Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Make A Difference Monday - Goals

Holy Smokes!
4 minutes to get this weeks
message written and posted
before it's Tuesday!

What happened to my day?
YIKES!

So I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted to
write about this Monday.
My main purpose this year
is to become a better person
and loose weight in the process.
I think those are pretty attainable goals.

I read this quote today
(author unknown)
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. "

I think about what I've been working on this month.
I notice I think differently about things.
Before, my focus was food.
I know that may sound weird to you,
but to me, it's been my coping mechinism,
my best friend,
to get me through rough times,
sad times
and even happy times.

Now I have to look at reality.
And not bury my head in the sand
(or my mouth in the cake...so to speak.  LOL)
I am blessed to have a strong faith.
But I am a stubborn person,
and think I can do things
'on my own'
most of the time,
which can leave me in trouble,
if ya know what I mean.

I've had to make some pretty tough decisions this week.
One decision broke my heart
and left me crying for several days,
but I know it was a decision that needed to be made
and I needed to let go.

Sometimes life throws those little curve balls
and we have to be the stronger person.

Maybe this time last year,
I would have been selfish
and not acknowledged what needed to be done.
I would have held on
and tried to control the situation.
But I am no longer that person.
I can let go.
I can move on.
I can stick to my goals.

The more I stick to my goals,
the more I hold myself accountable,
the better I feel about myself.
I can feel the difference taking place.
It's pretty awesome,
and I know that in the end,
I am going to rise above.
I'm going to look back
and be thankful for what this time has brought me.
No regrets.
Just gratitude.

So, I get the quote.
I have a long way to go,
but I think I'm liking what I'm becoming.

xoxo
Cindy



Friday, January 27, 2012

Favourite Things Friday



Hey Everybody!
It's that time of week again,
to link up with Shay's
Favourite Things Friday.
(good gravy!  I almost missed it!)

So this week
my favorite thing
really isn't a "thing" after all.

It's my boys
My brother had his annual
BLT birthday bash last Saturday.
(BLT are the initials of my brother and two others that have created this annual event)

Now that my boys are old enough to participate,
they joined the party.
Now don't get me wrong.
It's not a sloppy drunk kind of party.
Just a get-together,
have a few drinks,
eat some good food,
sing some good karaoke
and laugh a whole bunch.
Who seriously does not need that in their life?

This year both of my boys were a RIOT.
I laughed so hard.
It was just a great time
for all of us to be together and enjoy each other's company.

My oldest, Jesse.

My youngest, Justin
(do you think he was embarrassed to be with me?)

And both of them singing a good 'ol redneck country song

Anytime that we can just hang out is a great time.
All of us in my household are so busy
that these times are rare.
But when they happen,
we know how to have fun.
And that is my absolute favorite thing.
Just all of us having a great time
and enjoying each others company.

I may mention that my boys are the best huggers EVER!
I love a good 'ol bear hug.
Nothing puts a smile on my face
bigger than that.

I am so blessed.
(Hey mom....are you smiling?  I lived up to my promise and did not post your picture)
LOL

May you find this much happiness in your favorite things every day!
xoxo
Cindy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Valentine Fun

Hey!
I needed to make a little something
to fill a void in an area in our livingroom.
On our sister sewing weekend,
Sarah gave me this cute little charm pack.
I think she was bribing me,
but that's another story.
:o)

So I thought I would make a cute Valentine table topper with it.
I sewed the squares together and added a border
 of Kona white.

Then I took this little ruler

placed it on the seams as such

and cut all of it into squares like this

Then...like a big puzzle
(I LOVE puzzles!)
I put all the pieces back together
to make this:

Added an outer border and it's now ready to be quilted.

All this in an afternoon.
A great, cute project!
But I find it funny that I sewed a bunch
of squares together, only to cut them
up and sew them together again.
Does that fall under the definition of insanity?
Hhhhmmmm.....
Things to ponder.
:o)


xoxo
Cindy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Make A Difference Monday

Happy Monday!
As I was searching for the next topic for this
Make A  Difference Monday,
I came across this article.
I couldn't say it better.
It's from Oprah's website,
so I am going to just copy and paste
for you to enjoy.

It's Not the Circumstances, It's You
Sad woman
Photo: Thinkstock
Imagine what your life would be like if you stopped blaming your circumstances on other people and things and took responsibility of your own life. Mike Robbins gives you the tools you need to take control of your life and become more aware of your experiences.

