Lately…

Watching… Victoria on Masterpiece. I finished The Crown a long time ago but still find myself thinking about it I’m hoping this new Masterpiece series will fill the void.

Reading…. The House on Tradd Street. I had not heard about this series until I plugged some of my favorite books into the What Should I Read Next? website. This is one of those books where the setting is almost a character in the book  I’m about a quarter of the way in and am really enjoying it. I’m hoping this is a series I can get into..

Wearing… Nike Tanjun Sneakers. Last year I got some New Balance sneakers that I hoped would cross the gap between stylish and functional. I never really liked how they looked or felt so I decided to try these. These are maybe the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I think these are going to get a lot of wear.

Listening to… Masters of Money Podcast. I think I’ve mentioned before that I was on the lookout for a good finance podcast. I’ve found them to be inspiring but difficult to find one that was a good fit for me.  I’ve really been enjoying this one so far. The episodes are weekly and just the right amount of time. I think this one could become a regular in my rotation.

Using… Tinycards App. I discovered this app while reading the Cool Tools blog. I was intrigued by the description and installed it. I’ve been playing with it and the nerd in me loves it. Basically it’s loaded with a bunch of flash cards on various topics. It begins by teaching you what’s on the cards, once you’ve mastered that it quizzes you. I’ve studyed paintings, city landmarks, and state capitols. It’s the perfect way to waste time yet still feel productive.

What have you been up to lately?

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Happy Weekend!

Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly between takes during filming of ‘High Society,’ 1956 via History in Pics

Yet again, I took an unintended break. This week has been kind of crazy, just one of those where nothing seems to go as planned. Now we have a big ice storm to look forward to.

I’m always interested in checking out new podcasts.

Six things you should know about flying.

Some minimizing inspiration.

Be that person.

Stories like this fascinate me.

I want all the chairs!

I’ve always thought it would be fun to go here.

LOVE this!

An interesting perspective.

Have a great weekend!

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Lately…

Watching… The Secret Life of Pets. I rented this a couple of weeks ago when Amazon had a .99 rental deal and finally got around to watching it this weekend. It was super cute. It made me wonder what my menagerie is up to when I’m not at home.

Setting Up… security cameras. A few years ago I setup security cameras at my house. Unfortunately the ones I bought didn’t last as long as I would have liked. After some research, I decided to go with these D-Link cameras. They seemed to be a good fit with my needs at a reasonable price. I was surprised that a lot of the cameras available seem to require you to run your video through their servers. That is an option with these, but not a requirement. They were incredibly easy to add to my existing system. So far, I’m pleased.

Reading… The Case Against Sugar.  Sugar, even natural sweeteners, don’t really agree with me. Thankfully, I think I’ve avoided them enough that I’m finally beginning to lose the cravings. When I heard about this book I thought reading it might help keep me away from the sweet stuff. I’m not very far into it, but the gist is that our bodies were not made to consume the sugar that most of us regularly do and that sugar is the cause of our culture’s chronic health problems.

Drinking… Pecan Malk + Cold Brew Coffee. I decided to treat myself to a tasty beverage the other day when I was at Natural Grocers. I intended to get some Maca Mocha but they don’t seem to carry it anymore, so I settled for Malk.  It was okay – a tad too sweet. I think I prefer my coffee black (and hot).

Wearing… Warby Parker Holcomb. I found myself needing to spend some cafeteria plan money at the end of 2016, so I ordered me another pair of glasses. I’ve been loving the ones with with the partially clear frames for awhile, but every pair I tried didn’t look good. I was excited that these worked out.

What have you been up to lately?

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Happy Weekend!

Andre the Giant, Mandy Patinkin, and Wallace Shawn in The Princess Bride, 1987 via History in Pictures

Big weekend plans? I think it’s going to be an indoor weekend around here. I have a few projects I’m working on that I hope to make some progress on – nothing too exciting.

Some great bullet journal ideas.

So funny!

I think I’m going to begin to utilize Evernote again this year.

It’s funny, in all the years my dad collected stamps, I never really thought about who designed them. That would be a pretty cool gig.

