day 31: did we improve?

Wow did January fly by or what!? Crazy.

Today is the last day of Improving our little world 31 day challenge. I have been thinking  about this post all day, what to write, a project to share and I keep coming up with nothing. This isn’t normal for me, I always come up with something.  Seeing that the day is nearing the end, I have to get something on paper, or computer screen, so I guess a review of the month is what it’s going to be.

I do believe that we have improved our little world on this 31 day journey.  I have completed many of the “to do’s” from my list, although I still have more to do.  We have tried out some crazy for us things, such as No Technology day. Seriously, you should try it, it’s hard!

Quite a few spaces have been cleaned out and reorganized.  I didn’t blog about some of them, mainly because I got so into tossing stuff and organizing what was left, I forgot about blogging while working, and really if you don’t have before and after photos it’s not worth sharing.  We did take 4 trunk loads of donations to our local SPCA. Improving someone’s world I hope.

As for the posts I asked for your opinions, first I thank you and second here are the outcomes:

IMG_5735The E…it’s staying black, it’s totally grown on me. Perfect.

9closeThe Series of 9…. as of now, that orange canvas is still orange! Thank you to my Facebook friends who have given me some awesome ideas, I think I will be combining some of them. You know I will share the outcome, whenever that may be.

Okay stuck again, it’s 3 hours later and I need to just finish this.  Not to go totally off the subject here, but does this happen to anyone else. Needing to get something done and having no desire to 1. get it done and 2. don’t even know how to do so?  I am going to keep it simple and end this post like this:

Improving our little world, it’s been a success  There is more to do, and that’s good. Improving is for the year really.  You know I will be sharing many more things with you, I do hope you enjoy.signature

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day 30: improve gratitude

100_2038Growing up, my daddy’s best friends was Sherman. John Sherman to be proper, but we knew him as Sherman.  He was an awesome man and I can’t watch the 49ers play without thinking of him.  In fact he and my daddy used to get each other the “tackest 49ers supplies” they could find for Christmas.  I am remembering 49ers toilet paper at this moment.

Anyway, Sherman used to say “Have an attitude for gratitude.” Not sure if the saying comes from someone else, maybe it’s “famous,” to me it’s Sherman.  And I think it speaks volumes.  On this journey of improving our little world, I think it is important to have an attitude for gratitude.

I am very grateful for all we have. All the people in our lives.  But how often do we show and talk about how grateful we are for the people around us. I know I don’t, other than my family. But there are so many people we interact with daily, weekly that really should know that we are grateful for what they bring to our lives. Case in point for today, teachers.

Kiddo goes to a fantastic pre-school and her teachers are awesome.  They are the most caring, loving, playful women I think I know, at least in this town.  Kiddo adores them both. Why haven’t we, or I, told them we are grateful for there presence in kiddos life?  Well, today that changed.

IMG_5897We made these super cute button flower bouquets for them both. My mom, of course, is the one who came up with this super cute idea (in my world). They are so cute and different. Super easy to make too. Vintage buttons and S or P shakers, and some wire is all you need. Kiddo helped pick out the buttons, being very specific about what colors were right for each teacher. She even helped thread the buttons, it was a fun project to do together.

Both teachers were very surprised and happy with our little gift.  That made kiddo and me very happy. “Attitude for gratitude” is what it’s all about and truly it’s the little things that count.  So who’s next?signature

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day 29: a series of 9 – 1

9-1I can’t say that the series of 9 canvases are completed. I have one left. One.  And it’s making me bonkers.

It didn’t help that I woke up this morning with a nasty cold.  Really what the heck? I was totally fine yesterday, this morning I felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks. And kiddo, she didn’t even want to go to the park with her BFF for a few hours… shocking. So we had a not-so-lazy, lazy day.  Not-so-lazy lazy day? Yes. We stayed in our ‘jamas all day but I did make a to do list, and almost completed everything.  The day is still young, it’s only 4pm, so I will probably get a few more of these things done. As you can see, Canvases is on this list… arg!

Notice at the bottom of list I put, "Write to do list" that when, there is always something to check off right away :-)
Notice at the bottom of list I put, “Make to do list” that way there is always something to check off right away 🙂

I finished the “Myles” canvas pretty quickly.  I only had a few details left to finish up. I think it turned out pretty good for a novice painter.  Then I just stared at the blank ninth canvas.  After finishing a few other to do items, I painted it orange, thinking that corner needed a bit of orange. Now what? I don’t know. I thought of a carrot or an orange, but I think that’s the color talking to me.  Making me bonkers!

