Tuesday, April 15, 2014

12 things - create a vision board for 2014

Here it is the middle of April and I'm just now completing/working on my vision board for this year. Procrastinator much? The truth is I'd started it on the metal boards I have above my desk, but it was difficult to complete because I don't buy magazines and printing out pictures on a black and white printer just wasn't going to cut it. I needed another way to get my vision board started.

I ended up turning to Pinterest. I mean, it's basically one big vision board already isn't it? When I come along something that fits with the things I want this year I pin it to my Vision Board 2014. Little or small I pin it. It could be something small I want like a new pair of shoes or an inspirational quote that I want to strive for. It's my conversation with the Universe for my plans this year.
  • read 75 books - 20 down 55 to go, more if you count short stories
  • make at least 20 quilts - I've completed 8 quilt TOPS, but no completed quilts yet
  • simplify my apartment (purge, sell trash) - I've gotten a lot of stuff thrown away, now I need to work on selling some stuff. I've also simplified my bedroom by taking about everything but the bed and end table. it's getting there
There's still a lot of work to be done. Less than 7 months to go. The reading should come along nicely, it's some of the other goals I need to put some more work into. The vision board while marked off as complete really is a work in progress and always will be, but I'm still calling it a win as complete. Ha!
  1. create a vision board for 2014
  2. read 75 books
  3. make at least 20 quilts
  4. have my business prepared for the holidays
  5. friend friday
  6. stock my online shops and promote my business more
  7. sew a dress from the staple dress pattern
  8. travel to somewhere I haven't traveled before
  9. get back under 200 lbs
  10. simplify my apartment (purge, sell, trash)
  11. apply to Yelp! Bazaar and the Indieana Handicraft Exchange (holiday edition)
  12. make at least 3 deposits into my Roth IRA
  13. complete my capsule wardrobe

reading - Electrified Sheep by Alex Boese
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Monday, April 7, 2014

"God loves you, but I don't." and other things

  • And that is just one of my neighbors ladies and gentlemen. This is by far the best message I've seen on this man's door. They are usually along the lines of do not knock on my door. He also posts Happy [insert current holiday here]! So he's not a complete grump.
  • I've slowly started to unpack my apartment again and have gotten back into sewing. I finished another quilt top for #100quilts100kids AND I finally decided on how I wanted to label the quilts and ordered the labels. Yay! I'm still working on funding more quilts. If you're feeling generous, click the hashtag.
  • March 30th marked 3 years at my current job (only 2 of us from the original 15 are still around). I think that is the longest I've ever worked at one place. That's a long time to work a retail job. I treated myself to a big LEGO set, The Simpsons House. I completed it Saturday night. It took me about 6 hours to complete. I don't really have any place to put it. I should've thought about that before I started putting it together.
  • A year ago I was in California meeting up with Rima, Evani and Gabby, celebrating Rima's birthday with her and going to Disneyland for the first time. This trip needs to happen again. I'm already thinking about the sushi, ramen, walking on the beach, riding the rides and all that other good stuff.
  • Not only does that trip need to happen, but I think I want to buy a car. Finally. I've been looking into ways to save money and I think I've settled on opening a SmartyPig account. I have a savings account, but I find that it's super easy for me to transfer money back into my checking account whenever I want. *whispers* If you're thinking about saving up for a trip or something and decide to use SmartyPig, let me know so I can send you a referral code. 
  • I think that a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon would taste delicious on a fresh waffle. I have to make this happen some how. This week. I might settle for a packaged waffle, but not the frozen kind.
  • Procrastination is real in these streets. I still haven't done my taxes yet. I started them, but I haven't finished them up yet. I have no excuse. I could use the money to pay off some bills and replace some things AND start saving up for my trip and a car. But it's not really enough motivation.
  • I was totally disappointed with the How I Met Your Mother finale. Very uncharacteristic actions of the characters. When the commercials come on for the syndicated episodes I get a little upset because it makes me think about the finale. I'm also starting to lose interest in Scandal. Fitz is a blamer and pretty much everything he says makes me want to wipe boogers on his face. I also don't understand everyone's hatred for Quinn. *shrugs*
  • "never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you"
  • The Universe and I need to have a sit down. I also think I might need to reread The Secret and The Alchemist.
  • I also need to get to work on these 12 things for 2014. I mean, it is already April. Another example of how much of a procrastinator I am.
  • A huge Happy Birthday to Rima of Bolu by Rima, Lesley of Yessiree Petunia and Cool Hand Lex (who doesn't have a blog that I know of)! I know a lot of people who share the same birthday.

