Slow, but steady start

So I don’t know if it’s just the introvert in me, the fact that I’m talking to people 10+ hours a day or that I haven’t had it in forever, but I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my “alone time.” And before we go any further, please get your head out of the gutter because I’m referring to my quiet, humble abode.

Because Saturday's are now for homemade breakfast and "New Girl" marathons.

Because Saturday’s are now for homemade breakfast and “New Girl” marathons.

Working in a hospital and having over half of my job include calling people, I am absolutely people-drained by the time I set foot onto the metro home. By the time I hit the threshold of my apartment, the shoes come off, I jump into some comfy clothes and I take a deep breath… because entering that door is entering serenity and I embrace that quiet like no other.

Also, given that Washington D.C. is a big swampland, it holds that humidity like crazy and I usually spend the first five minutes hanging out by the air conditioning; trying to cool-down after hanging out on a train with a bunch of strangers and no air conditioning what-so-ever. It’s a glorious smell if you know what I’m talking about and by glorious I mean horrendous. But again, I’m not complaining because my commuting time has been cut by two-thirds, it’s just a mere–and accurate–observation.

I haven’t gotten used to the extra time either: What do I do with myself? Do I do laundry? Do I work out? Do I do some unpacking? Or maybe just sit here and watch 10 episodes of “New Girl” because I can and no one can tell me not to? It’s a complicated game in the evenings.

The mornings have been amazing though. I’m still in shock and awe of having time to COOK breakfast in the morning and sit with a cup of coffee, or in the case of hot, summer days, a nice glass of ice-cold energy juice. I’ve even had time to curl my hair. I don’t even know you guys, it’s crazy.

Decorating was quick in the beginning and has since slowed. I’ve been sketching out what I want to do and then come back and go “Eh, no.” It’s rough. Instead of thinking so much about it, I’ve just been going for it: today I put up a bulletin board in my kitchen along with a housewarming gift from my brother and his girlfriend… because wine is everything and no one can tell me any different.

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I love my new calendar printables that I found from Love vs Design (the jewel 2014 calendar) and my monthly calendar from Elli. Definitely check them out! Love vs Design has so many other templates for the year-long calendar, but this one just called out to me and the month design reminded me of my current blog layout. I knew I had to have it!

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Despite my uncertainty with the decor, I do have some wall art ideas for the horizon and I can’t wait to share those with you!

Till next time lovebugs,

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Apartment, sweet apartment

It’s amazing how quickly life can get away from you. For me, it’s been a tornadic series of events that started out the beginning of this year and continued on to the present. While nothing bad has happened—actually it’s been nothing but good things—it’s still been exhausting.

January brought us to the end of our work contract and February the beginning of the new one. In the same breath, we began preparing for the biggest month of our year, which, brought more exhaustion… again, in a good way. It wasn’t until April and May that things got super crazy and quite exciting! I was offered a new position and found my niche at work: outreach and patient education. It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of what I want to do in the future and has shown me that plans can change as quickly as a blink of an eye. Originally, I was planning to go to London to pursue my Masters in Clinical Psychology. While it probably seems a little crazy to give that up for the new job offer, I decided it was the right thing to do given the health of my family in the last year. It was important to me to stay close for a while, though I haven’t given up my dream of living overseas. There’s always my doctorate…*wink*.

This past two months of commuting to my new job has finally kicked me in the booty to settle closer to work, giving up three years of over 80 miles a day and over three hours of commuting time. I’ve moved and now am learning that decorating is not as easy as Pinterest makes it seem, mostly because of how indecisive I am and how I want everything “perfect”. You’d think I’d have learned by now that that is a far-fetched reality, but this is finally something I can call mine and I want to surround myself with things that make me happy. Learning that particular feat in the past few years has been a growing process, but I have to say, it was worth the turmoil to get to where I am today: truly and honestly happy.

