Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Motherhood, a.k.a. Christian Bootcamp


So I was noticing the interesting way in which motherhood kind of forces you to follow Jesus' admonition to “die to yourself.” Ever since becoming a mom, and especially since Baby began talking and becoming more mobile, I've noticed that dying for my own needs in order to live for another is basically the job description of motherhood. Once that baby is born, and if I hope to have any sense of having been a good mother, I must officially and unofficially put that child's needs and-- to some extent-- desires before my own needs and desires. I see examples of this every day in my own and others moms' lives, whether it's forgetting to eat lunch or breakfast because we're too busy getting our kids fed and ready for the day, picking up a bunch of toys that we didn't get out because they pose a tripping hazard, or eating vegetables we are loathe to eat because we want our children to follow suit. Okay those are some sparse examples, and I'm sure you can think of better ones... 

But the fact remains: motherhood is a little akin to Christian boot camp. What if (and not to promote a trend of condescending Christians or anything) we all behaved toward other people-- believers or otherwise-- the way we behave toward our own children? What if we forgot to eat or went hungry because we were ensuring that our local homeless had a full belly and good nutrition? What if instead of moving to safer or cleaner neighborhoods and setting up camp behind well-guarded community fences, we were out there cleaning up litter, helping repair houses and whatnot, and actually doing something about the health and safety hazards that are common in so many less well-to-do neighborhoods? What if we actually lived out some of the hard truths in scripture (such as actively loving our gay/liberal/sinful/annoying/different neighbor in deed as well as words) as an example to a non-believing world and other Christians?

I wonder what the world would be like if we looked on the world as our children... not in a tyrannical or helicopter-parenting sort of way, but with the ardent love and self-sacrificing devotion that comes with being a true mother (or father!)...

What is something you've done or seen a mom/dad do for their kids that could be applied as a way of “dying to self” to serve others and Christ?

Friday, July 20, 2012

In Memorium: A Prayer for Forgiveness


I actually woke up this morning in a decent mood. Then I looked at my Facebook and discovered what happened last night.



Reading about the Colorado shooting gave me the weirdest sense of deja vu as I recalled a scene from a novel I read recently (Terry Brooks' Running with the Demon) in which a group of friends and coworkers in a small town sat around a table at a local diner discussing the ever more shocking and appalling things that happen in the news, and wondering if such things will ever occur in their own hometown. Later in the series, one of the main characters assures the heroine that mankind is indeed doomed to a very real Hell of our own making unless we start taking personal responsibility for each other, instead of looking out only for our own desires.

Reading about the 24 year old white male who broke into a movie theater only to gas and gun down the movie-goers in time with a shootout scene onscreen (Coincidence or not? Kinda makes you wonder if there's some connection between movie violence and psychotic behavior after all.), I am reminded that such things start with the small steps of forgetting that our fellow human beings are people, and not just means to our own ends, there to be used or tossed aside as we see fit. I know I have been guilty of forgetting this in my rush to get things done and achieve my own goals, and I am taking a moment today to say a prayer for God's forgiveness of my inhumanity. Meanwhile, in memory of those who died in this senseless tragedy, I am going to make an effort today and in the future to treat people not just as objects for my own use, but as brothers and sisters in my dear family, regardless of race, creed, color, or orientation.

What will you do to memorialize those that died yesterday and in other senseless tragedies?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wordless... Tuesday?

So I'm having a crazy day with the kids today. I've already cleaned up three puddles of pee, broken my to-do list down into day and hour slots just to get something done today, put the same child down for a nap twice(the first one unsuccessfully), and broken down on the phone with my best friend. So needless to say, I'm not gonna be writing anything extravagant today. Instead, I thought I'd share this fun little picture I found.


See that last lady? The one with the pouty face? Yeah... that's me today...

And how is your day going?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cellphone Etiquette (from the perspective of the girl serving you your latte)


I honestly can't think of anything interesting to say today, so I figured I'd do storytime. Then, while I was going through my portfolio, I found this lovely little rant that I wrote way back when, as a barista, and I thought it still had some useful points. Number 8, especially, gets on my nerves! Enjoy!

