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I got a shiny new laptop!

I’m very excited about the prospect of working on a computer that can “keep up” with my memory usage, but right now I’m in that awkward transition stage where nothing is in the right place!  In fact, this morning, my new computer told me that it was going to take 11+ hours to migrate my photos (over our home network).  As you might expect, my focus for the next few days is to get everything moved and my software re-installed.

It’s going to be an adventure!  See you on the other side 😉

 

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2014_03_20_snowdrops01-Edit

It’s been a blah couple of days for me, creatively.

I have a lot of projects on my plate, and I’m even really excited about them.  I think about then often.  But when naptime rolls around and I can really dig in, I am finding myself unable to make progress.  I start something, and I realize I’m missing something critical to completion (or even beginning!).  I start something else, only to discover that my inspiration has fled.  I think about starting another thing, and realize that I really owe someone an email, but I just don’t have the energy to write it.

Maybe it’s because I’m extra tired.  I’m in my third trimester!  Wow.  I only realized that the other day, and it does explain a lot.  (It took me 3 hours to clean my house the other day, when it usually only takes me an hour total, and while the house needed the cleaning, it was not that dirty!!).  The other night, when I could have been making progress on one project or another, I just laid on the couch, watched several episodes Wings, and had a snack.  It was mindless, it was restful, and it was great.  😉  I really needed that mental break!

There is also the idea of a creative ebb and flow (that has nothing to do with pregnancy!).  Sometimes I feel like doing one kind of project over another, and then a few days/weeks/months later, my passion is for something different.  If I can pinpoint what thing is floating my boat at the moment, I can usually jump back into the thick of crafting with renewed vigor.

I’m having trouble figuring out exactly what I want to be doing right now, though.  I also know that in 12 weeks or so, my crafty time is going to be severely limited (or nonexistent, at least for a while!).  So while I know that it is good to rest, I also want to be using my time wisely/efficiently.

I think my plan for the next little bit, until I can get my inspiration back, is going to be to break down my to-do list tasks/goals into even more sub-tasks so that I feel productive when I accomplish one of them.  I know that when I feel productive, it actually helps me to get those juices flowing again!  Hope this works!

 

*P.S. The photo has absolutely nothing to do with the text of this post.  I just have had too many photo-less posts recently.  I also think that snowdrops are so beautiful.  They’re starting to rival crocus as my favorite spring flower!

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Podcasts

Right now, aside from the occasional new recipes we’re making, the projects I’m working on are long-term in nature and I don’t have many in-progress reports to share.

I thought it might be a good time to write a little blog post about the podcasts I enjoy.  While I work on most projects (and also while I clean or if I go for a run by myself), I have discovered that I like to listen to audiobooks or podcasts a lot more than just music.

So here’s a short list of my current favorites.

2014March_favoritepodcasts

The Paperclipping Roundtable (PRT) — I think this was the first podcast I’d ever listened to, and it was the “gateway” into all the others 😉  It’s mostly about “paper” scrapbooking, but many of the episodes are more conceptual and can be applied to any kind of memory keeping.  I am fascinated by the scrapbook industry, and between this podcast and all the blogs in my reader, I feel like I can keep up with trends and products.

The Digi Show — Nominally, this podcast is about digital scrapbooking, but like PRT, many of the topics discussed are way more widely applicable to all kinds of memory keeping.  I also have learned so much about how to better use the technology I have available to me.

Capturing Magic — This podcast is about memory keeping, as well, but more specifically pertaining to all things Disney.  Even though the last time I was at any Disney park was when I was in high school, I enjoy this podcast for two reasons: 1) I like the host (Steph, of the Digi Show) and her guests, and 2) often I can apply the ideas to vacation memory keeping in general.  I hope to go back to Disney, and now I have some ideas and tips stored away for my someday-in-the-future trip!

Daily Digi Digest — Another podcast by the lovely lady behind The Digi Show.  The episodes are much shorter and are interviews with digital scrapbook designers.  I really enjoy hearing about people’s creative processes!  The scope of the show is expanding to include interviews with digital scrapbookers, as well.

