Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Where Have I Been?

I'm in the 4th grade again!
Have you ever set goals and then everybody wonders where you've gone? That's what happened to me. I had made the 2016 Personal Challenge post way back in January and ignored it slightly for a while. I mean, I did stuff, but I didn't attack it and report on it. Even though my blog appears to have been dormant for a while, I can assure you that I have recently been attacking the goals I set. Did you see the list of books being updated on a continuing basis? I've been reading the heck out of some books (goal #1). The movie list (goal #4)) was also updated; I just have to put together a post to give those movies away, if people even WANT those movies. I might just be better off dropping them at the library!  We'll see...

I have a great trip coming up soon, and I think it will present a great number of opportunities to take excellent photos. I checked out one of the Great Courses on Photography (goal #25) from the library, so I'm going to try to get through that one. If I can hack it before the trip, I'll jam through the second course, too! These courses involve sitting in front of the TV and watching hours and hours of instruction. I don't know if anybody knows me, but I can't sit still for very long. I wander or my mind wanders. The plan is to watch a lesson, go outside and practice everything at least twice...or maybe three times. I'll try to post my lesson results as I go along. I'm sure you'll all be amazed. Pretty dang sure. Oh, also, if anyone lives near me and you have something amazing that needs my camera near it, let me know.

I've also been doing things NOT on my challenge list. They are things I've been interested in, but I just didn't have the gumption to start learning them on my own. Soldering, LED clothing, RGB lighting, Arduino, etc. I left my nerdy roots for a while but I'm embracing them again. Oooo, I can't wait to program a motion-activated Halloween spider and an automated hydroponics garden!!

Wish me luck on the remaining challenges!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fabric Covered Binders

Since I'm not able to do my three hour workouts this month, I've decided to tackle some of the 2016 Personal Challenges. This one was pretty awesome.

I decided that I needed some pretty binders for several things: kitchen appliance instruction manuals (I have a few), to-go/restaurant menus, household management folders, etc. I put this project off for a while because I thought for sure that I needed to match the decor of our new house...which will be accomplished this year (fingers crossed). At one point, I just turned all valley-girl and said, What. Ever! I decided to just pick some patterns with some colors I liked and go for it. Boom.

Here's what you need:

Binder, 1/2 yard fabric, paper/card stock to match, spray adhesive, scissors, tape measure, E6000, binder clips (or paper clips, if you're in a bind).

Get it?  People, I crack myself up!

The first thing I did was to put the fabric pattern-side down on my table. 

Measure out from the binder about 1 1/2 inches. Isn't that the cutest tape measure?

Mark it or just eyeball your cut line. Cut.

Go outside (yes, please) to spray adhesive all over the outside of the binder. Try to keep the spray even and don't make pools of it. It'll soak through!

Come inside and CAREFULLY place the binder on the awaiting fabric. Pick it up and make sure there aren't weird ridges or bubbles in the fabric. Fix what you can. Most spray adhesive is pretty forgiving for a few minutes.

Once you have done that, start applying the E6000 to the edges of the binder and work quickly to get the fabric in place. I went under the metal binder piece, so try to do that, if you can. Makes things perty.  PERTY, I say!

Leave the sides and corners for last. This is where the magic happens!  Lot of magic around here, people.

I did hospital corners on my binders.

Just look at that!
Once you finish with the gluing, use your clips to hold everything in place. I left mine overnight because I simply hate getting glue on weird stuff.

This binder is weird since it has a HUGE middle area (room for all my kitchen appliance manuals!), and I had some leftover fabric, so I covered the area with it. E6000, baby! More clips.

Here's where it all comes together. The paper. Measure it and cut it to fit where you like. I sprayed the paper (outside), brought it inside, placed it perfectly and smooshed it down.  You can smoosh, too. It's fun!

And here are the two I completed. Aren't they fab?

Your turn.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


If you remember my 2016 Personal Challenge post, you'll note that I have some Pinterest project to complete. I've done a few of them, but have yet to post them...until now. Exciting, isn't it?

Number 24 on the list includes Pearl Hairpins. If you check it out, it looks reeeeaaaallly easy. Let me be the first to tell you that making these is a real lesson in patience and determination. I had hopes of doing five today and finishing up with 20 little pearl ones tomorrow. Well, completing one was the beginning of the end. I'm lucky I got the second one done.