9close

Canvases Left to Right starting at top:

  • Hubby’s Quote: he has always wanted this saying hanging in the house, he finally got it
  • 3: The power of the number 3, we are a 3 person family, I have a connection to the number 3.
  • ARG!: help!
  • Myles: our kitty
  • Our wedding logo: we had a beach-y, picnic-y, laid back kind of party wedding
  • Chevron glitter stripes
  • Kiddo’s painting: stripes because “she wanted to”
  • Kiddo’s heart hands
  • My quote: it speaks to me, I like it.

This last canvas is making me crazy.  I looked back to my sketch book where i sketched and jotted down ideas for this project. Funny- I wrote down 9 canvases, but had 8 drawn and 8 ideas circled. Guess I couldn’t count that day.  The ideas I scratched then, still don’t work.

This is making me crazy, and of course now I am fixating on it. I don’t like being stuck like this.  Any ideas? Really I would love any ideas.signature

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day 28: the oh so evil…

Laundry basket. Yes you read that correctly. I said that the laundry basket is evil. Shall I explain?

For years I have lived a life without a laundry basket. Yes we have had a sorting basket for dirty clothes in the bedroom, but not a traditional laundry basket. So before said evil basket entered my world, when clothes came out of the dryer, they were tossed onto the sofa, folded and put away. No worries.

Now that evil laundry basket has entered my home, clothes come out of the dryer and get tossed into the laundry basket, laundry basket gets moved to the living room and that’s where it stays.  For days…

Even Myles likes the laundry basket, it's under this mountain somewhere
Even Myles likes the laundry basket, it’s under this mountain somewhere

Is it just me? Maybe because it’s new to me? I don’t know.  I just know that I am getting rid of it. My June Cleaver want-to-be self is getting “lazy” with this evil basket in the house. What’s next? A microwave. (LOL close friends know I don’t have a microwave, can you believe it! It’s not that I don’t want one, I live with “super duper tiny kitchen syndrome” and there isn’t any room for one)

IMG_5894Kiddo is starting to think it’s her new “cozy seat.” Not really happy about that.  So to improve this laundry evil, I either have to get rid of the clothes so I don’t have to do laundry – NOT going to happen, or the laundry basket has to go. Yep… bye bye laundry basket, you are evil and can not stay in our home anymore.  It’s back to old school laundry done, folded and but away for this June Clever.signature

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day 27: ONE YEAR

IMG_1615

I am so happy that we, hubby and I, made the switch to being vegan. We ususally say “plant based diet” because we are not “peta people” (sorry peta people) but I just don’t care about chickens (in fact I hate them!). We get “the look” when we say vegan- the look of “oh are you one of those peta people who think no animals should be harmed, do we need to tread lightly around you?” NO! We are vegan for health. Anyway back to our vegan one year awesomeness!

Thinking about how to blog about this day, I was going to share some recipes and vegan tips. But then I thought about all the questions we get asked all the time and decided answering these questions/statements would be the best way to celebrate.  So here we go:

questions1

Well, it’s simple. Health! Really this is the number one reason we switched our food world. We both wanted to loose some pounds, to date combined we have lost 85 pounds! (I still have more to go, but that’s another day). We both watched our fathers pass of cancer, no one should experience this, and we don’t ever want to be in that state.  In my opinion, diet is a huge part of the cancer epidemic. (I am not a doctor or scientist, this is just my theory.) Diet is not the cure for sure, but it does play a huge roll. The easiest way to be healthy is to eat health and for us, that’s plants.

questions2Well, yes you can. But I will tell you, this was a thought that I had too. I used to love cheese. Give me cheese and I was a happy girl. Not anymore. You would be amazed at how your taste buds change, cheese today smells like rotten milk- shocking because in essence that’s what it is.  I will admit, this Christmas I did have a slice of cheese, Jetost. My all time favorite food item during our Swedish Jul Fest.  It was okay, but it messed my tummy up for days, just not worth it, lesson learned.

questions4

Kiddo is almost vegan, let’s call her vegetarian.  She still eats yogurt (sometimes) and cheese on pizza but she is slowly not wanting it anymore or very little at that. We make our own pizza and her favorite is with pickles, broccoli and a little parmesan. She likes odd combinations of food, she get’s that from hubby! If we are out and about and she wants to eat meat or dairy that’s fine, she usually doesn’t feel good the next day, though.

questions5

Okay, don’t freak out, you can get enough calcium from plants. Yep it’s true. You don’t need to drink milk or eat milk products. It’s just not true. In fact there are studies that show when milk products were scarce (like during war time) the amount of Osteoporosis cases fell dramatically. I am not going to get into the details here.  There are many studies about this, if you want to know more, I will list our favorite resources at the end of this blog and you can read it for yourself.

