Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to manage time...

There are so many things I want to try to create.  Some are completely full of artistic freedom... I have a stack of canvases sitting beside my painting table just waiting for the ideas to be put into color.  I'm not running short of ideas.  I have a sermon journal/sketchbook full. I also have sewing orders that need to be completed as fast as my little arthritic fingers can move.

Can you hear them calling my name?

Then I look at blogs like this one and I am inspired at Lisa Leonard's http://www.lisaleonardonline.com/blog/diy/diy-dishtowels time management skills.  She has a successful jewelry business, looks adorable, and continues to create for her personal space.  Plus, she has a family who she talks about and the challenges that come with her story.  How does she do it?  I wonder if she feels totally frazzled in real life but pulls it all together for the blog.  I want to make some of these dishtowels for our new house...in my spare time.

these are so simple and cute
Poppy Cat Sews is doing well; however, I am struggling to figure out how to successfully juggle all the responsibilities.  Do I fill orders and let my house go to shambles (which drives me crazy)?  I love to design and sew but my heart also desires to paint.  And, how do I manage family and continue with the unbelievably high mothering standard to which they are accustomed (sarcasm)?  It's all a conundrum for me. 
A collection of crossbody bags.

I have one statement that is on my mind... pray without ceasing.  I may not have figured out how to manage my time in the way that I want or with the discipline that is needed but I am thrilled that I am overflowing with the gift of creativity.  I've held it at bay for 20 years and I know I am moving towards living the life God called me to live at this place in time... even if it is a bit chaotic, unbalanced, and messy (just like this blog post).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

How do you know you are loved?

One the way to our house there are beautiful purple flowers that grow out of the rock face from the side of the road.  I know I am loved because Gene scaled the rocks and picked me a bouquet.  I opened the door and Gigi presented this wonderful surprise to me with a smile (not this goofy smile, which I love).  God is good.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Off Track In The Rain

This picture is obviously not me but it's the best I could find when I searched for "joints and rain".  Most of the pics were not about knee joints!  HA HA
Spring is the time to start fresh, right?  For some reason Mother Nature and my heart and body doesn't realize this.  The weather here has been unpredictable... just like me.  I am normally organized and think of myself as someone who handles change well.  I am a military spouse after all! 

I have been in a slump.  My life has gotten a bit off kilter and I am really looking forward to Spring.  I am ready to start fresh and start finding gratitude for God's gifts.  I even bought air fresheners for my car that say Think Happy Be Happy.

Today is rainy.  I usually love the rainy days.  I'll work extra hard in the morning to be able to carve out some time in the afternoon to sit and read a book and enjoy the rain.  Today I realized that it takes longer to recover from surgery than I thought and rain makes the pain flare up but I am happy to have a knee that is still getting me around - even if it is super achy on rainy days.  I missed an Etsy order and discovered that people are kind and forgiving.  Thank you Lindsay for your understanding.  I may be easily overwhelmed at this moment and a bit emotional.  We have a move coming up and so many things to keep my mind wrapped around.  I am thankful to God for making me a woman who feels joy just as strongly as any other emotion.  I am also blessed to have a family who sees my needs.  Just last night my husband listened to my worries and assured me that he understood and my girls cleaned the kitchen after dinner so I could have a break.

So, thank you God for getting me a bit off track in the rain today so I can be reminded to be thankful for the mercy and grace that you have freely given.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Learning to grocery shop once a month...

Please take note that my title has the word "learning" in it.  March was my first attempt at monthly shopping.  I did pretty well but I still over purchased.  One of the things I learned is that we only drink a gallon of milk a week.  We are still drinking last months milk.  Good thing it has been frozen. 

I really need to think about lunch for the girls.  They take their lunch to school every day and by the end of the month we were trying to come up with anything that would be easy to eat and pack.  They only get a few minutes for lunch so the food has to be easy to shovel in.  Isn't that sad?  We quickly ran out of apples and fruit.  Fresh fruit, especially apples, is a big lunch staple in our house.  As a result, I have given myself "permission" to shop for produce twice a month.  To be honest, I did have to sneak to the store and buy some lettuce.  Gene was sorely missing his salads.

My budget goal for April was $300.  I failed on that one.  I didn't take the time to plan well and left the few coupons I had at home.  It's been a crazy month and it hasn't even been two weeks yet. ha ha I also did a little retail therapy and bought things I didn't really need or were more expensive than was needed.  Note to self:  STICK TO THE LIST!  I did stick to my original $400 budget which is quite an accomplishment since I forgot when I was planning the shopping list that we needed pet food and all our bathroom paper products.  TMI?

As far as the pre-made homemade mixes... the oatmeal and pancake mix was a huge success.  The containers are completely empty.  The dry cream-of soup mix will be reluctently used.  It tastes odd, not terrible, but just off a bit.  I will probably try it again but add different spices.

I have started following The Krazy Coupon Lady on Facebook.  They post every great sale and coupon available.  Some days I get a little bugged by all the posts but I know that when we move and live in a metropolitan area that it will be more helpful.  I also got the Ibotta app on my iPhone.  Sadly, it doesn't work with the commissary but in a few months I'll have a Target available and will use it then.  Take a look at their Facebook page or blog.  It has a bazillion money saving tips for popular stores.

My goal next month is to get as close to $300 as I can.  I'm going to have to be more organized and clip some coupons but I think I can do it.  Wish me luck.