One Step at a Time

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to break out all my favourite spring/summer clothes. Normally I would be super excited about this- I pack away seasonal clothes so it’s like shopping from my own closet when the weather changes- but I got a bit of a shock when I tried on my bright green skinny pants: they don’t fit any more! I knew the winter had been a particularly cold, lazy, snuggly, TV-watching, comfort food-eating one, but I was not prepared for the proof before my eyes.

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So when I saw a post on Honeybear Lane about making one small change to become healthier, it resonated with me. Her goals were pretty reasonable: to go to bed before 11 pm and to avoid eating anything past 8 pm. I’ve decided over the next few weeks to try this too! I know I can’t completely change my habits overnight, so this way it’s a lot more manageable. Trying to make healthier meals, depriving myself of sweet treats, and exercising more sounds too daunting to tackle all at once so I’m going to try it a little bit at a time.

The reason I decided to write a post about this is to commit myself to it- it’s too easy to just tell myself that I’m going to try, and then not stick to it. The first small change that I am trying to make is to squeeze a bit of exercise into my schedule. Nothing huge- for instance, last week I did a 30 min yoga DVD from Jillian Michaels (good God, that woman makes you work) and I joined a coworker for a 20 min jog over lunch. I’m also thinking about hitting up the free swim hour at my local indoor swimming pool. As soon as I feel like this is part of my routine, I’m going to move on to eating a bit better- namely, eating something more substantial than a granola bar for breakfast and including more veggies in my diet. Sounds pretty doable, right?

Wish me luck! I’d love to hear if you’re going to join me- there’s nothing like group motivation!

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End of Winter Blahs

When I wrote the title I realized it could be taken one of two ways: end of winter BLAHs (as in, that yucky feeling you have when you just can’t wait for Spring and it feels like winter is never going away) or END of winter blahs (as in, I’m not going to let myself feel like this any more and this is the end of it). I’m hoping it’s the latter but seeing as we just got 10 cm of snow, it’s hard to tell.

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One of my favourite places + one of my favourite song lyrics

Boredom is a dangerous emotional state for me. My job as a research scientist can be really dry at times; repeating the same protocols over and over, spending hours watching a machine count cells, staring at spreadsheets of numbers, etc. However, I have found that I have the patience and stamina for the more monotonous parts of my job when I am being creatively stimulated outside of work hours. When I was spending every evening and weekend planning our wedding, I was also a lot more productive and engaged at work. This also means that the less I have to do, the less I want to do. So when I start to feel uninspired or unstimulated I need to find something to put my energy into, otherwise I start a downward spiral into sweatpants and binge watching Netflix.

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Suits marathon, anyone?

This self-realization led me to start this blog near the end of last year. I made a list of things to accomplish in January/February; topics I could blog about and projects to try. But now I’m getting restless again. Sometimes it’s nice to have a breather and look back on the things that you wanted to accomplish and did, but I’m past that point now. The weather is still not cooperating for the stuff that I need to do outdoors, like painting my dresser and helping a friend with a pallet project. So to keep me from getting into a bad mental space, I’m making myself a new list:

> paint an old wood stool with my Chalk Paint sample pot. The stool I am going to paint currently holds a basket of mitts, hats, and other winter paraphernalia… can’t wait to hide it in the back of the closet. Or maybe I’ll set fire to it and move to Florida instead.

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Provence is such a pretty shade of aqua blue.

> sew an adjustable roman blind with one of my friends… she needs a blind, I need a project. Win-win! Plus I’ll get to practice some of the hand stitching techniques that I’ve learned/want to learn.

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I’m going to miter the hell out of those corners!

> fix my favourite sweater that I have literally worn holes through at the elbows with some sweet grandpa elbow patches

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Torn between leather, suede and corduroy.

> make a badass wall feature by combining two great tutorials I’ve found: a photo linen mat and a distressed wood frame.

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Have I mentioned that I love textiles?

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So much pretty.

Ok! Now that I’m all motivated and everything, guess I’ll go outside and shovel all this snow! Hahaha. Not.

-C

Is it Spring yet?

Not much to report, I’m afraid. I’m still working on the whale baby mobile for our dear friends S&K, who are due any day now! I am finished the whales but I still need to make the yellow fishes and paint the embroidery hoop to hang them from.

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And if you’re like my husband and wondering: no, that’s not a white squirrel sitting on the top left whale’s head.

I haven’t been able to finish a few other things that I’m working on because they require painting, and unless I feel like getting loopy on paint fumes, I have to wait until the weather gets warmer. I’m trying not to feel sorry for myself about how we have not yet found a house, despite looking for almost a year. Sigh. One day I will have my own space for painting/sewing/blogging and won’t have to rely on wheeling my craft cart in and out of the living room!

I’ve also been working on some behind-the-scenes stuff on my site. Don’t you hate how often the things that take the most work have the least visual impact? I can’t tell you how long I’ve spent trying to get decent social media buttons on my posts to make them more share-able. The plugin that comes with Jetpack on WordPress was not particularly attractive- it looks okay on other sites that have more going on, but since the theme I have is pretty minimalist it looked really shabby. So I kept installing and uninstalling different plugins until I found this awesome one: Simple Share Buttons!

Now there are handy buttons at the bottom of each post, where you can share content on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit. And they match my theme! If there are other platforms that you think I should add, please let me know.

Next up on my virtual project list is watermarking all of my photos, wheeeeee! Seriously though it’s been fun learning some (very) basics about web design. My husband has been a huge help… He might not be very good at telling the difference between a felt water spray and a squirrel but he is very helpful to have around when my website goes to hell in a handbasket.

Anyone else have fun projects lined up for when the snow melts (if it ever melts)? I can’t wait to paint my old dresser and find new hardware for the drawers.

-C