Monday, March 23, 2015

loving my fitbit flex

I have been eyeing the Fitbit Flex for quite some time.  I decided to get one.  Well let me tell you I absolutely love this thing.  I have had it for about two weeks and have only taken it off to charge it.



One day I might bite the bullet and get one of these funky covers.  I love them and how they make the band look like a great piece of jewelry.  There are also these great gadgets that slide onto the band that comes with the Fitbit....very cute too.

Okay so back to the Fitbit.

We all know that it is recommended that we take 10,000 steps in a day.  If you think you are taking that many...you might be surprised that unless your making a point of exercising daily.....you are no doubt falling a few thousand steps short of that healthy goal.

I have been challenging myself since the beginning of February.  First I committed to a whole month of purposeful workouts.  Workout clothes had to be on and I had to be doing something everyday. Some days it was just 10 minutes and others days an hour.  Then when March rolled in I began a running challenge.  A ten minute run everyday.  Some days I have just done the ten minutes among my treadmill walk and some days I have surprised myself pushing well into a 20 minute run.  Either way I am moving and once I put my Fitbit Flex on a few weeks ago, I felt such a motivation to push for more steps in my day.  I have added in extra walks with the dog or sometimes a friend and there are days I have pushed way beyond the 10,000 steps.  It honestly is a high.




It also tracks your sleeping patterns.  I sleep well when I get to sleep.  My issue lies more in the fact that I cheat myself often of sleep.  I feel the need to get everything done and some nights I am getting into bed with the possibility of only getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep.  So I use this feature to remind myself that I need to treat my body to a good nights sleep every night.  Nothing is more important then my body getting the sleep it needs to rejuvenate.  I work at trying to get up past 7 hours. Sometimes it is tough.  It is a habit I am working on breaking.....improper sleep.  The Fitbit Flex is definitely helpful in this quest.


The whole moving more has a domino affect...you feel compelled to eat better.  One of my new favorites is rice cakes with peanut butter, Nutella and banana.  I love this combination.  It helps curb my wanna eat a whole bag of cookies sweet tooth.


As well I made these amazing fruit and seed bars from the book Weelicious Lunches by Catherine McCord. They were super easy to make, taste delicious and are jam packed with healthy goodness.


I feel so fantastic finally getting back on track and treating my body well.  These changes....the bad habits I am breaking...it all is paying off.  I am well on my way to some really great fringe benefits that healthy mindfulness creates.  

Were my thumb is was were I was doing my belt up back in January.   I was not wearing my jeans a whole lot back then because they were tight...uncomfortably tight and my belt was on it's second to last set of holes.  A different story now with two months of eating healthier and most of all moving...you really can't have one without the other if you want lasting success!!!!  I love these sort of victories.  They motivate me.  They give me that push I need to get in an extra walk and to remember the bigger picture and that is to bring my body to a place that is balanced and healthy.   


A place were homemade peanut butter cups are okay with tea!!!!



I am sitting here working on an assignment....the last one for the course from hell I am taking and beside me sits a painters drop cloth and black felt.  I have ideas people and it is killing me not to be venturing into elbow deep craftiness.  




One of these kinda of banners a'la Alishaized.......I might forgo the felt and just jump in with a trusty can of black spray paint.  I haven't decided yet.  Plus the possibility of chalk board paint and a homemade reusable bunting along the lines of this one....maybe minus the lace.....not sure I am a fan of that.  And while we are talking painter drop cloths......go now and do a Google search for painters drop cloth diy.....seriously go.  Now click on images.....oh the possibilities for a mere $15.  I am thinking drop cloths might be a new addiction in my crafting world. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

oh i've heard about you

So a few weeks back I was at one of Amber's basketball games and I was sitting on my own...which doesn't happen so much.  Usually I hook up with another mom and talk too much and miss when Amber scores a basket and someone tells me cause they know I have missed it cause I am talking or knitting too intently.  So this time it was actually nice to be sitting alone...I had my knitting and it is nice to have some time where there is no need to talk...I could just get lost in my knitting and watch the game.

So somehow I get introduced to a family member of one of the players while I am sitting there.  It is said that I am the coaches wife.  So this family member says, "Oh I've heard about you?"

So let's pause here for a moment.

How would you take that?  Would that make you feel awkward?

Re-start.