My new little humble abode has given me a new motivation to get back into the game: crafting and working out. Clearly, my most recent idea of sharing my favorite workouts with you fizzled quickly, but I’ll redirect you to my tornadic life these past few months. With a lot more space for those kinds of activities and a lovely gym downstairs, I’m really excited to get back into it and share with you all of my new adventures.

Speaking of which, I am proud to say that I flew (and survived) my first plane-ride in over 14 years, by myself, and didn’t have a complete meltdown. Actually, this occurred twice, both trips to Boston! Probably the most exciting portion was getting to catch up with a friend of mine from college!

All in all, hurray for baby steps! Or in this case, giant leaps and bounds! And welcome to the new and exciting chapter in my life! Can’t wait to show you the decor and crafty idea’s I have down the pike!

Thank’s for sticking around through my hiatus!

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A little perspective…

So. Last week I forced myself to the gym after work. This has been the hardest thing for me to master with moving offices, so much so that I eventually cancelled my membership. Unfortunately for me, I cancelled too late and had to take January as my last month and pay for the month-to-month dues… stupid, but that’s the life of a gym goer. But it’s been way too difficult to arrange driving an extra hour a day (already on top of about 4 hours total of commuting daily) to the gym which should only take about 20 minutes to get to from my office. I know I should. I know it’s important to do. But it’s just not happening right now. Before it was on my way home/to work… now it’s completely out-of-the-way and is making me quite sad, because I really did enjoy it.

Another unfortunate aspect is that it’s JANUARY. Welcome to the month of every resolutioner in all of creation who will eventually drop out after the first two months but are super motivated for a few weeks and spend most of their gym visit taking hours on machines because they’re still not sure how to work them… I can say this because I was, in fact, one of them last year. (Reminder: I was insanely cliché and signed up for my membership at 6:00 pm on December 31st, 2012. Yeah. That was me.) Needless to say, I’ve been trying to avoid the gym like the plague.

Well, in attempt to get back on track and beat out this holiday weight gain, I went. I kept my gym bag sitting out at work as a reminder to myself that I was going to go. I had to go. And if I didn’t, I knew the guilt of not following through would keep me up all night. Well, something else decided to keep me up all night…

It started out like any other normal gym trip: Stop by the ladies room, fill up my water bottle, grab some towels and head downstairs to the cardio floor. I was doing pretty good: good stretching and hydration left me feeling loose and ready, I was going at a decent pace, had my music up as high as it could go without disturbing those around me-when out of the corner of my eye I noticed people running around behind me. I glanced to see panicked faces and people running up and down the stair case, employees bolting down as fast as they could. Naturally I stopped to see what all the fuss was when I noticed the gentleman behind me getting CPR after going into cardiac arrest.

Knowing there was really nothing I could do now that everyone had already jumped to help out (calling 911 was covered, medics called, employees notified and defibrillator gained) I froze. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened and honestly the first time (only about three years ago) sparked my reboot for wanting to lose weight again. But this time seemed different. We were all in a place where this wasn’t expected, where people were going to get healthy. And I know he was doing well with it, I had seen him before and knew a bit of his story. Maybe that’s what it was too, maybe the fact I at least knew who he was shook me a little bit more.

Eventually they closed down the floor and sent us all upstairs. We all were a bit shaken and you could tell who had been downstairs versus the ones that had already been working hard upstairs: we all had that ashen “what the hell just happened?” face.

It’s insanely sad that these situations are the ones that have to smack sense back into me. I made a doctor’s appointment the next day and check ups for three others. I panicked in my own health status: on my way but still not good enough. Still not at that point where I don’t worry at every turn and question my every move. It’s neurotic, I know, but I want to live a long and healthy life. I want to get married and have children. The children thing didn’t really spark a whole lot of concern until my trainer brought up that those who are overweight have a much harder time conceiving. Crap.

But I don’t want to scare people into thinking that it’s a lost cause; that even by getting healthy you could still find yourself in a situation like this and that exercising doesn’t help. Because that’s not my point. My point is that if anything has kicked me into high-gear it’s this experience. Oh, also and to get re-certified for CPR. Because I felt utterly helpless that I couldn’t help, thank goodness there were folks there that knew CPR and could start before the medics arrived. That’s something my bosses nodded in complete agreement with when I told them about it the next day.

