Blog posts have been scarce around here, I know. I keep meaning to post but typing and editing and adding photos is time consuming. And I just don't always have that much time. It all comes down to priorities and like my dad was (oh, let's face it... he still is) prone to saying, "you have to get your priorities straight!".
This leads me to the first thing I wanted to share today:
THE MOST "POPULAR SEARCH" ON THE SIDEBAR OF MY BLOG: WEIGHT LOSS
Every once in awhile I will notice the popular searches on the sidebar of my blog. It gives me a good idea of what my readers are searching for, what you guys are interested in and so forth. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that the most popular search here of late has been "weight loss". I am surprised because I don't talk about it here. However, I have received numerous emails here of late wanting to know my "secret" and with that being the #1 search I thought I'd share just a bit about my journey so far.
First, there is no super secret to weight loss.
I know, bummer, huh?
I eat less (and healthier)! And I move more. I excercise just about every day and on those busy days I try my best to get in a good 30 minutes as recommended for a healthy heart (women's heart disease runs in my family).
I have lost 56 lbs in a little over a year and my goal is to lose 30-35 more by year end.
Some days I hate it. Some days I cave and eat those Little Debbie Valentine's processed sugar cakes that I took to school for the kids and had a package leftover that was calling out my name to eat it....
And you know what?
That's ok. I don't beat myself up about it. But I also make myself work out a little harder no matter how much I wish I was done already!
The funniest thing about exercise and eating healthier is how my body has come to crave the exercise. How the fresh veggies and fruit taste good. How I can walk by that box of chocolates that the kids got for Valentine's Day and not be tempted to sneak one. The old Nichol totally would have taken 1-2 of them and beat herself up over it but would have done it anyway.
I'm currently within 5 lbs of being the "thinnest" I've been in years. I had lost weight before getting pregnant with my youngest and that was in 2004.
I've sold all my old clothing on ebay and had to sell some of the new clothing as well as I have changed sizes again. I love shopping again. I used to be a clothing fanatic and as I gained weight my closet shrunk because I hated the clothes I "had" to buy.
I saw a picture of myself from a girls weekend and a vacation with a good friend from a couple of years ago and I don't recognize myself. In fact, I keep them handy so that I can remind myself just how far I've come every time I reach a plateau in my weight loss and I'm discouraged.
My blood pressure is within the perfect range now. I feel good. I don't get tired as easily and that's a good thing because my kids are all in a zillion activities that I am constantly running them around to!
So.... with all that said, it leads me to why you aren't seeing as much happening here on the blog and in paper crafting land.
My lifestyle changes have made me re-prioritize what's important to me and my family's life and unfortunately layouts, projects, videos and blog posts fell to the bottom of my list. That's not to say I don't still love it (because I so do!) or that I don't want to share (because I totally want to!!!) but I had to be realistic for my life and for my goals, my hopes and my dreams and I just couldn't keep up with the demands of all that I was doing and the demands I was putting on myself.
And you know what?
I'm happier for it.
Now, I'm not grumpy when my son has a sports event that I need to be at or my daughter wants to run to an impromptu volleyball practice or wants to go just browse clothing at the mall. I'm sad to say that it DID used to make me extremely grumpy because I had so many projects on my plate that I felt I couldn't do those things. Or I would stay up super late to get them done and be grumpy the next morning.
And that's just wrong. That's not who I wanted to be. That's not who I am.
Now, I only do those things that make me happy. And crafting really, really make me happy! Man, I love the paper crafting industry and the friends I've made along the way! I love being inspired by others. I love sharing here on my blog and shopping for new supplies and creating projects that I can't wait to post here. That is F.U.N. :)
I had to say no to some amazing opportunites I was asked to take part in and you know what? No guilt. No remorse. It was the right thing for me at the time.
My oldest will start high school next year.
High School.... that means he will be leaving for college in 4 years....
I want to go to every single thing that I can. Treasure every single minute that I can. Because I know these moments can't be re-done but that layout can be created at any time.
Seems silly when I look back on the "old" me. Like, "why didn't I make this happen before. It seems like common sense." But life is always evolving and I try not to think of it as "what I did wrong" but rather "that was then, this is what is working NOW". We are always learning, always changing. And that's a very good thing. :)
Enough of that. :)
WHAT I'VE BEEN UP TO HERE LATELY
I have so many Valentine's projects I finished and just haven't shared. Boo me. I haven't taken the time to photograph them. Life has been crazy. Look for a massive post or two coming soon showcasing the rest of my Valentine's Projects.
Like this one:
I've been sewing, too. Valentines-y type stuff that didn't quite get finished in time for heart-day or stuff I just didn't get shared. That's ok. I like hearts any time of the year and I'll have it for Valentine's Day 2014. I'll be sharing info on these projects soon:
I'm sewing up this quilt today (snow day here!) and should have the top of the quilt all pieced and ironed and ready to sandwich and quilt hopefully this weekend!
You might remember how I said in THIS post that this month's stamp set is one of my all time favorite Studio AE stamp sets and that I bet it sells out fast. It's in stock at the following stores right now!
More and more new products have arrived at Two Peas in a Bucket! Here are some of my fav's!
If you've made it this far today, thank you for sticking with me. I appreciate each and every one of you. More soon friends!