Let’s Try That Again, Shall We?


So, that was an embarrassingly awkward silence from over here.

February has been a real February, if you know what I mean, and I’ve fallen off the wagon of posting and lost a little motivation.  We got sick, some life stressors, blah blah blah.  Anyway,  to get back to it, I figured I’d update what’s been accomplished in the 52 goals this year.

1.  yellow Hermione socks
2.  hand and lip balm
3. turquoise and white cowl
4. black and white cowl
5. “Work Hard and Be Kind” canvas (project with my kids)
6. Seahawks cowl
7.  handmade Valentines
8. Teal waffle weave socks
9. DIY vanilla extract (in progress)
10. knit dishcloth (in progress)

Given that the last two are ‘in progress,’  I’m either ahead by 3 or 1, depending on how you count it.  Happy with this.

1. Mockingjay
2. Good Omens
3. Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey 
4. Little House in the Suburbs 
5.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane
6.  The Rosie Project
7. Hyperbole and a Half 
8. My Story
9. The Fault in our Stars
10.  Where’d You Go, Bernadette 

In Progress: Curtsies and Conspiracies, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Anansi Boys.  Ahead of the game here, which leads me to where I’m absolutely not ahead of the game: new recipes.

1. pasta with peas and pancetta
2. spinach quiche
3. peanut butter blondies
4. orange chicken stir-fry
5. gator tail pasta knock off
5. slow-cooker chicken and dumplings

I’m one recipe behind as of this week, and I suppose that’s not really all that bad.

So, that’s where I stand as February wraps up.   In other news, our backyard is taking shape this year, as we are adding 4 raised bed gardens and our chickens continue to do well.  I may post weekly updates as spring turns the corner.



Like a candle, burning at both ends


I didn’t mean to take a break  there.  Last Thursday, I found myself sitting on my bum, remembering that I hadn’t written an inspiration post, and that I had nothing to update, because I hadn’t finished anything.  I inhaled, and said quietly, “I am burned out.  How am I burned out already?”    I tried to find the source of the burn out.  Had I started too fast?  Had we been too busy?  Too bad, a busy weekend was coming up.   In spite of the business, I slept like a rock most weekend nights.  Usually insomnia keeps me up late, but provides ample crafting and reading time.

Earlier this week, my older son and I both woke feeling questionable.  Question Answered.  So, I’m battling a virus over here that’s left me feeling uninspired and burned out.  So, I’ll be back on Monday to share some inspiration, but for now, I’d love to hear what gets you going when you’re feeling like throwing in the towel. 

Tuesday Inspiration


free printable source

In last week’s inspiration post, I wrote a little about the phrase “I don’t know how you do it.”  I thought I’d spend a few posts addressing that.  When someone is forming a goal, there are a few ways to go about it.  You’ve got the S.M.A.R.T. goals assessment, which I think has a lot of merit.  There’s also the “one goal” method, which feels like S.M.A.R.T. goals, all grown up.  

Before you can start either of those approaches, however, it’s important that you believe you can.  I know, this sounds so cheesy, but it’s that cheesy because it’s basic.  Belief is the foundation of any action you want to take.  If your goal is weight loss, and you start off by listening to the voice in your head reminding you of all your failures, you are certain to repeat the past.  If you set out to train for a marathon figuring you probably won’t finish, you’re done before you start.  

When I chose to do my 52 books/projects last year, I knew it was a big goal.  I really made the decision in early spring, and I was already behind.  I knew it would be work, but I also believed that the people raising their eyebrows were wrong.  

There are two quotes that I’ve come across as I’ve been thinking about this topic.  The first is from Sarah Silverman, who said ” Stop telling girls they can be anything they want when they grow up. I think it’s a mistake. Not because they can’t, but because it would have never occurred to them they couldn’t.”   The second came as I was watching the NFC playoff game, seeing Russell Wilson interviewed after.  He said the team started the season with the question “Why not us?” in mind.  

So, if you’ve got a big goal, silence the doubts, and assume you will succeed. Why not you? 

Update: January 24


This week has been a good one for getting stuff done.   I’m going to apologize for the quality of these pictures up front.  I need to get used to my camera, and instagram is just faster.