reading - Wise Acres: The Seventh Circle of Heck by Dale Basye
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Friday, March 21, 2014

spring equinox 14.0 - a wish list

While today may mark the first day of spring here in Indiana, mother nature is laughing in our faces. She's got some snow flurries planned for us next week. I'm probably one of the few people who is okay with that. I've come to terms with her crazy uncontrollable ways and just go with the flow. I'm curious what that means for what summer will be like here. I need to go ahead and get my supplies together so I can make an air conditioner so I'm prepared.

road trip with someone special
new tv and Chromecast
less stuff (purge, sell, trash)
meet ellen degeneres
a bicycle
spend more time with friends
monon walks and picnics
new business opportunities
a first date
weight lost, muscle gained
more money earned, more money saved
more business successes
put a big dent in completing my capsule wardrobe

Even though spring represents new beginnings, I kept a lot of my wishes the same from the winter. They're all things I still want to continue to work on and hopefully I get them accomplished this go around. The winter was tough and I think my work suffered because I was a bit down from all the gloom and doom outside my window. It happens.

Wanna know how I did on my winter list? Check it out here - winter wish list. I wasn't very productive.

What are your wishes for autumn?
Leave a short list of your wishes in a comment down below.

reading - Cress by Marissa Meyer
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

cupcakes and conclusions - a list

  • I think I might have said this before, but I'm sure it's worth saying again. I'm trying to do too much. So much so that I'm overwhelmed and I'm barely doing any of it. It's a problem.
  • I was thinking it'd be awesome if I could take 6 months off and dedicate that time to making quilts for 100 Quilts, 100 Kids. I did some simple calculations and I'd need $5K plus the cost of quilting materials.
  • I'm gonna go buy a couple of lottery tickets. (My efforts to buy a lottery ticket keep getting thwarted by a) my memory and b) closed locations.)
  • Indianapolis doesn't have a fancy donut shop. I'm super craving a coconut creme donut from Firecakes in Chicago.
  • I'm also craving a cheeseburger and chocolate cake.
  • I'm baffled by this plane disappearing. I don't really talk about current events much here, but I hope they find some answers soon.
  • Yesterday I laid down without setting an alarm and ended up missing my Trade School Class. I felt like a dick for missing it.
  • Almost 3 weeks later and I still haven't finished unpacking my apartment. I haven't done my taxes yet either. Procrastinator.
  • Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting!!! I gets down in the kitchen every once in awhile. I don't normally care for buttercream frosting, but this stuff is delicious. 
  • A friend asked me if I preferred baking over cooking. They're equal in my book. Cook, baking, quilting, crocheting. They're all creative things. They all make me happy. I'd rather be doing any of those things than going to work any day.
  • I REALLY need to make it a reality that those things are my life and not just something I do when I'm not working to pay the bills.
  • Received my first wedding invitation for the year.
  • I feel like everyone I know is in a relations, getting engaged, getting married or having a baby. And then there's me.
  • I want a kitten and a puppy and to live in a house.
  • Listing is easier than blogging these days. I remember when that's all I used to do was list. Then Twitter was created.
  • "Everything is AWESOME!"
  • Okay, I need to go make/eat some real food before I overdose on sugar and cupcakes.
reading - Reached by Ally Condie
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

let it go

I have a rant, but I'm trying not to put more negativity out into the world right now. Also, I feel like crap. I'm guessing I'm getting sick or I'm sick already and I'm just in denial. Probably the latter.

