Thursday, January 17, 2019

Better Choices 2.0

Quilt I made for my son Danny for Christmas.
Quilted using a maze design on my HandiQuilter Amara.

I wrote a couple of posts last year about making better choices and trying to reduce stress and increase health and happiness. My first post is HERE and the update is HERE

I've come to some conclusions so far and I'm ready to make some MORE better choices. Here are a few of the highlights.

My Health

1. The eat better and move more has been a positive change overall. I've increased my energy levels and I've lost some weight (17 lbs so far). I was really happy to not have regained any weight during the holidays. Yay!

2. I am going to add a little variety to the exercise because of the rainy season, so yoga and treadmill will have to replace some of the walking and hikes. I'm not willing to do anything outside when it is wet and cold. Forget that!

3. I am going to refocus on going to bed earlier again. I feel so much better when I stick to the routine of early to bed and early to rise. 

4. Seriously considering getting a daylight lamp. The gray days without any sunshine really get to me. It's probably going to be one of those investments that I will ask... why did I wait so long?

My Work

1. Limiting computer time continues to be an issue for me. So I think I will move the computer to a corner of my bedroom (out of the main living area) and see if that helps.

2. I'm going to reduce the tasks I try to accomplish on the computer. No more newsletters because they are lots of work! Fewer blog posts and fewer social media posts, hopefully on a more regular schedule. Simplifying the blog and website hopefully.

3. Cutting back on travel. I love to teach and meet quilters, but the travel is exhausting. I am going to be more careful about how much I schedule and the frequency of the travel.

4. Just like most folks, I got dumped by Craftsy. I guess writing content for their blog for 5 years wasn't enough to get me any special treatment. Oh well, easy come, easy go. I do still have my own website with shop, still thinking about my Etsy options. 

Quilt I made for my son David. 
Both quilts feature Mammoth flannels and Essex linens.

My Quilting

1. I want to make some quilts just for fun. Not for a book or pattern or publication. Just for fun. I made two quilts for my boys for Christmas and I really enjoyed the whole process.

2. I am going to try some new things on my longarm. Just to explore some options. I'll be travelling to Utah in June to attend the Handi Quilter Academy. So thrilled to be learning more about my longarm. 

3. I want to finally learn how to use EQ8, I keep going back to the old version, and I know I'll like the new one if I just take the time to get familiar with it. But that will require more time at the computer which is in direct conflict with #1 above. Ack!

My Life

1. I joined an online book club. I'm so excited about all of the suggestions and reviews I now have access to. Who knew there were so many people who are as crazy about reading as I am?

2. I subscribed to a Book Of The Month club. I'm so excited to see what new books I will discover. My gift to myself for the new year!

3. We're making some fun family plans that I know are going to be awesome. I'll share those as they happen. I don't want to give away any info too soon.

4. I've a few projects around the house that are going to be good for the house and good for me. We are getting a custom closet build out for the master closet this month. It will make better use of the space and finally give me enough room for all of my shoes! LOL

I'm really more focused now on transitioning away from the things that aren't working so great and replacing them with things that work better. Just being more intentional overall is the best way I can describe it. 

I'm not fooling around with resolutions or goals, just making better choices one by one. It's a kinder gentler way of taking care of myself. I hope you will consider making some kinder choices for yourself this year as well. I would love to hear about them in the comments. We can encourage each other along the way! We all deserve to take better care of ourselves.



  1. "a kinder gentler way of taking care of yourself" You've got the right idea. I'm glad you feel better and loosing 17 lbs. over the holidays is a delightful bonus. I always try and eat less at holiday times, just one cookie instead of two, just 1/2 piece of fudge instead of a whole. It pays off in the end. Nice post.

  2. Congrats on the weight loss! I, too, am a work in progress. I started a low carb, low cal diet on June 27th and have lost 21 lbs so far. It's slow, but my metabolism has always been slow so I'm happy with it. Sorry you were impacted by the Craftsy's awful that people were treated that way (and so close to Christmas!). Sounds like you are coping and that's a good thing!

  3. I LOVE these quilts! Best wishes for the new year.

  4. i too have cut down on computer time as it just eats up days if one isn't careful...sounds like a complete overhaul that can only be of great benefit

  5. You have an admiral list. Keep working hard and staying positive

  6. good for you, after all, life is supposed to be "lived", not just put up with!!!!

  7. Good Luck with all your plans. I have been doing a similar thing with my teaching schedule, just making sure it works for me. It is exhausting.
    Have you tried vitamin D? It is sunshine in a bottle and Americans are severely lacking this important and mood supporting vitamin. My kids have used the daylight and it has worked fairly well.
    sorry to hear about Craftsy. I just heard they were sold. Quilting has become so bottom everything else :(
    Happy Friday.

  8. I LOVE the plaid flannel quilt. We live in Maine and its been pretty cold lately.... expected to get over 12 inches of snow in 2 days. Since I have 2 horses I am also out in all kinds of weather frequently. Sure is good that I prefer winter over summer (except the shorter days). Therefore, this lovely quilt would be quite welcome in our home. I am sooooo happy you posted it as I think I'll start to collect some plaids for our quilt. And I absolutely love red!! Have a great weekend and enjoy yourself.

  9. First of all kudos to you for sticking to the healthier plan and losing 17 pounds. How inspiring!! I like your very specific lists and perhaps that is how I should be looking at the coming year. I tend not to make too many demands on myself but you have really done a great job organizing your resolutions. I know you can accomplish all your goals. I LOVE that plaid quilt. Yum!

  10. Yeah for loosing weight. and looking at ways that make you happy. PC time is a huge sucker on so many levels. I'm now up earlier and do my blog/email/ig and then leave my phone at home when I go to the studio. I have voice mail, I'm not a cardiac surgeon! You've been hard at it the last few years, sharing with everyone, now take the time for yourself! You've earned it!

  11. We must be on a parallel life path, LOL. Many of the changes you’ve made or are planning to make have happened with me over the last couple years.

    When we converted our downstairs den to my studio about seven years ago, we installed the daylight fluorescents. Now, of course, DH wants to put in LEDs, but I want to keep the faux sunshine to chase away winter blues (and honestly, I don’t know if they’re mutually exclusive). It really does help and is light years better (pun intended) than a tanning bed (so Nineties!) for chasing away S.A.D. Also, we have already contacted a contractor (a family member) and outlined our plan for expanding our linen closet. We live in a home built in the sixties, so by today’s standards there is a lot of wasted space that can be converted to storage.

    I joined Weight Watchers (now called WW because it focuses not just on diet but on total wellness) about 2 years ago. I lost 35 pounds the first year and have kept it off for almost another whole year within about a 3-4 pound fluctuation. I’m gearing up to try to lose another 20 over the next year. But moving - not necessarily exercise, just activity - is key, as you know. I’m just waiting for DH to re-retire again in March, then we will go back to mall walking when the weather is yucky and outside walking and riding bikes when it’s nice out.

    It’s all do-able, and I love having my annual physical and seeing the bad numbers under control and the good numbers maintaining. My doctor gives me a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement. And I visited Africa last summer and was able to keep up with my teenage granddaughter and my DIL and the others. So satisfying!

    I live in Utah (Salt Lake Valley) and have been to Handi-quilter; it’s where the SL Modern Quilt Guild meets. Depending on how long you’re here and who you’re coming with, maybe we can meet up!

  12. What a great quilt - makes you want to just snuggle in under it! Sounds like you have some great personal (and very doable) plans for the coming year - good for you.

  13. So many wonderful changes! Congrats on the weight loss!!

  14. PS- I love that homespun quilt!!


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