So. I’d like to start sharing with you a few of my favorite healthy habits periodically. I’m hoping through sharing these, I’ll keep myself a bit more accountable and give some of you some new workouts, recipes, etc that you can do to spruce up your life routine! These workouts are also great to use when you’re not able to get to a gym and for days like this when it is just far too cold (and snowy) to do anything outside.

The first is a workout by Tracy Anderson that I found online a few years ago from the Fitlbr community on Tumblr. I can’t remember exactly which blogger I found it from (I think it was from Liz of onetwentyfive or Johanna at myquirkylife), but I found it to be a fantastic five-minute workout for my arms! No weights, just your own resistance! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tracy Anderson, she is the personal trainer to a lot of celebrities, most notably for Gwyneth Paltrow. She is big with using your own body to get strong and lose weight and working multiple muscle groups at once to give you the best results in a short amount of time.

So enjoy and let me know how you liked it! If if nothing else, check out the two bloggers above! I’ve been following them since my first go at this game! Very big inspirations!

You can follow my fitness journey through my Instagram: heyheyheatherk!

In conjunction with my last blog post, I’d like to get back on board with blogging. I feel like I can zen when I can express my life through this little piece of heaven. And I promise, craftiness will be returning! I have a few things I’d like to accomplish in the near future and with all of these snow days, I might just be able to do so!

So sending many hugs to all of you out there and make sure you pass them on! Because you never know… you just never know.

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Happy 2014!

Hello lovelies!

No, I am not dead. No, I have not been sent into the Witness Protection Program and thus why I have not posted in a while…

Life has become more of a roller coaster in the past six months, more so than I ever imagined. I unfortunately have not had any time to do much of anything besides sleep; even my workouts have suffered. They’ve changed my position at work a bit and it’s kept be busy beyond belief. Not only that, we’ve changed offices and now I’m commuting an extra hour a day. And in order to get a parking spot, I have to leave at the crack of dawn.

On top of all this, we’ve had a few family health issues in the past few months that have kept me on my toes more so than usual.

Basically life has changed… a lot and continues to do so. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. Any chance I can sit and just be is like heaven on earth. But with all of this chaotic change, came parts of my life that had to take a back seat for a while. This blog of mine, unfortunately, was one of them. Crafting was one of them. My etsy shop was another. My social life took another nose dive and I say a huge ‘thank you’ to my friends who have understood my chaos and haven’t disowned me for it! Fortunately for me and unfortunately for them, most are going through similar life situations.

The past few weeks have caused me to do a lot of thinking: where I’m going, what I want to do, etc. Obviously, new years will do that to you. It’s the hot thing: resolutions and all that. But with the changes going on at work and the changes going on at home, I’ve forced myself to take another look at everything and see what changes I need to make in order to feel normal again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy through all of this. I have to say I’m VERY proud of myself and how I’ve handled all of this change. If you had put last year’s me in this year’s situation, I’m not sure that girl would have made it through. I was in a bad place last year personally; I was surrounded by bad juju and a bad support system and made the decision that 2013 would be the year to change all of that. And I did: I am incredibly calm about everything. Stressed, yes, but calm. And happy. Quite happy. One of those contented happinesses that are quite rare, especially in D.C.