I have a few thing I've wanted to write about, but no motivation.

My apartment is still mostly packed up because I am the great procrastinator. I kind of like it all packed it up. Very minimalist, washing and wearing the same clothes (the only things I really wear right now are my work uniform and pajamas). No messes and clutter everywhere to bug the shit out of me.

I'm enjoying #100happydays. Even though I have shitty moments, it's easy to find something every day to be happy about it. Sometimes you have to look for those moments, but they're there. Me and the Universe could use a good heart to heart.

If you follow me in Instagram then you saw this picture a week or so ago. Yeah, new glasses. I planned on writing a review, but there were snags when ordering and I don't think it was a typical transaction so I don't want to base my review on that transaction. I plan to order another and then write a review. In the meantime if you want to check them out, I ordered them from Ozeal Glasses*. You can use the code NEWFEB50 for half off. They offer free shipping and free lenses.

*Yes, that is an affiliate link.
reading - Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
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Friday, February 28, 2014

is you happy? - a list

  • I saw a few of my friends on FB posting pictures tagged #100happydays and decided to do a little investigating and then went ahead on jumped on the bandwagon myself. 100 Happy Days is a challenge to share one thing that makes you happy each day for 100 days. I like that it makes you find things that make you happy. Even little things like postcards or mail from friends. (Hint, hint: I love mail, if you ever want to send me something go for it.)
  • House of Cards may have ruined Scandal for me. This weeks comeback episode was meh.
  • I want a cat...and a dog.
  • I had to pack up my apartment this week so they could spray for bugs. I probably threw out 6 bags of clothing and other random stuff that I no longer had use for and it felt good. There's so much more to throw out. I haven't bothered to unpack anything because I like how empty my apartment looks. My goal is to go through every box and see what else I can trash/donate/sell. I'm also rearranging my apartment since it's been the same for almost 4 years.
  • I want to live in a tiny house.
  • Why can't taxes do themselves? I've got plans for my refund, but I'm procrastinating.

  • This happened yesterday. I'd been waiting like a whole week for the bananas to get brown so I could make a banana bread cake with chocolate chips and as I was pulling my hand out of the oven I accidentally open the clip on my spring form pan and the next thing you know batter is drip, drip, dripping. So sad. I yelled no in despair. I almost wanted to cry.
  • So many ideas, so little money and time. I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish and had a good start and now...excuses, excuses.
  • My body needs to behave. I don't know what I did, but I woke up one morning with a sharp pain in my middle back when I inhaled. It's making it hard to sleep through the night. I was fine for a day in a half and then the pain came back shortly after I jogged to catch the bus. Anything that causes me to take a deep breath I try to avoid or I end up holding my breath or taking shallow breaths and feel like I'm suffocating. This sucks because I just started going back to the gym and have had to skip this week. I need to get all my paper work together so I can head over to the clinic and get checked out.
  • Two months left for me to get my passport renewed according to the goal I set for myself. Another reason for me to file my taxes ASAP.
  • When someone promises they'll never hurt you...no. I don't like it. You never know what actions or words will hurt someone. Maybe if you said you'd never intentionally hurt them. It's just a hard promise to keep. (This has nothing to do with anything that has happened to me, it's just something I've seen on tv and reading a lot lately.)
  • I got another new pair of glasses from a new company. Review to come when I dig out my camera and move all the boxes.
  • We're supposed to get ANOTHER snow/ice storm this weekend. It's nice and sunny outside right now. I might be ready for spring.
reading - Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia
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Friday, February 21, 2014

hey bunny rabbit

It's Friday, Friday! It's my last day off until some time next week. I should be making the most of it, but I'm a day waster these days so how about a post of random things from this week.

So I had the urge to text ScruffyNerdy on Tuesday night because I hadn't seen him on social media for a few days, but didn't know what to say. Because I think I'm funny I began the conversation with, "Hey Bunny Rabbit!" I figured that'd get some sort of response. And it did. He might not have been very amused, but I surely was. Oddly enough about 30+ minutes later the Friends episode that that line comes from aired. Which made my choice of words more comical.

