Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Forward

I'm really terrible at keeping New Year's resolution, but I make them every year anyway. This year, I'm trying to keep it simple:

Courtesy of Thirty Handmade Days

I want to get in shape (who doesn't?) and I think I have a do-able plan this year as well as a goal, subjective though it may be. In April I'll be on stage wearing a very skimpy costume in front of many friends, family, and strangers. I used to do that daily but it has been a while and since I quit dancing for a living, my body has changed drastically. So, instead of setting a number of pounds I want to lose or a weight I want to lift, my goal is just to be in shape so that I can feel confident in whatever the costuming team throws my way.

I want to be more responsible with my money (again, who doesn't?). Working part time and living off financial aid has been a unique challenge. I have a summer trip to FL planned and I need to be very mindful this semester of where my money goes otherwise I'll never make it. In the next few days I'm planning to sit down and draw up a budget for myself and see where I can save. Any tips you have to share are most welcome!

I want to share my time this year. I don't know if I'm selfish or lazy or introverted but I'm a master at getting out of social obligations and I think it's unhealthy for my relationships. This year, I want to give more time to the important people in my life so that they can know they are loved and respected as I hope they love and respect me.

I want to succeed at running my Etsy shop. I really, truly love making and giving gifts - blankets, scarves, hats, whatever - and it makes me so happy and proud when other people are interested in the things I'm making. I want to share my skills, my time, and my passion with anybody out there and Etsy seems to be a great platform for it. The extra income will certainly be a blessing too! Defining success is difficult but I'd like to aim for a sale a month to be conservative, we'll see if that's attainable...

As for my one word, confidence is something I need in all areas of my life and I think it will be my one word for a long time to come. I need to be confident in my body, confident in my talents, confident in my relationships... but most of all I struggle with confidence in my decisions. I chose to leave Florida a year and a half ago and return to school. I wonder daily if I made the right choice. While my friends are getting married and having babies, getting promotions, traveling the world, and chasing their dreams, I'm going to class with kids 10-15 years younger than myself, working part-time just to pay the bills, getting deeper in debt, and worrying if I've been left behind. I try not to dwell on it, I try to look on the bright side but what I really need to do is let go and commit. I made a choice because I thought it was the best one for my future. I need to give up on fear and jealousy and have confidence in my decision, confidence in my path, and confidence in myself. I'm playing a long game right now, it'll be a while before I graduate, a long while before I get a job I love, and a very long while before I get out of debt, but I want to have confidence in the future I'm pursuing so I can enjoy the present!

I hope you have all had a wonderful year and that the next will be even better. Whether I know you offline or only on, you have been a blessing and I'm so very grateful! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Final Final #42daysofvacation

Had my last final of the semester this morning. It went much better than expected… I think. I won't know for sure until grades are posted but I'm optomistic.

I spent most of the day yesterday studying and getting notes gathered - it was an open note, open book, open internet exam - which meant no need to get dressed.

I'm all about comfort in fashion and PJ's are the most comfortable clothes (if your PJ's aren't comfy, you're doing it wrong!) Also, those handmade little slippers are one of my favorite things ever. In fact, my toes were so happy, they inspired me to start another pair:
I think these ones will get bows instead of buttons. No reason why comfy can't also be cute, right?!

I also made another square for my "in it for the long haul" afghan:
I started this a while ago, someday it will be a giant blanket fit for a king (sized bed) but I love that it's a project I can work on little by little without having to worry about losing my place or anything. I just chose a yarn and colors that I love and scoured the internet for various granny square patterns and when I have a good stack, I'll start stitching them together. I thought it would be a fun group project, so if any of you crochet or are looking for a reason to learn, let me know! I can provide you with links to tips, tricks, and patterns and give you the info on the yarn I'm using and if you live near me, we can crochet together over a pot of tea! I just think it would be so amazing to someday sit around with my kids/nieces and nephews and tell them stories about all the friends and family represented in my afghan… OK, that sounds more like something you torture your grandkids with, but you get the idea!

So now that I'm officially on vacation it's time to wrap some gifts and get ready to head home for the holidays!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hoofers or Heifers? #42daysofvacation

Today was sortof kindof a vacation day. I spent the morning writing my last dance concert review of the semester. They are the bane of my existence, I don't know why I but I really hate having to write these things! And it's not that I don't love the excuse to go see a dance performance, but having to take notes during and BS a bunch of junk about my feelings afterward is literally painful for me.

I also had my final for Tap today. I'm actually sad it's over. Beside all the warm and fuzzy memories of the last time I took this class, I just think tap is awesome and fun and calorie-torching. I meant to video our routine for y'all but totally blanked on that til after class, so sorry… but we were dancing on the University Theatre stage and I have to admit, it got me a little more psyched about Gypsy next spring!

One more final to go, I'll be spending lots of time tomorrow prepping, this is the one I'm most nervous about. Thursday, after our final finals, I'm going drinking with a friend - who of course is graduating, dangit! - and then I get to put away all the notebooks, syllabi, and textbooks and start wrapping Christmas presents!

Monday, December 16, 2013

42 Days of Christmas (Vacation)

The end of the semester is finally here and I'm about to be completely free for 42 wonderful days! No classes, no work - one of the many perks of working on campus - and no plans whatsoever. Technically my break doesn't start for a few days, I do have one final tomorrow - tap dance, so more fun than final - and one on Thursday. I was just so excited though, I couldn't wait to start being a bum. I've pretty much been in my PJ's since Friday night and have done almost nothing productive since then.

What have I been doing, you ask? Playing video games, watching Netflix, and napping with my dog, duh! I have lots and lots of lazy/fun stuff planned and decided to photograph it all because I know how much you all look forward to such things. So, here's Day 1 of my 42 days of Vacation:

Started some fingerless gloves (pattern here). It has been silly cold lately and my poor hands do not like it. These beauties will let me keep warm while still becoming a Wii master or pressing next as I watch an entire season of British TV in one sitting!

Discovered Amazon's Subscribe & Save program. You can order certain household items and have them shipped monthly at a discounted price. I spent the entire morning researching the dog foods they offer and price comparing to what Stella eats now. I found a way to save $0.50 per lb so I'm calling this very productive!

As for future plans, I'm hoping to hang some art and posters, finally post my Wine & Dine marathon review, bake dog treats for Stella and her friends, and make and list some more items in my new Etsy shop, CalifornianCozy - I love custom orders BTW so let me know if you have something in mind! I also intend to yarn bomb my new-ish bed frame (and get better at photo collages): 

So stay tuned for the shenanigans!