2013, however, was quite a challenge for me because it was a huge year of finding myself. It was kind of the first year in a long time I actually learned/had the chance to be myself, to be me and not let myself get influenced by so many others. That, i’ve discovered, is a bit of a personality flaw of mine… partially blamed on being a Pisces. We tend to do that: to absorb the feelings of others and place that burden on ourself in addition to absorbing others personalities and making them our own… which, if you aren’t careful can be more harm than good. But I’ve done a lot of amazing things this year like losing 50 lbs for instance. Sometimes I forget how big of a feat that is, huge even. I lost a whole elementary schooler! Once upon a time, I lost quite a lot more and I’ve struggled with that this year only because it’s taken me much longer to do so this time than last time. But I’ve had to keep in mind that I had a much different situation last time and just need to continue to adapt. This time I’ve been building a lot more muscle. That I know. That I can tell. And it feels amazing. 🙂 Along with the weight loss, I took on a new position at work, reignited old friendships, made some new ones, challenged myself personally and tried to do something that scared me more often than not, sewed a satin gown, made some decisions on my future including finally taking the GRE’s, among many other things…

This year already is bringing more new and exciting things! I’m in the process of making some major plans for September, of which, I don’t want to jinx until they are final so you’ll just have to wait on those. I’m doing a short product presentation on one of our webinars at work in a few weeks (kind of freaking out about it, but still excited!) and working on a major project at work that will be launching in a few months (again, so excited!). Trying to get back some social aspects of my life and have resolved to do at least one or two outings with friends a month. That probably sounds so lame, but baby steps, y’all, baby steps.

So there we have it and here we go. 2013 was an interesting year, great, but interesting. 2014 is going to be amazing.

I can’t wait.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and a happy new year! May 2014 bring you happiness and joy in whatever you do! And may you all remain healthy!

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Holy crap, I just sewed a gown!

*knock, knock, knock* “Heather?”

Yes. I’m alive. Please know I haven’t forgotten about you little bloggy blog of mine! It has been quite some time and in between work-outs, trying to keep up with my shop, working and trying to keep my social life at least a little bit afloat, I’ve spent the remainder of my time asleep. And these hours are very few and far between. So weekends, the free moments I have, oh you better believe I am snug in my bed, blissfully napping.

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten that days only have 24 hours in them and have had none left over to just sit. I miss sitting. And staring off into oblivion. And it’s my favorite time of year to do so… I need to find time to do that. Outside in a pair of jeans, a warm sweater, a hot cider and my thoughts. Doesn’t that sound glorious?

But I’m glad to get a chance and touch base with my blogging world. I feel like we need to sit down on a cafe terrace, sip lattes and talk about the weather, our families and Bethenny Frankle’s new talk show (God she’s hysterical, I adore her) and Tamra Judge’s wedding (GORGEOUS!).

In the meantime, let me share my biggest feat to date… or at least what feels like it to me.

I sewed a gown.

*pause for reaction*

Yes, I said gown. Remember last year’s Comic Con that I slacked and never put up pictures from like I promised? Yeah, so that happened again. But the shirt wasn’t enough this year, I had to kick it up a notch. So to Cosplay City we went. I did. I cosplayed. I wore a costume. And walked around downtown Baltimore. Like the ridiculously awesome fool I am. That happened. This is real life right here.

Join me on my sewing adventure.

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Happy Bloggiversary Give-away Winner!

Let’s talk about who’s been a bad blogger?

This girl. Aware. Got it. Apologies.

Life has been insanely crazy recently, perhaps I’ll share a bit in my next post, but I wanted to stop by and let you know who won!

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Congrats to my favorite SMASH-Booker, SuperCraftiFragilistic! Shoot me an email to heatherk06@gmail.com with your address and I’ll send the box your way! Some fun stuff in there you can use in your Smashbooks! 🙂

Thanks all who liked and commented!

If you don’t hear from me before tomorrow: Have a wonderful and safe Independence day! Don’t forget the past crafts from last years Independence Day!

 

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Broad Stripes and Bright Stars Shirt

 

 

Independence Mason Jars

 

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I died and went to spaghetti squash heaven

A week ago my nephew graduated high school. HIGH SCHOOL. Screw quarter life crisis, more like quarter life meltdown at this point! I was not able to attend due to each graduate getting a limited number of tickets but was definitely there in spirit as my teacher and father were sending me pictures of the days events. The week before that, my niece graduated from preschool. The reasons we’ve learned that these two amazing kids are related to me is:

  1. They’re awesome.
  2. Zoe’s plans were the following: “Zoe is going to kindergarten. And she wants to do EVERYTHING!”

Yup, sounds like moi. I’ve actually been struggling a little bit because I have no idea what I’m going to do anymore. The reason? TOO many things interest me.

