Thursday, December 31, 2020

My Word for 2021: Committment!

Today I completed my 100 day challenge!!!
I wrapped up the last One Hundred days of 2020 with a commitment to self.
To complete 100 days of something changes you.
For me, I gained a new confidence in myself. 
I learned to prioritize my own commitment to self...with no excuses. 
I remember when I first started I read: You have to have a Day One to have a Day One Hundred! Then pretty soon, I was on day ten, twenty...soon not wanting to miss a day, not wanting to break my '"trend". This in itself increased my sense of purpose and self. 
I gained a sense of control during a time when we feel like we have no control.
So what fuels you? What is your Bliss?
I begin 2021 with a continued commitment to self.
This intentional effort to exercise and be healthy fuel me.
I handle stress better. I handle loneliness better. I handle our ever-changing world better.
Isolation, social distancing, distance learning as an educator have created an independence and freedom like I've never before experienced.  I tire of daily ZOOM meetings and do not like spending so much time on a computer. I walk on my lunch hour and workout when I get home to keep my body active and strong.  I have learned over the past nine months to nurture my faith and vision of self.

What are you taking control of during these uncertain times?
What are you being intentional about?

I've come to realize blogging is not in my Wheel Well right now.
As I personally move into 2021, I wanted to leave some words that will hopefully inspire you to take control of that which you can during this Coronavirus pandemic we are experiencing.
 I have no New Year's Resolution, yet choose to move forward 
continuing my wellness habits and just breathing through so much that we can't control.
Instead of thinking "I'm giving up this and not doing that" think about replacement.
Success requires replacement:
So far, I've:
Replaced complaining with gratitude.
Replaced toxic people with mentors.
Replaced junk food with nutrition.
Replaced overthinking with action.
and now, I'll focus on replacing alcohol with water.
Hoping 2021 finds you inspired to become the best version of yourself as the world needs more strong, healthy, happy people that are non-judgmentally kicking-ass in their life!
With SMILES! Val













Saturday, December 26, 2020

A NEW sewing machine!!

Hello my dear blogging friends!!! 
warm wishes
I'm so excited for the new year as I forecast much more sewing in my future!
Yep!  I just upgraded my sewing machine! I patiently waited for the "after Christmas sale
and treated myself . (Hubby was so good to come and be my "carry" guy.)

It's literally been TEN years since I bought  my first "real sewing machine":

...and we bought our daughter her FIRST sewing machine!

I've often been very frustrated with the small arm on my current machine, yet didn't want to give up my comfort level with it. Soooo with a little help and guidance from a dear sewing friend, 
I just simply upgraded my machine:
 
She's going to come over tomorrow to give me a quick tutorial and I have a new table on order.
I'll spend a good part of this evening just reading the manual and playing.
But! I am soooo excited! 
I honestly don't know why I waited so long to do this. I can only imagine how much easier it's going to be so sew borders and bindings onto my quilts with this 10" arm. Anyhooo....wow! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me....as I look forward to sewing in 2021 with this new "toy" .
With Smiles!
Val:)

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Happy Day and a Yummy Recipe!


Just loving everything Pumpkin right now....
...and enjoying afternoon walks through the Fall leaves.
How about you?

Here's one of my Fall Favorites:

A LIGHT RECIPE, RIGHT FROM OUR COOKBOOK, FOR YOU TO TRY.
With Smiles! Val





Saturday, October 10, 2020

Aughhh....

The first rainy day of Fall....just makes everything feel so much better!

New slippers in the mail from my mom also keep my toes warm for a cozy afternoon of binding.
I have found teaching in a comprehensive distant model to be weirdly exhausting emotionally.
Zoom, Google Meets are common place forms of communication and teaching.
By the weekend, I'm just done. I hoping as the rain clears tomorrow to go for a long mountain hike to enjoy the fresh air, beautiful Fall leaves and rejuvenate my heart and head. How about you.? How do you keep yourself rejuvenated as we continue to find ourselves living a new normal?
With Smiles! Val




Monday, October 5, 2020

It's Monday! Today let's:

Here's a peek at Comprehensive Distance Learning from a teacher's point of view:
Our teachers are ROCKIN' IT!!!
Their dedication, creativity and hard work remind me to:
   Attack this day with enthusiasm.
                                                                            Stay Positive.
                                                                             Be thankful.
                                                            Replace "Have to" with "Get to."
        Be a blessing to others. 
have a good week
With Smiles! Val

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A New Baby Quilt!

Nothing like the anticipation of a new baby to get one's sewing mojo back!
Pattern used: Summer Song by Villa Rosa Designs.
Quilt measures 44"x55".