CELL PHONE ETIQUETTE

You’d think these were all no brainers. Cell phones have been around a while now. You might think at least most people would be fairly well-versed in the polite and timely use of their mobile best friend. Yeah… you would think…

Yet day in, day out, at work, at play, and on the road, I see rude people, many of whom are not only wholly ignorant of their own obnoxious behavior, but often dangerous to themselves and others because of it.

So here are a few easy tips on cell phone etiquette that may keep you out of danger, both from chance and others’ annoyed fury.


1. USE AN EARPIECE.

This is a simple and easy way to adjust your cell phone behavior. In fact, most cell phones come with an earpiece that you can easily insert and free up your hands for driving, writing, typing, or any other activity. Bluetooth technology is also becoming more prevalent and affordable. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many drivers I’ve seen cutting others off and nearly colliding with other vehicles because they were so occupied with keeping their phone held up to their ear that they couldn’t turn to check their blind spot.

2. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.

Regardless of whether or not you have an earpiece, it’s still important to be aware of what’s going on around you. I know that drivers who talk on their cell-phones springs to mind first and foremost, but today I nearly collided with a man who was talking on his cell phone while walking along the road. I’m telling you, there’s nothing a biker likes better than to politely call “On your right!” and have a pedestrian who is blithely unaware while talking on their electronic tumor turn to the right to see who was just calling to them. Can we say “near miss”?

3. DO NOT TALK ON THE PHONE WHILE WAITING IN LINE OR ORDERING FOOD.

I work at Starbucks, so I see this about a thousand times per day, and it is my biggest pet peeve. This is rude, crude, and obscene, not only to those serving you, but to those waiting in line behind you as well. It not only slows down the line and often messes up your order, but also gives the server or cashier the impression that you esteem their individual worth to about the level of the electronic ATM at the bank. Trust me, I will give you decaf for this.

4. DO NOT PICK UP DURING AN INTERVIEW.

You laugh, but I’ve seen someone do this at a job interview. Needless to say, they weren’t hired.

5. TURN IT OFF AT THE MOVIES, LIBRARY, OR OTHER QUIET ENVIRONMENTS.

I know that it’s exciting that you just found your aunt’s favorite author’s new mini-series or you want to tell all your friends how awesome the battle scene in the new Hulk is, but here’s a novel idea: wait until afterward! Other movie-/library-goers can hear you, and charming as your voice is, it’s definitely not what they came to the quiet environment seeking. And if there is something pressing to attend to, take it outside. I don’t care if you paid ten bucks to see this show, right now, about a hundred other people whose movie experience you just interrupted are willing to pay at least that much to kick your butt.

6. TEXTING IS STILL A FORM OF “TALKING”.

I don’t understand how people who self-righteously claim that they never talk on the phone while they are at work or in a meeting can then turn right around and text people while on the clock. Texting is only a literary form of chatting, and it’s still rude and wrong. If you need to talk to your friends at that very moment you can either go on break (if you’ve checked with the manager), or quit, because you are wasting your employer’s and coworkers’ time. (Yes, texting for work is a different matter, but should still never be done on the actual floor, since it still looks bad.) And for heaven’s sake, I hope I don’t even need to go into calling people (or answering calls) while at work!

7. DON’T USE THE SPEAKER PHONE IN PUBLIC.

It’s annoying, and in some cases embarrassing, both to you and your caller/callee. Nobody needs to know your private conversations. Keep the speaker phone for at home or during conference calls, ok? Thanks.

8. CALL THEM BACK LATER.

Now some people think, “Oh, I’m in line, I’ll just tell the person to hold on while I keep the phone glued to my ear and order my venti latte.” Not okay. Even if the person on the other end is dutifully quiet as you order, a huge chunk of your attention is still fixed upon the speaker held up to your ear, which means you are not focusing completely on the task at hand. And if you forget to order that latte with extra foam and another shot of espresso, the person who makes it will be very ticked off when ask for it to be remade now that they’ve lined up thirteen other drinks behind it. Not to mention, it’s rude to the other person. Quite a few times I’ve been asked to “hold on a second” while a friend does something else, or takes another call. “Second” in most cases translates to at least five minutes, during which time my minutes are being wasted while Slowpoke takes his sweet time. Ask them if you can call them back later when you’re more able to talk. I guarantee they’ll appreciate it.