Most definitely I felt a bit of an awkward haze fall over the conversation and I said something like, "All good I hope."  Which in response this person said something to the effect of, "Well I hear you post on Instagram a lot."  Now I can't give you voice tone and facial expression and all that....but believe me when I say there was no "joking" nature to this conversation.

So of course because I am generally not rude, I fumbled along in this highly awkward situation babbling how oh ya I love instagram and am inspired by the photos and love taking photos and sharing them, I love blogging but stopped etc. etc.  So a full out verbal diarrhea attempt to justify something that quite frankly needed to not be justified at all to this person.  I was thinking the whole time in my head why the heck am I defending my harmless to anyone sort of hobby of sharing photos that I love that inspire me, or projects I am working on and have finished or funny stuff about my family....to someone who probably sits at her computer with her ten cats at 3 a.m. stalking old high-school classmates on Facebook eating too many bon bons....(okay so we all have done that maybe minus the ten cats) but you get what I am saying here right?? What the f#@% was this persons issue and why the comments that came off really passive aggressive to someone you don't even know??

Let's dig a little deeper shall we.

Obviously this person heard from someone that I post on instagram and apparently it is too much. Well that kind of stung.  Here I am polite to people I meet.  I always try to be friendly and make others feel welcome but apparently someone doesn't like my instagram practices.  I know that if you put it out there you are going to have critics but I guess I just don't get people sometimes.

So I guess the question is why bother looking if you feel I do it too much?

There are blogs I have stopped reading, instagram users I have stopped following because the content no longer inspires me or interests me.  I guess I was annoyed a bit about it because that off handed somewhat weird conversation did sort of take some of the wind out of my sail.  I am just kind of getting over a few weeks of feeling self conscious about posting on instagram.  That is sort of unfortunate that I allowed another person make me feel  that way.  I know it is one of those situations were you have to look at were the comment is coming from....is it from anyone that truly matters? Do you truly care what they think?  The answer to both being a big fat no.

What I love is that for that one person that doesn't get someone like me...someone who loves creating, taking pictures, sharing and even blogging...there are a dozen more that make me feel amazing about who I am and what I love.  You all know who you are!!

Did I say that I am so happy to be back here blogging???

I wanted to share with you a project I did while away from here.

This amazing JOY sign.  Inspired by the results of a google search for JOY signs and a post I saw here.


When I took the lights and garland down from outside I didn't want to part with the sign quite yet.  So I found a little place to hid it in the kitchen.


It sits there reminding me to catch the JOY in each day with all the things I do too much!!!



Saturday, February 28, 2015

I know...I know...I said I was done but...

Okay so I know I said back in December that I was done with this beautiful space I have created here over the years....and I fully thought I was but then I met Corry.  A very crafty, beautiful, sweet lady that was call in at my work for a position that was needing to be filled.

When I first got chit chatting with Corry it was about knitting, sewing and then the other day she told me about her Esty shop...yes Esty....that whole thing I wanna get doing that seems like it is taking me forever to get it up and going and she also told me about her blog.  At the time I didn't feel an itch to return to my blog....then this morning I finally, in between being tortured by a MARC coding course I am taking, visited her blog.  Honestly a post in and a few beautiful pictures later I was itching all over to blog again.  So here I am back.

I can't tell you how often I will be here......maybe once a week....maybe once a month....maybe once in three months but the main thing I figure is, I am here where I love being...even if I am only sporadically sharing a slice.

The new year brought a new baby into our lives.  John's nephew and his wife, Lee-Ann welcomed their son, Logan Christopher.  He is beyond precious.  I am a little giddy at being a great aunt.  He has changed so much since his birth the beginning of January.  I can't wait till I can see him again.


Knitting has been happening.  Some legwarmers that were a bit of a late Christmas gift for Shelby.  I don't do color work well in a knitted project but she liked the outcome.  

 
The only knitting I have on the go now is my sock yarn afghan.  Last count I was at around 300 squares and I want 500.  There is a sweater waiting to be started but the afghan needs to be done first.


Life has been busy but I have made a huge point in the past few weeks to get my exercise moo back on track.  It has been in hiding pretty much since all my thyroid issues a few years back.  I am happy to say I have found it tenfold and I have been literally speaking, running with it.  Yes, back running, which makes me so happy and a huge huge focus on weight resistance.  Even though I am not so fond of  weight resistance, I know it is 100% needed to build a healthy and strong body and will help me in the long run burn calories day and night and avoid injury.