questions7

Yes your body does need protein, but that does not mean meat or dairy.  Beans and nuts are full of proteins. Not to mention soy.

questions8

Really? Are you sure about that. All those people in countries that live on tofu, are there girls really developing too early? Are they having health problems because they eat to many soy products? Do they have higher cancer rates based solely on eating soy? Nope, nope and nope. We have been told this, true, but has anyone actually read about? I thought this before, but after reading about it, from many sources, i don’t believe it anymore. (again see my resources, find your own and form your own opinions)

questions9

Well, all restaurants serve salads of some kind. You might think that’s boring, but for us it’s perfect.

questions10

This is funny to me; Plants. We are Herbivores. We eat plants!  Carrots, lettuce, bok-choy, lentils, broccoli, white beans, kidney beans, tofu, rice, quinoa, apples, bananas, pears, chard, oatmeal, nuts, peanut butter,  butternut squash, spaghetti squash, berries, olives, pickles, leeks, mushrooms,  and avocados. This is just what we have in the kitchen right now. There are so many options.

You know what’s funny, once becoming vegan we felt that we had to defend ourselves why we eat this way. It’s bizarre.  I am pretty sure that no ones says “Don’t you think eating that animal will cause heart desease?” to you while you chow down a burger. It’s so funny to me. Why do people care so much about what we eat and why we do it. We don’t say “OMG I can’t believe you eat eggs!” but we hear “OMG you don’t eat eggs, that’s crazy! Where do you get protein from?” all the time.  I know the plant based diet is “strange” for some, it’s for sure not the norm, but for us it’s just how we eat.

I hope this doesn’t come across as being “preachy.” I am not one of those vegans who can’t stand it when others eat meat. I don’t care what you eat. Well, that’s not totally true. I do care, but I will never tell you what to eat, but if you ask, I will give you my opinion of a plant based diet. For us, we feel better, we sleep better (in fact hubby stopped snoring!), we have more energy, we are not tied to drinking coffee every morning to get going, our skin is clear and glowing, “blood flow” is amazing, our senses have changed (meat and dairy stink now!) and we are just happy with our choice.

Maybe you will try a few vegan meals? Maybe you think I am crazy to be an “herbivore”? Maybe you are vegan too? We are just so amazed at the difference in our lives, and to us that is the perfect reason to be vegan.

My top four resources for being vegan, plant-based, an herbivore:

  • Forks Over Knives (the documentary and the cook book. We watched this and the next day we made the change, cold turkey (ha ha ha), to a vegan diet)
  • The China Study (great amazing book that reviews studies done comparing diet to heath, cancer and heart desease.  This is a must if you doubt the power of plants)
  • Veganomicon (one of my favorite cookbooks, amazing food in this book)
  • Vegan with a Vengeance (another awesome cookbook, made many dishes from here all amazing)

opinion

This is day 27 of “Improving our little world.”  

day 26: it worked!

Okay, the little added pressure from yesterday sure worked.  I got super busy today! Not only did we have a wonderful lunch with my mother-in-law, I also got some of my to do list completed, almost!

I worked on the canvases that I posted about last week.  Only one more to go and I can show you the series of nine.  I have hung the canvases up already and I am loving it. Can’t wait to share it with you.

We also did a little baking. Kiddo’s birthday is a week away and I wanted to practice making her cake. Practice? Yep, because I never take the easy route, like baking a “normal” cake.  Truly it would make life easier, but that’s not how I roll.

rainbowcakeLast year, I made the seven layer rainbow cake.  It was awesome! The kiddo’s faces when we cut it open- priceless!  So how could I go from that to normal? Can’t. So this year it’s all about pok-a-dots.

IMG_5892I was so happy it worked! Now this is easy to do, but it takes forever! Really hours. But it’s so worth it right? Of course I wish this was my ingenious idea, but nope it wasn’t. Found the cake idea at Once Upon a Pedestal, you can see her awesomeness here.

How does this improve our little world? Well, items off the to do list- improvement! Not stressed about kiddo’s birthday- super improvement! (I can make anything into an improvement-  LOL)signature

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day 25: a little added pressure

deadlineI love this saying… and it is so true for me. I want to improve my procrastinating self, to just get stuff done ahead of time.  Or for that matter, just doing all the things on my to do list that I am just “ah” about. I have so many things to do, so many oh so not fun things to do, and I just keep moving them to next weeks to do list.