I love watching a fat quarter bundle turn into a wonderful quilt. 
For this one I used a Purples Bella Solid pack. 
I've never made a commissioned quilt. But this was for a work friend who wanted something special for her new little niece. She requested solid purples with grays. 
I don't think I've ever made a quilt from solids...and this one has quickly become a favorite!

I used my Beautiful, Colorful, Butterfly pantograph to add a girly touch.

I found a fun "Love You To The Moon and Back" gray backing...

...and I was sure to create a tag that our friend could personalize for her new niece.


I had some backing left over so made a matching receiving blanket too. 
I love the texture of the pom-pom trim, don't you?
I have more baby quilts to make before December and may use this pattern again??
Between the cooler Fall weather and the anticipation of babies, it feels good to be sewing again.
With smiles. Val



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The last 100 Days of 2020!!!!

I'm back and as I return to blogging, I'm doing so to share my 100 day Challenge with you! 
What are you going to do with the LAST 100 days of 2020???
During a time when everything feels so out of control and the calendar continues to be a record of cancelled/postponed events. We isolate more and keep our social distance. 
Even upon the return to school/work...the new normal looks like this:
Chromebooks were distributed and teachers are the only humans in the school buildings as our students are taught virtually. I sit in a corner of my office area and meet with classes/teachers like this:
As I start my 33rd year of teaching, as you can imagine, this is all so unimaginable.
I feel even worse for our students and their families.
Six months into this pandemic, I find myself tired and unmotivated. 
But I'm tired of feeling blah. 
I've chosen to control THAT which I CAN and plan to share my journey here with you as this first, give me accountability and second, if I motivate just one other person to do the same...that makes my day. 
So HOW do we stay motivated?
HOW do we reach our goal?
1. CONSISTENCY
2. Your workouts should "pump" you up! 
3. Make it a habit of "showing up" for yourself.
4. Create healthy habits for yourself.
Mine include:
Fitness. I move everyday!!!
Committed to a nutrition program.
Committed to daily personal development.
Keeping an affirmation journal.
Tracking it all!
\
How do you start?
1. COMMIT...this actually will give you a sense of control.
2. Identify your WHY! (More on this to come in future posts.)
3. MOVE...find an exercise outlet that your enjoy!
On top of my daily walks, I'm committing to:
4. READ NON-FICTION...get the positivity of others in your head.
5. WRITE...daily. I will be doing THAT right here on the blog.
6. TRACK IT ALL...I have my traveler's notebook for this and LOVE to track everything.
Okay....so here we go...take control of these last 100 days of 2020.
Set a goal for yourself and share it with us.
Because...
With SMILES. Val




Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Pandemic Power Sewing...

This afternoon I dumped a basketful of 2 1/2" strips I've had for way too long and started some...

...power chain piecing.

I'm sewing three strips together, then cutting them into 5 1/4" squares.


There's really no rhyme or reason behind what I'm doing except that I plan on sewing them
into a scrappy Crazy Rails quilt pattern. I don't even know what size this quilt will make. LOL!
But I love my scrappy Thirties Repro fabrics...so know I'll love the quilt as well.
And....having an emptied basket of scraps makes this a win win project don't ya think.

 Honestly, it is just the perfect pandemic/summer sewing for me right now. I find myself feeling blah with little motivation to work on anything that requires much concentration. The afternoons are starting to get hot as our temperatures outside are beginning to near 100 degrees.
(Note: I am NOT a summer/heat person!!!)
Bitmoji Image

So, contently I'll continue my power sewing as I watch old 80's movies and maybe a little toooo much Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles on the cable channels. LOL!
How about you??? Do you find yourself sometimes battling the pandemic/summer blahs?
If so,  please comment and share your "go-to" boredom buster??
With SMILES. Val
hump day

Friday, July 24, 2020

Morning Stitching

I have found my Sue Spargo Homegrown creative/wool stitching the perfect mental health project during this pandemic of ours. Each little 5"x 5" block offers creative outlet without being too overwhelming. 
All the bright colors and textures just make me happy!!!

With that said, I'm now creating a needle roll for my growing variety of needles.
My mornings are quiet and slow. 
I get in my daily walk, then will sit and stitch for a little bit before getting going with the day.
My new normal during an unprecedented time.
Have you also found yourself enjoying a new normal in your daily routine? Do share!
With SMILES! Val
Bitmoji Image

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Go Ahead and Laugh! I AM!

I FINALLY had my annual eye doctor appointment...after getting my eyes dilated, 
I felt like I'd rather stay at home if this is what going out looks like! LOL!!!
Our new normal feels WEIRD!!!
Still Smiling!! Val
wear your mask
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