Capture Your 365 — I haven’t been listening to this podcast for very long.  It is focused on photography, and specifically a photo-a-day approach.  Since I just received a DSLR for Christmas, I am hoping to learn as much as I can about how to use it to it’s full potential, and this podcast is a good resource.

Mortification of Spin — For something completely different, I listen to this podcast as well.  The discussions revolve around theological issues and while they are serious conversations, I definitely enjoy the sprinkling of humor and teasing between the hosts.

A Way With Words — I often save the episodes of this podcast for listening in the car on trips with Husband.  We both really enjoy etymology, so we really enjoy the discussion of word origins and usage.  It’s fun to pause the podcast and discuss our own opinions and impressions, too! 😉

I hope that maybe you’ll be inspired to try out some of these podcasts for your listening pleasure!  Any that you’d recommend?

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Wow, December was a crazy but wonderful month!  I don’t even know how to start on recapping everything, but suffice it to say, I was busy.  Which meant that I never actually got around to writing a goals blog post, but I did have goals!

In December…

I finished up my custom ornament orders (I made a total of 16 this past season.  I am on hiatus for a while so that I can spend time with my family and work projects for myself/family, but I have a waiting list for when I begin accepting custom orders again!).  I hope to have posts with the latter 12 that I made (THIS post has the first four).

I caught up from November, in general. (November was almost completely dedicated to PhD ornaments and the baby shower, and I didn’t appreciate how much time the ornaments, especially, would take).  I had quite a backlog of photos to process (see THIS post for a few of my reflections).  I’m thankful to say that not only did I catch up on November, but I was able to get the vast majority of December’s photos processed by the end of the month.  I also wrote a few blog posts about projects and recipes made in November.

We still managed to make new recipes-one from each book!  Look for review posts coming soon.

I worked on the Day-in-the-Life photobook I talked about in my November and October goals posts.  It is just waiting for the perfect set of digital papers, and it can be printed!  I am proud of how it is turning out, and I’m looking forward to sharing about it when it’s finished.

I even managed to do a few handmade gifts for Christmas!  Look for posts about them, too!

 

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So, I over-committed myself last month and didn’t get some things on my to-do list finished, and I’m starting off this month with the same problem 😉  So my list for November is going to look pretty similar to October’s.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • curtains.  I’m on the last set (which is the biggest part of the project)… but it’s actually been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot.  I’d love to have them finished by the end of the month, if I can.
    • finish V’s birthday gifts!
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  the shower is in the middle of the month, so I’ve already been working hard on decorations and other plans.  I’m hoping to do some blog posts about the things I’ve made.  I’m excited about how it is turning out!
    • PhD ornaments!  I’ve been busy!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  Yeah, the photos I took on October 4.  I hope to put those photos, together with words, into a photo book very soon (before the “current-ness” wears off).  Same as last month.  If it doesn’t get done by the end of this month (which I really hope it does), I might have to scrap the project (in the throw-away sense, not the crafty sense, unfortunately).
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  I discovered that the local mall opens its doors before the stores are open, so I’ll be trying to go there at least two times per week to walk.  It’s extra nice that we can play at the indoor playground afterward!
  • COOKING:

     

I haven’t been able to go through and edit all of my October photos yet, but I hope to soon write a blog post on the vacation photobook that I made for my daughter.  She has really enjoyed looking at it!!

Wish me luck! 😉

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So, on some of these goals, I made significant progress and even completed them!  But for others, I definitely need another month…

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • costumes!  oh yes, these got finished!!  See my post HERE.  These costumes took up the majority of my hobby time this month (and then some!), which is why some of my other projects didn’t move along quite like I’d hoped.
    • curtains.  I made a bit of progress on this project, but I will be finishing up in November.
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  I created a digital invitation and solidified my plans.  November = shower decoration crafting! Yay!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  I’m sad that I didn’t get a chance to work on this (at all!  I hardly looked at my photos all month, let alone captioned, edited, and worked on projects with them!).  I’m holding out hope that maybe in November I’ll find a few hours to put this together.  If I don’t make it soon, I’m not sure if it’s worth pursuing…
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  I did some!  I didn’t log as many miles this month (just under 25), but considering the weather and everything else we had going on, I’ll take it!
  • COOKING:

     

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Haha, it’s the middle of October, and here I am finally sharing my goals for the month.  Recently, my main “passion,” at least, craft-wise, has been in sewing…  So I’ve been absorbed in some projects and not doing much here on the blog.  But today, when I ran out of the thread I needed for the project I’m working on (bummer!!!!), I decided to sit down and write this post.  Here’s the list:

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Just like last month, and just like in future months.
  • SEWING:
    • costumes!  I’m deep into my daughter’s, and I’d like to make some pieces for my Husband’s costume, too!
    • curtains.  My friend commissioned me to work on some for her.
  • CRAFTING:
    • baby shower!  next month, I’m throwing a baby shower for a dear friend.  That makes for a lot of fun projects!
  • MEMORY KEEPING:
    • Day-in-the-life.  Inspired by some recent podcasts and blog posts I’ve read, I decided to take an extra-lot of photos on October 4.  I hope to put those photos, together with words, into a photo book very soon (before the “current-ness” wears off).
  • EXERCISE:
    • do some.  Not sure how it’ll work out with the weather, but I want to keep on getting to the park (or the sidewalks by my house) as often as I can while it’s still nice.
  • COOKING:

    Wish me luck! 😉

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So let’s see how I did.  I actually did not refer back to the September goals blog post for the entire month.  There were a lot of days when I felt just plain overwhelmed.  It took me a lot longer to get back into the “swing of things” after our adventure-filed August, and that was part of the overwhelm, I think.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  We had some really fun times this month as a family, and also for V and me at home during the day.  I don’t think I’ll ever “check” this goal of my list, but I think I did an okay job this past month.  I can always, always improve, though!
  • SEWING:
    • puppet theater for V — mostly finished.  I need to get the tension rods so that I make the rod pockets the appropriate width.  I also need to finish the tiebacks and decide whether I will embellish the theater at all.
    • tutu for V — not accomplished.  I am waiting for tulle to be on a better sale than it was for most of the month.
    • baby shoes for Husband’s coworker — done.  I actually made two pairs at once, since I wanted to send a second pair to another special little baby girl.  Blog post coming soon.
  • SCRAPBOOKING:
    • one layout or start planning a December album for V’s first month scrapbook  — well, this goal didn’t turn out at ALL like I’d expected.  I finished a layout that had been started back in July(!!).  So that was good.  But instead of tackling V’s first-month-scrapbook, I ended up making an entire photobook (I had a coupon for a free one!) on Shutterfly with our beach vacation photos. It should be arriving any day now.  As I worked on it, I realized that it actually is a scrapbook in its own right– I was making a form of a digital scrapbook.  Hmm.  I hope to write a blog post about this project soon, too.
  • CRAFTING:
    • beach-themed photo board book — I got the photos chosen, edited, and printed.  I’d intended to work on this project with a friend, but due to various circumstances, we were unable to get together like we expected.  I’m finishing it up in the next day or so (10/4/2013)
  • EXERCISING:
    • log at least 55 miles this month, running+walking (but increase the running mileage) — DONE!  I logged 61.02 miles this month.  Aaaaannnnd, I definitely upped the running.  In fact, I started running with V in her (non-jogging) stroller (I must look like a crazy person, but whatever).  I am super proud of myself for being able to run 3+ miles in a stretch with the stroller now.  Plus, there was that awesome Color in Motion 5K!
    • do my arms+abs exercise set every day!  — I did really well until about the last week of the month, and then I lost steam.  But 3 weeks straight is nothing to sneeze at!
  • COOKING:

     

In addition to all of this, I did also make a tutu (heee!), complete two PhD ornament orders and receive (and start) two more.

