Fall Favorites

It's officially fall...that line seems about as cliche as white girls in ugg boots with pumpkin spice lattes who "can't even."  Since we've already embraced the ridiculousness, I might as well run with it and share a few of the things I've enjoyed about the two days of cooler weather we've had and a few things I anticipate enjoying.

Things I've enjoyed so far: cooler weather, having a legitimate reason, and self-proclaimed obligation, to wear "fall colors," pumpkin-flavored everything, Crookston shedding puff balls (he does this in fall and spring), getting to wear light jackets.

Things I intend to enjoy (my Fall Festivities wish list): carving pumpkins, leaves changing colors, crunchy leaves, cardigan weather, all warm beverages, "sharp" air, watching non-creepy Halloween movies, candy going on sale after Halloween, themed socks also going on sale after Halloween, my favorite holiday Thanksgiving.

Fall is, and always has been, my favorite season.  I'm excited to layer my clothing for both warmth and visual appeal.  I need to embrace the weather though, because as everyone in "these here parts" knows, fall is the shortest season.  Good things end far too quickly.

Dating Another Human Being

Dating someone new is weird.  After being in a long-term relationship with a pretty amazing person, it's been hard to adjust to a new person.  Sometimes I find myself frustrated that he can't read my mind, or just do what I want without my having to ask.  I have to remind myself that I'm dating a human being, not a robot or mind-reader.

The last person I saw, you could call it a long term relationship.  She and I had spent a few years (off and on) with other people, but after my previous relationship didn't work out, I found myself being comforted by her again.  There's something nice about being with someone who completely and 100% gets you without words needed.  One of the best people that I've ever dated was myself.

Now after two years of mostly just dating me, I'm in a relationship with a human being.  He doesn't enjoy junking the way that Single Sara did.  He doesn't always like the food that I've created because it generally contains mushrooms (and he'll comment on it while Single Sara would quietly and happily shovel them into her mouth).  And he doesn't buy me nearly as much as Single Sara did (she was my sugar mama...still is).  But I'm getting used to this person. 

Don't get me wrong, though.  He does some pretty great thing that my ex, Single Sara, was and never would be capable of doing.  I enjoy the occasional surprise.  I get sweet, and funny, and weird text messages.  Best of all, I get someone to talk with, who responds with new ideas and is impressively able to talk me off of the cliff whenever I'm feeling stressed.

Dating someone who isn't me is weird.  But it's kind of awesome, too.


Halfway Crafty

The great thing about friends is that sometimes they text you with a craft idea that you never would have come up with.  That's what happened the other day when Vanessa (her last name starts with a J which is why there's a giant metal one at our crafting station) text me with an idea and a few pictures from the internet.

We went to Hobby Lobby with one idea in mind, but after seeing all the store had to offer, tweaked our plans a little bit.  I picked up the wood thing for 50% off (because evidently that's what they do, overprice stuff so they can constantly have sales to create impulse purchases).  I hated what it said: I'm a fool for you.  Gross.  I'm not a fool for anyone.  Plus, hearts are stupid.

So the first thing I did was paint over the stupid saying with this fabulous paint color.

Another great thing about when a friend invites you over to craft is that it will occasionally, usually, involve food.  I am fortunate enough to not only have crafty friends, but crafty friends who are also amazing cooks.

We ate while my paint dried.  Once our bellies were full I began to roll and glue paper down in the shape of an "S".

I listened to Vanessa to learn all about this rolled paper art style (she did a fair amount of internet research) and fell a little bit in love with it.  It's super easy and I can imagine watching hours of Netflix as I roll sheet after sheet of colored paper.

The original "S" was a little too plain, so I added some yellows and a light brown.  I have a mini "gallery wall" in my bedroom and all the colors I used fit with the color scheme so it made a fantastic addition.

Thanks for letting my share the world's easiest halfway craft.  I always hear about halfway homemade recipes and I think that they/we/I should start a movement of halfway homemade crafts.  It's amazing how a little paint and paper can change a piece.  I'm thrilled with the results to say the very least.  If you have any questions about this craft, feel free to ask!

Little Things

Tonight I spent about half an hour talking with my friend Katrina on the phone.  I haven't talked to her on the phone, or even seen her in person, for about a year now, and the last time I attempted to be any kind of decent friend was back in March when I sent her a letter.  After a half hour of laughing and yelling at each other (because after a year of silence you don't just talk, your excitement raises your voice several decimals.)

