"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meatless Monday--One of My Health Resolutions

We all know I'm a person who tries to live a "green" lifestyle. With my new health diagnosis, I'm looking at ways to eat healthier, and I have found this movement--Meatless Monday. From what I can tell, it refers to meat only, so it's not restricted to vegan meals.  The website tells of the history of going meatless--it was a distinct part of the war effort during both WWI and WWII.
This poster from the US Food Administration shows the WWI program advertised as a way to support the troops.  I'm not sure that Meatless Monday in our age will help our troops, but it could help the environment and more importantly--from a totally selfish perspective--my health.  With all the genetically-enhanced meat out there, I'm also looking at my budget.  Even cooking for one person can get expensive if you are like me and want to steer clear of GMO foods.

The more research I do, the more I believe that many of out health challenges today come from all the chemical "enhancements" to our food.  It's doubtful I'll ever go vegan or raw with my eating, but Meatless Monday will help start me on my way to more responsible meals--better for my health, my budget and my planet.

If you are interested in this idea, here is the Wikipedia page for more information.  There is also a Facebook page and Twitter feed if you use those social media sites.  I'm headed to some of my favorite recipe sites--I need some meatless entree recipes.  Yes, I have chicken and fish recipes and the poster doesn't consider those to be meat, but I'm not going to make it quite that easy on myself each week because those are foods I already love.  Besides, as I research food choices, chicken without growth hormones is getting harder to find and therefore more expensive.  Mercury levels in fish has been a concern for some time.

This will not become a food blog, but I will be sharing more info from time to time as I travel the road to healthier eating.  If you have tips and tricks (and recipes), feel free to share!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Plump Primer -- 2013 Chunkster Reading Challenge

Hope springs eternal with me, and even though I was a dismal failure at the Chunkster Reading Challenge--I had signed up for the "Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big?" level of six chunksters, two of which had to be over 750 pages. 

I'm setting my sights a bit lower this year--still six chunksters, but they each only have to have 450 pages, and they must be adult literature as opposed to YA.  They can also be non-fiction, which will certainly help me use this challenge as an excuse to read some biographies I have picked up the last several months.  E-books aren't allowed, so several of the chunksters listed on the challenge website won't work for me because I purchased them for my Kindle or Nook rather than try to find even more shelf space LOL.

So, I'm signing up for "The Plump Primer", and starting my first book tonight--Isle of Canes, a historical novel by the noted genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills. 

If you love to read and like a challenge, come join us...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm a Notebook Junkie!

I love notebooks and notepads--all sizes and styles.  Sure, we were supposed to become a paperless society, and I love my computers and e-readers and other gadgets, but writing on real paper with a real pen or pencil (preferably a fountain pen) lets me go back later and see how my handwriting has changed over the years.  And I am not always willing to lug a tablet or laptop around.  Typing on my phone or I-Pod isn't ideal for more than a few sentences--the screens are small and my fingers are fat LOL.  Notebooks can be carried and used anywhere, and come in whatever size might be needed--small ones fit in my pocket while larger ones go in my purse and usually weigh much less that any e-gadget.

Notebooks are utility items, but don't need to look utilitarian--I absolutely love to doll mine up with fancy covers.  Composition books are my favorites--I buy them by the dozen when the back-to-school sales offer them at 2/$1, and then as I come up with a reason for one, I decorate it.

Take today for instance--I realized I have a bucket list in my head--things I want to do before I die, but I've not dedicated a notebook to the list since the one I lost due to Katrina.  Time to make a bucket list notebook (pronounced "bouquet" in homage to Patricia Routledge's wonderfully quirky Hyacinth Bucket in BBC's Keeping Up Appearances).  Here's the result:

All products are from Stampin' Up!  The technique was featured on Splitcoaststampers recently.  Called Chalkboard, it's really simple--black cardstock, Versamark ink and white embossing powder, then white ink sponged around the edges.  The most important part (to me at least) of covering a notebook is the adhesive--I totally swear by SU!'s Anywhere Glue Stick.  Not only are they very economical, the rectangle shape is fantastic for getting glue clear into the corner of a project!  And the glue sticks (pardon the pun)!!!!! 

Now all that's left is to fill the pages...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Reboot - Happy 2013!

Life was a bit challenging during the latter half of 2012, and no blogging took place (as you can see from the date of my prior post).  June thru December took me on quite a roller coaster of good and bad and in-between, but since the Mayans were wrong and the Creator let me wake up today to a new year, I can reboot life just like we reboot our computers.

2013 will bring different topics to this blog.  I won NaNoWriMo 2012 and will be in edit mode for my book.  I still enjoy crafting and this year marks Stampin Up!'s 25th Anniversary, so I'll share some projects (if I remember to take pictures--I made some cute things for Halloween and Christmas for my office mates and didn't remember I wanted photos until after they were boxed up for mailing).

And you will see posts on healthy eating.  I lost my younger brother to a heart attack in 2012 and my physical showed high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, so I intend to use this blog to help hold me accountable. 

Finally, I didn't get the pleasure reading done that I had planned--but hope springs eternal LOL.  I will read more this year, and not only about the Civil War and health/nutrition, but also politics and fantasy and mysteries and...you get the picture.  Actually, I'm loving Audible--Tim Curry did a wonderful narration of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and since I need to be walking/exercising more and sitting less, Audible will make the exercise much more fun.

And in honor of the new year, here's my first project--a totally digital piece because one goal for the year is to learn MDS2, the digital design software from Stampin' Up!