I recently read a great quote from Ben Franklin that I hadn't seen before. He said, "Joy doesn't exist in the world, it exists in us." While the quote was new to me, the concept wasn't. However, as I began to think it more, I realized that even though I "understand" this wisdom and do my best to live by it and remind others of it, more often than I'd like to admit, I find myself living as though I'm simply a victim of the things that go on around me and in the world—especially the stuff I don't particularly like, agree with, understand, feel like I'm on top of or enjoy.

The circumstances of our lives, especially when they seem stressful or intense (as is the case for many people I know and work with these days), do have an impact on us, for sure. However, all too often, we give away our power to these circumstances and situations. We act as though it's a foregone conclusion that we will feel a certain way, based on specific circumstances like the economy, the weather, our health, our level of activity, the state of our romantic relationship or lack thereof, the behavior of our children, our families, the state of our career or business or our environment at work.

Our experience of life (grateful, worried, peaceful, angry, excited, sad, alive, depressed, joyous or anything else) is much more of a reflection of us and what's going on within us, not a reaction to what's going on around us. We've all had many times in our lives when things were going great on the surface or we accomplished or experienced some wonderful external success, only to feel a sense of disappointment or sadness underneath because whatever it was didn't satisfy us at a deep level. And, on the flip side, most of us have had moments of incredible joy, excitement and bliss that weren't directly connected to anything worthy of these feelings externally.

Even though we know this dynamic to be true, we still seem to get caught in the hypnotic, erroneous notion that if we just got rid of some issues, altered some circumstances, manifested some increased success or changed some specific situations in our lives, then, we'd be happy, peaceful and relaxed (or whatever it is we say we want to experience).

Author and spiritual teacher Byron Katie says: "The definition of insanity is thinking that you need something you don't have. The mere fact that you exist right now without that which you think you need is proof that you don't need it."
 
What if we lived our lives with a deeper and more conscious awareness of the fact that we get to create our experience of life at any moment? Imagine what our lives, our careers and our relationships would look like if we stopped blaming our experience on other people or on external circumstances. We would free up so much positive energy and take back so much of our personal power.

Here are a few things you can do to enhance your capacity to own your experience of life in an empowering way:
 
  • Admit when you play victim and give away your power. As is always the case, "The truth will set you free." Take a look into your life, especially in the areas where you find the most pain, suffering and struggle right now. Without judging yourself, can you find places where you're acting like a victim of your current circumstances, as though it is simply "happening to you"? The more honest and specific you can be about this, the more freedom it will provide for you.

  • Acknowledge, own and express your underlying emotions. Whenever we go into victimhood, there is something we don't want to deal with, take responsibility for, experience or express emotionally. Even thought it can be a little painful and scary initially, by dealing directly with the emotions we're avoiding, we go to the source of the issue and address it at the root. Ironically, once we're able to acknowledge, own and express the emotions involved, much of the suffering and struggling go away—if we're willing to really take responsibility for and express what we're truly feeling.
  • Make a commitment to fully own your experience. Declare to yourself and those who are close to you that you're willing to take 100 percent responsibility for your experience of life. This doesn't mean that stuff won't happen, but it does mean that you make a commitment to live your life by design, not default. It's also likely that you'll forget, slip up and fall back into victimhood from time to time (or often). However, making a commitment to yourself and to others—and also asking them to hold you accountable with honesty and kindness—can create an environment, both within you and around you, that is conducive for you to enhance your capacity to live your life with power and responsibility.

Give yourself some space and have a lot of compassion with yourself and others on this. Most of us have been trained, educated and encouraged to live in "victim consciousness"—even though it doesn't work or give us what we want ultimately. When we're willing to tell the truth, express our real emotions and make a commitment to live as designers of our experience, we can literally transform our lives in miraculous ways.

Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Robbins is the author of the best- selling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken . He and his work have been featured on ABC News , in Forbes , Ladies Home Journal , Self and many others.


Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Its-Not-the-Circumstances-Its-You/2#ixzz1kIa2jSuD
 
I could not have said this better myself.
I hope you are all finding some good things
in the Make A Difference Monday postings.
I would love to hear how you're doing!
xoxo
Cindy

 



Friday, January 20, 2012

Favourite Things Friday


Oh my gosh!
It is FREEZING here in Iowa!
I'm surprised I can get my fingers moving to type.
I'm not going to try not to write much in this post because I have a lot of photos to share.
I'm linking up to Shay's Favorite Things Friday.
(I have told you how freaking awesome this gal is??)
I actually have two favorite things this week.
The first is a quilt I helped participate in making.
We have a wonderful online friend
that is so incredibly talented
and so marvelously sweet.
Her name is Jeannie.
I invite you to click on her name and look at her photostream in Flickr.
She is an inspiration to all who come into contact with her.
I dearly love this woman.
I won't go into the reasons why we made this for her,
but I can tell you we all did it with love in our hearts.
Amy, from During the Quiet Time coordinated all of this.
She contacted us to make blocks. A group of us made them
and sent them to her. When all was said and done, Amy quilted it and shipped it to Jeannie.
It was an absolute honor to participate in this.
New friendships were made and along with a beautiful quilt where every stitch was done in love.
Thank you so much again, Amy, for putting this together!
You are an angel!

