Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Photo by Sudhanwa..
With spring around the corner, I am starting to think about all the things I love to do when the warm, sunny days arrive and daylight lingers until late into the evening. My time is so limited right now with my day job and my handmade business that I wonder how I will fit in the fun! I know I need to organize my time better if I want to be able to enjoy my favorite spring activities like gardening, taking long walks and soaking up sunshine! So, I’ve decided to take a hard look at my schedule and take control of some of the lost minutes and hours. Here are some steps I am going to take.
- Get everyone involved in keeping the house tidy.
- Keep meals simple and let each family member take a night to be responsible for preparing the meal.
- Make a weekly menu and grocery list to cut down on last minute trips to the store.
- Spend some time each evening looking at the next day’s schedule. Combine errands such as mailing orders, grocery shopping and returning library books, then schedule a time to complete them.
- Plan several blocks of time throughout the day to sew, depending on what needs to be completed. I will save at least one of those for working on new ideas and designs, which keeps my creativity
- Set aside time for writing Thank You notes and packaging orders.
- Make a list of the marketing activities I currently spend time on, including social networking, such as Twitter, Facebook, Etsy Forums, etc.
- Assign a number from 1 to 10 in importance and effectiveness to each activity.
Based on the number given, assign a certain amount of time each day that will be the maximum time dedicated to that activity.
- Make a daily schedule to include these activities, but stay flexible and know which ones to leave off if something unexpected arises and time runs short.
When it's all done and the sun is still shining, I’ll kick back and enjoy a cold drink and relaxing with friends and family! That’s what spring is for!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Photo by cloverity
Before marriage and kids, I loved fashion as much as the next girl. I wouldn’t say I was a trendsetter, but I tried not to fall too far behind those who were. Then came marriage and shortly after that, three wonderful offspring! Life was busy and exhausting and many a time, I left home knowing full well that I was a fashion “don’t”!
Then my girls hit the pre-teen years and almost everything in my closet became an embarrassment to them. My multicolored, striped, crochet-look cardigan, my “Merry Christmas Ya’ll” holiday sweatshirt, and of course, the dreaded “mom jeans”! My wardrobe was to be pitied and tolerated until I could be made cool again, with their expert help.
Over the next few years, before leaving home, as ridiculous as it felt, I consulted people I had given birth to in regards to whether I was wearing something socially acceptable. I slowly but surely regained some fashion sense, and amazingly, started having to say to my fashion-conscious daughters, “ No, you can’t have the purse (or sweater or whatever) that I just bought, but you can borrow it.”
So, I’ve come full circle and I’m hip again! I have a little grandson now, which is really convenient, since I also still have that comfy multicolored cardigan sweater. And when my daughter says, “Mom! That looks like a grandma sweater!”, I just say, “Yes, honey, but I’m a grandma now, I can dress like one if I want to!”
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Last summer, I made my first effort at container gardening. It was a lot of fun and I was really surprised by the yield we received from just a few large pots, planted with tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs.I can't wait to get started again on this year's "garden in pots"! There are a few things I learned last year, and I will be more prepared. If you want to try container gardening, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Get a soil mixture that will stay fairly loose. I like the ones that have the little water absorbing granules that release the moisture between waterings.
- If your pots will be sitting on a concrete or brick patio, raise them a few inches off the hot surface to keep them cooler in summer temperatures.
- Don't underestimate the eventual growth and yield of tomatoes. Put tall, strong stakes into the pots early so you can tie up the stalks as soon as they start producing their heavy fruit
- Be prepared for pests before they arrive. A metal pie pan tied with string, allowed to blow in the breeze will frighten birds and other critters that would eat your lovely produce. Be on the lookout for the hideous creature shown in the photo below, the tomato hornworm. I had many visits by these yucky critters last summer and they look so much like the foliage of a tomato plant, they are hard to spot. They will eat up the plant, leaves and all, within just a day or two. You can handpick them off (eww, my hubby did it!), but use gloves, they will try to BITE! There are also insecticides to use for them, but I try not to use chemicals on my garden.
Monday, February 16, 2009
The rules are to tell seven things about yourself and then tag seven others. Here goes:
1. I am a "word nerd" and I used to win spelling bees all the time in school. Now, that I have admitted this, I will be doubly embarrassed to find I have misspelled something here on my blog! (Please let me know if you see something.)
2. I am addicted to Top Chef, as well as some other cooking shows. I watch the Top Chef episodes, sometimes five or six times. I read the judges' blogs and search the net for other blogs about the show. I'm a little obsessed. But, I never try to cook any of the dishes, too complicated.
3. I was bitten by a copperhead snake on the ankle about eight years ago. It was on my driveway. One night in the hospital and a week on crutches. No one sucked the venom out either. Apparently, that is just done in old western movies.
4. I am half Italian and learned to make homemade pasta and tortellini from my grandmother, but I don't like pizza.
5. I have three kids from 19 - 23 years old and a four-year-old grandson.
6. I would like to learn French.
7. My best vacation ever was to Maui!
So far, I've tagged:
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
I have a strange fascination with packing. I love getting ready for a trip. I sometimes pack a week in advance even for a short getaway. I think the act of getting ready to go is part of the enjoyment and anticipation of the possible adventure that lies ahead.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
photo by mrbill
I've spent the weekend getting ready for a trip to the Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The company I work for hosts a meeting there every year at this time and it is always very enjoyable. The food is great and the accomodations are beautiful
I wish I enjoyed gambling more, but I really find it boring. I've tried hanging out in the casino to be sociable with the other meeting attendees, but the odor of smoke is overwhelming. I much prefer to wander around the shops within the Beau Rivage. They have some great gift shops and upscale clothing stores, along with several good restaurants and a yummy coffee shop! Between meetings, I like to grab a cup of coffee and a mini fruit tart or a brownie, then sit out on the veranda to soak up a little sushine and read a book. It doesn't exactly sound like a wild and crazy hard-partying casino visit, does it? But, just getting away and relaxing in a beautiful, sunny setting is just what I need to recharge my battery!
photo by Triin
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have met so many generous, kind-hearted people since starting my handmade business. It's a community of giving and sharing, of goods, knowledge, sources and most of all encouragement!
Visit http://www.seventhcloudstudio.etsy.com/ to see a great selection of unique, handmade jewelry.