So I got to thinking about the little things that make me happy.  School, despite being only in its third week, is intense and I can feel the stress slowly building a home between my shoulders.  Tonight was a nice little refresher and I wanted to list a few things that make me happy.  Easy things.  Little things.

Phone calls.  Today it was Katrina, yesterday is was Sara, the day before that I think I tricked Mike into a phone call.  There's something about hearing the voice of people you love but don't see nearly enough that can brighten even the darkest mood.  It's because of that easy path to happiness that Sara and I decided to try to have weekly phone convos because sometimes a girl just needs one of her besties to listen to you say that "nothing is new" on a weekly basis.

The moon is a pretty big source of happiness for me.  Whenever I leave work and see it shining bright, or not so bright, it always gives me pause.  Seeing the moon makes me feel not so alone and because of what it signifies to me, it always makes me reflect and remember that life is short and to keep on, keeping on.

Hot coffee.  Cold coffee.  Coffee coffee.  Man, that last sentence has me really craving some right now.  There's nothing like curling up with a good book and a steamy cup o' joe that just sets things right.  Can I just roll reading a good book into this "little thing?"

Naps!  I am the queen of napping.  Sure, I wake up feeling half-dead and my pillow is usually covered in drool, but an hour to two after getting out of my cocoon, I'm ready to get out and conquer the world!

Dogs.  Puppies.  Playing with them.  Watching videos of God's greatest creature on YouTube...or just watching the clips my mom puts on my Facebook wall.  Luckily, I live with the best dog in the entire world who is anything but stingy when it comes to giving kisses.

Family.  I have an amazing sister who's responsible for the second half of these photos.  A brother who would drop everything to come and help me out.  A dad who creates spray-painting stations and gives unwanted (but usually needed) advice.  A mom who posts dog videos on my Facebook wall, but also videos and news articles about texting and driving because she cares a lot about me.  My family is the single biggest "little thing" that gets me through times of stress.

Trying New Things

Hey friends.  I was recently cruising through my camera and realized I had some outfit pictures from awhile ago and wanted to make sure I got them up on the blog before we receive our first snow.

I even decided, as usual, to throw in the weird and awkward ones.  Nothing like adjusting the bottom of your shorts to get the guys running over and asking for your phone number.  Unfortunately, dudes, I do have a man friend.  Though who knows how much longer he'll stick around after seeing pictures of me essentially pulling my shorts out of my butt.

Do you know what I love about blogging?  That I can do/write whatever I want and whatever weird and funky format I want.  So I could pretend that these pictures have something to do with this post, but I'm going to cut through the crap and just say that these pictures are to break up text.  Or maybe the text is here to break up photos.  Tomato, tomato--wow, that saying does not really make sense in print.

I was originally going to blog about trying new things.  Technically that can tie into these pictures because "me wearing shorts" is a new thing.  I stumbled upon this blog of a girl who tries something new every week.  Let that sink it...EVERY STINKING WEEK.  Who has that much time?  Who wants to grow that much as a person?

What was I saying again?  Oh yeah, new things.  How often do you break out of your comfort zone?  Your shell?  For me, the answer is not very often.  I'm comfortable with being comfortable.  I like what I like.  Sometimes it gets me in a rut.  Being comfortable isn't exciting and I never walk away from it thinking, "What a great time!"

Recently, my man friend got into Stand-up Comedy (I have no idea if that's how you're supposed to phrase that).  Trying Stand-up is something that Mike has been interested in for quite awhile and now he's done it both in Fargo and Grand Forks.  That's a really cool thing to me...especially when it's been a "dream" (as if the word "dream" doesn't sound pretentious enough, I threw the quotation marks there to really douche it up). 

Once Mike started talking, and then doing, Stand-up, I started to think about how often I do something new.  I thought about maybe going to Open Mic and trying Stand-up (with my friend, Scott--look, Scott, I gave you a shout out because we're real life friends!), but I'm pretty concerned  that my weird brand of humor wouldn't work with strangers.  Plus all five minutes of my set would probably be about my thighs and no guy wants to hear that.

Trying new things is partially why I made my 25 before 26 list.  But I want to do more new things.