Jeannie's quilt front by During Quiet Time (Amy)
The second thing is my first sister sew in with Sarah.
Here are a few pictures to show you our fun.
(and I am totally kicking myself because our friend, Cyndi, was there and I didn't get one stinkin picture of that!!)
Mary & Sarah

Sarah's Fascade quilt top
Sarah's cute market bag 

Sarah's cute flower button

My cute market bag using some of my Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric

A cute Break Buddy from a tutorial by Melissa.
It's great for carrying tea bags, Emergen-C packs ,
Crystal Lite packs, all those little goodies!
(Melissa - do you recognize the fabrics?  wink wink)


And the inside

It was a great little goodie to make and super easy to put together. 
I HIGHLY recommend you make one for yourself!
I have to make another one for me.
Little Miss Mary liked it so much that I just couldn't keep it.
So there you have my longgggggggggggg Favourite Things Friday post!
I hope I didn't bore you!
Until next time, keep the creative juices flowing!
XOXO
Cindy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friday Night Sew-In and Mouthy Stitches Swap!

Well hey there!
What are you doing Friday night?
Wanna hang out?
Wanna sew with me?
If sew (lol), then head on over to
and sign up for:
Handmade by Heidi

It's a lot of fun
and there's also always a giveaway.
Who can pass that up?
Heck, the prize for me is just being able
to have an excuse to
"get my sew on".

Also, though sign ups are now closed,
I am in another swap,
Mouthy Stitches,
however, I don't have my partner
assigned to me yet.
(God help the person who gets me!)

Here's my little mosaic of goodies:

We'll be swaping a pouch and a fat quarters worth of scraps.
How fun is that?

And the baby in the mosaic?
Well...that's just for cutnes.
I always like to put one picture
just for fun
in my mosaics.
:o)

Hope you have a happy Tuesday!
xoxo
Cindy

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make A Difference Monday - Self Reflecting

Hey!
I am sorry I'm so late getting this posted.

But first - in honor of Martin Luther King Jr today,
one of my favorite quotes:
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
As you've seen in the earlier post,
I spent the weekend with my crazy sister
for a good 'ol sewing weekend.
(more to come about that on my Friday post)
Well, I left the charger to my laptop at her house
and my battery died, so I couldn't do the post this morning.

If you are joining me on this journey,
then you are also doing a lot of self-reflecting.
I do want to make sure that you understand
where I'm coming from when I write about all this stuff,
and that is,
I am in the best place I have ever been in my life.

I used to beat myself up
continually if I did something
and it wasn't done perfectly, or...
did something wrong, or...
said something I shouldn't have, or...
ate something just to get rid of the bad feelings.
etc.

You name it,
if I wasn't perfect,
I wasn't good enough,
which explains why I'm such a rule follower.
God forbid I should try something on my own
and I fail.

That's not who I am anymore.
But I share these things....
these feelings...
because I want you to understand
where I was,
so you know the journey
I'm taking
to get to my goal.

Now...I'm not going to go spilling
the beans on my life,
or share dark, dirty secrets.
I'm talking strictly about how I feel about myself.
What kinds of things go on in my head
to make me react the way I do.

I am blessed in the fact that I have
amazing people in my life.
I have friends and family
with good heads on their shoulders,
who help me see life as it is today.
My mom sent me a beautiful email
and the last line of the email was
basically telling me I don't have to be perfect
(um...yes...I struggle with that...ugh)
and that there was only one perfect person on this earth
and He died on the cross for all those things
I'm not so perfect about.
And I have a friend at work
who reminds me
to love myself  for who I am today.
That  today, and every day, I am worthy of all things good,
and just because I don't look like a super model,
doesn't mean I'm not one 'hot mama'.
LOL

But it's those are the things
we all need to hear.
Because we are all worthy of feeling the best
about ourselves at whatever stage we are at
right  now in our lives.

So this week,
really work on loving yourself
AS YOU ARE TODAY
because you are absolutely wonderful.