Looking back, I don’t think that I did too shabbily.  I’ll have to give some thought to October’s goals, though.  It seems I need another readjustment in terms of what is reasonably accomplish-able.  At the same time, there are Halloween costumes to think of, and whether I’ll be making any more homemade birthday and Christmas gifts!

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I’m baa–aaack!!

August was wonderful.  There was a county fair, some plane rides, a state fair, a wedding, lots of running and walking, an engagement, a trip to the beach, lots of good food…  And it was pretty nice to step away from the computer for a while.  I did do a few projects that I will be sharing in the next posts, so never fear!  August will not be missing on the blog, it’ll just be belatedly-blogged.

And now, since we’re more than a week into September, here are my goals for the month.

  • ENJOY & TREASURE.  Rather than be constantly thinking (obsessing?) about projects I want to complete (yes, I still have a list in my planner), I really want to focus on enjoying and being content, especially focusing on my time playing with my daughter while we are at home together during the day.  This goal is hard to quantify, but I want it to be at the top of my list.

That being said, there are a few projects that I want to accomplish this month.  I’m trying to think of this as a prioritization of the projects I have on my big list.  I really think this is manageable.  At least, I hope!

  • SEWING:
    • puppet theater for V
    • tutu for V
    • baby shoes for Husband’s coworker
  • SCRAPBOOKING:
    • one layout or start planning a December album for V’s first month scrapbook (it’s been too long already!)
  • CRAFTING:
    • beach-themed photo board book
  • EXERCISING:
    • log at least 55 miles this month, running+walking (but increase the running mileage)
    • do my arms+abs exercise set every day!
  • COOKING:

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I had a pretty short list of goals for July…

    • Floss each night this month. Done.  This is a downright habit now!
    • Maintain the garden (and write an update post or two!)The garden is booming.  At least, the cucumbers are!  In July, we got 20 cucumbers from the Burpee plant alone!  Wow.  We also got our first tomato.  
    • Exercise at least 2 times per week.  I didn’t state it specifically on my blog, but I challenged myself (inspired by a friend) to log 50 miles walking and/or running this month.  I thought it might be a stretch, but I surprised myself by blowing that goal out of the water and logging a whopping 60.83 miles this month!  Wow.  I’ve really been pushing myself, and I have been running–and walking– longer and longer distances.  I think all of my walking/jogging with my daughter in her stroller has been a great conditioning technique.  In fact, in mid-July, I ran (no stroller) 3.72 miles with an average pace of 8:59!!  Average pace!  I never thought I’d ever run that fast.  I’m pretty proud of myself 🙂
    • Make some new recipes from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show CookbookWe ate well in July!  Glazed pork chops, oven fried chicken and classic mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, pizza bianca, and creamless creamy tomato soup.  
    • Make (at least) one new recipe from The Smitten Kitchen CookbookThe gooey cinnamon bars were a hit!
    • Do some scrapbooking, if it fits my schedule.  I made a bunch of cards with a friend.  I even started a 2-page layout, but it is not quite finished–I need to figure out how to add the journaling**.  I don’t have as much time (nap schedules are changing…dum dum dum…), and my creative pendulum was swinging to the sewing side this month!
    • Do some sewing.  This month, I was super-excited to sew!!  I started the hand-stitched reverse-applique pillows, and have been taking my time (on purpose) with them.  I refashioned a T-shirt (and now I want to refashion a few others that are languishing in my closet…).  I created a lining/sewn-in slip for a sundress I had purchased (it was too sheer to wear without it).  I hemmed a maxi dress that I purchased.  And I made baby shoes!
    • finish the Project 366 albumYES!!!!  I am so happy with the result!!

It was a great month.  I’m glad that I kept my goals list minimal so that I could enjoy the summer fun as it came along!

**side note: I don’t often get to this point any more with my scrapbook pages.  I tend to plan my layouts with the journaling in mind, since the story behind the pictures is the reason I actually make scrapbook layouts (rather than photo albums).  This time, the photos (there are a ton of them) took up more room than I expected and my original plan may not work.  I’ve been procrastinating figuring it out!

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