There are a few positives with this whole exercise rejuvenation.  First....exercising each day makes me want to fuel my body better.  I am not interested in any fad diets.  I am not a fan of paying for diets (weight watchers gets a buy because from what I understand you actually use real food, all foods with no restrictions) and although people garner success with "diets" in my opinion they are not going to be what takes you the distance and keeps you there for life.  Stop paying for that diet food and you will gain weight back.....bottom line.

So I have been messing with some healthy almost sinful but not.....post work out meals.  So far this is my favorite.  I saw something similar to this on instagram and sort of tweaked it.

1/4 unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup oats
1 egg white
1/2 mashed banana
1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp. raisins
1/2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
1/2 Tbsp. cocoa
2-3 strawberries cut up

Mix all ingredients well and pour into greased (I used a smidge of olive oil) microwavable mug or dish.  Microwave on high at 2 minutes and 45 seconds.  I turned it out onto a plate and drizzle a wee bit of caramel sauce and of course added some extra fruit and voila!!!!



Absolutely amazing!  I am hooked on post workout oats let me tell you!

So the second thing about this whole exercise rejuvenation thing is that really with just being more conscious about getting moving each day and eating cleaner with a treat once and awhile, I have lost a total of 7 1/4 inches in just four weeks.  I have no idea how much weight that equals because I am also not a huge fan of using a scale other then at a doctors office.  My goals revolve around moving and eating clean not a number on a scale.  Inches off are just a bonus!!!

Feels great to be back writing a blog post!!       

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

it's time to sign off but first some knitting

So surprisingly I have been knocking off a few small knitting projects. I love love love when I finish something. Such a high.

So some socks for Christmas gifts.

These are from this pattern.  They knit up small.  They were for someone else and I changed the recipient after finishing due to the size being way smaller then I anticipated.



I knit this pair for my dad for Christmas.  The pattern is Quickie Socks from The Joy of Socks by Linda Kopp.  They came out nice.  They look wonky off the foot.  Long and strange looking but once on they are great.  I think he will like them.  I am hoping the size is okay.  


I made this adorable hat for a little girl that comes into the library.   Looked super cute on her.  I forgot how awesome a little knit like this is.  You feel like you have tackled the world with just a quick few hours of knitting.  I must do more baby stuff...for OTHER people.....not me!!! 






The thank you card her momma gave to me was so sweet. A bear, yarn bombing a tree in the forest. Doesn't get better then that as far as I am concerned!!!

So I have come to a cross road with blogging. I love this space but weekly it becomes more of a chore to keep on top of posting.  A crappy computer makes uploading photos and just blogging in general a hugely planned event.....fiddling with a temperamental power cord and all that plus life is busy and I really am leaning toward more of my free time spent doing all those crafty things I love to do.  I am starting back into another course in January which means free time will dwindle considerably......I may up the antics with my courses and take two in the spring and really bite the bullet and forge ahead in the fall with four.....fiances are a huge part of that plan but bottom line is that any writing I will be doing next year will be in the form of essays after essay hopefully!!  I find that my desire to story tell, write, share pictures of those slices of life and my creative endeavors is easily and quickly fulfilled via instagram from my phone....which means I can do it from anywhere......no planning for time or a charged computer needed.  

I was going to hold off until the new year but I just feel like it is time now to throw in the blogging towel. I can't even begin to say what writing here for so many years has done for me. I am so proud of everything I have written.  I know my words have inspired and that is such a amazing feeling. That they will continue to inspire even after I stop writing. This blog has walked me through some really shitty times and has proven to me how fucking awesome I am.  The people that have taken the time to read post after post.....thank you!  For the readers who have comment or emailed me, well your words are cherished!  All the best, Alisha xo

Monday, December 8, 2014

three must haves: postiveness::crafts::and a brigade

After telling John about a lady that was sitting just down from me at his hockey game last night, how right off the hop she reminded me of that one person we tolerate in life....you all have one of those...I know you do....and how every time the other team scored or every time their goalie made a save she rap rap rapped on the counter in front of her.  It was a.fucking.nnoying.  I said to him that I thought to myself think positive....like how this annoying lady is here supporting her husband or maybe her son...she was older...how, although annoying, it was endearing....I suppose.  So he said to me, Why do you think you have to be positive?