I took plenty of pictures up front...but I gave up the illusion that this is a quick how-to as soon as I had to start wrapping wire around stuff. Maybe my wire was too thick. Maybe I am clumsy. Maybe I'm making it easy for you to drop this project from your list. LOL

Anyway, I started with all kinds of hope and supplies, including beads, wire, wire cutters/needle nose pliers, super glue, bobby pins.

I thought I could just string wire through each bead and wrap, but that didn't work. The bead kept slipping to the wrong side and was just too jiggly.

I ended up bending the wire in half, crimping it and then gluing it into a bead.  Make sure you let everything dry.

*Magic happens*

along with some

*Magic Words*

Final product.

Wasn't that great? I have another one (one of the green ones, in honor of St. Patrick's Day), but at this point, you'll just have to imagine its beauty. I threw everything in a bag and don't want to see it for at least four days.

My cousin was under the impression that I had soldered the beads onto the bobby pin...and I think that sounds fabulous. Has anyone tried that? Oh, well. I'll try it.  Why not?

By the way, if anyone has tried this and found it to be easy, reveal your secrets. Now.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

I'm gonna explain...

Smiling through the pain...
So, all those who have followed my progress with the challenges will wonder why I stopped abruptly a while back. Welp...several reasons:

1. I didn't win the billion dollars the lottery had up for grabs, so, of course, depression...
2. I volunteered to work the Highland Games for a few days.
3. I hurt myself.

My version of hurting myself can look pretty benign. It can look like I pivoted slightly or even just straightened my leg. Yep, I can straighten my leg and not be able to walk for a few days. So, when I pair that with lots of challenges that actually test the control I have over my leg, I come out looking like a wimp.

I am trying to recover, and once I do, I'll pick up where I left off. I will probably use lots of kinesio tape and wraps and pain meds and cortisone shots (okay, maybe not lots of these), but I'll finish!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Yum-Yum Breakfast Bowl

If you know me, you know I am not a morning person. I can sleep through fog horns pointed directly at my face. It's true...and I've passed that trait on to my offspring.

One thing that will tempt me to shuffle out of my comfy bedroom is a concoction I lovingly refer to as my yum-yum breakfast bowl. It is sooooo good!

First step? Get all the ingredients you need, specifically:

1 scallion, sliced
1 blob of coconut oil
2 eggs, size of your choosing
1/2 avocado, checkerboarded
1 pile Tony Chachere's spice mix of choice

diced tomato, to taste
2 tbsp salsa
sliced jalapenos, to taste

I start by cooking my scallions in a big blob of coconut oil. Call me paranoid, but after scallions were the subject of quite a few foodborne illness breakouts, I couldn't eat them raw anymore.

After a minute or two, I add my eggs. I have experimented with the number of eggs I can consume at any given time. It's the three bears of eggs for me.  One is too little. Three is too much. Two is juuuuust right. I break the yolks and stir and stir and stir.

It's up to you whether you keep the eggs in long enough for them to dry out. I'm married to a dry-eggs guy, but there was a time that I ate runny yolks. Okay, I still eat runny yolks when I don't have a yum-yum bowl.

Transfer eggs to bowl of choice and start slicing your avocado. I use a fairly dull knife to do this because I don't want my knife going through the skin. After slicing and cross-slicing, I use a spoon to get all that goodness into my bowl. I have to point out that, before I halve the avocado, I wash the outside of it (because ew, germs).

Once I mix this all together, I cover it with Tony's. I stop one shake before I know it'll speak to me later in the form of heartburn.

Now, you could stop right there and start eating because I know it smells good. You could also add diced tomato or salsa, and even jalapenos, if you can handle them. My esophagus usually says no.

I know everyone is thinking 'what's up, girl, where's the bacon?' -- and you would be correct. Where?!  My bacon would have a whole post to itself. Today?  It's a day dedicated to my yum-yum bowl.

