NaBloPoMo: Craft Friday

Smattering in progress in Starcroft Tide

November is a pretty great month in my world. I get to celebrate my sister’s birthday. The semester is on the slide to winter break (and students who slacked in October suddenly wake up and try harder). Thanksgiving brings one of my favorite celebrations of the year.

And then.

And then: Craft Friday. A few years back, I declared my rebellion against Black Friday. Instead of shopping, you’ll now find me crafting on the day after Thanksgiving. Want to join in? Over the next two weeks I’ll be sharing resources and ideas. Be sure to tell me about your Craft Friday plans!

Looking for inspiration? Check out my Craft Friday Pinterest board (and ask to join if you want to add to it!).

So, spill. You in?

NaBloPoMo: Hygge

We’ve been spoiled this autumn with mild temps. Today was the first really chilly morning when I hiked with Oskar. Kind of wishing I’d made knitting a pair of fingerless mitts a summer priority! The forecast shows temps dropping like a stone tossed from a bridge, which makes me pretty grateful Neal spent a lot of time chopping and stacking wood this spring!

Time to break out all the hygge goodness–candles, fireplace, cozy pjs, tea, knitting…what says hygge to you?

P.S. A Very Hygge Thing to me is Craft Friday…which is just around the corner! Stay tuned to read all about it!

NaBloPoMo: Breakfast

When I was in my early 30s I found out I had borderline high cholesterol. It was a wake up call to get more deliberate about my health, and I paid attention. I lost about 35 pounds and changed my eating habits. One habit stuck with me for about 16 years…almost every day I ate the same cereal breakfast.

I like routines, especially routines that make mornings easier. So when I started the Whole Life Challenge and saw that cereal was non-compliant, I freaked a little. I’ll be honest. I sort of depend on eating that same breakfast every day. It frees me to think about other things when I’m freshly awake.

A friend suggested I replace it with compliant oatmeal, which I scoffed at, having always found myself hungry not long after eating oatmeal. But then I caved. I bought a tin of steel cut oats.

And I was hooked. Reader, I married him  have a new breakfast! Here’s how I make it– and it’s nearly as easy as pouring a bowl of cereal! The key thing: I make it in the crock pot–4.5 cups of water to 1 cup of steel cut oats. I put it on high for two hours (at about 9 p.m.), and then turn it down to warm for the rest of the night. This makes four servings, so I only have to do it twice a week.

To make it seem like a real treat, I chop up an apple and sauté in a little coconut oil (good fat, yo) with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves over it. I add a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds (zinc, yo) to my bowl, pour on the oatmeal, top it with warm apple, drizzle on a little cashew milk.

And that is my new breakfast routine. Okay, your turn: what’s your go-to healthy breakfast?

P.S. I now refill the lovely McCann tin with steel cut oats bought at less than half the price at my health food store!

NaBloPoMo: Whole Life Challenge

A FaceBook friend mentioned back in September that she was going to participate in the Whole Life Challenge for the next eight weeks, and was I interested in playing along? As long-time readers know, I am always game for a project.

Halfway into the challenge, I started an elimination diet in an effort to reset my system and see if I could make some dietary changes to alleviate a few minor health issues.

Both of these challenges are coming to a close this week. I’ve given up coffee, alcohol (the easiest one for me), nightshades, gluten, dairy, chocolate (the second easiest). Not since I became a vegetarian in 1998 have I navigated so many changes in my eating habits. It’s been really good for my health (the motivation for increasing water consumption, as well as getting to bed at an earlier hour), and shaking up my eating habits has felt like a spring cleaning and like I’ve managed to make eating more fun.

I’m considering making the no-coffee a permanent thing. I’m not sure just yet. I’m over the cravings and headaches, but I miss the ritual.

How about you? What have you changed in your diet lately that’s made you feel better?

NaBloPoMo: Veggies!

Yesterday was the first pick up for my fall / winter CSA share. A long-time local pal turned me on to this CSA last year, and in the few weeks since my summer CSA ended, I’ve been moping around waiting for it to start.

We’ve improved our cold storage for squash and root veggies since losing a bit of produce last winter. We’re going to need more storage at this rate, though! How do you handle cold storage?

One of my favorite things about CSAs, no matter what season? Sharing the produce with my dear MIL and having her say, “that carrot (or tomato or onion or peach) tasted like a real carrot (or tomato or onion or peach).” I just love sharing the pleasure of locally, organically grown veggies with her!

P.S. Ignore the fact that I forgot to post yesterday! 

NaBloPoMo: Water

While I prioritize my health (physical and mental) when making decisions and strive to cultivate habits that support my health, there has been one area that eluded me: I never drink enough water. Neal guzzles it down, but I’ve never managed to get my daily dose in me.

Here’s how that has (mostly) changed. First, I joined the Whole Life Challenge, and one of the ways to earn points is through hydration. I like earning points, so I put in some effort. The other change was to purchase a cuppow lid and metal straws. Now I take my festively dressed mason jar with me everywhere and sip all those OZs my body needs.

Am I perfect about this every day? Not at all, but considering how little water I drank about eight weeks ago, I’m pleased with my progress. What little changes with a big impact have you made lately?

NaBloPoMo: Yoga

Earlier today I did my 676th consecutive yoga practice. Way back at the end of 2015, I decided to get back into having a home practice as I had in the late 90s, early 2000s. At first, when I didn’t want to get on the mat, I’d say to myself, “today’s not the day I’m going to break my streak.” It worked, I guess. Now it’s pretty rare for me to drag myself to the mat; it’s usually a part of my daily routine I anticipate.

Not every practice is a long one. On days when I’m really crunched, I may do a 20 minute practice and remind myself that it is the habit of getting on the mat that matters to me. If I can get on the mat, no matter the amount of time, I will feel better.

I can’t imagine anyone interested in yoga hasn’t heard of Yoga with Adriene or the Find What Feels Good kula…but just in case you haven’t, go on and take a look. Adriene does an excellent job guiding with her voice so you don’t feel glued to the videos, and her explanations of poses are super.

Let me know what long-time practices you have going on!

NaBloPoMo: Slow Stitching

I don’t know where I first saw Katrina Rodabaugh’s work, but I knew I wanted to take a workshop with her as soon as I saw her beautiful visible mending.

Last Sunday I woke early and wended my way to one of my favorite river towns, Hudson, to one of my favorite maker spaces, Drop Forge and Tool, where, at long last, I was able to stitch under Katrina’s tutelage.

The workshop began with an overview of resources, basic stitching lessons, and the loose instructions to stitch a tea quilt. Didn’t the class make some cool ones? Mine is the lower left corner one.

After a lunch break, we got into the nitty gritty of mending, and discussions about the slow fashion movement. I left the workshop feeling so inspired and excited, and super pleased with the mending I did and the new skills I acquired. If you have a chance to take a workshop with Katrina, don’t even hesitate!

P.S. I’m sure you can imagine all the things a person might say after neglecting her website since late January, so I’ll spare you my actually saying them.

Random Wednesday

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  • Clark Sable, my trusty steed, hit 100k yesterday.  I'm hoping to double that with him.
  • Inspired by Robyn at the Minimalist Knitter, I culled two large bags of yarn from my stash last week.  Bringing nice yarn to share with knitting friends is fun.  It makes the knitters a little giddy.
  • I'm hoping for a cold rain tomorrow so I will feel inspired to make tomato soup and grilled cheese.  It is fall, after all, and time again for warm soup!
  • Tomorrow is the last day of NaBloPoMo, my first 750 words challenge, and the last day with any clothes in my closet.  Project 333 and other challenges are just around the corner!

What's random and new with you?