Monday, September 1, 2014

An important message for September, and teal toes for Marti

My mom lost her battle with ovarian cancer in October 2012.
September is ovarian cancer awareness month, and while I don't plan to make that the focus on my blog for this entire month, I do feel a sense of obligation to at least mention it on this, the first day of September.

While Carrie and I were visiting our family in California this past weekend, we set aside some time to have pedicures. In honor of my mom, the nail polish we chose was teal, the color representing ovarian cancer.

Please take a few minutes to educate yourself about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. And I if you are so inclined, we'd love to have you join us in remembering our mom/grandmother, Marti, with teal toes in September.

You can read more about my mom here.
Please use hashtag #TealToesForMarti on Instagram so we can appreciate you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Just a Quote for Friday

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." 

~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Quilt Square for Jo C.

It's time for another installment of Fiona's Friendship Quilt Square Exchange.
This month, we all made squares to send to Jo C.
I wanted to make Jo's quilt square with a traditional pieced design and I have always wanted to try my hand at stitching hexagons. These hexagons were the perfect stitching project for a road trip we took back in July.

I'm making two of every square so I can have one to keep for myself, and the photo of the square in progress is the one I actually kept for myself. I made that one first so I could practice, and by the time I got to stitching Jo's (on the road trip back home) I forgot to take photos.

A while back my friend, Becky, shared this scrapbook page she'd made with hexagons and I was instantly inspired when she mentioned that she had cut the shapes with her Cricut. I emailed her right away to ask what cartridge she'd used and kept my fingers crossed that it was one I already owned. I knew that stitching hexagons required precision, so having the shapes all cut from the same source would be to my benefit.

Becky's reply made me happy, as the cartridge she'd used was one I had in my collection (Accent Essentials) and she also told me about this this website she uses for searching for shapes. It's cool - you type in the shape/item in the search field and it brings up a list of cartridges that contain that shape. Very handy!

I cut 2" hexagons from some scrap cardstock I had and they worked perfectly for my templates, and I used this tutorial for stitching my pieces. I have to say that I really loved sewing these hexagon squares. A bit time consuming, it gave me a real appreciation for quilters who have the dedication to stitch enough hexagons together to make a full quilt top!

I loved stitching this hexagon quilt square for Jo. :o)
You can see the other squares I've created for this project by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A yoga survey, if you please

Hey there, blog friends.
I'm wondering if you'll do me a little favor and take a couple of minutes to complete the survey below. I would really appreciate it! Please? And thank you!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Change your posture, change your world.

There are so many lessons to absorb in yoga teacher school! So many of the things I thought I already knew are being revisited and presented to me in new ways. I love learning the intricacies of yoga, and already – after only two weeks of classes – I’ve had some ah-ha! moments.

I learned something in yoga teacher school on Thursday night that sunk in and made perfect sense to me, and it has to do with posture and how we carry our bodies throughout our days.

Did you know that our posture can not only affect our mood, but it can literally affect our hormone levels? It seemed logical to believe the concept of shifting our mood by sitting up straight – shaking off those woe-is-me slumped shoulders and holding our head high, but actually changing our hormone levels?
Get this – our brain instinctively knows when our shoulders are slumped and our head is hanging low that there’s something going on. Just as our body language would appear to others looking on, our brain knows that that body's posture is a sign of unhappiness – maybe even fear or angst. And because our brain is so smart and great at delivering everything we need to get through our current situation, it goes ahead and makes some extra hormones to maintain us through that danger zone – whether we really need it or not.
But what if we hold ourselves in a poor posture and there's really nothing wrong? What if it’s just another regular ol’ day on planet earth and that’s how we sit or stand comfortably out of habit? Well, our brain doesn’t know that, so it just keeps producing the junk it needs to help maintain us, all slouched over like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. I can see how this would be a vicious cycle without the knowledge of how to change it.
Change your posture, change your world.
The good news is that we can change that – all by ourselves and it won’t cost us a dime. The simple act of standing tall, head held up with shoulders back and down can be transformational. Our brain will get the message and be like, “Hey! This is a happy day and together we’ve got this!” and then it will magically produce all the right hormones to make that shift.
This could explain how yoga transformed me without me even knowing what was happening. This could explain how yoga helped me to overcome personal obstacles, and how it continues to feed my spirit. Thanks to my yoga practice, I stand tall with my shoulders back and down, facing the world head on and ready for whatever comes my way.
I am my posture, and my posture is me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Around here this weekend

Hello, Monday.
Hello, blog friends.
Hello, autumn?
Doug will scoff, but I say there's a hint of fall in the air. There's something different about the warm breeze blowing, the way the light falls, and how morning time feels in our backyard. I can feel it, I know I can. Oh sure, August is like this - starts to cool down just a little and then the heat will be back - BAM! - for another hot spell. But I didn't think about that this weekend. I enjoyed some time outside - early on Saturday morning, and then again yesterday morning. Loved. It.

Doug was off hunting this weekend, so I busied myself around here. The few potted plants we've had in our backyard space had all pretty much withered away, so I spent some time repotting some fresh flowering plants that will last into fall and possibly winter.

It's kind of hard to deny you've been digging when there's dirt on your nose...

Saturday night I spent some time at my sewing machine working on the herringbone quilt I'm making. I'm excited about this quilt, but I'll admit that working on it is a bit monotonous. It's gray and white triangles, over and over and over... Anyway, I reached the point of sewing rows together last night and it's fun to see it starting to take shape.

It was so nice to spend a bunch of time in my craft room this weekend. I'm so grateful to have this space, and sometimes when I walk into this room I just stop and admire all my stuff. This time I took a photo...

And about my yoga teacher training: Part of my yoga teacher training includes school on Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:30 - 9:30. After three hours of taking in all kinds of interesting information on philosophy, yoga history, and then technique, my mind is swimming when I get home. I love it all, but it's definitely a new routine for my mind and body. As part of my training, I'm also required to have several hours of practicum, including a certain number of yoga classes outside of my Thursday and Friday night classroom time. I managed to get myself to a yoga class Saturday morning, and after that I kind of took a break from yoga for the rest of the weekend.

It was also a little difficult to read my yoga manual with this boy between my workbook and me...

This is how I finished off the weekend ~ sitting outside and enjoying our backyard space. Gosh I thought about my mom so much this weekend. She LOVED coming to Arizona and sitting out on the patio, drinking iced tea and chatting...

And now I'm off to begin the week - a short one for me because I have Friday off! :o) Carrie and I are headed to California this weekend to visit family and we couldn't be more excited! Time to kick into Monday mode and hit the yoga mat and stretch my aching muscles.

May we find joy in unexpected ways this week.
Watch for it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just a Video for Friday ~ Hello Love

Heidi Robbins shared this video in her recent e-newsletter and I just loved it! The message is worthy of sharing, and the animation is just so cute. It's only 49 seconds long, and if you watch to the end and you'll see why it appeals to me. I hope you like it too.

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