And for those of you that have different religious
beliefs then I do,
IT'S ALL GOOD!
I'm not a preacher.
I'm not judging.
That's not my place.
My place is to love
and live by the values and morals
of my life.
Each of us finds our own way in life
and our differences are what makes the world go round.

So I leave you with the goals of this week:
Love yourself as you are today.
Be accepting of yourself,
and just work on being the best 'you' that you can be.
Live by YOUR values.
Make sure you take care of you
and don't leave that up to someone else.
When all this comes together,
it's becomes easier and easier to
'spread the love'.
And the difference starts...
the love starts spreading...
and the ugly can be put to rest.

Here's a poem I received today:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that
are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones
and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every
one of us.



Enjoy YOU!
 
xoxo
Cindy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sisters Sewing Weekend Update

Yes...we are tired.
Our cousin Mary stopped by.
She was the first to fall asleep.
This is what happens
when you don't drink your
5 hour energy drink
when you're with Sarah & I.

So we had to do our own
little comedy show
while Mary took a Snooze.





And I'm pretty excited
that I figured out
how to use the video on my camera.

So whenever you are ready
to come hang with my sister and I
(PS...I'm the cute one....LOL)
Come on over!
But make sure you have plenty
of sleep before you stop by.
Who knows what will happen next!

xoxo
Cindy

Friday, January 13, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

Favourite Things Friday @ QIMP

Here we are!
Another round of Shay's Favourite Things Friday!
YAY!

So here is something I've been holding back on.
I won a giveaway from my all time hero,
Monica Solorio-Snow

I won this fabulous jelly roll to add to my stash of
Happy Mochi Yum Yum.



If you have not checked out Monica's blog yet, you really should.
She will
CRACK
YOUR
STUFF
UP.

I always tell her she's my hero.
I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm a psyco stalker,
but that's OK.
At least she knows how I feel.
:o)

I also took some 'me' time this week
and made a Valentine curtain for my kitchen window.


Melissa....you will be very proud of me.
I didn't use a pattern and
it's lined with an eyelet trim.
YAY me!
:o)

We have this local shop
that is so incredibly reasonable regarding their prices.

The heart
was only $7.


The flower ball
was only $4.

The old glass heart
 
was only $6.

Can you believe it?

What an awesome week it has been!
And to top it off,
I get to spend the weekend with my sister
(she has my very own bedroom for me,
thank goodness....because she snores.)
and we are going to sew...sew....sew.

Guess what my topic will be for next weeks
Favourite Things Friday? 
:o)

Love to all!!
xoxo
Cindy

Monday, January 9, 2012

Make A Difference Monday - I Am Worth It

Happy Make A Difference Monday!
I will say, I did have a couple of rough days this week.
I've been under a lot of stress at work, however,
I really paid attention to my surroundings
and kind of looked at things
 as if I were watching someone else.
When stress & pressure get to me,
I need to keep my mouth moving.
So...
I kept wanting to find something to munch on.
Now, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
I was prepared.
I had healthy food
and made some pretty darn good choices.
But Thursday and Friday...
not so much.
I learned a lot in those two days.
I also started keeping a journal
of how I feel when I have those
'have to keep my mouth moving'
moments.
Those moments come when I feel I haven't
done my best,
or didn't pay attention,
or tried to hurry,
because someone wants and answer,
or something done ASAP.
They come when a friend or loved one needs me
and I just can't be a support system at the moment,
because I need to heal myself.
What am I going to do about this type
of self-sabotage?
I'm going to stop,
take a slow, deep breath in,
exhale slowly,
and repeat over and over
until I start to believe it,
"I AM WORTH IT".
I am worth being respectful to myself.
I am worth having my alone time.
I am worth an organized home.
I am worth not hurting my body
by eating something unhealthy.
I am worth taking time to exercise.
I am worth putting myself first from time to time.
And so are you!
You are worth all things good.
You are worth being good to yourself.
Respecting yourself.
Loving yourself.
So...for the month of January,
we'll continue to work on ourselves.
We'll put ourselves first,
so we can better be there for those that need us.
I don't know about you,
but I am so tired of feeling like the life has been sucked out of me.
So take time out,
just for you.
Enjoy it.
And when the ugly tries to creep it's way in,
just repeat this to yourself:

Friday, January 6, 2012

My New Thing for Favourite Things Friday

Hey everybody!

Another one of my goals for this year is to
link up with Shay
for her Favourite Things Friday.


