Should-a, Could-a, Would-a, 60 Day Experiment

We all have our should-a could-a would-a’s. I should drink more water. I should take more vitamins, get better sleep, wash my face more often, eat better, spend less money. I should keep in touch with my friends and family. If I only worked out more I could be in better shape. I could have saved more money if I didn’t buy this and that. Can it make you happier? Well friends, I’m going to embark upon a should-a could-a would-a 60 day experiment and document my progress, trials, and successes. I’m going to do all of the things that I tell myself ALL OF THE TIME that I should do more of.

barney meme

Now that I have some time in my schedule to do what I want, when I want (other than the craft fair schedule, that one isn’t adjustable), I’m going to do the things I always tell myself I “should” do and do them. A lot of these things just means incorporating healthy habits into my daily life. Things I’ve shoved to the wayside that I should get back. They say it only takes 21 days to form a habit. Let’s see about that.

My “should” list that I will do for the next 60 days:

  • Drink more water. (Some days I realize I didn’t drink ANY water. That’s bad!)
  • Drink more green tea / tea in general.
  • Take a vitamin / vitamins every day.
  • Work out 5 days a week / get healthier and feel better.
  • Use the Spin bike I got off of Craigslist.
  • Read the piles of books I have sitting around.
  • Meditate / Do some cognitive behavioral therapy to better my self esteem.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Wash my face at night with the expensive anti-aging face wash I bought and use the even more expensive night creams. I bought them and I barely use them. I lazily use those wet wipes for your face and then fall into bed.
  • Save money and not spend it on silly things.
  • Organize the bins and bins of things I’ve kept forever in the basement.
  • Eat less meat.
  • Eat more greens / fruits and veggies.
  • Eat out less, cook at home more.

And how will I accomplish such feats? How will I stay on track?!

Ok, here’s how.

  • I’ll start a blank book / journal to keep a checklist of the things I want to do, and make sure I check them off throughout the day. Smartphones have alarms for a reason. To remind you to do things. And they have apps you can download that help with almost all of the things I wanted to do.
  • Go to the vitamin store and get 60 days of some awesome all natural multi vitamin. And maybe some vegetarian protein powder for my post workout shakes.
  • I will pre-fill water bottles in the morning and make sure I drink them throughout the day with either timers or times of the day taped to the bottles. I will set out the Green Tea packet in a mug ready to be filled with water in the mornings.
  • I will set alarms to get up in the morning to work out, and sleep in my workout clothes if I have to. I will come up with a routine to stick to and post a dry erase board on the wall of the workout room with a calendar drawn on it to stay motivated. I have the P90X DVD set, weights, yoga mats, a spin bike, rubber band thing-ys… what am I waiting for?! Oh, I know, I need direction. I don’t just want to go at this whole workout willy-nilly and make up a routine. I’ll find one online or ask a personal trainer friend to help me out. It’s time to end the excuses! (Did anyone else just picture Susan Powers screaming “Stop the Insanity!)
  • Spending less: If something is not detrimental to my survival, it will not be purchased. Sorry friends that want to go out to eat! Sorry new nail polish! Sorry Target clearance sweater, I know you’re only $5.99 but no! Not for the next 60 days… Sounds boring, I know. But I also have a fiancée that may be kind enough to pay my admission into a $5 movie on a Tuesday so I won’t die of boredom. To help I’ll even make a sleeve for my Debit card that says something like “Will you literally DIE if you don’t buy this?” on it. The only thing I can answer yes to is food.
  • Make a “once a week” goal for something around the house I want to get done. Donate things to Goodwill, clean certain rooms, paint other rooms… And put those goals into my calendar app!
  • Watch less TV at night and pick up the books I have laying around and read them at night. Maybe during breakfast and lunch too instead of browsing Pinterest.
  • Do daily affirmations. No, not like Stuart Smalley. Like, look up ways to raise self esteem and follow the experiments. Make lists of things I love about myself, banish bad thoughts, and use the app I downloaded for that, Happify.
  • Eating out less and at home more will be easy when I go grocery shopping for some great food that will help me stay on my healthy eating schedule when I work out 5 x a week! Also, if I want to go out to eat because I’m too lazy to cook, that’s what the organic microwave burritos from Costco are for. Ten of them in a box for $11, it’s literally just over a dollar a burrito. I can manage that.

Ok so you probably wonder why I’m spilling my goals into my blog. It’s because once I post this, It’s PUBLIC. Others know about it! That keeps me motivated. Knowing I told someone I was going to do something makes me feel more obligated to do it. So here goes! Starting September 1st and for 60 days after. I’ll also log my progress with all of this and let you know how it’s changed my mentality / mood / body. Wish me luck!

 

Craft Fair Trial and Errors

So life lately has been a little crazy… I quit my second job to become a crafter FULL TIME. It’s scary, but it’s my passion, and I LOVE it. I recently did a craft fair in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and got some great advice from a fellow crafter. “Do not give up!” She saw it was my first time at this fair and I was struggling with the wind from the lake affect almost blowing my tent to the next county and she had some kind words for me. I love the crafting community, they (so far) are very kind, welcoming, and helpful people. They watch your tent when you have to use the bathroom, they chat with you during the fair, and help save parking spaces for you afterwards.

lake geneva

The view from my tent in Lake Geneva was very gorgeous! It was also soothing to hear the water all day. The sun was shining, and the boats were buzzing. The wind was blowing… On day 2 the wind was so bad we were holding the legs of the tent with our full body weight to keep it from bending and breaking. Stuff was blowing off the tables left and right. Other crafters were giving us advice, like taking the sides off the tent to let the air through, and lowering the tent a few notches to strengthen the legs which actually helped a lot. We even tied weights to the top of the tent and let them hang to the ground, and some crafters had long ratchet ties from the tops of their tents at an angle into the ground with spiral dog leash steaks and that seemed to help them too.

tent in lake geneva

We had bags displayed on peg board and the wind wanted to take that thing home! The weight of the pegboard was doing damage to the tent, since we hung it from the top. Some other crafters had metal racks that were free standing, and the air flowed through them much more freely. I’ll be ordering those soon!

