Monday, June 29, 2015

life in a studio space, my studio space {it's a process}

good morning, friends! things are humming along in the studio! i am happily {well, most of the time} sorting, finding, grouping, repairing, and all the more as i work thru the layers, containers and drawers of materials in my studio space.

once we decided we were going to dedicate a space for sewing + creating in our home i realized that i needed to work on a huge overhaul of materials. finding ways to organize and showcase what i have and all the tools i love to make with. this of course has forced me to actually find what all i own. oh my. i have very many things that could live in the studio.

so far my favorite organizational system has been moving our cash register cabinet from the study to the studio. it has so many little compartment and drawers which are just perfect for various treasures. i had loved it in the study to hold many small office supplies {staples, paperclips, etc} - and i'm saving places in these drawers for many of those items at this time too. my husband found this gem on an auction - the previous owner had already painted + updated it's look. i would love it in the original condition probably just as much as i love it green. it serves us so well.

i'm finding that just walking by this "in progress space" makes me smile. the room is so inviting - even if heading thru the doorway means i should find a home for a third spool of twine.

thankful to call this space my studio.

have a lovely monday!

Friday, June 26, 2015

{2015::do} an update of taking action

I declared 2015 the year of action. Each week, each month I am accomplishing mini goals, important steps to be more where I want to be.  Living a locally centered life in a relatively clutter-free home while saving + preparing for the future. All of these things are on the front burner now - financially, physically, mentally. I thought it was time for a little update of my 2015 goals.  

 Each day I'm reminding myself to just 'do' something. Some things that I'm pretty pleased about so far this year...

using my fitbit to track my sleep + healthy movement 
creating a space to make
eating well, drinking water + simple menu planning
considering daily rituals + weekly routines
having fun + finding time to play
making plans -as well as time- for friends + family
continuing our budget + financial planning meetings

Check out my list of goals for this year:

2. Read.
5. Create.
7. Search.
8. Learn.
9. Photograph.
10. Enjoy.
11. Express.
12. Save.
13. Appreciate.

...there are many more days of 2015 + I hope to do all that I can.
Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Interrupting this Whole30 to bring you a Whole15

that's right. i've felt so good {+ so good, so quickly} this third round of the Whole30 that i've decided to make it a 'Whole15' instead. ever since my first Whole30 a goal of mine has been to work my way thru resets until i'm only needing a Whole15 every so often. and i think i'm there!

i have so much energy behind eating well right now i've decided to head off {slightly} from the strict Whole30 guidelines and just add back in small amounts of dairy. that really is all i'm working with now. a serving of cheese or a glass of milk each day. my plan is to only eat quality dairy ingredients that are really worth it to me. i think to keep some sort of balance i will not eat cheese as a snack - i've learned in the past that snacking on cheese seems to increase my sugar cravings.

as for everything else, i guess i'll only splurge when i really feel something is worth it. but my hope is to keep treats and all sugar to a minimum. gluten is such a bother to me that i think i'm steering completely clear of that situation if possible.

i'm hoping that with this early end to my reset that i will continue to make these healthier choices and begin to establish new routines which will rarely include the foods that make me feel the least like myself.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Whole30 Meal Reflection {and simple meal suggestion}

I'll have to tell you that during this round of the Whole30 I am a hungry person! However, I'm eating well and really enjoying it. Sometimes I find it a little difficult to decide what to make - and other times I just tell myself - protein, veggie and a good fat is all I need. Therefore we often are just eating eggs with simple veggies and avocado. And sweet potatoes - always sweet potatoes.

The "Italian Bowl" is one of our favorite dishes which is Whole30 compliant and on a regular rotation in our home dining experiences.

It is actually very simple and we like to make it two different ways... either with beef or sausage.

We often like to use chopped sweet potatoes for our "pasta" replacement. Sometimes instead of browned ground beef or mild italian sausage - yes, just make sure it is sugar-free and all that good stuff - I make compliant meatballs {similar to this}.

Either make your own pasta sauce {I often oven roast - similar to this} or read those labels carefully. I don't know why, but so many food manufactures want to put sugar in the jar with those tasty tomatoes!

Italian Bowl {Whole30 compliant - be sure to check your ingredients}

coconut oil
1 large sweet potato
1 pound of ground beef or mild italian sausage
1 small onion
A few garlic cloves
1 medium bell pepper
salt + pepper
tomato sauce

Brown and season meat. Chop all veggies to preference. Use coconut oil and medium heat and cook sweet potatoes. Add onions, peppers, garlic. Heat pasta sauce. Once everything is desired temperature and softness scoop up your vegetable and protein portions and top with tomato sauce. I like to store leftovers separately. It keeps the potatoes and the protein flexible for various dishes later in the day. Because you're probably going to hungry again soon.