Wednesday I finally made it back to the gym after not going for about 3 months. The first two months I'm blaming on the holidays/work. The last few weeks my valid excuse is having thrown out my back. That was not fun at all, especially since I still had to go to work and my job requires me to stand for hours at a time. It felt good to get back to the gym. A lot of new faces and it was a little more crowded than normal. I figured by now the resolution makers would have petered out and gone back to their old habits. Maybe by March?

After the gym I headed to the grocery store to pick up some much needed food and ingredients to make ice cream...yes...I went to the gym and then came home and made ice cream. Nutella ice cream. And I only needed TWO ingredients. I used this ice cream recipe here. It came out more icy than it did creamy. I wonder if it's because I didn't separate the fatty cream from the coconut milk. I have one can of coconut milk left so I'm going to give it another go and try it that way. Even though it was more icy,  it was still delicious because Nutella.

I want to do a Disney run next year or sooner if someone else wants to sponsor me. Angela ran one today and Evani is running one later this year I think. They look like a lot of fun and well Disney. I also want to run another color run this spring. I need to start preparing and find someone to run/walk with me. Those runs are always much more fun when you have a friend to run with you.

Lastly they've announced Quiltcon for next year. It's a year away. I'd really love to go, though I'm not that social. Plus it's in Austin. Why does everything have to cost money?

reading - Swish by Joel Derfner
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Friday, February 14, 2014

i'm next?

Today I was downtown selling Valentine cards at the Indy City Market and in honor of Valentine's Day the Mayor held a vow renewal ceremony. After it ended a young lady who had participated in the ceremony stopped by and gave me her bouquet. I figure that just like catching the bouquet. I guess the Universe better get to work then. Ha! It was very sweet of her to give me her flowers and it made me smile. That and a text conversation I was immersed in.

In other news, more snow today, but next week...50+ degree weather!!! Yay!!! I'm normally a pretty positive person. Well at least I think I am, but lately I've been kind of bummed. I hate to blame it on the weather, but the weather has been a huge downer here lately. Super cold temps have kept me inside and while inside I've not wanted to do much at all. I'm usually not bothered by the cold weather, but I'm just about ready for spring. Or another vacation. How are you guys (who live in cold weather areas) feeling about the winter this year? Has it got you a bit bummed?

I can't think of anything else that's going on lately. Just making stuff to sell and slowly...slowly purging my apartment. I will leave you with this kickstarter campaign for Period Panties. Hilarious!!! I had to back it even after they already reached their goal. I want to collect them all.

reading - Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

crafty mother fucker - a glasses display and quilt holder

If you follow me on instagram then you've probably already seen one of my latest crafty projects. I've had these idea floating around in my head for some time, but kept putting it off. Then the other day I was in my kitchen irritated about not having space for some of my smaller appliances so I got online and started looking up how to make a kitchen cart and pricing wood.

Pricing wood reminded me that I wanted to make a rack for my glasses and then I had to make a trip to Lowe's. I love this little rack. I don't have to open up every glasses case to find the pair of glasses that I want to wear. They're all on display and easy to choose from.

I'm not finished with this piece yet though. I think I want to stain it an espresso color and maybe secure the  sides with nails. I had a couple people mention that I need to list these on etsy and I just might. The nice thing is that you can either hand it on the wall like a picture frame or just lean it against the wall.

The other project I worked on I found while looking for plans to make an end table. The original piece was used to hold up kids art. I looked at it and realized that it'd be perfect for holding up my quilts when I need to photograph them. Much nicer than having to use tape. I painted my strip of wood a dark teal and then glued on some clothes pins. I attached it to my wall with poster tape since I'm not sure what these walls are made of.  I think I might make a smaller version for my kitchen. It could also be used to hold towels in your bathroom or scarves and other light clothing items.

I'm still working on plans for my kitchen cart. I know I can a metal or plastic one for about $20, but I'd really like one made out of wood that I can customize. I already have plans for my end table/printer holder, but I have to work on the numbers since the plans I found are shorter than what I need.

