Monday, February 28, 2011

No Buy Month Finale

I feel like this was a complete disaster! Can I really not go a month without buying a non-necessity?!? How do the people that don't buy for an entire year do it?!?

My purchases for the second part of February included some sale clothes at REI for the kids, a piece of jewelry to benefit a cause (why didn't I just donate money??), some frames for prints I've been wanting to hang, a birthday present for Jack and a few t-shirts for me (I should NEVER go into Ross or TJ Maxx "just to look." Argh!). I could probably justify the first few, but I won't. The t-shirts for me? Pure lack of self control.

It was even a short month! But at least it is over.

And, on a positive note, there were a lot of things that I did NOT buy. Maybe I'll try again in April...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Front Range Modern Quilt Guild

I first discovered the Modern Quilt Guild a year or so ago. Thought it was great but was disappointed that there was no guild nearby. (For one crazy-filled, split second I thought about starting it myself, but then I came back to my senses... I can't even handle the few things I already do!) So I sorta forgot about it. Then a few weeks ago I meandered back to the MQG website and saw that a Front Range Modern Quilt Guild had been started last fall by Melissa. I immediately joined and am so thrilled to have found this group!
Project Modern
Last weekend was my first meeting (other than a leadership meeting - somehow I've found myself to be secretary of the group. Perfect job for me!) and the group's first sew-in. Other than my days with Miss D and my home economics class in junior high, I haven't really ever sewn with anyone else. It was so encouraging to see everyone pulling out their machines and their projects. I got a good start on a new quilt (although I wasn't supposed to start anything new until I finish some of my other WIP...).

Mid-way through our sewing escapades, we all stopped and did a project together. Angie from the little store Crafty Laine gave us all kits for making little flower pins. They are so cute and so easy. I went home that night and made a pile of them while watching a movie with the kids. I glued a hair clip onto one that I gave to Kate for her birthday.
The whole day was so inspiring, and then I haven't even taken my sewing machine out of its travel bag since I got home! Mostly because I've been ripping stitches all week. And I did a lot of organizing in my new sewing room including sorting through all my scraps last night. I'm heading up to my little room to sew as soon as I hit "publish."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday

I still can't believe that my first baby is 7 years old. That means she is closer to being a teenager than being a newborn. It was a fine birthday. Donuts, balloons, flowers and a new outfit in the morning. Cupcakes and a visit from Nina at school. Her favorite meal of cheese soup and crescent rolls for dinner followed by too many presents and a cake she frosted and decorated herself.

Look at that toothless grin!
See that cute hair clip? I learned how to make those last weekend. So easy and so cute.
Beautiful cake
I would really like to write all about Kate here, but I can't find the time now. I might come back and add it all in soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daybook 2.22.11

FOR TODAY (or rather this evening...)
Outside my window... almost dark but I can still make out the shapes of Oscar and Nina stalking squirrels together.

I am thinking... that tomorrow is Kate's last day of being 6. And how I only get glimpses of the baby she was when she is deep asleep. And how in another 7 years she'll be a full fledged teenager.

I am thankful for... a good run today. 5 miles in perfect running weather. I needed a good run just for the mental boost.

From the kitchen... left over tater-tot casserole from dinner sitting on the counter (
I needed some comfort food tonight!) Quinoa on the stove to make my burrito filling that I like for my lunches. Plans for a birthday cake that has been described to me in detail.

I am wearing... old comfy blue jeans, an old t-shirt
, a thick wool sweater, and my pink fuzzy slippers (I always have those on my feet!)

I am creating... I've been doing much un-creating lately. I wasn't satisfied with the quilting stitches in the baby quilt I'm making, so I've been ripping the out the last few days. I've also been pulling out the crochet scarf that I thought was too long.

I am going... to bed early tonight. I'm already showered so I only need to put on PJs and brush my teeth.

I am reading... STILL listening to Pillars of the Earth on my iPhone. Only a couple hours left. Haven't started reading anything new. Maybe I'll start when I get into bed early tonight.

I am hoping... some secret hopes.

I am hearing... the sounds of Matt putting the kids to bed upstairs, and Nina's collar jingle as she moves between rooms.

Around the house... all kinds of re-organizing I want to get done, especially in my new sewing room. I'd like to move out the twin bed that is there and replace it with my red rocking chair. The guest room/Matt's new office needs some sprucing up also. And the basement. Must set aside some time to pick through all the junk that has accumulated there. Also have a few prints to frame and hang. And my office. Yikes!

One of my favorite things...
Zen timer app for iphone. I love the "singing bowl" that begins and ends my meditations.

