Wednesday, November 30, 2011

21 Day Journal - Days 15 & 16

Ok, I'm no longer going to beat myself up over this. I'm just going to finish this challenge...

Day 15 – What is the Most Painful Thing You Have Experienced To Date?
Emotionally - My painful & drawn out relationship with my ex-husband. Hence, the EX! And I couldn't be happier now. Thank goodness!

Physically - During this past summer, I was at work. I lifted a box of files down off of a shelf and then lifted it back up onto the shelf again. Two days later, I felt like I was going to die. I believe that I pulled multiple muscles in my neck, shoulder and arm. I had to miss work for a week and didn't fully recover until about 2 months later. And thankfully I had both good drugs for the pain and exercises as well. I am back to normal now, but have lost some muscle tone in my left arm because of lack of use. Its was the worst pain I've ever had!

Day 16 – What Makes You Happy?
Here's a list of things, in no particular order:
  • Sunsets and moonrises
  • Wind through the trees
  • The sound of the ocean
  • My baby, S
  • My two kitties
  • Crafting and sewing
  • Playing the piano
  • Dancing
  • Taking photographs
  • Baking and cooking
  • The colors red & black
  • The sound of leaves and/ or snow crunching under foot
  • The smell of autumn and spring
  • Reading crafty and foodie blogs
  • A really good veggie burger
  • The idea that my car will be paid off next year!
  • Ok, I could go on and on. Needless to say, lots of stuff makes me happy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

21 Day Journalling - Day 14

Day 14 – What Is Love?
Love means so much to me. Its a feeling felt deep in my heart, it feels warm and secure. Love means that I am cared for, respected & cherished. I feel love on many levels. I feel love for my family and kitties. I feel love for my sweet boyfriend. I feel love for friends. I feel love for the earth and all she holds. I also feel love and pride for myself.

When someone loves you, truly, they will do anything for you. They will be there for you even on your darkest days. They will support you, tell you like it really is, laugh with you and dry your tears. Being loved is everything to me. Without love, I would only be a fraction of the person I am. I am so thankful for the love I receive. Yet I crave the ability to open my heart more and more each day, to reflect and share that love with others.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update on Day of the Dead Skulls & other stuff

Sorry I didn't get around to posting my finished Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls.  The top 2 are the ones I decorated. And the couple in the pic below were decorated by my friend MJ. And then a few more that we both did. We had a lot of fun with these!! So here goes:

And my other big project that I finished just yesterday is gingerbread cookies with royal icing! I read a LOT of foodie blogs and I have a couple favs that are cookie crafters. I've been so inspired by Bake at 350 , Sweetopia and Ali Bee's Bake Shop  just to name a few!! So here are some examples of my very first decorated cookies!!

21 Day Journalling - Days 10-13

This is what happens to me when I have 4 days off in a row, I get lazy. Well, maybe its more like I don't spend 8 hours a day in front of my computer anymore. Woo Hoo!!  Needless to say, I am once again behind on the 21 Day Journalling challenge. So here goes, hurrah to getting caught up!

Day 10 – Who Do You Enjoy Spending Time With?
The answer to this one is simple, and would be my sweet baby, S. I also cherish time with my two spoiled kitties as well. And if the stars are in alignment and I happen to be near family, well, I love to spend time with them too. (I currently live about 1700 miles away from my mom, so I don't get to see her as often as I'd like too.)

Day 11 – Out of Your 5 Senses, Which is the Most Important to You, and Why?
Oh man, you mean I have to choose?? Ugg Ok, forgoing the deliciousness of food and the beauty of the oceans and forests, my choice would be my hearing. I think that being brought up in a musical household is the key to my choice. That and being moved to tears by music, I could not live the same life without my ability to hear sounds. Growing up, my grandmother was always singing or whistling some sort of tune. Nearly all my family sings, my uncle was a DJ. I've played a total of 7 instruments while growing up and I still play the piano. (Albeit rusty, but I can still pound out a tune!) Music was and is a foundation in my life. I don't go one day without listening to music. And with the ability to hear, I can still enjoy the wonderful sound of the ocean waves and the wind rustling through the trees. I can hear the sizzle of food being cooked.

Growing up, playing the piano was an outlet for me. I think it helped me through my terrible teen years without too much upset. And you know what? This just dawned on me, I had more personal pain during the time when I didn't play the piano than growing up! I don't know why I didn't use the piano as an outlet during my 20's, because man those years were so painful! 

I have a nearly full size keyboard now, that sits and collects dust. I've played it a few times over the last year. My life is filled with a lot of joy and laughter these days. But I suppose I could still celebrate that with some music! And one day, I will have a real piano again. (There is just nothing that can replace it!)

Day 12 – What Are Your Biggest Goals for the Next Few Years?
Several years ago I set a goal for myself, to own a house by the age of 35. Well, here I am, 35 and still renting. However, I still want to reach the goal of home ownership. Hopefully by the time I'm 40! Although, I struggle with this a lot because I feel like such a gypsy. I have been rootless for so long, moving across the country. But the need for a "home base" is so great, maybe that idea will eventually win out and I will find a permanent home.

