April 2, 2017

Life Lately // Catching Up

Life has been, for the lack of a better word, crazy.  My work hours shot up at the end of December due to an unexpected change in staff, and I'm finding it so difficult to accomplish anything outside of work.  I've been hiking only a handful of times, haven't even considered touching my camera for the most part, and have gained back nearly 10 pounds that I had lost before Thanksgiving!  Ughhh!  But, this isn't a rant post, I don't like doing that...so instead I'll catch you up on a few things that I HAVE been up to :)

First off, more hours means more money and I've begun the process of really working on making over my creative space!  I rearranged things, painted the walls white, and put a LOT in storage.  I also purchased a nice big rug and giant floor pillows to sit on while drawing.  I'm setting up an entire corner of my room to devote to relaxing, creating, and listening to my records.  I'll share photos once I have a few things on the walls and get my new record player :)  In the meantime...you can spot my cat Brando chilling on my floor pillows!
As you can see, I've also found the time to do at least a little bit of drawing.  Not nearly as much as I'd like, but hey...at least I'm dabbling right?!  The Snapping Turtle is a starting point for a Reptile & Amphibian series I'm creating for my Happy Herping project, and the illustration at the top was just me having fun with characters and practicing different facial features and styles...also a great chance to try out my new Copic markers...dude...I need ALL the Copic Markers!!!

A couple of weeks ago I added this wire shelving unit above my desk and filled it with a few of my favorite things :)  I can't believe it's taken me so long to finally start collecting the Wes Anderson Criterion Collection Blu-Rays...but it's happening!

I started reading again!  It saddens me to think about the lack of reading I've done over the past couple of years.  I've been making a point to not spend so much time on the computer and more time reading.  It's paying off.  I'm on a Stephen King reading binge right now, and am nearly finished with the second book in the Dark Tower series!  I'm looking forward to seeing the film adaptation this summer so I'm determined to finish the entire series before then.

Aside from setting up my room, reading a ton, and making an effort to start drawing again...I've seen a few films that I loved (mostly foreign language horror) such as The Wailing, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Train To Busan, and The Eyes of My Mother.  If you're into horror/thrillers and don't mind sub-titles...I highly recommend all of these!

In the month of April, I hope to:

  • Get to the 4th Dark Tower book.
  • Spend some time practicing with my Hula Hoop.
  • Take walks at the park regularly.
  • Drink more water and less soda.
  • Add to my Wes Anderson Criterion Collection.
  • Illustrate more!
  • Buy that new record player I want!
Well, there it is!  Now that I've caught you up a bit on what's been going on...I'll try and not stay away so long before my next post.  I've got a couple of hours or so before The Walking Dead finale, so I suppose I'll do some cleaning up, pack lunch for tomorrow, and do a bit of reading while I wait.  

So, what have you been up to lately?

January 17, 2017

The Creative Space Of My Dreams

This year, I'm all about doing things that make me happy and something that I've always wanted to do but have never committed to was to curate a room that I love.  My craft room (which will hence forth be referred to as my Creative Space) is in the middle of a major and much needed makeover.  Last year, I stripped the floors of the old brown carpet that had covered them for decades and decided to stick with having a bare concrete floor.  I also painted the walls turquoise and hung lots of of my favorite things.  This year, I'm going all out and actually pulling together a lot of things that I've always wanted to have but was either too poor to spend the money on new things or was too busy telling myself I was saving for something bigger...which was a lie to myself because I was constantly spending my money on junk instead.  So these are the things I want to invest in and create the Creative Space I've always wanted.  I kinda feel like once it's done, I'm never gonna wanna leave it...it's going to be such a fresh and happy place!  Keep reading to get the breakdown!

My walls are currently being painted with a fresh coat of a White-ish color to replace the turquoise.  The room is quite small at 10x10, so I think the white will help tremendously in opening up the space.  If I could only get one thing from this wishlist that I think would have the biggest impact on the level of cozy in the room...it would have to be a giant soft rug.  I love the bare concrete, but I've been wanting something plush under my toes for such a long time and I can't wait to take a nap on this thing!  I can totally see myself lounging on a pile of floor pillows with a sketchbook while listening to my records.  So dreamy :)  Links: Rug, Cat Pillow, Floor Pillow.

Speaking of records, I'm set on investing in a nice Record Storage rack and I am IN LOVE with this simple gold one from Urban Outfitters.  It won't take up a ton of space, and I love that I will be able to see a few of the covers instead of everything being tucked away side by side.  I would also like to have a nice set of shelves for displaying a few of my favorite things and I love the idea of having this trio of colors.  I'm not sure I'll purchase these specifically, but I may use them as inspiration for some DIY shelves I've been thinking of making.  I can definitely see them filled with things that I love....the Wes Anderson Criterion Collection blu-rays, things I collect from hiking adventures, a made-over View Master or two, perhaps a framed photo of Jemaine Clement just because I'm dorky like that...we'll see! Links: Record Rack, Shelves.

