Friday, April 24, 2015

Six weeks post-surgery || Six things learned

Wednesday marked the six-weeks post-surgery point in my (surprise) hysterectomy recovery, so I thought it deserved a little post.

I took this (makeup-free) picture looking out my kitchen window on a particularly down day when I was feeling all of the feelings.

I have apparently learned a lot about myself in these recent weeks. Six things, conveniently enough, in six weeks (oh, aren't bloggers crafty?) ...
  1. I need to be better about letting things go, and giving up control. Not everything has to be my way. Not every mess needs to be cleaned up immediately. I had to let go of a lot of OCD tendencies because I simply couldn't get up and DO something, and that's a good thing. (More about this here.) I learned that I'm not the only person who can handle things, and that I have wonderful friends and family members who are happy to help out.
  2. I need to prioritize sleep. My lights-off time used to be 11 p.m. (sometimessss 11:30 p.m.) but I have learned it needs to be closer to 10 p.m. Last night, I watched one show with Darling Husband and he suggested a second (it was 8:45 p.m.) and I decided to go to bed instead. He thought I was crazy, but I spent over an hour reading on my phone (social media, catching up on blogs) and had the lights out by 10 p.m. I woke up long before my alarm and felt good. I'm a morning person, and I need to accept that.
  3. I need to stop putting pressure on myself about stupid things. The first week our kids went to their once-a-week sitter, I sent baked goods so they had something to share with their friends. Mini-muffins, something like that. They were a huge hit, and so I made something else for the second week. Then? Somehow? It became something I felt I *had* to do every week, even on nights when I was exhausted and busy. Well, I couldn't bake in my early recovery days, so I got away from the feeling that I *had* to send them with baked goods. Now I feel fine about the fact that I'll send cookies or muffins sometimes, but only when I can. 
  4. I don't have to feel guilty about taking time for my hobbies. Right before my surgery, I finished The Fringe Hours and LOVED it. Seriously, it was life-changing. I always feel guilty about spending time sewing or crafting because there are more important things I could be doing -- house projects, chores, work, writing one of my many unfinished books. But Jessica says it's critical to pursue your passions and do things that make you happy. She's so right.
  5. These everyday, basic, regular days are so awesome. It's funny how it takes losing your regular life to really appreciate the monotony of your regular life. I missed things like driving D to preschool, and wandering aimlessly around the mall with C. I missed watching TV alone in the basement with Darling Husband after the kids were in bed. I missed washing the dishes at some points! I still dearly miss my Zumba classes, but hopefully I'll be back within the next week or two.
  6. I need to stop rushing ... well, sometimes. There's nothing like being unable to get out of bed unassisted to make you stop your go-go-go mentality. I'm making more of a point now to stop -- sip my tea at the kitchen table without being glued to my phone, turn off the TV and just sit in silence for a minute (uh, again, without being glued to my phone), take a second to really breathe. I don't need to be going a million miles a minute all of the time -- and it's not good for me, either.
The last six weeks (mainly the first three) were really hard, but plenty of good things have come from them. Lemons into lemonade and whatnot. The snow is finally melting, the chill is easing up, and spring (real spring) will be here soon. 

xo

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How to transfer photos to wood (without a million failed attempts)

It's not often that I come across a craft I can't conquer. 

This one *really* tried my patience, but luckily (?) I'm super stubborn. After many, many, many attempts, I figured out what I was doing wrong and got it to work. 

If you've been curious about using gel medium to transfer photos to wood, pop over to my DIY column, My Handmade Home, and see how it all went down ... 

(Hint: I discovered the trick, after seven failed attempts)

Click to read my full column (and learn the trick)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The unprompted manners experiment

Last week on Instagram, I teased that I was involved in a very high-tech (read: duct-taping my phone to my tripod) video production, and now I can share it with all of you lovelies ...

It's funny how screenshots you choose yourself are WAY more flattering than the automatic screenshots chosen by Brightcove, right?

I'll be doing a fun video to promote my parenting column, "The Mom Scene," (which, for my non-local readers, runs in newspapers here in Nova Scotia).

My first video went live this morning, to go with this week's column on manners, so I'd love it if you felt like popping over to take a peek at the video (and, you know, read the full column, while you're there).

Nice teeth, Heather? (View the video (and read the column) here)

BONUS: You get to see C and D make their movie debuts, and also get some random shots of me making awkward expressions and trying to be normal.

xo

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Feeling the (internet) love

The internet is good for a lot of things. 

Streaming music, editing photos, reading blogs, gawking over celebrities, converting lowercase text into uppercase text immediately without having to retype a thing (yes. this.) and of course the biggies: Netflix and Pinterest.

But one of my favourite things is the linky love and making connections with complete strangers. I feel totally invested in the lives of many of my "blog friends," and feel really encouraged by ,y regular commenters who've stuck around over the years.

That's why I was SO honoured to be featured over on CraftGossip.com the other day for my board game art/storage post (which happens to be the most popular post on this entire blog, FYI). 

Thanks, CraftGossip!

"My hand! My hand is on CraftGossip!" I told Darling Husband proudly as I pointed at the picture. He didn't understand why I was so excited, but he nodded supportively.

I feel like this little blog is really starting to gain traction in the last few months. Traffic went up after my first Buzzfeed post, and then again after my Huffington Post features (here and here).

Now I'm feeling inspired to try to promote my DIY tutorials a bit more heavily. I round up all of my "Handmade Home" columns under the "DIY projects" tab (and on this Pinterest board) to keep them all in the same place.

I feel like I'm at a strange place with the blog, where it's not like blogging into a void but it's also FAR from being a well-known one (like a Young House Love, a Bower Power, a NewlyWoodwards, a Two Twenty One, or a Semi Proper -- although I'm friends with Roo so that bumps up my cred, right?)

I go through periods where I spend more time on it, and then periods where freelance work and family life takes over and I neglect the blog. I think I need to start focusing on it more, and trying to make it the best it can be. Before, like, robot bloggers take over and I'm booted from my own site entirely?