9. CHECK YOUR MESSAGES REGULARLY.

Not to be a hypocrite, I’ll just let you know right now, I am the world’s largest offender on this one. I regularly check my messages… about once a week. But I regularly miss opportunities, including job interviews, social invitations, and conversations with distant friends because I didn’t take the time to check my messages. Don’t make my mistake. Check your voicemail: it only takes a minute.

10. APOLOGIZE.

It’s the simplest form of cell phone etiquette: the quick, sincere apology. If you ever find yourself breaking one of these rules, just stop, and apologize to those around you. There have been customers where I was seething at their lack of politeness as they held a conversation on the phone while ordering a complicated drink, but as I rang them up, they hung up and looked me in the eye and said “I was being rude, I’m sorry”, and all desire to throw that burning hot beverage on their dress suit evaporated with the apology. It’s amazing what a little retroaction will accomplish.

Now I would probably add on #11: 
Don't use your phone to show each other pictures on the internet or play retarded sound effects during an RPG session, since that usually tacks on about an extra 2 hours to our already LATE night sessions (between passing it around, laughter, and getting back on track from the conversation tangents it sparks), but I suppose that's not highly typical outside of my group of friends.


What's the most annoying thing you see people doing with their cellphones? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mental Meandering

I've got a few things on my mind today... but none of these things seem to be worthy of a blog post. However, in the interest of writing consistently, I'll go ahead and put them out there anyway.

I'm trying out a couple new techniques with my clay-working, including making Celtic knots, mold-making, and powdering black clay with silver dust to make a metallic pendant. The pendant came out pretty cool, but the mold part is getting annoying, and I need to make that before I can powder the pendant. I asked Hubby to stop by the store this evening on his way home and grab me some Sculpey Mold-Maker, which will supposedly capture the details a little better. Anyway, here are some preliminary pictures...

Elidor pendant. Close enough? You be the judge. (It'll hopefully look cooler when I put on the powder and glaze it.)
The Elidor standard.

Celtic knot pendants ( Probably one of my favorite types of designs.): 3" and 1.5", respectively. Incidentally I was going for kind of a greenish marble look, but it turned out looking more like wood grain, but cool anyway. Still need to be glazed.

I went to karate last night and I was surprised at how I'm suddenly so much more comfortable running. Not only has my asthma lessened considerably, but I think the extra weight I lost has made it easier to keep going, endurance wise. Of course, my pride at tht accomplishment was lessened somewhat by the fact that I'm a total dweeb with the new green belt techniques I learned. My “scissorhand technique” leaves something wanting. Le sigh...

I keep checking stats: on my blog and on my new shop. I know this is a bad habit to get into. I should just make and write what I'm called to do and let it speak for itself. But there's just something about that "Stats" button that tempts me every time I log in, and suddenly I just need to know how many people viewed my post or looked at my jewelry, if I have any new comments, or if anyone favorited any of my pieces. And every single time I see the results-- it doesn't matter what the numbers look like-- I'm disappointed. I always hope it'll be more. Isn't that awful? I hesitate to even think how many times a day at this point that I am checking to see who read, viewed, or “liked” something I've put up. It makes me wonder how much less stressed I'd be if I just went at my own pace and ignored what others thought of my stuff? Hmm... perhaps this is a fast in the making? How far away is Lent again?

I had a great chat with my dad last night. I was admitting to him how bad I feel that sometimes, when Baby is being funny and cute, all I can feel is annoyance. Of course, it's worse at a certain time of month (that would be now), but it does happen frequently. Anyway, he pointed out that my mom used to feel the same way when she snapped at me when I was a kid, and it just kinda hit me: this sudden feeling of understanding toward my own mom. Yeah, your kids are cute, and you love them more than life itself, but sometimes they are just plain annoying! Even when they're being cute and funny and just wanting to make you smile, if you are trying to get something else done and they are all up in your business trying to get your attention, that charming thing they're doing can just make you want to scream. I've been feeling that way with poor Baby lately, as I'm trying to set up shop and stock new items. In fact, yesterday, I had to leave the room several times, or hold her at arm's length and count to ten. I guess it's just a sort of natural reaction to having no personal space whatsoever for extended periods of time, too. Plus we spent the whole weekend all together in the RV, and I was pretty much always the “on-duty” parent since Hubby ended up having to help his dad fix the air conditioning or fridge all weekend. So before last night's class I hadn't had a “break” from Baby in almost a week. But still: I hate feeling angry at my kid for something I shouldn't feel angry about. It gives me mommy-guilt, and no mom needs more of that. But I guess I had never made that mental connection before, so when my memories of my mom's less-than-chipper moments from my childhood suddenly clicked into place in that context, I just suddenly felt so bad, and so compassionate toward her. Because, lets face it: I was annoying. That goes without saying. I probably still am! 