I'm really enjoying working with wood. I wish I had a garage so that I can buy some wood working tools and have a space that I don't have to vacuum and clean up right away when I'm working. Also, I want a tiny house. Random.

reading - Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia
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Monday, February 3, 2014

travel: hello Chicago, I've missed you

walking over the bridges in Chicago always freaks me the fuck out
especially in the winter and when I'm by myself

Who leaves one city that's suffering through sub zero temps to escape to another city suffering through sub zero temps?

This girl.

It wasn't that cold to me though. I'm sure folks think I'm nuts because I don't ever think it's that cold out, even when it's below zero. I'm like a human radiator.

At first I felt like the Universe was against me going on this trip. The Saturday prior to me leaving I hurt my back. I couldn't stand for very long and even sitting was uncomfortable. I was determined to get out of town so I spent most of my time laying in bed when there were other things I needed to do. Then Sunday morning I received and email from megabus that they cancelled my outbound trip due to the cold weather. I panicked just a bit, but thankfully found a seat on the Greyhound for only a few more dollars than I paid for my megabus ticket AND it left a little later in the morning. I felt like things were starting to turn around.

Sunday afternoon my boss texted me to let me know that I didn't have to work on Monday. While it cut my 8 hour work week down to 4 I was okay with this because even though my back was getting better, it was still not feeling as well as I would have liked, which meant I had an extra day to lay in bed all day. Which I did.

I kept a close eye on the forecast and my email to make sure my bus was still on schedule and to make sure the city buses were running. Everything was looking good to go and I was packed and ready to go. I made sure to dress properly just in case.

I hadn't ridden the Greyhound in over 10 years and the last time I'd ridden it, it wasn't a good experience. I'm happy to say that the service was good this go around. The seats were comfy and the ride was smooth. It was a full bus. We stopped in Lafayette on the way up to Chicago. I hadn't been back there since my college days. The city changed a lot since the last time I'd been up there. Expanded.

While in Chicago I stayed at the Acme Hotel Company right in downtown, two blocks from the Mile and right behind the Shops at North Bridge. I got a GREAT deal on the room. I was searching through Kayak and the name caught my eye. I checked it out online and the rate was only $79/night. The deal hunter I am, I used hotels.com AND a coupon from Mr. Rebates and scored my stay for $69/night (and I'll get an extra $7 from Mr. Rebates). Most of the other hotels were AT LEAST $100/night and they didn't look nearly as awesome as Acme.

The room was exactly as it is pictured on the website. There were all sorts of little details throughout the hotel (a chalkboard on the room doors, record sleeves in the elevator, all sorts of art). I will definitely stay there again, assuming I can find a great rate again. There's a bakery/deli in the lobby and I wanted to grab food from there, but there were too many other places that I wanted to try out instead. The hotel also offers free coffee service in the morning. They knock and drop off a free thermos of coffee. This would've been great if I drank coffee.

When I say the hotel was in a great location...every place I wanted to eat at was only a couple of blocks away. And I was half a block away from the Nutella Bar inside Eataly. It was nice to have everything so close since it was cold out. Also I was more confident walking around late at night by myself with everything so close.

For the most part all I really did was eat and hang out in my room watching cable (HGTV) while resting my back. I also met up with fellow blogger Jaimielee of hippopotamuslee (she's a sweetheart and super awesome). We met up for pizza and then walked around and a bit and checked out make up. I also met up for dinner with an old coworker who has made Chicago home for the second time now (she's gonna be an extra on Mind Games that'll be premiering soon).

I can't tell you how excited I was to find out that there were so many good food places within blocks of the hotel. I didn't even visit every place I wanted to visit. I was most excited to hit up the Nutella Bar inside of Eataly. I had planned to get at least two or three different things from the Nutella bar, but only ended up getting one thing because I was distracted by the gelato and other lovely treats Eataly had to offer.

