with the purple theme I have going on. These cubes are pretty cool and are one of the new products in the Thirty-One spring 2014 catalog.
Then there is the overflow to deal with. Here is a Medium Utility Tote, which was a special during November. It is not available right now, but I’m hoping we will see these again either as a special or in the summer catalog. I have magazines and small project bags in here plus yarn on top. To go along with the purple theme again, this print is called Awesome Blossom.
And…more overflow includes 3 large bags. The center one is in a retired print, but it is the Super Organizing Tote. I am working on finishing up a jewelry book update as well as writing a book about Florida literature, so I have all the paperwork, books, etc. in this bag. The other two bags are full of yarn and works in progress.
Oh, and did you notice my office assistants on top of the desk and the empty boxes to the side of my computer? Of course, I have to save room for my cats.
Now I have the organizing bug and hope to be able to make something happen like this in my craft room. Since doing the jewelry book update, it has been a wreck! While I would much rather spend my time crafting than organizing, I have to admit that getting organized feels so good and is totally worth the time.
What about you? Do you have organizing plans for 2014?
2014 has some big changes in store for me, beginning with a BIG announcement: December 31, 2013 will be my last day as the About.com Jewelry Making Guide. I have to admit that I have very mixed emotions about this. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I started the site from nothing back in 1998 when About.com was The Mining Company. It is difficult to explain all the hats I wore during 15+ years I worked at this freelance job, but you can kind of think of it as running a mini online magazine where I was the designer, editor, proof reader, writer, photographer, link checker, HTML coder, etc, etc.
I am sure there are many people who are wondering if it was my decision or the company’s, and I have to say it was a little of both. My contract was not renewed, but I didn’t expect it to be. In fact, it was kind of a relief that it wasn’t because I have had a hard time letting go, even though I knew it was past time for me to leave. I won’t go into details because I would have to write a dissertation to explain it all, but the nutshell version is that I was not happy there anymore. I have been planning to leave for well over a year. Every other month I would tell my husband, “This is it. Don’t plan on another check from this job. I’m done!”
I still enjoy making jewelry and plan to continue to design and write about jewelry making and other crafts on my Crafty Princess Diaries blog as well as some other outlets I’m exploring, so I’m not disappearing from the jewelry and craft web world. In fact, I’m looking forward to some new opportunities.
ETA: Also, I have a Raverly group for those who would liked to join: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/crafty-princess-diaries
Except for maybe spinning, crafting tends to be a very sedentary activity. Then there is my day job. While I usually am on my feet when I’m teaching, much more of my time is spent sitting as I grade papers and do other teacher-type tasks. Add that to getting up there in years, and my weight has become a constant battle for me. Honestly, even when I regularly exercise, I see little difference other than maybe toning up some, but as far as my weight…that dreaded number on the scale…nada. Exercise alone used to be all I needed when I was younger, but after a certain age, unless I spent hours and hours at the gym every day probably, it is not enough to control my weight.
It comes down to just not eating as much as I would like to..period…and that is for all foods. I have always eaten fairly healthy. Even when I was a child, I would not eat very much red meat. It drove my poor mother crazy. I have also always loved vegetables. Raw, cooked, there aren’t too many that I won’t eat. I like sweets, too, of course, but I’m fine if I have a few bites of chocolate a day. So how do you cut back on eating when you don’t eat junk food or indulge in lots of sweets? It comes down to cutting back on pretty much everything.
The problem seems so simple to solve, but for me it has not been as simple as it sounds until recently when my sister (after I told her I was curious about it) gave me a bottle of an essential oil product called Slim and Sassy. She has been experimenting with essential oils for awhile (see her blog post about it here), and eventually she became a doTerra distributor.
Admittedly, I was really dubious about this stuff. I read up about it online, and while many people did say it works, many also said it tastes awful. I’m pretty wimpy, so if I don’t like the taste of something, there is a good chance I won’t use it. Along with the bottle of oil, she gave me some empty capsules with instructions to put 3 to 4 drops in one of them and swallow it. I started trying it out 4 days ago. Even in the capsule, you can still kind of taste it, and while it’s not great tasting, I can tolerate it. In fact, today I just put a few drops in a little water and chugged it.
According to the manufacturer, you are supposed to put 8 drops in a 16oz glass of water, and you are supposed to take it in between meals. I’ve just been taking it once, 3 to 4 drops, in the morning, and it does help to take it first and then drink a good amount afterwards because the taste tends to linger for a few hours.
I was too chicken to step on the scale before I started this. I know the numbers would be horrifying, so I’ve decided to gauge how well this works by seeing how my cloths fit. I felt really good when I woke up this morning, so I bravely took out a pair of pants that I have had to struggle getting into lately. And…happy dance…I zipped them up with no problem!
So why and how does this stuff work? It is made up of natural products: grapefruit, lemon, peppermint, ginger, and cinnamon. For whatever reason, as least for me, this combination curbs my appetite. If I get hungry at all, which I have not found that happening too much, it lasts for about 5 or 10 minutes, and then I’m fine. In fact, it’s a mild hungry feeling at best, not my usual must-eat-now-or-pass-out-feeling. On top of that, I feel a little extra zip, not wired up but just a general good and energetic feeling.
For anyone struggling with weight, I feel comfortable recommending this product, and I am shamefully suggesting anyone interested should contact my sister (at email@example.com) to find out how to get a bottle, or you can shop directly on her web site. Slim and Sassy is under the oil blends section.
I know it’s not even been a week since I started using it, but I am sold that it does work. In fact, once those same pants start to be a little on the baggy side, I may even be brave enough to step on the scale again.
One mantra of Thirty-One Gifts is finding solutions, and after getting my kit when I joined as an independent consultant, I realized that I could use the Large Utility Tote included in the kit as a place to start with getting that shelf organized. The tote is one of the company’s most popular items, and now I know why: You can use it for all kinds of storage.
The tote pictured is in the Party Punch pattern. Without monogramming, it retails for $35. It measures 11.75 inches high, 21.5 inches wide, and 10 inches deep and has a metal frame around the top so you can collapse it down and flatten it in case you want to store it some place. It also has handles on each side, and mine came monogrammed with “Family Fun” on one side. I thought that was kind of a funny saying because I ended up storing all the dogs’ towels in there for when they get baths, some fun huh?
On the opposite end of the shelf, I have a few baskets, that were buried in the piles of stuff, filled with cleaning products and dog leashes.
If you are looking for organizing solutions, you can view the Thirty-One Gifts catalog on my shop site. Along with the large utility tote, they have a number of other products that can be used to organize your studio, home, or office.