Friday, March 17, 2017

Green for Good Luck?!

I hope you are all having a lovely Friday and a lovely St Pat's Day.  I, for one, have wonderful memories of St Patrick's Day... and not one of them involves alcohol!  Fancy that!

Although, you have to wonder if the people who organised these St Pat's Celebrations were blotto when they did it.  I will tell you why.

We basically turned into little green people who dressed in green, ate green food, drank green cordial and played games that involved green things... like.... um, lettuce?!... and then talked about a guy who lived hundreds of years ago. Coincidentally, there is no evidence that I can find (admittedly, I didn't look very hard) that Pat ever wore green or drank a whole lot of lager.  But I digress.

Not much else to say.  Well, if I did have more to say I don't remember any of it. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Capital Idea

A few years ago, it must have been years, because I don't remember writing it... I wrote a new bucket list. I found it recently.

One of the items on the list included a Capital Idea... I wanted to visit all the capital cities of Australia.  This is one of the reasons that my goals for this year included Seeing Melbourne IRL"  (For the less techlingo savvy of you, IRL means In Real Life).  For several reasons, that are very boring, I was actually thinking about changing my destination for the upcoming trip that I was planning (to Melbourne).
There are lots of lists like this online.. just checkout Pinterest!

I started exploring the idea of Adelaide... visiting the city of Adelaide.  I think it will be the perfect place for the type of holiday I need right now.  The thing is, I need a quiet, peaceful, but still fun, sort of holiday and I think Melbourne might be a bit too much hustle and bustle for the moment.  I will certainly go there, just not in April.  While exploring travel blogs and articles focused on Adelaide (and of course Pinterest), I also thought about Perth.  I can't decide.  I think the weather will be a big deciding factor for me. 
Don't you reckon this screams "perfect holiday for M"
Dusk at Thorngrove Manor in Adelaide

I started a new Pinterest Board this week called "Holiday Dreams"  and I'm pinning like mad.  If you check it out, or if you are a follower, you will see that there are all sorts of pins from travel tips, packing tips, day trip ideas, itineraries, activities for several Aussie cities and even a few international capitals.

So, there it is, my Capital Idea.... I want to visit capital cities- first Australia, then, the world!

I can't wait!

I forgot how much was involved in planning a getaway!  Back to the 'grindstone'. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cards... The February Collection

The first half of the year is a busy time for birthdays in our family.  All of my nieces' and nephews' birthdays lie somewhere between the beginning of January and the end of June.  Therefore, I make a lot of birthday cards in the first six months of the year.  My sister's birthday, is in April and two of my grandparents have birthdays in February.  The other adults celebrate their birthdays in the second  half of the year as do many of my friends.  This means that I'm making birthday cards all year round. This year, so far, I have managed to stay well ahead of the birthday card making by starting to make cards at the beginning of the month and trying to stay at least a few weeks ahead.  I had a big card making day a few weeks ago and now I have made all the birthday cards that I will need for February birthdays AND March birthdays.  I still made each card with the specific recipient in mind.  I don't write in the cards until the actual birthday (or a few days before). 

You are probably sick of reading and just want to see the pictures.  I know I am.  Here goes. 

I created this one for my niece who is turning 5 this weekend and she loves bubbles!  This was created with one long stamp, I simply changed ink pads to colour it before printing onto the card.  The pink washi tape border was to cover up the fact that the stamp wasn't big enough to fill the whole card!   She also happens to LOVE pink so it all worked out. 

I think this card is puurrfect for a cat lady.  Hence, I made it for Nanny who taught me that every lady is happier when she owns a cat!  As you can see, Shelly was very "helpful" during the making of this card.  Hehehe. Just a side note, Poppy also had a birthday in February, but I already showed you his card because I made it in January. 

This next card was inspired by some cards posted on Make and Takes, click here to see the how to.  I saw these cards on Pinterest and there were other 'cakes made from washi tape' creations on Pinterest too.  Sweet Living included this idea in their 10 fabulous ideas for using Washi tape where they decorated plain white paper then used it to wrap a wedding gift! This card will go to my nephew for his 17th birthday at the end of March. 

Last, but certainly not least, this flower birthday card was created for my niece who turned 11 last week.  The large flowers that were layered to make the middle flower were part of a pre-cut packet I bought.  I made the smaller flowers using a small flower punch.  I layered these too and added a gem in the centre of each.  Of course the corner is just a few strips of co-ordinating washi tape.  Easy!  :) The sentiment was a mix of two "Happy Birthday" stamps.  I tried this after hearing from the BFF that it's cool to mix fonts in your sentiments now.  So, I'm very 'in' and very 'now' and I'm down with it.  Ha, Ha, Ha!

I hope your creative juices have been squeezed out or maybe you are just enjoying the pretty!  Remember you can check out my two Pinterest boards where I pin my creations as well as and lots of cards and other crafts that I see around the place and want to save for inspiration. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

2017 Goals: How's it going so far?

In late January, I wrote a list of goals for 2017 and I started planning how I was going to reach this goal.  It's about a month since then, so let's check in with all the goals and see how I'm going...

This Year, 2017, I will…

Quit… eating because I’m bored, sad, angry, frustrated or confused.

I am doing very well with this one.  I did slip up twice.  Considering how many times I have one of the feelings listed above or similar emotions that make me want to hide in an endorphin fuelled cave of avoidance, only two slip ups is a huge victory.  I haven't conquered the emotional eating mountain... but I'm on track.   

Eat…   three balanced meals and two snacks at least 6 days a week. 

I am getting there on this one.  I am not snacking, except the days that I am at school and I need to have something quick to get me through until I have a chance to really sit down to a meal.  The balancing of the meals is improving compared to my previous diet, but I'm not quite there yet.  That's okay. 