Next, I would like to work towards my life purpose. Currenly, I am not working in a job that I love, and that makes me sad. I thought I had found something with Massage Therapy, but even that leaves me listless these days. Part of me wants to serve, be some sort of healer. And there is part of me that craves the power of creation. I want to make things, either crafty things or foodie things. So, perhaps I need to find a ways to combine all these goals? Something to think about.

Day 13 – What Do You Fear Most?
On the top of the list is death, for sure. Its the ultimate release of control, complete letting go and surrendering. The biggest issue I have with this is that I don't know what's out there. I don't know for sure what happens after death. I don't know when my time is up and it scares the hell out of me. I'd like to believe that we, as a spiritual consciousness, decide to come back for another go on this earth. I like the Idea of reincarnation. I'd also like to believe that what is "out there" is more magnificent that this banal existance. Its a tough thing to face as a control freak, because, well, I truly don't have any control of my death. Yes, I can choose to eat healthy and exercise in order to stay alive as long as possible. But, you just never know, and that's the scary part!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

21 Day Journal - Day 9

Day 9: What Drives You?
Lots of things inspire and drive me. Here's a list in no particular order:
  • Doing Crafts
  • Baking sweets
  • My honey, S
  • My 2 spoiled kitties
  • Inner motivation
  • All the crafty and foodie blogs that I read!
  • My mom
  • My friends, especially D & C

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

21 Day Journal - Day 8

Day 8: On a Scale of 1-10, How Much Do You Love Yourself?
I would say probably a 9.5. I have grown to love my body over the past several years, even after many years of teasing and put-downs as a kid. I have grown to love my heart and kindness. I am proud of my talents as a creative crafter, a photographer, a dancer, a poet, musician and cook. The .5 percent that I don't like is due to letting myself get out of shape. I worry about my health as I get closer to 40 and I don't want to get diabetes like several of my family members. I want to remain active for as long as possible. I eat a fairly good diet, although I have been eating more than my share of sweets lately. Now I just need to find a way to exercise and stay motivated again. And then I'd be a perfect 10!

Monday, November 21, 2011

21 Day Journal - Day 5,6 & 7

Well I'm trying here, at least... Here is day 5, 6 & 7 of the 21 Day Journalling Challenge.

Day 5: Who Is the Most Important Person to You in the World?
I think that this answer would change depending on what year is/was and the period of my life. So, if we talk about today, this very moment? My caring boyfriend S (the cute albino, hehe). He fills my heart with love and hope. We are able to talk through our issues and frustrations with minimal upset. We encourage each other to be ourselves, unique. I can be totally me with him, and I don't have to worry about what he's going to think of me. No second guessing necessary. We are different in a lot of ways, but we accept and love those differences about each other. He encourages me in my creative and foodie adventures. I encourage him to fulfill his geeky needs with video games and car stuff. I feel like we were destined to meet, because our love is so deep and continues to grow each day. I went through several years of relationship hell before meeting S and I made it through to the other side. And, well, I think he must be my prize!

Day 6: What Frustrates You?
Gosh, this is so difficult, because so much frustrates me.  Like the ever raising cost of gas. My income level, which is not enough. The fact that I used to dance 3 days a week, (at my peak) and now I can barely touch my toes. But probably the most frustration I've had in recent years is folks that lie to me. And also folks that complain about their lives or health but do nothing to make changes for the better. If you want to live more fully, you've got to work for it. It doesn't come easy, its a daily process!

Day 7: What is the Most Important Thing You’ve Learned in Life So Far?
This question ties into my last thought about people not working towards the change they want to see in their lives. About a year back, I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book has changed my thought process and overall, my life! The four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word, Don't take things personally, Don't make assumptions and Always do your best. Sounds simple right?? You would not believe how hard it is to NOT take things personally, especially with those that you love. But this is probably the most useful and important lesson that I've learned, and thankfully its make a world of difference in my life! I would highly recommend this book!

Friday, November 18, 2011

21 day journal - Day 2, 3 & 4

So far I'm not doing so hot on this daily journal thing. I started late, and I skipped 2 days. Oh well, better late than never.

Day 2: If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?

Well, here is another difficult decision. Do I pick something to better myself, like go to school for free? Do I choose something practical, like grocery shopping or gas tank fill up? Do I dream big and pick world travel? How about home ownership? How does one make such a decision and not want to change their mind later?

Ok, I will pick grocery shopping, free for the rest of my life. I will always need to eat, and I can feed more than myself if I pick this one!!

Day 3: What is Your Ideal Diet Like?