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There were a LOT of great crafters to check out. I saw so many dogs, and it was great for people watching.

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There were gorgeous buildings along the coastline, and a paddle boat giving tours all day.

After much trial and error, I’ve compiled a list of the things I bring to the fairs. Here’s a PDF of my checklist for the craft fairs. —> Craft Fair Check List Sheet

I know my list is specific to what I do at the fairs, but it may help some people! I compiled it from a bunch of other lists I’ve seen. Washing your hands with your drinking water at your tent after eating an apple and letting your hands air dry -vs- wet wipes… no brainer.

Some other advice we got from other crafters- Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to sell wholesale. Make connections and talk to the people around you, always. Build those relationships, you’ll be seeing a lot of the same people around!

I hope this helps some of you!

Wheatgrass Juice without a Juicer

Being the fiancé of a specialty farmer/gardener there are a lot of interesting edible greens growing in the back yard. Micro-greens, edible flowers, produce, and, wheatgrass. According to Wikipedia: “Wheatgrass is a good source of potassium, a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E(alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc, copper,manganese and selenium, and has a negligible amount of protein (less than one gram per 28 grams). Adding other foods with complementary amino acid profiles to this food may yield a more complete protein source and improve the quality of some types of restrictive diets.

Wheatgrass proponent Charles Schnabel claimed in the 1940s that “fifteen pounds of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to 350 pounds of ordinary garden vegetables”,[3] a ratio of 1:23.[6] Despite claims of vitamin and mineral content disproportional to other vegetables, the nutrient content of wheatgrass juice is roughly equivalent to that of common vegetables.”

Wow! You get a lot of nutrients from wheatgrass, and if we have access to it, why won’t I use it?

We have a juicer, which you will see in one of the photos below, but when we do wheatgrass in it, it just clogs up the blades and makes it hard for other things to get through. You need a special wheatgrass and greens blade to juice greens, which we don’t have. I’ve heard of being able to blend wheatgrass with water and strain it, but I wanted to get more nutrition out of that process, so I used coconut water.

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First, take your wheatgrass and cut it at the base with scissors.

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Cut the wheatgrass, and cut it into about 2″ long pieces and put it in the blender. I was able to blend about a half of a flat at once.

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I found that with a full blender, you need about a cup of liquid to really blend it.

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Once you blend it, on high speed, and for a while, until it blends smooth, you’ll have a small amount of liquid in your blender along with some pulp of wheatgrass.

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I used a simple strainer to strain the juice. Use a spoon to push the wheatgrass into the strainer. You’ll end up with some pulp that looks like what a cat will hack up in the yard, so I’ll spare you the photo.

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The finished product! It smells like a fresh cut lawn, so I recommend mixing it with some juice, or into a smoothie. Enjoy!

My New Job: Craft Fair Circuit

So a little over a month ago I quit my full time job as a corporate Interior Designer to work Craft Fairs selling my bags and other hand made goods that I make out of re-purposed materials. I have to say, this is the best decision I have ever made. I am happier, less stressed out, less anxious, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m finally doing something I want to do, and while I work, I don’t feel like there’s somewhere else I need to be. I love being able to create the things I want to create and see them come to fruition. (Finally!)

tent at bailey

Each fair is a new experience, from the layout of the tent, to the location, to the craft neighbors we land next to. One week it was a mother daughter team selling tutus, and one week it was a character artist. We were also lucky enough to land next to someone that watched my cashbox while I used the bathroom since I was working alone that weekend.

tent at bailey's 2

I have noticed that different things are popular at different markets. One week it’s the whales, one week it’s the keychains. Every group is different!

Display

Coming up with a display is the most fun part. I always love a challenge.

booth

I love to incorporate vintage pieces into my display too, from luggage, to gold luggage carts, to found branches to hang bags off of.

collage

I like to keep a variety of things for sale, to let people know I have something for everyone!

fabric pile

My craft room at home is a disaster, but that’s ok with me. It gives me a chance to clean it, and re-find things I forgot I had.

I’ll do a post on useful tips and tricks for getting into craft fairs as well, and what to bring as well as a check sheet. Stay tuned!

Verbena – The Café and Boutique?

Lately the fiancée and I have been tossing the idea around about opening a Café and Boutique. We would love to blend our passions and create a place that we can both work, and do what we love. He’s a chef / gardener and I’m a DIY enthusiast with years of Interior Design and service industry experience. After many a talk, we created the hybrid for a café where you can also shop for antiques.

The ONLY reason I’m not keeping this idea totally secret, is that I’ve started a Kickstarter for our project and need YOU my loyal readers to spread the word and help raise funding! Check out the page for full info on what kind of a magical place Verbena would be.

What would Verbena be?

  • A place with locally grown produce.
  • A place to get a fresh breakfast or lunch, and know that your food is free from GMO’s, hormones, and other harsh chemicals.
  • A place with locally roasted coffee and amazing teas.
  • A place with mismatched furniture, all second hand, but delightfully vintage.
  • A place where you can learn DIY lessons like painting, sewing, herb growing, making your own cleaning products, and other sustainable basics.
  • A place where you can go for coffee, and stay for the atmosphere.
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So check out the page, and help us make this dream a reality!

Thank you, and happy day dreaming!