So....my favorite thing this week
is thinking out of my creative box.
I am such a rule follower
that patterns are perfect for me.
It tells me what to do,
how to do it,
when to do it,
etc.

I finally just did something on my own
right out of my scrap box.
I made this cute little gal
for Valentine's Day.

No pattern.
No templates.
No instruction.
Just a drawing I did on scratch paper,
and brought to life with fabric and thread.
Probably for a lot of you,
this isn't a big deal.
I can't BELIEVE the
talent I see out in blogland.
And it's been such an inspiration to me.
I'm even going to develop a new character
and build a series around it.
That's how much 'outside of the box'
thinking I've been doing.
So, for my Favourite Thing Friday,
I am celebrating creating something
of my very own.
This has already started out to be an awesome year.
I wonder what else it will bring?
If you have a favorite thing this week,
head on over and link up with
xoxo
Cindy

Monday, January 2, 2012

Make A Difference Monday

As promised...
the new direction of my blog.
Along with my everyday crafting,
cooking, and whatever else comes up,
I am starting a Make A Difference Monday.
This means every Monday I will be doing a post
on how to make a difference.
I have a photograph that I took hanging in my bathroom,
to which I photoshopped a quote onto it.
It's one of my most favorite quotes by Gandhi, which says,
"You must become the change you want to see in the world"
I totally love this quote.
So, for this first Make A Difference Monday,
I'm starting with me.
Now, you are welcome to join me on this journey,
or follow along,
or share ideas,
whatever wets your whistle.
But the first few posts will be how I can start with myself to make a difference.
The first change I am working on is my thought pattern,
my internal voice,
that most of the time isn't so nice to me.
It's the voice that sets me up for failure.
If I'm going to do this,
I have to be honest.
So, though I may always seem happy-go-lucky,
inside I have this old tape recording,
that lets me know I'm really not
"good enough".
Now, I will tell you, I do not like pity.
All of us are worth more than that,
so please don't think that's where I'm headed with this.
I am heading on the path which leads to great things!
But, in order to get to the 'great things', I have to be
honest with what my internal voice is doing
to sabatoge me from moving forward.
Why, do you ask, am I doing this?
Well, I have always felt that somewhere in life,
I would do something great.
But again, I have let that nasty voice
keep me from doing the things in life that I really want to do.
Once I became an adult, I have no one to blame
but myself for not achieving the things in life I wanted to achieve.
So, if you are coming on this journey with me,
look deep inside yourself.
What is your internal tape recording saying to you?
Is it telling you that you're a victim?
That the way your life is now, is because of someone, or something, else?
Where you are at, where I am at, is because of the choices we ourselves have made.
If you don't like what you see when you look in the mirror,
(meaning from the inside out)
fix it.
On July 7th, I will turn 50 years old.
And I am excited.
One of my biggest hurdles will be loosing weight.
 I didn't get this way because I love food.
I got this way because I let the internal voice
take over and I stuff my feelings.
No more!
So....here I am today.

Yep....this is me in all my chubby cuteness!  LOL
The first of every month
I will post a picture of myself
with my accomplishments from the prior month.
Not only the physical changes,
but also the internal changes
I hope to make.
Let me tell you...
this was a hard choice for me to make.
Now that I've made this public,
I HAVE to do something.
Keeping my word,
makes a difference.
Right?
Now, I am by no means a therapist,
or trying to be one.
I'm just trying to work on myself,
 and because I know what's wrong,
I am choosing to fix it.
So, the first few weeks will about self-improvment.
Once I get the hang of that, I'll move
on to 'sharing the love'.
Referring to the lyrics of Michael Jackson's, "Man in the Mirror"
I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
So here we go, folks!
Whether it's loosing weight,
something inside stopping you from being truly happy,
your creativity is blocked,
whatever the case may be,
we can do it!
I'm, by no means, saying this is going to be easy,
but it is going to be worth it.
xoxo
Cindy

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!!



Wishing all of you much happiness and success in 2012.
Leave the past behind.
It doesn't have to go with you.
Take what you like and leave the rest.

Looking forward to all the adventures the new year has to offer.
Tune in tomorrow.
I have something new in store for my blog.
You are welcome to join me,
follow my progress,
or ignore it.
Any choice you make is fine!

I so appreciate all the new 'virtual' friends I've made in 2011.
Each of you have touched my life in a special way.
To my entire family, I love you all dearly
and I am so blessed to have the family I do.
To my 'real life' friends,
I couldn't live my life without you.

Thank you all.
I appreciate every single thing about you.

Much love & happiness.
xoxo
Cindy