Ok a fairly easy one... I am pretty happy with my current diet. Let me give a little history here. At the age of 12 I decided to become a vegetarian. (Due to not caring for the taste of meat, and influence from my Uncle G who was also vegetarian at the time.) Now I was not the most healthy veghead, probably because I was lazy. My grandmother did most of the cooking at that time, because she lived with us. She would usually cook two versions of the meal, one with meat and one without. (Thank you grandma!! That really meant a lot to me, even if I didn't say so.) But when I was trying to find veggie friendly meals at school, well forget that idea. Cardboard cheese pizza and milk were about it. So for a while I would eat a cookie, a yogurt and a milk. That was lunch!  How I was able to function in the afternoon still boggles my mind. So at that time I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian.

Later in college, things got easier because the cafeteria's offered salad bars and healthy choices. Of course I picked things like fried mushrooms with cheese sauce. (Needless to say, I did gain the freshman 20+, hehe)
At some point I started eating fish too, so I was an ovo-lacto-pesco veghead. I don't remember when, but I started feeling weird after drinking milk or ice cream, so I gradually worked my way from 2% down to skim milk, then tried rice milk for quite a while. Sometime in my late 20's I switched to soymilk.

Then about 4-5 years ago, I started having cravings for chicken. I couldn't believe it, what was going on?  But by that time I had not eaten meat besides fish in over 18 years. So I just started slowly with a bite here and there. (My husband at the time was a meat eater, so he shared.)

Fast forward a few years and here I am. My current boyfriend eats meat and I've been doing a lot of exploration with cooking chicken. Most of the time I don't want to eat it, but occasionally I get a craving. I have not eaten red meat, pork or other game meat since the age of 12. And honestly I don't miss it, because I never really like it anyway. Although, I'm not sure I can be called a vegetarian anymore. I eat fish, chicken and turkey. I still eat eggs, cheese and drink soy milk. I try to eat lots of fruit and veggies. I prefer whole grains to white grains. But, damn, I have one heck of a sweet tooth still. So I try to eat sweets in moderation. Now if I could just get an exercise program going...

So, long story short, I'm pretty happy about where my diet is. I would love to be able to afford locally grown, organic produce. Fresh breads, eggs, milk & cheeses. That's about the only change I'd make. Not the type of food I consume, but the quality.  

Day 4:  If You Are To Travel Back in Time to 3 Years Ago, What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

Hehe, this one is really easy...

Dear Emily,
The tall, cute albino that you are going to meet soon, he is a real keeper!! Don't be scared, its ok to open up your heart again. He will fill you with such joy and love, and you will wonder how your heart is able to keep expanding. But guess what, it does!!  You'll eventually move in together. No need to rush things it will happen naturally. There may even be wedding bells in your future, again!

However, there is no need to try to rekindle your friendship with G. Living with her again is a bad idea, and may result in some similar upset as back in the day. Just let that idea go with resolve. Stay at M's house until you and the cutie are ready to move in together.

Try to find some more balance in your life between fun, crafting, spirituality, exercise and love. You will have lots of opportunities and your life will be filled with abundance! You and DG are not a good match, end that now. Trust me... Also, you will end up meeting a 19 yr old girl, just say no thanks, she will wrap you around her finger and it will really hurt to let go. Just let go of any possibilities with her. Have some patience with D, as she will teach you a few things. Encourage her to grow and open up. But, don't put up with any nonsense from her. And tell her your thoughts and feeling right away. Don't beat around the bush. This will help open up dialog much sooner. And maybe you will find out sooner she's not a perfect match either.

Ok, finally, just breathe. Finances may get tight, but you know what? You are happy, healthy, have food on your table and in your belly. Its going to be ok! The friendships and abundance in your life keeps you quite full. Enjoy it!

Your inner pilot light...

See 21 day journaling Challenge for info 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Personal Excellence - 21 day journal challenge

OK, so I just found this website called Personal Excellence. Its really about helping us live our lives to the greatest possible potential.  And since I've been trying to live my life more consciously and thoughtfully, this site really resonates with me. So, they have a 21 day journal challenge and I thought I would participate.  I am a few days late in starting it, but all the questions are posted online, so I figured I'd give it a go. So day 1:
What Would You Do If You Have 1 Million Dollars?

I find this question really difficult to answer, because there are so many possibilities!! Pick and choose... My first goal would be to pay off my credit cards, my car and my educational debts. I would like to pay off my boyfriend's debts as well as my parent's debts. I would take some time off work, maybe even quit my job, and do some extensive travelling. I would like to go to Europe, especially Italy, France, Ireland & Scotland. I would try to go cheaply, but take lots of picture. Speaking of pictures, I would be getting myself a fancy new Digital SLR camera to take along on the trip.

After I got back from the trip, I would purchase a house for myself & my honey somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I would move my parents out there with me too. Most likely buy some land and some small farm animals like chickens & goats. I would invest in composting equipment for my land. I would probably go back to school, either grad school for some sort of public service type career. Or maybe go to pastry school. And I would use some money to start my own business.

I would donate some money to diabetes research because I've lost too many relatives to this terrible disease. I would also invest in wind & solar power.

I am not sure how much that would use up. But, that's what would make me happy right now.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's question: If You Are To Do Something For Free For the Rest of Your Life, What Would It Be?