Now that I’ve scanned all my photos, I need to implement this system.

I better get busy, I’ve only read one of these.

The design nerd in me loves this!

Who knew? There’s a word for that.

If this doesn’t make you laugh, nothing will (be sure to read the comments).

Have a great weekend!

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Thrifty Thursday

One of my goals for 2017 is to reduce spending and increase income. I’ve decided to implement a weekly “Thrifty Thursday” post where I give myself assignments and write about the results. I think too often we, or at least I, look at things too broadly, get overwhelmed and end up not doing anything. I’m hoping if I take small steps every week, by the end of the year I will have made significant progress towards my money goals.

This week’s assignment is to review my grocery spending and figure out ways to bring the cost down. As I’ve mentioned before, I primarily follow a paleo diet. If you aren’t familiar with paleo, it consists of whole foods, mostly proteins and fruits/vegetables – no dairy, grains, or legumes. It also focuses on eating mostly organic, free range and grass fed. If you aren’t used to eating this way it probably sounds a little crazy, but once you’ve tried it and feel significantly better, you become a believer. This way of eating is not inexpensive, but I figure that I’m saving in other ways so it’s worth it. I would like to get the cost down as much as I can, so this coming week my assignment is to explore ways to do that.

A few things I plan to do are:

  • limit myself to grocery shopping once a week (multiple stores in one day is okay)
  • make sure I’m eating everything I purchase
  • compare prices to make sure that I’m getting the best deal.

Since I eat very little processed food, there won’t be much, if any, couponing involved. I’m just going to have to be resourceful and figure out the best way to keep the cost down. Next week I will share the results.

Is there anything you’d like to be different about your money habits?

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Life in Photos

It’s been so long since I posted photos, some of these are a little old.

my favorite fall tree

 

sunrise

 

sunset

 

old meets new

 

river of time

 

penguins

The penguins at 21C were my favorite. They turn and follow you around. It’s mesmerizing.

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2017: Create

Boy am I fickle, I spent most of 2016 simplifying my life – so much so that I was certain that my word for the year was simplify. I was surprised when I looked up my 2016 declaration post and found that my word had been LEAP; I guess I leaped into simplifying. I don’t think I can even begin to express how much simplifying has changed me. I was never technically a hoarder, but looking back, I realize how much I held on to things. Either there was sentimentality surrounding those things or I was certain I might need them someday. Letting go has really freed me mentally to begin to focus on what’s important to me.

When I left my full-time job in December of 2010, I was hoping to focus on creative pursuits. Unfortunately, it didn’t really play out that way. I think a few things got in the way. First off, I was pretty hurt about how things transpired at my old job. I felt like I’d been a good employee and was kind of left out in the cold when the law firm shut its doors. Instead of letting go, I held on to those feelings more than I should have. Second, my dad’s health began to really decline around that time and I wanted to spend as much time with him as I could. I was thankful that my schedule was flexible enough to do that. Finally, my health tanked around that time.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in early 2010. At that time especially, and probably still today, most doctors felt that the only change this diagnosis required was taking synthetic thyroid medication. Unfortunately, I did that for awhile and found myself with really high inflammation levels and feeling lousy and really run down. In the last couple of years, I’ve found doctors that approach the diagnosis with a holistic approach, treating it with changes in diet and natural thyroid medication. My health and energy level has improved dramatically after beginning to follow this protocol.

In addition to simplifying my diet, last year, I also began to focus on reducing stress and all the extra stuff. I got rid of a LOT of stuff and really made a change in my mindset when it comes to stuff. At some point, a switch flipped and I realized I don’t need all this crap – in fact, the less crap the better. I’m not finished getting rid of stuff, but I feel like I’ve made enough progress that it doesn’t require quite as much focus. So this year, my word is CREATE.

Right now, I think that means creating on a daily basis. I am going to dive into lettering and surface pattern design. In January, I’m participating in the #ShowMeYourDrills Challenge. I got an iPad Pro & Pencil and am planning to devote most of the month to learning how to use it for lettering and design. I will also continue to create space in my home/mind for things that are important to me. As the year progresses, I hope to begin creating things with my hands again (crocheting and maybe learning macrame) plus I want to begin to create music again (playing the piano, guitar, and ukulele) and maybe finally create an outdoor space that I love.