I already have the spectacular Testudines poster that I can not wait to hang, and I've been oggling this Stegosaurus lamp for a few months now on Modcloth.  The one thing that I would really like to have but will probably be pretty difficult to come by is a Taxidermy Armadillo.  If I can find any sort of Taxidermy piece at an antique store or yard sale that is as interesting as an armadillo I might get it...but I really want an Armadillo...Armadillos are my spirit animal :)  Links: Stegosaurus Lamp, Poster.

Last but not least, I reeeeally want to invest in a new record player.  My little green Crosley one is still going strong, but I would love to invest in this pretty Lavender one with speakers.  I also wouldn't mind having this rolling cart to set it on and the extra storage space is a plus.  As you can see from the several items on this list...I'm making records a big part of my room wishlist!  My record collection is slowly growing and I have a huge long list of records I want to add to it.  The Weepies & Laura Viers have been on repeat for me lately...so naturally I want all of theirs!  I'm also eager to get my hands on this Wes Anderson tribute album...so many great songs on that thing!!! Links: Rolling Cart, Record Player, The Weepies, I Saved Latin, Laura Viers.

So there it is!  I'm sure I'll find different pieces as the year goes on that I'll get instead of these...but I feel like this list totally represents the look and feel of the creative space I want to create for myself.  I want a bright, open, and minimalist type of space that I can listen to my favorite music in while working on my artwork and editing photos :)

December 31, 2016

2017 Goals and Intentions // A New Approach

Before writing this post, I scrolled back through previous annual goals lists of mine, and noticed something.  They're pretty much the same list.  Ooops!  Guys, I am such a procrastinator and it is not even funny at all.  Every year that goes by, I look back at the things I wanted to accomplish only to realize that I didn't do much in the way of reaching them.  I could come up with a load of excuses that might make me feel better...but I know they would just be excuses...so I'm not gonna do that.  Instead I'm going to take a new approach to meeting my goals.  I tend to look at the big picture and imagine myself at the end of the year.  What would my life look like...what would I look look...how would I spend my days if at the end of the year I could cross off everything on my list?  That strategy just ends up making me feel like I'm in a never ending tunnel...I can see the end and it feels like I'm moving forward...but the end of that tunnel just keeps getting further and further away.  Soooo.....instead of taking that approach, I'm going to just relax and take this year one month at a time.  I'm just going to have fun with it and see where it leads me.  If I want to alter or replace a goal 6 months from now, I'll do that and not feel bad about it.  I want to see what happens if I just take things one day at a time and make an effort to remain positive throughout.  So here are my intentions for the year in no particular order:

BE HEALTHY + FIT I am going to CRUSH this.  I list this as a goal every single year, and at the end of every year I have nothing to show for it.  This is the year it's going to happen, and here's why:  1) I have given myself a head start by dropping 10 pounds over the past few months already! Yay!!! 2) I reeeally want to be ready to jump back into Roller Derby in 6 months so that I can give so much more at every practice. 3) I have a fail-proof plan.  *Note to self: if you disappoint me the year, you're gonna be in BIG TROUBLE!*  My plan is to keep things simple by continuing the healthy changes I've made to my diet and incorporating a fun fitness routine, and to not focus on things like numbers and sizes.  I just want to feel better in my body.  Here's the breakdown!
  • 65oz Daily Water Challenge
  • Clean Eating: Meal Planning + Meal Prep
  • FitGirls Workouts 3X a Week
  • Hula Hooping Practice
  • Sunday Hikes
  • Roller Skating
Instead of focusing on the end result, I'm taking this as a monthly challenge, one day at a time.  If I can look at each day knowing that I can add a star sticker for completing that days goals then I'm set.  Having lost the 10 pounds I've already dropped is probably the biggest motivating factor going for me right now.  I'm super proud of the changes I've made and am excited to have that extra momentum pushing me forward. 

IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY This is another biggie for me, and it's on my list ever year.  Again with the procrastination!  2016 was the year I disconnected myself from a lot of things, and nearly let photography go. 😟 2016 was the year that I lost confidence in myself, my abilities, and my direction in life.  But hey, 2017 is looking up and I am feeling so damn confident in my plans for improving my photography skills and really making an effort to achieve my goals.  I'm a huge fan of Lauren & Rob over at Photography Concentrate and I'll be following their free "How to Photograph Life" course throughout the year.  The course is laid out as a 14-Day program, but I'm going to stretch it out into a monthly challenge instead. This months focus is all about camera skills, so I'm looking forward to getting comfortable with my camera again.  Of the few photos I did take in 2016...this is the one I'm most proud of, and I'd really like to try my hand at more night sky photography.

