Paper Beads – St. Patrick’s Day Necklace

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St. Patrick’s Day is quickly approaching. I wanted to do something with paper beads that I could wear to work and not look like I just came from Marti Gras. I needed my paper beads to look more sophisticated then the shiny Kelly green plastic ones sold at the big box stores.

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I rolled these paper beads with green and white scrapbook paper. I cut the triangles 1.5 centimeters wide and 1 centimeter wide at the wider end. If I hadn’t cut them myself, I wouldn’t think that would be correct since the larger paper beads look twice as long as the smaller ones. I find that those two widths make perfect sized beads for jewelry.

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The subtle coloring says Happy St. Patrick’s Day without being loud about it. These paper beads are accented with small plastic beads that are clear with green coloring inside the hole. The beads are strung on clear bead cord.

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Paper beads are so easy to make. It is also a very thrifty craft. You don’t even have to buy paper. A greener way to make them is to use what you have. Do you have junk mail lying around? How about magazines? Reuse something you already have. There is a basic tutorial on Instructables. I have to warn you, though. It is addicting. You might not be able to stop once you start.

 

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My Failed Target $10 Challenge

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I watched a few YouTube videos of people doing the $10 Target challenge. If you aren’t familiar with the challenge, it is where you buy 10 items at Target while only spending $10. It sounded simple enough. In fact, I set out to one up the Youtubers. After watching the useless stuff they bought, to include someone over 30 without children buying sidewalk chalk and another buying baby socks for the hypothetical baby they may or may not have one day, I decided I would only buy things I could use. Easy peasy!!I smugly set off for Target with $10 burning a hole in my pocket.

I started off in the grocery section. I put a few things in my cart as I walked around with a spring in my step.

…and walked

…and walked

After the first 4 items, I was like a pinball banking wildly off the Target aisles. I’ll get a pen. Wait, the cheapest one is almost $3.00. I will look at the sample section. What do you mean this shot glass size of shampoo is almost $1.50?

Finally, after walking around target for an hour and a half, I admitted defeat. I wasn’t going to resort to buying sidewalk chalk and baby socks. My baby is fifteen.

Then I had an idea. I would go to Aldi. Yes!! I could do the challenge at Aldi. I know. I know. That really isn’t much of a challenge so I upped the ante a bit. Not only would I only buy things I could use, I would have to buy meat, produce and chocolate.

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It might not have been a challenge, per se, but it was an exercise in being responsible with money. I usually go to the grocery store, fill my cart up, and spend way to much money. Having to think about what I could afford caused me to make better choices. The $10 got me food for two dinners for three people and some leftovers for lunch plus some extras. Happiness is German chocolate for $.99.

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What would you do with $10?

 

 

My Top Three Reasons to Lose Weight

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It could have went either way this week. Lucky for me it went down. I was down a whopping .4 of a pound. I’m not sure I deserve it, but I will take it. I need to find more enthusiasm for this or I am just going to keep yo-yoing in the 250’s.

I need a little motivation, so here are my top three reasons to lose weight.

Improved Memory

Research shows that losing weight can improve your memory. I need all the help I can get with my memory. Most things I need to do are wrote down on index cards so I can keep track of my tasks. I usually chose florescent colors so I don’t lose them. It makes sense that if you improve your health, you improve everywhere, even your brain.

Save Money

Most things I have read focus on the big picture of your health and the reduced medical cost of being at a healthy weight. I would rather focus on the smaller daily things. If you weigh less, your car uses less fuel. There are reduced food costs as well. I weigh a lot because I eat a lot. Processed food adds a lot to your food costs. Yesterdays lunch cost over $8.00 at a fast food restaurant. A healthy homemade lunch would cost far less.

Joints

Knees take a beating. The force they take is 1.5 times your weight. That means my knees think I am 375 pounds. Losing weight reduces stress on your weight bearing joints. Less stress on your joints means less pain. Being overweight causes inflammation which can cause pain in other joints.

What motivates you?

Purple Paper Bead Bracelets

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The world was working against me while I made these bracelets. In the end, I won. The current score is Candace – 1 and World – 0.

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My rolling consistency is improving. I think it was about 50/50 on this batch. Half being ‘kinda’ even, and the other have being definitely uneven.

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This is the first batch I glazed. I was a little nervous about it, but it went well. I used Beadmaster Extraordinaire Janice Mae’s Vibrance Paper Bead Glaze.

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Two coats of Vibrance produced a nice shine. Per the instructions, you can string the beads on fishing line and dip multiple beads at once.

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Surprisingly enough, the beads do not stick together. Next time I will only string the same color beads together. I mixed the two colors on the fishing line. You can see a ridge of the darker color around the hole of the white and purple beads.

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I am very happy these beads. They are shaped better my previous attempts and the glazing was a success.

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Then the problem happened. The beads and cord I bought to go with my paper beads disappeared. Gone. Nowhere to be found. After looking up one side of the house and down the other, my conclusion is that they were accidently thrown away.

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The project was put on hold until I could go to the craft store where I begrudgingly replaced the missing items.

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In the end, it was worth it. Behold, my first finished bead project.

 

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You are here

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But is it where you want to be?

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, perhaps it is time to make some changes. Since you can only change you, let’s look things you can do to make your life a place where you want to be.

Get out of your rut

Are you stuck in a rut? Doing the same thing day in and day out can numb your mind. It is time to shake things up. Step out of your comfort zone.

  • Volunteer your time. Volunteering provides a change of scenery and allows you to meet new people while giving back to the community.
  • Go on an adventure. This can be as simple as a hiking trail in a local park or a trip across the globe. No matter what your price range, adventure is waiting to be found.
  • Take a class. Do you want to learn how to decorate cakes or make your own clothing? Do you have a local farm that has classes on permaculture or soap making? Have you always regretted not finishing up your degree? Explore what is available in your area.  