I like feeling positive.  It is just habit.  There is enough negative in the world.  Enough negative people.  Enough negative comments.  Enough negative period.

Don't get me wrong.  I have negative.  Like last night at two in the morning as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to take over but my mind was too awake and I had a chill in my bones I could not kick.  I thought about our weekend.  About an open house at my friends Saturday.  I chit chatted with a gal that use to go to school with Shelby and although at the time nothing hit me, I guess laying there tired and chilled allowed a negative weight to fall onto my chest as tears slipped down my cheeks thinking about how Shelby should be hanging out with my friends son and her old classmate but she can't because there are stairs stopping her.  I think I cried myself to sleep because next thing I knew it was morning and my day needed to begin again....on a positive path.

Positive is like a good friend.  It never lets me down.  It reminds me that ya life sucks huge some days, life isn't always what you sign up for but that is okay.  Life is what you make of it and I want my life to be positive.  I want people to feel good around me and feel inspired.  A few weeks back someone asked John if I am always so positive.  I am happy that the answer was yes.  For the most part I am.  I can't imagine life without positive.

Friday night I had the opportunity to go to the show with my friend Alisha. She was going with two friends and invited me. I don't do that sort of stuff often. I know John prefers our time be our time and so for the most part I plan stuff when he sleeps during day due to night shift hell or when he lays down at night for a nap before heading into work but there was something kinda awesome about going out on my own Friday night.

I had to take the bus.....now people are shocked often when they hear I do not have my drivers license.....I have thoughts of getting it....maybe. I loathe driving.  I don't mind taking a bus. So I planned to leave earlier just to be sure I made the connection for the second bus to get me there on time. I ended up getting where I had to go way too early. I had a coupon for Starbucks and there was an Indigo.


Well let me tell you that I then spent the most amazing 30 minutes browsing Indigo at a sloth like pace.  No worries.  No one rushing me.  No conversations that I had to have.  Nothing.  Just that ever so lovely hot chocolate and me looking in all the sections I never have a chance to look at....loving all the great non book stuff Indigo has...thinking what I might like to buy.  I then had a very fun time watching a movie with a friend.  I felt very rejuvenated!

There is something about a woman and her friends.  They are like having a brigade.  I can't imagine not having those friendships that are dear to me.  I love that even if I don't see these women often we pick up were we left off.  I know that they would be there for me if I needed them.  They are a huge part of my well-being and for that I am so very fortunate.

Christmas preparation is in full force here.  I have a lot I want to accomplish.  Like twenty-five of these cute stars!!!  My soul is at its best when I am crafting something.  


I am really enjoying falling into Christmas this year.  It just feels so good.  I am grateful for so many things.....I am looking forward to a lazy kinda of Christmas with cheer, good food and love!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

smarty pants with a hint of smock

Back in the summer I decided to try making a pair of pants. It has been a while since I have done some serious sewing.  I use to make so many of my clothes....so many of the girls clothes. I use to get so many compliments on the stuff I made.  So in an effort to use my talents again for the greater good of my wardrobe I dove in.


So for a first attempt after years of not doing a ton of clothing sewing aside from jammie bottoms.....well I think I did pretty darn well!!!  I have wore these a ton!!!



Since the pants work out so well I decided to bite the bullet and buy a few books I had been eyeing.  




So out of three tries from the first book....only one pattern worked out.  The other two were way too big.  Not having seam allowances is kinda tough.  I ended up adding too much.  These books are for very experienced sewers.  I have sewn for over twenty years and they had me a little confused. Taking a break, regrouping and some nice quiet time looking over the patterns to navigate them helped.  I felt like ripping my hair out tracing the patterns.  The pattern pieces all overlap.  At least with the first book the different pieces are color coded.  The second book has no color coding and so finding and tracing the pattern you want is a huge challenge. 

I plan on trying more patterns for sure out of the first book and get to trying patterns out of the second book.  I think the use I will get from them will be amazing.  It is just a matter of getting use to adding seam allowances and whatnot.  

I have wore this smock...the success out of the three attempts, over and over.  In the fall I paired it up with my jean jacket and a great scarf.  It looks cute with tights and boots and a warm sweater now that winter is upon us.  It is one of those pieces of clothing you can span across the seasons.