EXPLORE TEXAS If time and money were no barrier, I would pack a carry on right this minute, jump on a plane, and start living my life as a wandering nomad traveling the globe.  Time and money ARE definitely a living breathing thing holding me back right now, and seeing as I live in the giant and geologically diverse state of Texas...I have no excuse not to travel this land I call home.  It's easy to marvel at far away places around the planet and imagine that they must be the most beautiful and exciting places that I may or may not see in my lifetime outside of a photograph or film.  Know what else is super easy?  Overlooking all of the incredibly close-to home places just waiting to be explored.  Texas has some pretty incredible travel destinations and interesting things to see for sure. Here are a few definitely worth checking out: The Marfa Lights, Bracken Bat Cave (home to the worlds LARGEST bat colony!), Caverns of Sonora, Palo Duro Canyon, Enchanted Rock, and Caddo Lake!  Unless we're stormed out or I have a family meetup planned, I intend on spending every Sunday hiking and exploring as much of Texas as I can.

BE MORE INDEPENDENT + LESS SOCIALLY WITHDRAWN I hate to admit it, but I'm just a little very dependent on others and hate being an adult/doing things on my own.  Down to the point that I will sometimes forego going to the grocery store by myself if Matthew isn't going with me.  This is probably the one thing about myself that I want to change more than anything else.  In 2017 I'm going to make it a point to take myself on dates so that I can spend some quality time not being dependent on anyone else.  Aside from traveling solo, going to a concert alone sounds terrifying...so perhaps I'll make that happen at some point before the end of the year.

I'm also incredibly shy and withdrawn.  If I can get away with being as invisible as possible, then I'll go for it.  I'm terrible at small talk, I'm always thinking that my contribution to a conversation is going to come out all wrong, be awkward, or that nobody will care what I have to say.  I've been that way since childhood and it's mostly around people I don't know...but occasionally around people to that I DO know which makes me sad.  At one point I even shut myself in my room and went to bed hungry while my sister was having a get together because I was afraid to leave my room and someone talking to me.  I've come a long way since then, and there's no way I'd miss food if it meant I had to do a little socializing to get it.  Especially pizza...if you need me to come out of hiding in my room...just tell me you have pizza k? 😉

Confidence is key, and that's what I'll really be working towards in 2017.  If I can be confident in myself, then I think being more independent and less shy will naturally come a lot easier.  

PAY OFF MY CREDIT CARD DEBT I haven't completely narrowed down what exactly it is that I want to do for a living, but I'm due for a change sometime within the next year or two.  I have some concrete ideas, but before I jump into something else I need to start clean by eliminating my credit card debt.  I paid down quite a bit over the past few months, but I still have quite a ways to go.  I'm on top of it though, and I know it can be done.  Reaching this goal will require me to be more frugal and to stop impulse-buying (which I do a lot of).  I will have such a sense of freedom when I reach this goal, and I'm going to become a super saver afterwards.  

LEARN SPANISH I've always wanted to be able to speak a language other than English, and German is what has always interested me the most.  I discovered DuoLingo last year, and I had fun learning a bit of German although I wasn't very committed.  Because Spanish is most practical considering my geological location and the number of Spanish speakers here, it only makes sense to start there if I really want to tackle this goal.  There are even several customers that come into the pharmacy I work at that speak only Spanish, so there's an opportunity for practice right there!  That along with practicing on DuoLingo daily should have me speaking Spanish on some level by the end of the year.  I've been practicing for just a couple of days now, and the only setback so far is that I keep thinking of the German answers first haha!  DuoLingo is free and they have a new feature where you can compete with friends which is pretty neat.  If you're learning Spanish this year, add me as a friend so we can compete with each other!  You can find me HERE.

READ 17 BOOKS The number of books I've read over the past couple of years just brings me down so I'm not even going to share the number.  I plan on reading at least 17 books in 2017, but hopefully more.  I just finished The Girl on the Train and am currently reading Misery by Stephen King.  I've added a fair number of books to my amazon wishlist, several of which will be movies in 2017.  I get pretty excited about book to movie deals, so that should keep me pretty motivated.

CREATE MORE In 2016, I surprised myself by jumping back into drawing.  I got myself a set of colored pencils and had fun with a bit of fan art.  I was so proud of my work and want to continue to explore artwork, mediums, and making things in general.  I have a hard time sticking to one medium for very long though, so my goal is to just create more.  That could mean drawing, painting, jewelry making, learning to sew, or who knows what else.  As long as I'm making something I'll be happy :)

SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY This one is so important.  I haven't spent nearly enough time with my loved ones, and I'm all too familiar with the fact that tomorrow isn't guaranteed for anyone.  I need to take advantage of my time here by making memories with the ones that I love while I can, and I intend to do just that.

So there they are!  My big intentions of the 2017.  I'm determined to not let this be just another year that I set goals and let the time slip by without making progress.  2017, I'm going to love you.  Happy New Year!!!

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