Projects: This week, I managed to complete three.  The canvas above was completed with my kiddos. (Back story:  Every morning, I tell my son “work hard, be kind” as I drop him off at school.  We needed the quote at home, too.)  I need to incorporate the boys more into these projects.  At least once a month, I think.  We all love it, and I think it gives them a sense of pride to see what they’ve done.   I also completed two of the reversible cowls in the picture below: the turquoise one pictured, and another in black and white.  This takes me to 5/52 projects, and I’m excited to be ahead of the game.

Book:  This week, I finished listening to Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  Wow.  It’s so well done, I really recommend it, but not as bed time reading.  Listening to Gaiman read his own work is a treat.  I’m also 2/3 of the way through The Rose Project, which is really charming and delightful.  

Recipe:  This week, to motivate my kids to try the new recipe, I decided to throw dessert into the bargain.  I modified Joy the Baker’s latest blondie recipe to use  what I had on hand.  Then I attempted a non-recipe idea from an episode of Restaurant Impossible based in my hometown, and both were big winners.  The rolls I meant to make last week just didn’t happen, because the soup they were supposed to be paired with turned out terribly.

Coming up this week: 

Project: I think I’m going to make one more of the reversible cowls for myself, in green and navy to wear Superbowl Sunday.  Go Hawks!
Book:  I’ll finish The Rosie Project, and then I think I’ll take on The Magicians.  For an audiobook, I just checked out  Where’d You Go, Bernadette. 
Recipe:  Orange Chicken Stir Fry

If you’ve set goals for the year, especially a 52 goal, I’d love to hear bout it. For updates on my projects as they happen, you can check me out on Instagram.

Have a great weekend!

Monday Inspiration


image source 

I’ve heard a lot of “I don’t know how you do it,” or some variation on that when I talk to people about my goals for this year.  I’m not really sure how to respond to that.  I’m working on putting my thoughts together in a cohesive way about that.

One thing I can say, though, is that reaching these goals isn’t about any huge efforts all at once, but about consistently making progress everyday, and that is what this week’s article is all about.  Small consistent effort, and creating a habit of progress.  I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out.   Have a great week!

Update: January 17


This week has been a great catch-up week.  I finished my socks plus another project, got ahead of the game with reading, and rocked the party with my a new recipe.  Still excited and motivated.

Books:  I finished Good Omens, then tore through Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey in one sitting, and followed that up with Little House in the Suburbs. I recommend all of them.

Projects:  The same night I finished the socks, I got an idea for the world’s laziest project.  I was gifted some beeswax at Christmas time from a beekeeper friend.  After reading up on homemade balms, I put the wax in a jar with coconut oil (1 part wax to 2 parts oil), and set it on a candle warmer. Occasionally, I’d walk past and swirl the mixture around.  Once it was all melted, I took it off the warmer and let it harden.  Best lip/hand balm I’ve ever had, with very little effort.

Recipe:  This quiche was awesome. And with just four of us, it yielded some great leftovers.  This recipe from smitten kitchen was outstanding.  I used Joy the Baker’s no-roll crust recipe, and they were perfectly paired.  My husband said that the crust tasted like it had pretzels in it.

This week: 

Book:  The Rosie Project  (this one came highly recommended, and  the kindle version is $1.99 at this moment)
Project:  a collaboration with my kids inspired by this one
Recipe:  These rolls will make a nice addition to some split pea soup I’m planning on for this weekend.

Monday Inspiration


make no comparisons

Image Source

As my intention for this year’s goals are to encourage growing, not just coping, this article really spoke to me.  Falling behind last week had me doubting myself and my decision to try to make all of this happen.  Maybe I should have gone smaller.  Maybe I made goals too big.  So when I read “If I let that feeling take hold too strongly, I’ll start imagining friends and colleagues critiquing my skills or thinking poorly of my work.  This inevitably causes nothing but an overwhelming, unrelenting fear that puts me right back in that school bus seat:  hoodie pulled up, frozen and hiding from the world.”  As I read, I felt inspired to press forward, stop doubting, and get back to work.  I hope you’ll take the time to read this powerful article over at Darling Magazine.  

The Discipline of Discomfort