Friday, March 27, 2015

Pursuing My Passions - Wellness

This is part 4 in a four part blog series about my passions and how I'm pursuing them this year.  I'm doing this as much to get it all organized and straight in my own mind as to share with you what I've been up to lately and why I've been so absent from blogging. So here goes...

True confessions: 

I am not passionate about exercising. In fact, I mostly hate it.

I am not passionate about eating healthy foods. In fact, I'm rather fond of pizza, chocolate, coca cola, and a variety of other not-so-healthy choices.

I am not passionate about visiting doctors. Self-explanatory, right?

In fact, given the option, I'd rather be crafting, watching television, or reading a book while munching on something sweet, preferably chocolate. So I'm not sure this final installment of "Pursuing My Passions" is really about a passion, as much as it is about life choices and making room for the things that promote wellness. 

Because I am passionate about being as healthy as my body will allow.

I am passionate about being physically and mentally capable of doing the things I enjoy.

I am passionate about honoring my One Little Word - Thrive.

In order to be healthy and physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually capable, I have to make choices and do things that promote a healthy body and mind.  With that in mind, my very specific plans for pursuing wellness this year include:

1. Read 12 new books - at least one per month. You know, to promote a healthy mind.  And if I particularly enjoy a book, maybe I'll even manage to post a review!

Jan: "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" - Book 8 of the Outlander series. Oh yes, I was totally hooked on this series. I started last September and read all 8 books on my Kindle.

Feb: "Where She Went" - the sequel to "If I Stay" which I saw as a movie. I just had to know what happened next! 

2. Try 12 new recipes - at least one per month. And I'm specifically looking for Paleo-friendly, wheat-free recipes that can be incorporated into our family meal planning. Because I do feel better when I'm grain-free. But it is HARD to cook grain-free and still come up with things my family will eat.  If I come up with any winners, I'll try to share.

Jan: Banana Oatmeal cookies - technically oatmeal isn't Paleo (it is a grain) but is one of the lesser evils of the grain family. These are great for a "snack" food for me, but the family doesn't like the gummy texture.

Feb: Chicken & Rice Casserole - again, rice is a grain. But it isn't wheat. And I made this recipe a half dozen times, tweaking it just a bit each time. I have now perfected it. How do I know it is perfect?  Becca ASKED for it while home for Spring break!

3. DeClutter my house - at least one area per month. Because clutter causes me stress. And stress is not conducive to wellness!

Jan: The Office. I moved everything OUT. Then moved back in only what I wanted to keep. I totally rearranged the furniture. And I purged SIXTY ONE pounds of paper! I may not personally have lost weight doing this, but I definitely felt lighter.

The two shopping bags full were taken to work to be shredded - lots of receipts, medical info, cancelled checks... dating back into the 80's!  The recycle bin was filled TWICE and taken to the recycling center. 
Feb: Utensil Drawer in kitchen. Not the silverware drawer that houses forks, knives, spoons. The big drawer under the cooktop that houses things like measuring spoons, can openers, spatulas, etc. I added a drawer organizer, so things don't slide around.  And I got rid of the utensils we don't use. It may be a small area, but it was a big victory!

4. Complete Unfinished Projects - work on at least one a month. What does this have to do with wellness you ask? Well, here's the deal. Those unfinished projects are constantly at the back of my mind. Always whispering to me about how I'm scattered and don't keep my commitments, even to myself. Those unfinished projects make me feel LESS than. And I know if I can finish some of them, there will be BREATHING ROOM in my thoughts for new and exciting projects. So yes, another kind of mental/emotional wellness. And yes, I'm doing it! While I haven't technically "FINISHED" anything yet, I have worked heavily on the girls School of Life albums in both January (remember 40 pages completed while Camping at the Crop) and during February's LOAD challenge (at least 12 of those layouts will be incorporated into the girls' albums - some in more than one!).

I'm tracking those four items along with my One Little Word assignments in a Heidi Swapp calendar/planner (the 2014 version which I picked up last year after seeing it featured in the Big Picture Classes "FUN" class).

 Each month starts with this planner page with pre-printed dates, to do lists, and more. I'm using the dates to note appointments and meetings and mostly covering up the rest with ephemera from the month.
 Then there is a divided page protector, which I'm using for photos, One Little Word assignments, and monthly recaps where appropriate.

 The last page of any given month is this calendar. I'm using it for my Gratitude Practice - to record the best thing that happened that day, or what I am grateful for that day.  I'm using the blank circles to record my book, recipe, declutter, and finish items for the month.

 Not much in the way of ephemera for February...
 I posted that Minion photo on my facebook feed when I was feeling particularly OVER the snow.

 I took a photo of my OLW Vision Board to include in this page. I wasn't feeling the monthly recap at this point.

In addition to all the "Thrive" related things being recorded here, I am actually doing all the One Little Word assignments. Here is the March writing assignment:

 So there you have it. Pursuing Wellness. Not a lot of discussion about losing weight (so far I'm doing miserably on that account) or about exercise. I actually had to back off of some body weight exercises I was trying as they were causing other pains. But Spring is coming. And with it my opportunity to try again and to keep improving. 

How do YOU pursue wellness?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five Faves

I didn't take many photos in February and the few I did, do not rise to the level of scrap-worthy. So I've decided to dig into the archives.  These are the photos (from 2005 & 2006) I plan to scrap in March:

Dad's Helper


School Project
Sweet Sixteen

Sarah's Tree

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Art Journaling

 A manifestation of my goal to FINISH what I start this year! Some of what looks like bubble wrap print is actually modeling paste applied through a stencil - and very rough and bumpy to the touch.  I wasn't particularly happy with my lettering on this one, but had to go with good enough.

This was a quick messy background which I actually liked as a base. But the prompt when I was doing this was to "cover up the good stuff"...

...So I did! This is my "Thrive" vision board - the February prompt for One Little Word. It is lumpy, wrinkly, and heavily layered. After I had all my magazine cuts glued in place, I went back and painted and stamped with texture and used markers to blend... and I'm kind of in love with the glorious mess I ended up with!

This one is my tribute to Artfully Inspired's "passion" prompt. I'd love to take credit for that gorgeous graphic in the center, but it is actually elements from a digital scrapbooking kit that I printed on photo paper. My attempts at drawing a fiery lady from scratch were, well, not so hot (pun intended). And I love the graphic... it goes so well with the quote.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Scrapbooking Shares

It just occurred to me that I never posted the last of my LOAD Challenge layouts from February! OMG...

For your viewing pleasure....

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Social (Media) Butterfly

I got to meet up with Karen and her husband Tracy yesterday! We've been trying for a long time to meet up and it finally happened. We had lunch at The Perk and then went into Philadelphia for the Flower Show.
Layout made with Krystal Hartley's newest kit "Social Butterfly"
While the Flower Show was certainly nice and a great opportunity to practice photography (minus the dark atmosphere and nasty convention floor lighting), the highlight for me was meeting and spending time with Karen! She was just as lovely in person as she is on the Internet. And Tracy is a total sweetheart too. I had a blast!  Can't wait for the next opportunity for us to meet up again.