Blogging consistently would be a new thing (hardy-har-har).  Keeping my room clean for more than two days.  Blue hair (I'm dreaming of blue hair lately).  Skydiving.  Learning to drive a stick shift.  Trying calligraphy.  Meeting new people.  Doing cool things with old friends (one time my friend Rhiannon had everyone over and tried to teach us to draw and it was a lot of fun).  Crocheting.  Trying new and foreign foods.  Traveling to new places.  Learning to braid my leg hair because "Winter is coming."  Going to shows of people I've never heard of (art, music, mime, living statues).  Making stuff with people.  Helping strangers (or friends or acquaintances).  Living life more fully.

What I've loved about my short time in blogging is how supportive everyone is.  People are constantly commenting, sending me helpful links, or saying "I want to do that, let's do it together!"  If anything in the above word-vomit paragraph appeals to you and you want a partner in crime, let me know.  Heck, I'm down for anything, so message me with your weird dreams, goals, leg-hair braiding techniques and I'm sure we can make something neat happen.

August Goal Review

Another month gone and with it, my determination and ability to complete items on my 25 Before 26 list.  I honestly thought I had such a handle on my goals and went as far to brag about how well I'm doing, with the "exception of two or three items."  When you actually get down to it and look though, I haven't even accomplished half of my goals!  There was some progress in August though, so I can't be too terribly upset.

1.  Etsy shop- vintage
Done! (8/6/14)
Technically, this goal is completed.  I finished it right away in August when I put two maps for sale.  I haven't listed all of the vintage clothes that I have, but opened is completed.  

2.  Collection of short stories- ready to submit
I've started jotting down story ideas, which is progress.  Other than that...nada.

3.  New tattoo
Done (2/21/14)

4.  Finish framing prints
September is the month for this.  If not finish, then do a few more.  One is a super weird shape, so I'm sure I'll have to special order a frame or matte it myself.  I matted a boyfriend's print years ago and I'm pretty sure the stress from it caused our eventual breakup.  Okay, that's a little melodramatic but I sincerely hate matte-ing pictures/prints.  The one thing I hate more than matte-ing a picture though is paying someone else to do it.

5.  Blog redesign
Done (6/20/14)

6.  Buy nice camera
Making use of the camera that I have to see if a new one is needed/deserved/in order.

7.  Learn how to do my hair
Now that my hair is shorter (I've finally realized a long bob is shorter, not short) all I want to do is color it.  I saw the picture below of Keiko on her instagram and decided that maybe I'm more of a hair color-er than a hair do-er.  Needless to say, I want that hair color.

8.  Go on a trip somewhere new
Done (7/24/14)

9.  Bring Crookston to dog training class
Done (3/11/14)

10.  Figure out Spanish creds
Done (5/23/14)

11.  No credit card debt 
...next goal, please.

12.  Send more letters
No progress in August.  I actually received more mail this month that usual, so that was exciting.  I bought some new cards and will be doing a few this week or next though.  The total still stands at: 2 packages, 3 postcards, and 20 letters.

13.  Create realistic workout plan
I talk about this more than any other goal.  Those who can, do; those who can't, blog about it.

14.  Learn to crochet
No progress.  Still looking (not actively) for a teacher.

15.  Grow closer to God 
Having a Catholic book constantly in my "reading" pile makes me feel like I'm not a complete failure at this goal.

16.  Complete a 5K
No progress.  There is still time.

17.  Volunteer 
I have to volunteer for my program at school, so this one is becoming more important...and a little less about actually helping people.

18.  Finally go to the drive in theater
DONE! (8/22/14)
Read about what I great time I had...here.

19.  Renaissance Festival 
Not going to happen.  I might as well strike this through...actually, I'll do that once the Ren Fest officially closes for the season.

20.  Read 40+ books
Guess what, suckers?  I'm at 37 and will crush this goal by the end of September.

21.  Print more photos 
Who prints pictures anymore?  No one.  This was a stupid goal.

22.  Create more
Does homework count?  Creating magic on papers?  No?  Okay, then no progress.

23.  Go camping 
Done (7/24/14)

24.  Make a quilt
I think every month I say that I'm going to start my quilt.  And every month passes with me never thinking about it again.  It's okay, I won't lie to us both and say September is my quilt month.

25.  Get my passport
No progress.  This is probably one of the easier goals that I have left, but here I sit.  Passport-less.