Hubby and Dad-in-Law fixing our stubborn A/C in the 100+ degree heat. Poor guys...
So anyway, if you're reading this, Mama, know that I love you, I understand, and thank you for not beating me! And thank you, Daddy, for being understanding and helping me to be compassionate!

And that's about all I have to say. Now to find a recipe for the chicken breasts I put out for dinner that looks good. Hmm...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Post-Achievement Blues

(To be sung to the plaintive wails of a harmonica and slowly strummed acoustic guitar:)
I've got the bluuuuuuues...

This past week has been a little bit like a MMO Guild-run dungeon crawl in real life, for me. (And just because I don't want to spend time explaining what all those words mean to people who aren't huge nerds, I linked them to definitions via Urban Dictionary; see definitions 1, 2, and 3, respectively).

By which I mean that I have accomplished so much this week that I was almost constantly getting comments, texts, phone calls, or statements of “Congratulations!” and “Way to go!” thrown out at me, much how they are when your player character manages to level twice, complete an awesome set of armor, and kill a squirrel you just “loved” (Yes, that is a WoW achievement; do not ask me why). In the spirit of friendliness and camaraderie, everyone in your guild who happens to be online is sending encouragement your way at once, and your message box is flooded with well-wishes, and you feel an inflated sense of pride, as if that squirrel was Hitler (or, if you prefer, some other easily-hateable historical figure) in disguise and you just saved the whole world by smacking it with your virtual mace. Then the dungeon crawl ends, you get your final fanfare sound byte and banner scrolling across the screen saying “Congratulations, you just completed PigglyFinx Instance!” and it's all over. No more congrats. No more encouragement and cheers. Just this kind of empty and slightly confusing feeling. Now what?

That's how I feel right now. In case you haven't been keeping up, I've...
  • lost five pounds
  • earned my orange belt in Tai Chuan Do
  • potty trained a toddler
  • submitted a short-story for a story contest, and 
  • started up my Etsy shop. 
All in the space of about a week (maybe two; I have no head for dates). I didn't realize how pumped up I was getting on all the cheers and encouragement my fantastic group of friends and family were giving me... until it was over.

Please understand, I'm not feeling sorry for myself or any such silly thing. I know that the encouragement has ended simply because I completed my accomplishments. And it's not that I don't have anything to do now. There's a whole page full of projects I have written down to make and post on my shop, and I want to retake pictures of some of my pieces. I have karate tonight where I will be learning some neat new orange belt stuff. And of course, I still have about 60 lbs left to lose altogether. It's just that I've checked off all the major accomplishments (for the present) from my list, so I'm suddenly feeling a little... empty. A little... confused. A little... “wondering-what-to-do-now?” Hmm...

Unlike in real life, most MMO achievements are just plain silly...


Do you ever feel like you just completed a real-life dungeon crawl? What do you do to get past the Post-Achievement Blues?



And the Winner is...


As you probably know, I've been hosting a contest for naming my Etsy shop. Well, the contest ended at 12:00am last night (this morning? I'm never quite clear on that). The results are in. The shop is made. And the winner is...

Melissa
of

for her suggestion:


Pop over to my Etsy shop, Melissa, and choose your free pair of earrings! If you want to wait, that's fine, too. I'll have more items popping up soon. And thank you so much, everyone, for all the awesome suggestions! There were so many great ones to choose from, but this one ended up being nice, simple, nonspecific and available, so that's why I chose it.

I just spent the morning posting up 10 new items while my poor daughter patiently watched Pooh and waited for Mommy to have time to spend with her, so I'm gonna get out of here now and let you browse my wares in peace! Thanks again, everyone, for all the cheers and support. You have been invaluable to me as I pursued this crazy dream! A special thanks to Rachel Anne for her amazingly generous advertising post!

"Eclectic" means random and fun, right?

What's your favorite LittleBird's Treasures item so far? Any new things you'd like to see?