Start… exercising for 30 minutes, at least 4 times a week.

Wow!  I don't think I have even made it through one week of this.  The heat is a good excuse but not a great reason.  I am working on it.  On the plus side: I have started looking at exercise routines I can do in my home in the air conditioning.  I have increased my incidental exercise... that is, I'm moving more in my everyday routines.  I'm taking an extra lap of the house to pick up mess, before going to bed.  I'm taking the stairs at work instead of using the lift.  I am lifting boxes and tyres and other household items instead of leaving it until my nephews or brother in law come over to help me.  I'm getting there.

Visit… family and/or friends once a month.

This one is going very well, so far.  I went to my sister's house last weekend and spent some time with my cousin who was visiting.  My aunty and uncle came over and some other cousins came over.  Despite my deep desire to hide in the bedroom and go to sleep, I got myself together and I walked out to the lounge room where they were.  I sat, I listened, I talked, I was social and while it was tiring, it didn't actually hurt.  This is a good start.  Technically, I have fitted three visits into one month so that means I don't have to do any more visiting until April.  ;) I jest. 

Accept… that I cannot fix everything. 

This one is tricky.  I'm on track though.  There have been several times when a problem has arisen and I while I have tried to solve it, I have been able to accept that I can't fix it on my own and doing something (no matter how small) to make the situation better (while not fixing it completely) is better than doing nothing.  I am feeling good about this goal because so far, I'm doing well.  The reason this one is tricky, is that it will be an ongoing, almost daily, effort to remember this fact and accept it.  Accepting this won't be a one off activity. 

See…    Melbourne in real life.

This one is in the planning stages.  I have chosen the week on the calendar when I plan to go.  I am saving the money.  If I don't have enough money to truly enjoy it by the date on the calendar, I will postpone it.  I'm saving.  I'm planning.  I'm researching. 

Learn… at least 12 scripture passages by heart. 

I have learned one.  Colossians chapter 1:11.  I am working on Psalm 23 and I'm almost there.  I have chosen a few more scripture passages that I want to learn.  So, I'm going with "on track" for this one too. 

Give… to Christian Missions overseas and in Australia (12 times or once a month).

I am already donating once a month to a Day Care Centre in Tanzania, through the Salvation Army.  I'm looking for organisations that are working in Australia.  I need to do more research.  I am thinking that the Just Brass program (also through the Salvation Army) might be a good cause.  However, I know it's important to give to other missions as well. 

Be…   Quiet.

So I can prove that I am doing well at this one.  I'm not going to say anything more about it. 

Grow… spiritually by reading my Bible 5-7 times a week and attending church at least 3 times each month.

I am on track for three times a month with church.  Sometimes the attending church thing is out of my hands, as I have to rely on Mum to give me a lift.  If I have enough notice I can arrange to go to church with friends.  If not, I can watch a church service program on one of the three Christian channels we subscribe to with Foxtel.  At least I have a plan.

Reading 5-7 times a week.  I think I'm on an average of 4 days a week.  However, it is becoming a habit that I don't like to miss.  I can tell that I feel gross if I have missed more than one day in a row.  Still, I don't think I'm quite up to 5-7.  The problem here, is that I haven't been recording it when I do read.  I usually write some kind of reflection but I'm not writing the date.  From now on, I'm going to mark a calendar (beside my bed) when I read so I can keep better track of this and know whether I'm actually making progress.  I feel like I am making some progress, but I can't quantify it. 

Invest… in reaching these goals.

I am doing well on some of the goals above.  I could invest more time and money in reaching these goals.  I have been spending money on birthday parties that I have been planning for my nephews and niece.  I need to create a savings plan and stick to it so I can have enough money for my holiday and my charitable donations. 

That's that then.  Now you know how I'm going.  I'm feeling positive. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Returning to the Real World

If you are a regular around here, you know that I took some time off work last year so I could be my dad's carer.  He died towards the end of the school holidays and I wasn't ready to return to school so soon after his death.  I took three weeks off.  On Monday, I went back to work.

Monday was very hot and my new classroom (yes another classroom) is not air conditioned.  In fact, none of the classrooms that I'm working in this year are air conditioned.  Thankfully, I was asked to ignore my timetable for the first day and dive into some data sheets and check all the work that has been done in my absence. On the other hand, I am not a numbers person and staring at data all day, really isn't my thing!!

The second day was more of the same, only I was able to spend a little bit more time in the classroom.  That was hard work.  Some say that teaching is like riding a bike, once you learn how you never forget it. That is partly true.  The thing is, there are lots of skills that a teacher has to implement all at the same time. 

I have been living in a world where it was very important that we did one thing at a time and did it perfectly.  I was living in a world that stayed together when it was calm and quiet.  It was my job to keep things calm and quiet and stick to one thing at a time. Being a teacher in a fast paced environment, working in a busy staffroom, does not work quite like the little world I had built.  It is almost the complete opposite. 

I think I may have missed a few things, not just while I was away, but in the last few days, when I was sitting right in the middle of said things.  I have arrived home everyday feeling very tired and sore. I have been in bed before 8:30 every night!!

Everyone I have seen at school has been glad to see me.  That's a nice feeling. 

This week has been especially busy because #2 is turning 13 this weekend and I have been organising the party!!! Busy, busy, busy! I will share pictures, plans and all that behind the scenes fun in a few weeks.  We have also been planning for #7's birthday party which is in 3 weeks! She is turning 5.  There is heaps to do.  I'm excited even if I am tired.   

I hope your week was not such a shock to your system as mine was.  Either way, tomorrow is a brand new day. 

Have courage and Be Kind!