So, there you have it:  a good reason to get up in the morning.  Thank me after your first bite of bliss.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Day 17 Report Card

One ornament here explains the color scheme.
You can see from the picture that we are still celebrating Christmas. I realize its almost the middle of January but it's just now getting cold here (on occasion) and I wanted it to feel like a chilly Christmas. I also love the glow of the lights at night. Perhaps there a bit of love for a bohemian vibe there.

There's also the fact that I don't feel like getting into the attic. It's awkward and I have to stoop, and I am not a good stooper. Maybe my motivation is that this might very well be the last time I put Christmas away in this attic. The new house will, I hope, have an attic to rival an Amish barn.

Maybe not.

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Knee to chest, again. Love it. Could sleep like that. Maybe.

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Okay, at this rate, this journey is going to take a long time. Am I that inflexible? My hamstrings are almost refusing to stretch past a certain point, and I'm nervous about pushing it. I've pulled one of those muscles and it's not a fun or fast recovery.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- I am happy to take this day off and walk the dog instead. It's less stressful...except if you notice that a neighborhood dog has decided that your yard is a perfect place to squat. Oh, people. Pardon my French, but NON!

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- Went with this one. chirography: handwriting, penmanship; calligraphy.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- I am sooooo looking forward to the next rest day. ha ha!

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Dust seems to love our lamp shades. Anybody have any ideas for lamps that gather less dust?

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Yeah. Three sessions. Boom.

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- This is getting seriously shaky. I shake much.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Ooooo, burning!  Burning muscles!

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- I hope the fact that I still like these doesn't mean it's not working as well as it could if I hated them.

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- So, kinder is balancing chemical equations these days. D found a good nerdy joke relating to it:
I heard Oxygen and Magnesium are a couple.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- I'm busting these out with very little planning. I know for the non-challenge posts, I'll need more than one picture and will have to do actual research for my home-building posts (saying 'that thing that looks like a plank of wood but isn't' probably won't make readers understand a thing, unless I take a picture and draw an arrow to 'that thing.'). Grow with me, people.

By the way, if you were able to buy a ticket to the ridiculous jackpot, congrats! I went out this morning with that intention (just a couple of tickets, come on!), and they denied me. Their machine wasn't allowing them to sell anything, and now I smell conspiracy. What do you smell?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 16 Report Card

Weird Florida 1 of 12
Above is one of the Weird Florida things we went to see this past weekend. It's called 'Muse of Discovery' by Meg White. On the Weird Florida site, they call it the Half-Buried Giant Woman. It would've been cool to see it at night, since her blanket of greenery appears to be decorated with lights.

Guess what that means?  It means I get to check something off my personal challenges for the year.  Only eleven more Weird Florida things to go this year!  Now, for part 16 of my 30 day challenges!

30 Day Flexibility Challenge
 -- Today, I'm not tortured and enjoyed myself.  *yay*

30 Day Journey to Splits
 -- Put some official yoga moves in today.

30 Day Burpee Challenge
 -- *pant, pant* I broke that up. I can't run a marathon just yet.

30 Day Vocabulary Challenge
 -- I went to the original pin page. rutilant: having a reddish glow.

30 Day Back Challenge
 -- Rest day. There are too few of these for this challenge, I must say.

30 Day Cleaning Challenge
 -- Aww! D did this yesterday. Very sweet.

30 Day Wall Sit Challenge
 -- Getting close to the three-session mark with these. What's your max on these? Is anyone else doing these?

30 Day Plank Challenge
 -- Two sessions again, but really, the forearm plank is making this hard.

30 Day Arm Sculpting Challenge
 -- Day off! For the record, I would like a day when ALL physical work-out challenges allow me to veg.

30 Day Butt Lift Challenge
 -- The side-view is pretty awesome these days!

30 Day Mom Challenge
 -- C at 25. Driving. Working. Paying a mortgage. Whoa, you guys.

- 30 Day Blog Challenge
 -- Can you tell which days I'm feeling less than motivated with my words? I guess the good thing is that I'm meeting the challenge, and that's awesome. I know I won't be updating every single day once the challenges are over. Getting the feel of posting is the preferred outcome.

My husband found a hot dog place near his work. I think we'll visit in the next couple of weeks, so be expecting some pics of wacky dogs, you guys. I'll try to include the list of ingredients, just in case anyone wants to recreate said wacky dogs.