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the Bright Side


I am sitting here listening to my obviously-exhausted and hungry (yes, I did attempt to feed her: she wouldn't eat) almost-two year old crying piteously and fighting sleep in her crib. I have a raging headache, and all I want is a few moments of peace and quiet after our crazy morning of running errands this morning. It's rainy and yucky outside, and I still have half a to-do list left to do that is going to have to wait until Baby either finishes napping or until I finally give up trying to get her to do so. So yeah... I guess it's just one of those days.

BUT

I do have a lot of good news to share!

1. I lost another five pounds! I'm eleven pounds away from my goal for September (to lose forty by the time my mom and I go to New York).


2. I am ready to open my Etsy shop! I have all my items and pricing and packaging (and even my ear model!) ready for tomorrow, when I will officially pick a name from the contest entries, and as my first order of business, mail off the lucky winner's free pair of earrings! You have till midnight tonight to enter some name suggestions in the contest if you'd like to participate to win a free pair of earrings!








Who doesn't love pretty jewelry?


3. Baby is pretty much potty trained. We drove around a LOT this weekend, and she didn't have a single accident in the car, but always told us when she had to go potty.
She had a great time camping this weekend!

4. I finally downloaded the e-book I've been wanting to read. I first read the back cover of this about two months ago, and ever since have been trying to get it via the library or Paperbackswap.com, but it's been pretty popular. My hold finally came through today for the Adobe Epub book.
Can't wait to finish reading it! You can read the first three chapters online!


5. It is only 84 degrees outside! It's been in the 100s the last few days, so even though it's rainy and humid (and I think the change in pressure system is what's causing my headache), it's at least back to a liveable temperature. Plus, God did one of my chores from my to-do list for me and watered my plants this morning! Can't beat that!


6. I might be going to a con! I was looking up cons this morning on a whim, and found two I'd like to attend. Gateway 2012 is going on the last few days while we're visiting my parents in CA in August; it's a gaming con, and includes a table for Catan! Woohoo! And then there's Shore Leave 2012: a sci-fi con going on right here in my very own Maryland in a few weeks (Meet Captain Janeway? If you insist! ::fan squeal::)! I've never been to a con, though I've always wanted too, ever since I learned about Trekkie cons back when I was a kid. I'm hoping to make both of these, but even just one would float my boat! Now... if I could just get together a group of people to dress up like the crew of Serenity! (I want to be either Kaylee or Saffron. Hubby would make an excellent Jane.)

BEST SHOW EVAR!!!
Saffron, the smoldering temptress and con-woman.

Oh my... can it be? Yes, I think, after nearly 40 minutes of sleepy wailing, Baby has finally nodded off! Yay! I think I'll go play my new Worgen Druid to celebrate (7.  I got Lich King and Cataclysm for $30 as a weight loss reward, because Blizzard was having a killer sale.)


Do you have any good news to share?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Being Brave


Today has been a momentous day for me. Not only am I working on setting up my very first shop to sell my handmade polymer clay and origami jewelry, figurines, knitting, and whatnot, but I also submitted a story to Stuff You Should Know's Halloween Horror Story Contest. ( You can read the story I submitted here, as well as a link to the contest in case you're interested in being my competition!)

The good news is I found an ear model. My friend who lives down the block offered to do it, and I see her almost daily, so it works out well.

The bad news is I'm losing resolve.

I was so excited yesterday about setting up my shop. I even managed to put together ten sale items in one day! I think that's some kind of record, for me anyway. But then the novelty of the concept wore off, and I was faced with the intimidating task of actually starting up the shop. I was hoping my Naming Contest would have a little more attention, but so far only one awesome lady (the same one who inspired me to go for it in the first place with her blog post on taking risks) has commented. And I suddenly realized not only did I have to make the items, but then I had to worry about pricing them fairly, and shipping, and making business cards, and find artwork for the logo and banner, and even maybe some legal issues regarding making Star Wars- or Star Trek- or Firefly-themed things. My head is spinning!

Also, I kind of used up all my ideas yesterday. I know, making ten items in one day is kinda crazy, and probably mostly to blame for this particular issue. Most likely I'm just mentally exhausted from a manic bout of creativity. But, silly as it is, I fear that now I've actually decided to pursue this dream, it's all going to fall apart on me and I'll just hit a mental roadblock when I try to think of new things to post.