L to R, T to B: Frontera Fresco tacos, Firecakes Donuts (the coconut creme...heaven),
Eataly (pizza and gelato)

When I got into town on Tuesday afternoon I was starving and headed over to Frontera Fresco to grab some tacos (if you didn't already realize it, I've got a thing for tacos). They were delicious. I wanted to get a couple more, but I knew I'd be going out to dinner that night and that was only a few hours away. To drink I ordered a mango lime agua fresca. I wanted to like it, but it was way to sweet...syrupy sweet. I think if it hadn't been so sweet, it would've actually been good.

For dinner I met up with my old coworker and we went to Burke's Bacon Bar. mmmmm...bacon. They served small slider style burgers and other bacony delicious items. The sliders are $4/each or 3 for $11. I opted for 3 and ordered a CBLT, Angry Reuben and the Bacon Burger. All of them were delicious. So much so that I ended up going back the next night and I normally don't go back to the same place because I like to try other things. The second night I got a CBLT and the bacon mac n' cheese. Creamy, bacony goodness in my belly.

After dinner my old coworker and I hit up Eataly so I could check out the Nutella Bar. I walked in the door and the greeter hit on me not once but twice. If he hadn't been old, I probably wouldn't have felt uncomfortable. I picked up a Nutella crepe for dessert and OC ordered some gelato. I wanted both, but since Eataly was half a block from the hotel I knew I could pop back in later if I really had to have that gelato.

Wednesday morning I bundled up and headed out to Firecakes Donuts. As I was walking down the street I noticed glazed and infused and made a note to stop by there the next morning. From Firecakes I picked up the maple glazed pineapple and bacon donut and the coconut creme. OMG! The coconut creme made me want to order a dozen more. As I was walking back to the hotel with my donuts I decided to stop in glazed and infused and picked up a couple more donuts (pb & j and a maple bacon long john). I thought I was going to have a big breakfast, but instead saved half the donuts for the next morning so I could sleep in. Why doesn't Indianapolis have any fancy donut places?

I headed back to Eataly to grab lunch with Jaimielee. Eataly is an amazing market and restaurant. They had fresh baked crusty bread, all sort of cheeses, fresh produce, pasta, the Nutella Bar, gelato, a coffee bar and a bunch of other stuff. I could've eaten every meal there. We both ended up ordering pizza. I love fresh mozzarella.

Dinner was a difficult choice for me. I couldn't decide between checking out a new taco place, more bacon burgers from Burke's or Thai food. After much deliberation and checking on what was available close by I ended up getting Thai fried rice from a small Thai place called Silver Spoon. Nothing fancy, but good. I also picked up another CBLT and the bacon mac n cheese from Burke's. I saved the mac n cheese for home by keeping it cold in the ice bucket. All kinds of creamy goodness. I normally wouldn't repeat a place I've eaten (especially not in the same trip), but I really enjoyed the Burke's and it was a nice small snack. After dinner I popped over the Eataly for some gelato.

I didn't much feel like walking around Thursday after I checked out so I found the nearest Argo Tea and bought an iced tea and read for about two hours until I was hungry enough for lunch. I was going to have some Filipino food, but I started craving tacos since I didn't satisfy the craving the night before so I headed back to Frontera Fresco. After lunch I sat and read some more before heading to the train station. For the ride home I picked up a sandwich from Hannah's Bretzels. Crusty bread and pretzel bread are my favorites.

The ride home was different. Megabus had to contract out a different bus company. No explanation why, they just said look for a different bus. Our normal straight shot back to Indianapolis went a different route with a stop at a rest stop getting us back into town an hour later than normal. I was kind of annoyed. Not really thankful to be back in town only because I could've enjoyed another day in Chicago. Those trips aren't ever long enough.

I'm already trying to figure out where I can go next or when I can head back to Chicago. Indianapolis isn't a horrible place, but I'm ready for a change. I have some personal obligations here right now though. So it's back to the grind. Valentine's Day is upon and I've got some cards to make and sell. Hopefully I can sell enough to bank for my next vacation.

reading - Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
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