Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It's 2013 already???

I have to say that with all the things that happened in my life in 2012, I - one - never thought the year would end, and - two - can't believe it went by so fast. Is that even possible?

To give you a quick recap of my year -
Game Day at MHS
  • I moved three times and now am living in my 4th Vermont town in 12 months. I now live in Montpelier (where I hope to say). Over 2012 I was a resident of Barre Town, Barre City and Marshfield as well. (boy did this confuse the official polling officials on election day - since I was somehow registered in every one of those towns!). My housing ranged from a 2 bedroom house, to only having a small bedroom for myself to sharing a 1.5 bedroom cabin to living in a 2 bedroom apartment.
  • Finalized my divorce - this was tough, but ended up being one of the best things to happen. My ex-husband and I are still friends and parted amicably and without needing to go to court. With the split I went for having 2 dogs to just one. Whew. 
Me and Odin snuggling in our newest home
  •  Coached JV Girls Soccer at a local HS.
  • Ran and finished 4 half marathons!
  • Cheered my brother on as he completed his first Ironman!
  • Decided to try out online dating - and met a special someone! 
Me and family with our Ironman!
I am sure there are a few things I am missing in there, but with the whirlwind that was 2012 I am not surprised that something got left out. As for the challenges I set for myself at the start of 2012 I can say that I fulfilled some but not all of them. I know that I didn't go through my things every day of the year to find one thing to get rid of - but with packing and unpacking my life 3 times I purged far more than 365 items!
Heading toward the finish of my 3rd half!

And what became of the other challenge of not buying anything new unless absolutely necessary - I have to say that I failed at that one. Unfortunately for me I tend to submit myself to retail therapy when stressed or upset. So, during some of the harder months I did go out and but new things (some necessary, so very unnecessary). Although buying more clothes was excessive at times, I believe I have done better than years past. Maybe I was secretly hoping that the Mayans were right and with the end of the world I wouldn't have to worry about my credit card bills. As I am sitting here on January 2nd 2013 - guess the Mayans were wrong!

So....2013

What do I have on tap this year you ask? I guess I haven't thought about it too much yet, but sitting here now this is what I have come up with
  • Pay off my credit cards-Considering I don't keep them in my wallet I don't need to worry about using them. My goal is to also pay more than the minimum monthly payment and make a good dent in what I owe.
  • Save money! No really, I want to save money!  I have set a budget for myself and goals. Using a great secure website - mint.com -  I have been able to see all of my expenses - track what I am spending money on and set goals for myself. I also recently refinanced my car and a personal loan I had and am not saving $200 per month! Whoot whoot! 
  • Continue to look for things I don't need anymore. Like those awesome jeans that don't fit anymore that I have held onto for more than a few years for when I fit in them again. My co-worker AG and I actually just set a competition between ourselves to see who could get rid of the most items during the month of January! The prize you ask? Just the satisfaction of being on our way to minimalism!
  • Continue to work on reducing waste through smarter purchasing. This for me mostly means thinking harder about packaging when grocery shopping.  
  • Get back to doing some fun re-use crafting! I am hoping that whatever household items I may need to can create or find an alternative using recycled materials or items. 
  • Try not to buy new things unless absolutely necessary!


Wow - a more exhaustive list than I thought I would come up with! Overall this year I am just hoping to live with less, not worry about money and just enjoy life. 
 

  


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

365 Challenge- January In Review & Tuesday Night Quick Craft

The Challenge

So, January has come and gone and I am well settled into my challenge. I have been over-eager these past few weeks finding things to get rid of. I've done my best to stop myself from piling things up. With the prospect of my moving in the near future, I've found it hard not to do. To recap the last few weeks- I've decided to separate with eight strings of icicle lights (that work), but that I didn't even bother to hang this past December. The last week of the month I ended up with a random assortment of items that I found very easy to part with. With that said, one month (and 31 days) down, and eleven months (and 334 days) to go!

 

Tuesday Night (Not So Quick) Quick Craft

For the past several weeks my sister, M and I have been trying to implement a new craft night - Make-It Mondays- where we get together, eat dinner and do a fun craft. Well - last week she came over and ended up cooking me dinner (at my house) and nothing was crafted. Last night was an obvious bust (M was feeling under the weather and had grad school work to do). So the Make-It Monday craft turned into a Tuesday Night Quick Craft - although it wasn't as quick as I thought it would be.

Since I made the dinner tonight (meatloaf, green beans and butternut squash), M picked the craft. We decided on making t-shirt tote/produce bags. M found the idea online on another super awesome craft blog (all thanks to Stumble).

We picked out a few t-shirts and went to work.




We turned the t-shirts inside and used a fabric marker to outline our bags. We decided that we would each make three bags of different sizes and styles.






                                                       Bag number one cut out and pinned.






Next came sewing.



After they were sewn we drew lines where we planned to cut slits.


After cutting the slits we went back and sewed over the seam (on the outside) for extra durability.
 The result, some great all -purpose bags made out of unwanted t-shirts!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Night Quick Craft

Project materials
I've started to set aside items that I think could be used in random crafts. On this rainy Tuesday evening I went ahead and picked up the orange mesh from the top of a clementine box. I had been eye-ing them for several days and had an idea.

I had bought some small basic wooden frames from Joann's this past summer. I had taken the time to paint the frames, but had never got around to using them.

Using a staple gun I attached the mesh to the frame.

 After trying to organize my earrings "neatly" on the edge of the bathroom sink for weeks on end (unsuccessfully I might add), I decided I needed a better system. Using the wooden frames and the orange clementine mesh I made cute and practical frames for all my earrings.




This project took less than 15 minutes, keeps plastic out of the landfill, looks great, is functional and should last me a good long time!
















































































































































































 
 






First one done!
I never said I was concerned about hanging things evenly!