Just now, I was trying to do my Bible study to distract myself from all my worries, and I was sort of desperately looking through 1 Corinthians 4 for any encouragement, when a verse from a whole different book popped into my head:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

We used to sing this verse in a song during worship at the Baptist school I used to teacher's aid at. I always liked that song, and just now, as it's dusting itself off inside my head, I'm starting to really remember why.

Notice what the first sentence says? “Have I not commanded you?” This reminds me of a parent asking the question. They told their kid to do something, and naturally the kid muddled along until they forgot what they were supposed to be doing, and the parent pulls them aside to reiterate. But they don't say “Hey, Christy, remember that I requested that you clean your room?” “Hey Billy, I'm pretty sure I suggested that you take out the trash!” No, it's not a request or suggestion. They were told to do something, and mom's gonna make sure they know it. “Have I not commanded you?”

And what was it He commanded me to do? To be strong. To be brave. Not to give in to fear or discouragement. I like how he puts fear and discouragement in the same sentence. I rarely think about myself as being afraid to do things. Rather, I am discouraged; by the sheer amount of work to be done, by the measure I am holding myself to, by the chance that I might fail... But He has commanded me not to fear those things, not to be overwhelmed and driven into submission by those things. And why?

For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” How true this is! He gave me this initial talent at artwork and sculpture. He gave me parents and teachers and a grandmother who all encouraged me every step of the way. He gave me the financial blessings to afford the materials and the little moments of peace in which to hone my craft. He even provided the seashells I found on Chincoteague and Assateague's beaches that match so perfectly and are already pierced and ready to be strung, as if saying “Here, I think you could do some pretty fun things with these!”



If He has been with me through all that, why should I fear? Surely He will be with me through setting up a shop and making my stock and advertising and whatnot. What's more, He will quite possibly even bless me in my work, maybe make this something I could rely on for income in lean times. And even if He doesn't, what's the worst that could happen? So I don't sell a single thing: I have ten Christmas gifts already made! What am I afraid of?

With the Lord my God with me, I shouldn't be afraid of anything. He will carry me and bless me and keep me in His arms every step of the way, and honestly, that's all I really need.

Want to win a pair of free earrings? Check out my Etsy Shop-NamingContest!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Name Contest

Happy Independence Day!

Today I have decided to celebrate my American independence by pursuing happiness via a secret dream I've been treasuring in my heart for years: I'm going to open an Etsy shop to sell my crafties!

I dabble a lot in polymer clay jewelry and knick knacks, origami, and knitting, and have been known to make anything from cartoony teddy-bear nativity sets for Christmas to sculptures out of seashells and even origami earrings. I also plan on making some more nerdy stuff as I find the time... perhaps some Star Trek or Firefly themed stuff. I once thought about making a line of little pig figurines for each character in Star Wars, but I only got around to making Princess Leia Organic, All Natural Alderaan-Bred Pork.


I'm still putting together the particulars for the shop, but I have two major decisions left before I can launch it (I also want some cool pics for the banner and whatnot, but I have a friend who is a graphic designer and I can take care of that later).

1. I need an ear model. I'm thinking about asking my friend who lives in the neighborhood. She has a very pretty slender neck, and would make a great neck and ear model for my earrings. Or perhaps another friend of mine, who has the most gorgeous flaming red curls you've ever seen. (Sadly, I still suffer from the same rampant acne that troubled me as a teen, so, trust me, nobody wants to see pictures of mine!)

And...

2. I can't come up with a good name. I want something that really reflects who I am and the things I treasure, but everything I can come up with seems kind of silly or overstated... nothing really meshes with the kinds of things I'm selling.

So, are you ready? Here is a big moment for me, both as a blogger and soon-to-be shop owner! I am going to host my first contest! With prizes even!

ETSY SHOP-NAMING CONTEST

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to suggest a name for my shop. No worries; I'll give you some ideas so you're not starting totally from scratch. You can enter as many name suggestions as you want until midnight on July 9th. Then I will pick one (or maybe none... who knows?), and whoever suggested it gets to pick a free pair from a selection of earrings in my shop (so make sure you leave your email address when you comment). Okay, ready, set... GO!

Suggestions:
Here are some ideas I've already had to pull from my faves.