A few plans for the rest of the week: tennis lesson, making a new ironing board cover with Miss D, Kate's birthday, dinner with a friend I haven't seen in a long time, and movie club.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... the kids with Miss D. We took her out to dinner on Friday evening, and she provided a chocolate cream pie for dessert. I feel so blessed that we have this friend in our life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Direct Mail

I'm having a lovely quiet morning. I was up early, meditated, and enjoyed some quiet time with my chai tea before the masses descended into the kitchen. Now that everyone is off to school and work, I'm getting items on my to do list ticked off much faster than normal. Mornings are definitely my higher productivity time, but I rarely have free time in the mornings.

One thing ticked off my to do list was to contact the Direct Marketing Association to be taken off mail lists. Seems like the junk mail has been steadily increasing again. Especially catalogs. I used the registry at DMAchoice.com. I had to register and then go through the "Manage My Mail" process. I still need to go back and do it for Matt. He's sometimes a bit trickier because he has mail come to both Matt and Matthew plus a couple different prefixes. Oddly we also get frequent junk mail using Matt's dad's name with our address. I need to figure out how to fix that.

I'm also planning on checking my catalogs over the next month and updating my choices on CatalogChoice.com. I noticed a significant decrease in catalogs when I did this a few years ago.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Daybook 2.15.11

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... the sun is SHINING, there are birds at the feeder, and my hammock is swaying and beckoning me to come relax.

I am thinking... about spring break and summer travel plans. So many destinations, so little time.

I am thankful for... my healthy body. And my children's healthy body. And my husband's healthy body.

From the kitchen... mine is quiet other than the tea kettle steaming. Weekend leftovers for dinner tonight and probably tomorrow also.

I am wearing... blue jeans, a blue
bamboo t-shirt I got for Christmas from cousin Marika, a bright colored woven belt, and my pink fuzzy slippers.

I am creating... still working on the quilt for a wee one. Haven't made much progress since last week. Would like to have it basted by the end of the week. I also finished a crocheted infinity scarf, but I'm not happy with the length.
Pulling it out to start over.

I am going... on a run this afternoon and to an information session for an advanced degree program this evening.

I am reading... all my organization books and still listening to Pillars of the Earth on my iPhone

I am hoping... to start some landscape projects soon. We are going to build a little rock wall, a treehouse/playfort for the kids, and a more permanent raised garden bed for me.

I am hearing... the white noise of my space heater warming my feet. And my stomach growling.

Around the house... there is a delay in our window install, so my house continues to be a bit chaotic. Having some light fixtures replaced and planning some new lighting.

One of my favorite things... my frother. So completely luxurious and unnecessary but so wonderful for making chai.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Miss D should be discharged this week so I'll be with her a lot to ease the adjustment back home, yoga with a friend, tennis with Matt, sew along with
Front Range Modern Quilt Guild

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... Jack's reading has just taken off! Some of my favorite times are quiet reading with my kiddos.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

We started out the day with heart shaped pancakes. The kids were thrilled. I also served them "pink ice cream" (frozen strawberries, apples and bananas left over from a fondue party Saturday night whipped up in the blender). Doesn't get better than that for breakfast!

(We were supposed to have heart shaped rice crispy bars after school, but I... uh... ate them... ALL!)

Matt and I are ending the day with dinner at Tapateria. It is supposed to be real tapas. Not small plate, but real, Spanish tapas. I hope so because I love real Spanish tapas. Matt and I haven't been out to dinner on Valentine's Day in a long time, if ever. Kinda excited. I'm even going to wear a red dress!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

No Buy Mid-Month Check-In

So I've purchased a few things... BUT it is not in what I have purchased but in what I have NOT purchased that shows the effectiveness of the exercise. I'm not going to list all the things I've wanted to buy to save space and face. I will admit to what I have purchased, and, of course, give you my justifications for each...
  • Running shoes - I was using old shoes (and the bitter cold!) as an excuse not to go out. No more excuses now. Yep. I'm going to start back today. Yep. Just after I get a few other things done...
  • Labels - I use these in my planner/organizer. I was out and figure there is no reason to let me organization slack because I can't buy more.
  • Box of Sharpies - shouldn't have purchased these. Should have just used all the old pens I have in my desk drawer. Instead, I'm using the opportunity to clean out all those old pens (some dating back to high school and college! Yikes!) to make room for the new Sharpies.
  • Airplane ticket to Minnesota - not sure if this qualifies in my no buy month. I think it falls more under the experience category in which case I shouldn't get dinged. But I'm admitting to it anyway.
Sampling of what I wanted to buy but didn't: immersion blender at Tuesday Morning, Pillow Pets for Valentine's Day gifts to the kids, fabric and more fabric, teapot at Urban Outfitters, everything in the latest Sundance Catalog, and an Ibex skirt on sale.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Samuel Cat

My old cat Samuel died yesterday. He was almost 14 years old - pretty old for an indoor/outdoor cat. I loved to tease everyone that Samuel had been in my life longer than anyone else in our household. I'm pretty sad but doing fine. I suppose the full impact won't hit me for a few days.