Relationship

Are you giving it the time and effort it deserves? It is easy to get caught up in the daily routine and forget the small things that keep relationships strong.

  • Turn off the electronics. Give each other some uninterrupted time. I promise you Facebook will still be there when you get back online.
  • Go to bed at the same time. Does it feel like you don’t have enough time together? The quite moments before sleep are a good time to connect.
  • Hug daily. Every time you touch your partner, it sends positive messages to them. The more you touch each other, the more comfortable it is.

Work

It is called work for a reason, but it shouldn’t be somewhere you dread going.

  • Do you need a change? Sometimes it is time to move on to bigger and better things. Sometimes it is time to reverse your routine at your current job if you have the flexibility to do so.
  • Take lunch. Stepping away from it all helps recharge your batteries and clear your head.
  • Get to know your coworkers. They can be the best part of any job you have.

Your happiness depends on you. Your life is what you make it. Making a few changes can make your life exactly where you want to be.

March Goals

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At least things are heading in the right direction. As long as it keeps heading down, I will eventually get there. I am not exactly sure where ‘there’ is. The target weight was assigned by the app.

Let’s talk goals. On a recent podcast, an ‘expert’ said that things like remodeling your bedroom are not goals. Merriam-Webster defines goal as ‘something that you are trying to do or achieve.’ I want to achieve a few things this month. They may not be huge life changing goals, but I want to get them done. Sometimes I procrastinate getting things done, therefore these are goals for me. Without further ado, my list.

Plant vegetable seeds – It is March in sunny Florida…enough said.

Order new phones – My husband and I are both overdue for new phones. I still have a Windows phone, which I do like, but it has become quirky.

Lose 5 pounds – I think that is doable. If I don’t get there, I am not going to beat myself up.

Organize the kitchen pantry – I realized two things today. We have a lot of junk food in the house which is not conducive to weight loss and it is a big old mess. Not that it wasn’t a mess before today, but in the search for something half way healthy to many things had to be taken out and moved around.

Figure out Pinterest – I am not very social media savvy. I do have a Twitter account, though.

Make a Gynecologist appointment and a Dermatology appointment – Last year my husband had some skin cancer removed. I vowed to make a Dermatology appointment because it has been several years since I had one. Six months later and I still haven’t gone. I grew up under the Florida sun wearing tanning oil with no SPF. I need to go!

Septic tank service – We think our septic tank might need to be pumped out. We need to get it taken care of before we have a big problem.

Sorry there are no glamorous goals. Perhaps next month I can look for a tiara and scepter. Until then it is septic tanks and digging in the dirt. What do you have planned for March?

Tiny Paper Beads

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I bought some origami paper that was on Ebay. I didn’t realize that it was the size of a Post It note. Serves me right for not thinking about what 7.5 centimeters is in inches.

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The colors are bright and cheerful. Rather then just reassign the paper to note taking detail, I decided to make it work for the purpose I intended.

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A pile of tiny triangles waiting to be rolled into beads. Perhaps they should be reassigned as confetti.

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Twenty one tiny beads that may or may not be functional. I bought some bead glaze, but I have yet to use it. I’m not sure if it would toughen these delicate cylinders up enough to be useable.

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I like they way they turned out. The color variation looks good. They are the best beads I have made so far. The rolling is nice and even, for the most part.

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You will never know if you will succeed unless you try.

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Planning a Better You

My husband regularly says he isn’t perfect but he is trying to do a little better every day. What a great motto.

So you want a better version of yourself? I sure do. There are a few things I would like to work on to be a better me.

Wait my turn

I know I am doing it but sometimes I can’t seem to stop myself. I interrupt people when they are taking. It is the number one thing I want to work on. It is so rude. I am ashamed I have a problem with it.

Just plain weight

It goes way beyond just wanting to look better. I am on blood pressure meditation and the only reason is my weight. It is a health issue. I want to be around for my family. If looking better is a side effect, I am ok with that.

Family

In the depths of depression, I am sure I wasn’t the best wife and mother. Now that I have the depression under control, I want to make sure that I am working to improve at both roles.

Work harder

I want to work on staying focused and not be so distracted at work and home. I have some big goals for work and it will take some hard work to make them happen. At home I want to get the garden going again. That is also hard work. I don’t want to subscribe to that saying work smarter not harder. I think both are important.

I am not aiming for perfection. I just want to follow my husband’s words of wisdom and simply do a little better each day in all areas of my life. The ones I listed are high priorities but I want to be better in all aspects of my life.

What do you want to improve?

It Shouldn’t Be A Surprise

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It shouldn’t be a surprise but it was. A few days ago I was down a few pounds. Then it came…the weekend. A weekend full of to many salty snacks and a lack of hydration. The final nail in the coffin of weight loss was the arrival of  Aunt Flo. Also a surprise that shouldn’t be surprising.

So far, I am not having an inspired week. Gains, no matter how small, are very demotivating. I am not giving it my all, but I wasn’t giving it my all last week either.

Let’s just keep that number our little secret.

Black and Silver Paper Beads

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One day I hope to create beads that are spectacular. Beads worthy of being pinned up on Pinterest. Beads worthy of being strung together and worn.

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I am still learning and this batch taught me a lot. For one, nail polish can be used to add color to the paper. Most of the tutorials I have watched used markers. I also learned that sometimes black paper is not true black paper.

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The black cardstock that I used had a white center that can be seen on the cut edges. I might try to do them again without the silver and see how that looks.

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Black and silver is one of my favorite color combinations. What colors do you like together?