Pink
Ice cream
Chocolate
Little Bird (the meaning of my daughter's name)
Firefly reference (shiny, tightpants, browncoats)
Star Trek reference (something in Klingon would probably be pretty funny)
Medieval anything
Pirate anything
Lilies
Something about me being a mom
A Bible reference (sorry, I can't pick just one!)
The ocean
Polymer clay (maybe a play on the word "polymer"?)




Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Finishing


I made a hat!



This is a huge accomplishment only because I started this project over six months ago. This is a constant problem with me, ever since I was little. I am forever starting new projects and stories and forgetting about them halfway through. After several months of neglect, I took this one back up a few weeks ago and determined to carry it around with me until it was done. I was making it from the instructions I found on this wonderful Beginner's Knitting Site. I finally finished it this morning, and while it may be a bit lumpy and misshapen and definitely too loose for my head, I finished! (Maybe Hubby, with his huge noggin, will be able to use it!)

It feels pretty good to finish. I have lots of things I could finish right now, if I think about it:

Writing my novel.

Editing my short story for submission.

The dishes.

My bible study on 1 Cor. 3.

One of the two novels I'm reading right now.

The bowl of fruit salad sitting in my fridge.

Updating my daughter's baby book.

Scrapbooking.

So instead of sitting here boring you with an account of my morning, I will leave you with a verse that struck me in my devotions today, and a choice.

The verse:

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Cor. 3:17

The choice:
You can respond to either one (or both, if you really want to) of the following questions in the comments!

Question 1: What is something you could finish right now? (And after you answer, go do it! Trust me, it feels awesome!)

or...

Question 2: What are your thoughts on that Bible verse, and how could you apply it to your life today?

And leaving a comment is another thing you can check off your “Finish List”! Go you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

So much for having a schedule... but here's a recipe!

So I promised myself that I was going to start sticking to a schedule as far a blogging. I had it worked out like this:


  • Merch Mondays (in which I either review something I love, probably on Etsy or made by a fellow crafter, or display one of my various projects (to be created and posted on my Etsy shop (which I will eventually start up))). 
  • Storytime Wednesdays
  • Coffee-Girl Fridays (with Rachel Anne), and whatever other blog-hopping updates (basically a week in review post)
Tuesday and Thursday were going to be freewriting.

Of course, as soon as I start to come up with a schedule, we have a giant storm that knocks out power all over the DC/Baltimore Corridor. Luckily for us, we didn't lose power (or A/C, thank goodness-- 100+ degree weather here!), but it did knock out our internet until this afternoon. And even though I got almost an entire day to myself on Sunday to do whatever I wanted while Hubby took Baby over to his parents and did our laundry, I ended up doing a workout video then knocking several big cleaning projects off my list (oh well, they needed to be done-- they were long past due!). So, I will have to save a particular craft idea I had for later.

Meanwhile, since I don't have any cute crafts to share with you, here's a recipe I made up. It's scrumptious. Even Hubby, who fancies himself a gourmet cook and got his habit of critiquing every dish he tastes from his father (one more reason I'm so very happy not to be living with the in-laws anymore; one backseat chef per household is enough, but being tag-teamed by a father-son duo is just obnoxious!), said "I can't even think of one way to improve on this!" The best part: it only uses one pan! Yay for less dishes!

Herbed Cajun Tilapia and Vegetable Medley
Ingredients:
2 T olive oil
fresh sage, thyme, and oregano to taste (or 1 tsp each dried)
large onion
6 cloves garlic
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 large fresh one)
15.25 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
4 tilapia filets, thawed
green vegetable of your choice (I've used peppers or baby spinach, but I'm sure anything is possible)
cajun seasoning to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Mince garlic and herbs, and chop onion. Sautee onion and herbs until softened, then add vegetable of choice and toss. Add cajun seasoning, black pepper, tomatoes, and corn, and simmer 3 minutes, covered. Scoop entire thing to one side of the pan, then lay two tilapia filets on bare half of skillet. Scoop vegetables over tilapia filets and bare the other half of the pan. Lay down the other two filets and cover all evenly with vegetables. Cover and simmer on low heat 10 minutes. Do not flip. Serve when fish is cooked through.
Serves four.

*Nutrition info, for those of you who are counting like me! See below:

Calories: 450
Fat: 11 grams
Carbs: 49