I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with sewing a garment from scratch. There is nothing quite like it.  It makes me want to sew more!!!





Monday, December 1, 2014

thank heavens for baby boys

A few weeks ago I hosted a baby shower for John's nephew and his sweet wife. They are due in January. I wanted to do this first because I wanted Shelby to be involved. There are so many times she can't be a part of things and she is so excited for the baby. As well Christopher is dear to my heart. I started dating John when Christopher was just a month or so old. I have been his Auntie Lisha for like 28 years. His wife Lee-Ann is a sweet and beautiful woman and together they will be great parents. I am excited that I am going to be a great aunt. I  plan on being an awesome great auntie to their baby!!!

I walk a fine line between thinking parenthood is horrible and wonderful. It isn't easy and it will cause them grief and that gives me a pang in my heart because I don't want to see them face heartache but it is inevitable.  Parenthood will bring you an element of heartache.  No one tells you about the heartache.  It is something that isn't talked about.  It can come in so many forms and at any time but I know that they have what they need to weather any storms parenthood may thrust at them and I know that they will love it all as well and for that I am filled with so much love and excitement for them.


I have a new obsession with the chalkboard in my kitchen.  Have you ever Googled chalkboard art?? Let me tell you there are so many images for every occasion you can think of.  This bun in the oven is inspired by Google images on chalkboard art. 


I have somewhat of an addiction to bunting.  I created this adorable bunting using burlap, craft paint and baby boy fabric.  I love how it turned out.  I was able to send it home with Lee-Ann in case she wanted to hang it in the baby's room.

                                                     

Some left over fabric made some fun buntings to put in the windows.  A fun way to decorate.  Nicer then the store bought crap.



A friend loaned me this awesome punch dispenser.  I added blue food coloring to a punch that was made of all clear liquids.  It came out awesome!!!!  Add rubber ducks and voila!! (again thank you Google search for all those inspiring images of baby shower punch)


There was lots of good food.  I do love making sure everyone is fed well and that there are lots of good desserts.  I started the Monday prior baking and preparing.  I have to say it was one of the first times entertaining that I felt so organized.  It was a great feeling!!!  


I mentioned how excited Shelby was about the baby.  Her and Christopher have a special bond.  She doesn't get to see him all the time but when she does she is so happy.  I left her for a few minutes at the store to shop for the baby shower and when I came back....



She could not help herself!!!

Lee-Ann's mom had Shelby help put together a little poster of baby pictures of both Lee-Ann and Christopher.  It was sweet.  Nice for Shelby to feel extra special.

                                                    

One thing that happened during the shower involved photos of Grans.  I mentioned how I had been going through all of Gran's old pictures and dividing them up to give to everyone.  Well I gave pictures to everyone here and for a good half hour everyone was looking through them.  Remenising. It was so fantastic.  I wish I had of taken more photos but I guess it is okay that I was just in that moment enjoying the Gran love around the room.  Gran was smiling down from heaven I am sure. 

So last week John came home and he had been at the store and bought this....


He said he could not walk past it and not buy it.  Well Gran use to have this game at her house.  He remembered it as a child and the girls kinda remember it.  So Amber says how at the shower when Christopher was looking through the pictures and there was a picture of him playing this game as a child and how he had said how he had really wanted that game after Gran passed but it wasn't there when he came to the house as it was being cleared out.  I told John he needed to go back and get another one for Christopher.  He did.  

We gave it to him Saturday when they were here for a visit.  He was so touched.  He told us that when he had come to her home after she passed one of the first places he went was to the upstairs bedroom to see if the game was under the bed.  It was not.  I was so happy he now has that special game that is full of so many awesome memories and I can see him playing that game with his son once he is old enough.  I love when that sort of great stuff happens!!!

We did some games and I had prizes.  What I did was wrapped the prizes and I wrote cute baby related sayings on the paper.  Sort of a last minute thought.  Had I thought of it sooner I would have done a neater job....maybe printing out cute little labels.


This gal.  Love her to pieces.  I love that she loves Christopher with all her heart and I love that they have so many wonderful times ahead of them.


My neighbor had made the invitations for me.  It cost me a pan of brownies.  Along with the invitations she gave these cute thank you tags.  I made up some bags of cookies to go with them. Perfect!!!

 

The shower went well.  I was so happy for Lee-Ann and Christopher that it did!!!