My favorite photo of Samuel
Even though his death was unexpected (we found him in the basement - it looked like he literally just fell over and died), I'm grateful that he didn't have a prolonged illness and that I didn't have to make the decision to put him down. He certainly didn't seem to be in any pain, and slept in his normal spot between my legs the previous night. I still would have preferred to be with him or to give him a last good rub.

A friend that called me last night reminded me that Samuel has been a part of my story with Matt since the beginning. When Matt called me up to ask me on our first date, I was living with my friend Jennifer. Our answering machine message said, "You've reached Jennifer, Kristen & Samuel. Please leave a message." Matt says he was a little nervous to leave a message because maybe Samuel was my live-in boyfriend!

The most difficult part was telling the kids. There were tears and lots of questions about the details of death - what is cremation, where did he die, how did we know he was dead, etc. Kate was/is pretty upset. Jack looked surprised, then sad for a minute, then asked if we could get a hamster...

Monday, February 07, 2011

Daybook 2.7.11

I really enjoy reading Renaissance Mama when she blogs her Daybook. I've been meaning to start it myself, and today seems like a good day.

FOR TODAY
Outside my window... snowy grass, misty mountains, and sunshine

I am thinking... about my future. It is a long way off, but I feel like I'll need something once Kate and Jack are older. Do I want to go back to nursing? Do I want to do something new? Do I want to do nothing at all?

I am thankful for... my home, the space, and all the blessings that fill it.

From the kitchen... whole wheat zucchini muffins for breakfast, homemade yogurt culturing on the counter, and wild rice casserole for dinner

I am wearing... a tennis skirt over yoga pants, tennis tank, and grey sweatshirt

I am creating... a quilt for a wee one

I am going... to my tennis lesson this morning then to the hospital to visit Miss D

I am reading... a book about entitlement and listening to Pillars of the Earth.

I am hoping... for a good chat with a friend soon.

I am hearing... the drywall being put up in my family room

Around the house... We are getting multiple smallish projects completed, but it is enough to throw off my routine. Everything seems out of place. Plus I have loads of laundry in various stages in every room.

One of my favorite things...
Desert Trading Company Black Bean and Corn Salsa - my favorite for 10+ years and it is now at Costco!

A few plans for the rest of the week: hair cut, facial, girls' night, and out of town friend of Matt's arriving

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... new toothless grin on a dirty face! Another tooth lost last night.

Friday, February 04, 2011

No Buy Month

February is a no-buy month for our family. We did this a few years ago, and it was a good exercise in buying habit awareness. I'm hoping to do better than we did last time. Matt's 2 cousins and his sister are doing it also.

I'm only going to purchase food and necessary toiletries or cleaning supplies (toilet paper is okay, lip gloss is not!). I am allowing myself a possible exception for Kate's birthday at the end of the month. I think I have all I want to for her so I may not even need the exception. But nothing else. We'll make do with what we already have.

4 days in and the only thing I've been tempted to buy so far is a new ironing board...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Randomness

  • Haven't blogged for no good reason. Just not feeling like writing. Or rather writing where others can read.
  • I've been doing a bit of sewing when I can. Have too many works in progress and want to get something actually FINISHED soon. So no more new projects until some of the WIPs are at least quilted.
  • Matt generously offered to give me his small office to turn into a sewing room. Currently our guest room doubles as my sewing room which means when guests come, there is A LOT of cleaning up and putting away to do. He'll move his office into the guest room since reading journals isn't as messy as quilting. I do feel a bit guilty as I'll now have an office AND a sewing room all to myself, and poor Matt will have no space of his own. But not guilty enough to refuse the offer.
  • We are putting in a window in the back of our house. I can't wait to have a better view of the yard. Of course, the scheduled day to cut a hole in my house, the high temp was -3 degrees. Fortunately/unfortunately, they sent over the wrong window so now holes in the wall until next week. In the meantime, the ET-esque setup is actually providing a little extra insulation.
  • The plus side of the cold weather is that I can store my freezer food outside while waiting on our new fridge today.
  • Still slowly working on cleaning out and decluttering what we don't need or use. Of course, if you saw my house right now, it would be difficult to tell since everything from my fridge is sitting on my counter or outside the back door. And most of the family room is in the living room because of the window install. But I can tell.
  • Miss D has been in the hospital since last week. She is doing much better and is recouping in a skilled nursing facility. I've spent a lot of the last week at the hospital which I don't mind. It just makes me miss working in a hospital.
  • I've meditated twice in the last few days. Love it when I can make it work.
  • I think I'm having the winter blahs. Can't seem to get anything on my to do list done. My email inbox is backed up again. Just want to curl up and read a book. Or sew. Or watch TV.
  • I do get to go to visit 2 friends (one with a new baby!) in Minnesota next month. VERY excited about that trip. Still need to buy my ticket...
  • I'm ready for spring.