I feel that the blogging world adds some extra pressure and for sure deadlines to my world. January is supposed to be 31 days to improving our little world, and for the most part it has been, although not every day, like it should be.  I am not sure why I am in this state of “ah.” I have been thinking about it a bunch lately.  One thing that for sure makes me feel “ah” is missing my daddy. Today is his birthday and we should be celebrating with him, but we are not. Almost five years ago he passed; “cancers a bitch” as he said.

It’s almost as if I am stuck. Wait don’t get me wrong here, I love my little world, my hubby, my kiddo, my family and friends.  We are making “it” work so I can be home with kiddo while she is still young. I am very lucky.  We have a pretty carefree, fun world. But you know what, I am kind of over it; my biggest excitement of the day being “I did five loads of laundry and cleaned the kitchen…again.” blah…. Does anyone else feel this way?

What does this all mean? How can I improve? I need deadlines and pressure to improve my little world. That is- to do all the things I know I can do. The things I want to do. There aren’t really many things, what are those things:

  1. Improve “Vintage Princess by ME” – by improve I mean actually get all my inventory photographed, posted on etsy, make some marketing material and take that to local stores.
  2. Create a fun new resume and marketing (for lack of a better work) packet of my work as a cabinetry and furniture designer, send it to architects and designers and see if I can get some freelance work. (I would love this!)
  3. Finish, yes, finish all my U.F.O.’s (Un-Finished Objects). I have so many paintings started, a few organizing projects started, many sewing projects started… you see my pattern, all started- not finished.

Three little things. Simple and I feel like putting it out here, in the blogging world, it adds a little pressure to me. It’s what I need to improve my little world, which would improve our little world.  I hope you hold me accountable. Really! signature

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day 23: improving my mental image

319px-Venus_von_Willendorf_01
Venus of Willendorf

Alright, here we go. There are days when I feel like this. I know we all have these “fat” days. They suck! What’s up with them? For me, I really really try every day to have a good thought regarding my body.  I have never been the “skinny” one, and that’s okay. Really it is, that’s not who I am.  I have always been “thick” or “chunky” or “big boned” (I hate this one by the way- so stupid), anyway my point is that I will always be on the bigger side. It’s who I am. I have Viking blood, and that’s all there is to it.

After having kiddo, actually while preggers with kiddo, I received the dreaded oh so “lovely” stretch marks on my belly.  Hubby said one evening “wow it looks like she is trying to scrape here way out of your belly.” Take it in…. wasn’t great, but it is true.  Today I sometimes look at my belly and think, geez thanks kiddo for destroying my body.  I don’t like thinking that way, but I am pretty sure we all do, right?

14636767509344731_ZU7k8rtp_cThis morning I saw this saying on (shocking) Pinterest.  It made me cry and I can’t stop thinking about it.  I don’t know who wrote this, but whoever did, thank you.

This is how I should be thinking of the tiger scratched belly, and body for that matter. We are awesome creatures. Be proud of our bodies as they are. If you can improve on what you have, I know I can, then do it, but still be proud of what we have.

I have printed this saying out and taped it to my mirror.  I need to improve how I think and think of this daily.  I think that it would be a big improvement. Alright, enough on this, time to start painting…signature

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day 22: A vanity of her own

IMG_5879“I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright” I love it when kiddo sings this song.  I have no idea where she learned it, but I love it. She is a girly girly who likes to get dirty.  For Christmas she got a make-up set and a salon set, so of course she was in need of a vanity. Luckily for her, I like to be creative and figured out a super easy way to make one.

beforeIn college I made this table. Yep made it all by myself, I had to take a furniture construction class because if I “was going to design furniture I should know how to make it”.  It was actually a pretty fun class except for the table saw and after seeing a class mates table top fly across the room and impale the lockers I was freaked out by the table saw. Anyway, back to the table. We have been moving this around for years now and I thought it would be the perfect improvement and a great start for the kiddos vanity.

layoutoptI drew out a vanity “shape” and had hubby cut it out of ply-wood.  Then using my fabric hord, I found a piece that I have always loved and thought it would be perfect.

fabricI used the vanity top as a pattern and cut around it with a half inch seam.  Measured for length, cut out all the pieces sewed them together.  Added a tule ruffle at the bottom, why not right.  I used binder clips to hold the top to the table, so not the “proper” way but works. And just like that it was done.

IMG_5877A “vintage” vanity perfect for the almost 4 year old going on 16.  An absolute improvement to the table too.  Now I need a vanity of my own, adding it to the need to thrift list for suresignature

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