Talk about first-world problems.

Seriously though, I always do feel really stupid saying stuff like that, but unfortunately, it’s true. With work contracts coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about my next move in life. The one definite I have is that I’m going to go to grad school. (HOLY CRAP!) I am set to take the GRE’s mid-August and am baffled by why it is so expensive to sit in front of a computer for 4.5 hours to take said test. Regardless, now I have to narrow down the grad school choices. Determining what I wanted to study was another problem. I would love to get into infectious disease research, but I also really enjoy health psychology. But then there is neuro which, I’ve hung around in for the past two years and thus leading to wanting to become a PA in the future…

Maybe that’s why I always wanted to be an actress growing up. That extinguishes the issue because you can be so many different things in such a short amount of time. After all, I always liked getting to be someone else for a while, someone new and different… But the reasoning of why I never divulged into the performing arena is going to take more than just a few paragraphs and will require a lot of alcohol.

What I’ve actually decided on has been Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Health and Physiology. My goal upon trying to lose weight and get healthy the first time was then to help others the same way my trainer helped me. I often feel really bad that I let myself get back to this place and like I’ve let her down. There were a lot of situations that led to this issue, but again… more paragraphs, more time and more alcohol. I’ve been talking with my current trainer and we were talking about this idea again: becoming a personal trainer/health coach extraordinaire. See, she has been there. She lost a ton of weight, was a figure competitor for a while and now is a fairy-god-sister disguised as a personal trainer. Having done this journey once already and now again, I want to help people who have been in the same predicament and just can’t seem to get ahead of the game. Because this time it’s going to happen.

Anyways, back to the story… since I had the house to myself last Tuesday, I decided to make up the spaghetti squash I had sitting on the table for a week. Spaghetti squash is fantastic, but sometimes takes some getting used to! You’re expecting a mushier texture, like pasta, since that’s what everyone compares it to but it is a little crunchier. I was super lazy so instead of dishing it out of the rinds, I decided to use them as bowls!

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The perks of eating it right out of the rind is that you don’t have to worry about extra dishes! I decided it was a good idea when I discovered we obtained more paper plates and I was too lazy to dish out the “noodles” from the squash rinds.

Spaghetti squash is so easy to cook:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut each squash in half and then clear out the seeds (note: you can keep the seeds and cook them like you would pumpkin seeds!).
  3. I like to sprinkle some safflower or olive oil on top and then sprinkle some spices: salt, pepper, sometimes garlic, old bay, or even greek seasoning.
  4. Cover in aluminum foil pretty tight and put in for a half hour.
  5. After a half hour, check with a fork and see if you can easily peel the squash away in little strips, usually it takes an hour or an hour and a half.
  6. If not, put back in for another half hour and check again.

Now here is where the fun part comes in…

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Spinach and Crab with Cheese

Mix in a bowl 1/3 cooked crab meat, a sprinkle of old bay seasoning, a handful of shredded baby spinach, about 1/8 cup of cheddar cheese and a little alfredo sauce. After shredding the squash, pour the mixture into the “bowl” and then top with mozzarella cheese.

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Chicken Parm

Add a mixture of cooked chicken pieces, tomato sauce (I used tomato and basil), and some sprinkled parmesan cheese to the “bowl” of shredded squash. Top with mozzarella cheese.

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I didn’t have any meat left over, so I stuffed the remaining two with just sauces and cheese!

Stick under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes (don’t forget to leave the door open a crack!) but keep an eye on it. It’s done when the top of the cheese is cooked.

DIG IN!

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I topped it off with a little extra old bay and DIVULGED. So good you guys!

How do you like your spaghetti squash?!

And don’t forget about the giveaway!

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