Friday, June 12, 2015

around these parts {June 2015}

Hello there! It is really starting to feel like summer around here. I've started my break from school. Which of course means lots of classroom tidying and a list of summer-to-do's about a mile long.

There have been lots of walks. To town. On the bike path. 

Wherever we decide to go.

We went to see our niece play some softball this week- she is really coming into her own. So athletic, but still loves to play around with her uncle and a couple of friends after the games.

I'm plugging away on my third Whole30 reset. Things are going great. Only a few stomaches + a few headaches. I'm being diligent about my water intake and regular eating. The only thing that is new this time is my major vinegar cravings... as in I want all the olives and pickles. ALL. This happen to anyone else?

Our cherry tree is dripping with little treats for us. And the birds. 

So, things are pretty swell. I think I am liking this sweet June 2015. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Third Whole30 Experience {It Starts}

Hello friends! I am happy to say that I'm several days into my third Whole30 experience. As our local produce kicked it up a notch I felt like I was ready for a reset. I was ready for a complete and true Whole30 and I really wanted to stay clean the entire 30 days this time. {Read about my first - here + here - and second Whole30 adventures} I knew it was time for some seriously healthy eating and was already feeling grateful for all the things I would learn from this round.

The week before I was planning to start my Whole30 I splurged with pizza, ice cream, nachos, a root beer float and a hamburger - bun included - oh, and a pint of my favorite local beer! So of course the few days before I even started I woke up feeling bloated and tired. How poorly someone is eating can dictate how awful they feel during the first few weeks of the Whole30. So, I don't recommend going too crazy on poor food choices. I found my poor decisions and the consequences of how negative I felt actually fueled my desire to eat clean this summer.

To get started I did some easy prep to make eating whole food a tad bit more simple - chopped fruits and veggies, made bulk protein (like grilled chicken for salad, and browned sausage for breakfasts), filtered water and cold-brewed some coffee. I also stocked up on organic fruit, almonds and pickles. The first few days I was chugging water and black coffee and logging seven to nine hours of sleep to make sure I didn't have serious headaches. I also tried to eat very regularly with plenty of protein and good fats. On day one and two I had a few headaches and stomachaches but by day three I remembered to eat slowly and often. As my after meal stomachaches seem to stem from waiting too long to eat and then scarfing my meal down. Day four and five it was difficult to get up but for the most part I was already feeling better. I think it is all in getting enough water, sleep, and eating meals regularly - oh and if you are a regular caffeine consumer like me... quitting coffee should happen when you aren't also experiencing sugar withdrawals.

A few ideas that have really helped me so far:

+ pepper slices are pretty tasty with mashed avocados {just a little salt and pepper}

+ hardboiled eggs are great to have at the ready {ever try to make them in the oven? try it, you'll thank Corey from Family Fresh Meals too! - Thanks Corey!}

+ carrying around a large jar of ice water at all times means more water in my system {cute straws help too}

Anyone else working thru a Whole30 reset?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Keeping Up with the Throwing Out of Clutter

Simplifying my life has been something I've been working on for a few years. I'm feeling more in control of my clutter and craziness every month. And actually completing a few larger efforts has really put me in the driver's seat.

However, some days it still feels unsurmountable. I feel as if I will always be participating in some major overhaul of freeing stuff. I really want to get to a place where things are manageable. Where everything has a place in our home.

What I'm trying:

asking the question - 'Does it bring me joy?': I find that often I have useful things that just are no longer needed now that I'm no longer interested in something or that I have doubles of tools. This makes it easy and I can simply select the one that I will keep. More of one thing doesn't make me happier. Being surrounded by useful, beautiful and important items brings me happiness.

decluttering 'by category' - which may not always link up to 'by room': If I'm working on something and I have everything that I need I try to assess what is extra and cut from there. Or if I'm putting away laundry and I have a stack of t-shirts then I can see how abundant this one specific category is... it is pretty easy to admit that I don't need thirty t-shirts to wear around the house.

Things that are working right now:

cherishing the progress: I've recently noticed how happy I feel in specific rooms ... they are so livable and open. These are rooms that we've done a major overhaul together - my husband and I - where we both had some say in what went and what stayed. Rooms that we set the way we wanted to and only allowed back the items that we truly loved and valued.

continuing the process: Each day I keep my eye out to grab things that I just plain don't need/want for example when I try on something to wear that I thought I truly loved and realize it doesn't wear nicely anymore I place it in my donate bag right away.

Now that it is summer break I've started a second minimalist game. This time I'm just cutting clutter from my life, work included, not just in our home. I think it will allow me to breathe a little more easily when it is time to return back to school in the fall. So far I'm really enjoying it! How about you, any plans to cut the extras? What is working for you?