What is your plan for 2017?

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Lately…

I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. I didn’t intend to take most of December off, but it seemed to work out that way.

Watching… Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. I had planned to watch this when I heard it was coming out and then completely forgot about it until a friend posted about it on Facebook. I blew through the first five episodes. It’s scary and fascinating.

Eating… at Mary Eddy’s. I’ve been wanting to try this place out since it opened. They were very kind to modify the gyro for me into a gyro salad. It was delish! It was fun to see what they’ve done with the old Ford assembly plant and check out the museum. There were definitely some interesting pieces of art.

Wearing… cashmere. I bought a cashmere sweater from Garnet Hill a couple of years ago. I loved it so much that I really wanted to replace most of my sweaters with cashmere. I bought another one from Nordstrom on Black Friday and have worn it at least once a week since. It’s definitely part of my ‘fewer but better quality’ philosophy.

Loving… iPad Pro. I got the 12.9″ iPad Pro and I LOVE it! I’m learning how to use it in lettering work and I hope to use it for surface pattern design work as well. It’s pretty much taking the place of my laptop – in fact I’m using it to write this post. I wasn’t sure which size to get, I’m glad I went for the bigger one.

Reading… Living Etc. I’ve been wanting a subscription to this British shelter magazine for awhile, but the print version is over $100 for a year. I periodically check for it online and finally found a reasonable price when shopping through the Ebates app. I’m not sure if it was an app exclusive or if I could have got the same deal through the Ebates site (the price straight from Zinio was almost twice as high). If you haven’t used Ebates, I highly recommend you check it out.

What have you been up to lately?

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Merry Christmas!

Mailman N. Sorenson poses with his heavy load of Christmas mail and parcels, Chicago, 1929 via History in Pictures

Are you ready for Christmas? I still have some things to do and I am SO VERY TIRED. Next year I’m preparing earlier.

Looking forward to doing this one day next week.

I want this for my desk.

This place looks cool but I wonder if I would feel like I was in a fish bowl.

I think I learn something new about my iPhone every day.

Speaking of iPhones, if you have the 6S, you might want to check to see if yours is part of a battery recall. I had mine replaced this week.

Love this banner.

This makes me want to move to Beaufort, SC.

I think I could waste a lot of time on this website (looks like I should move to Croatia or Spain).

Love this tiny home.

Have a great weekend and Christmas!

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Lately…

Reading… Cooking for Picasso. I just began this one but think I’m going to enjoy it. The reviews I’ve read mentioned some of my favorite characteristics in books; it’s set in an “exotic” locale and weaves in a bit of history – two of my favorite things!

Watching… Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things. I’ve been wanting to see this since it came out earlier this year. When it became available on Netflix last week, I couldn’t wait any longer. It focusses on overconsumption and the benefits of minimalism. I found it very inspiring and suspect I will watch it frequently when I need a minimizing boost.

Eating… Spaghetti Squash. Spaghetti squash is a life-saver for a former pasta eater that tries to eat gluten free. If you make it in the instant pot, it’s even easier than cooking pasta. This recipe is the simplest way to do it.

Experimenting… with creating a healthier Dr. Pepper Copy Cat. I think I’ve shared my love of Dr. Pepper in the past. I don’t drink it as much as I used to but for some reason have had a real craving lately. I decided to try and find something that had a similar flavor that could help satisfy those cravings. I think I found a pretty good substitute. I mix a little Blackberry Hint Water with some Tart Cherry Juice and a tiny bit of vanilla extract. I add that to some carbonated water from my SodaStream. It’s definitely not as sweet as a Dr. Pepper but it has a similar flavor. Yum!

Not Loving… this weather. We’ve had the coldest temperatures that we’ve had in a least three years. Not. A. Fan. It’s too cold to walk the dogs so they are all over me. We all need some exercise. Hopefully this is the worst of winter and it gets better from here.

What have you been up to lately?

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