Diversions Get Crafty Health Reading

Trying to focus

How do you pick what you want to focus on? I mean, seriously – there are so many things I want to do, and help Q with, and I have no idea how to fit it all in.

Right now I’m trying to fit in – in addition to working-from-home-mostly-full-time:

  1. improving my French – mostly this involves the Duolingo app. My French is pretty abysmal for someone who took it for 13 or so years through elementary and high school;
  2. reading more – like actual books. I’m doing the Toronto Public Library’s reading challenge again this year and while I’m doing okay, I’d like to be more consistent with it. For example, I haven’t read anything not work related in the last two weeks. I’d like to work it in;
  3. cross-stitching – it’s fun and calming. Mostly it’s calming. I found an awesome group on facebook to stitch with and they have little games and competitions and while that helps me stitch more it also sometimes ups my anxiety. Thankfully they’re pretty laid back and chill and if I have to drop out of something there is no problem. I’m also VERY careful to follow through on the ones that actually require preparation and participation though;
  4. helping Q learn Morse Code – I’m not sure how much he wants to do this but we’ve worked our way up to E (and also SOS and the letter T);
  5. 2 x 10 minutes of my mindfulness app a day – why twice a day? The app is Calm and it has a “daily calm” of about 10 minutes on a different topic each day. Then it has different series that you can work through – right now I’m listening to a series called “relationship with self.”
  6. moving more – hard to do when we’re in a state of emergency I think; but we’ll try.

One of the benefits of not being at home right now is I can at least ignore most of the “housekeeping” stuff – no cleaning, no yard work etc. I am still doing laundry but less really. Also no piano to make me feel guilty for not practising!

So let’s see:

  • 10-20 minutes for Duolingo;
  • 20-30 minutes for Calm;
  • 30-60 minutes for reading;
  • 30-60 minutes of cross-stitching;
  • 30-60 minutes of moving more;
  • 30-60 minutes of helping Q with school, games, Morse Code etc
  • 6.5 hours of work (M – F)
  • 7 hours of sleep (ideally)

At the high end of everything and assuming some buffer for changing activities and that equals 19 hours. Plus eating and showering. I’m gonna try this schedule for this week or two. It has the decided benefit of being easily marked down as “yes or no” – isn’t that the hallmark of a “SMART” goal?

  • Specific – yes
  • Measurable – yes  
  • Attainable – not sure
  • Relevant – well, relevant to me
  • Time-bound – trying for a week, hopefully two and then I’ll see how I’m feeling about it all.

Wish me luck!

What are you choosing to focus on? One or two things or 50bazillion like I’m trying to do?

Diversions Family Get Crafty

Happy Monday – weekend craziness

Happy Monday all! We had a wonderful, warm weekend – but the kind of weekend that feels like you need a weekend to recover from it!

Friday was all nostalgia, as I went back to high school! I took a slightly longer route to get there so I could walk down the street I used to live on and see the house I spent the first 13 or 14 years of my life in. It seems like they added a nice deck to the back but the front looked a lot like it did 35 years ago.

On the street where I lived

I was on the left even as a child

I went and found my grad photos (yes, photos, I actually kinda love saying “when did I graduate? Oh, 1992. And ’93” lol)

Grad ’92

Grad ’93 – Harry Potter specs long before HP 😉

It’s such a great entrance too!

Saturday involved getting Q to drama class and me cross-stitching while waiting around. Then hockey school and a pit stop for ice cream afterwards

First he ate his

then he ate mine

Toby took Q off to gymnastics in the afternoon and then, with my folks in charge of Q for the night, Toby and I went off to the west end for a pub night for the high school. So lovely to see everyone that I did see but I missed a lot of people too because, well, I was volunteering Sunday morning!

Sunday is usually the day we have nothing so that we can recover from the week and the usual Saturday madness but instead I volunteered with EGALE running some water tables at the Scotibank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and then headed out to the wilds of Etobicoke to help my mom, an uncle, and a couple of cousins work in my babcia’s garden. Whew. 

I’m hoping for less craziness this weekend but I dunno!


NOTE: yea, I know, this went up on Tuesday but only because I couldn’t get the photos to upload on the blog. The very helpful admin for my host fixed it all overnight for me – well overnight for me, day time for him, he’s in the UK.

Diversions Get Crafty Health

The week ahead….

So I thought I’d be a bit more organized if I could spend a little bit of time on Sunday setting out the week ahead so here goes. Work from 9 to 5 is a given unless otherwise noted.

-run in the morning for 30-45 minutes
-get Q in to daycare and let Toby sleep hopefully getting a bit better in the process
-during a break at work – add the new coupons to my spread sheet and check out the flyers to see if there’s anything super I should be picking up this week
-hopefully meet up with my accountant friend who is doing our taxes again this year
-in the evening – boil a bunch of eggs and fry up some bacon for breakfasts/snacks for the rest of the week
-write two blog posts – hopefully I’ll be able to review/edit etc in time to post this week too

-up early and doing some basic yoga/stretching
-mail some packages that have been sitting around for a while but I keep forgetting to bring to the post office
-send a reminder email to Toby at work to change his income tax withholding and also to submit his receipts for his recent business trip
-I have a physio appointment at lunch for my hamstring
-I’d like to spend an hour after Q goes to bed organizing my craft area. I’d love for it to be usable soon! Also throw a load of laundry in.

-run in the morning for 30-45 minutes
-after work I have a board meeting for the day care so Q and I will be there late (Toby has choir)
-after that – maybe just some cross-stitching or entering contests for a bit before bed
-YIKES! Good thing I’m doing up this list – what I should do is go through the recipes for Easter Sunday and make sure we have everything we need

-weigh in day for month 1 of our dietbet. If I make it – losing 3% of my starting weight – I’ll be really really surprised. I’ve fallen off the bandwagon more often than I’d like to admit.
-have to bring out the recycling and green bin before work
-go over the City’s waste website to figure out when we can bring in our bigger garbage stuff that’s been hanging around in the basement for a year. Our local “Community Environment Day” is May 10 – we can bring our hazardous waste and electronics and stuff to the park down the street for free!
-in the evening get everything ready for baking and do some laundry and puttering after Q goes to bed.

Friday: Good Friday so no work today :)-hopefully we all get to sleep in a little
-go for a run for at least an hour
-hang the shelf in the basement in the treadmill room for holding my gym clothes and stuff
-I’m sure there will be lots more puttering and laundry and playing with Q

-make lemon blueberry cupcakes and chocolate mousse for easter. Toby’s making pain au chocolat bread pudding. I should really try and remember to take pictures for future blog posts.

-go for a run for at least an hour and hopefully closer to an hour and a half BUT we have to be at my parents’ place for like 10 a.m. so maybe not. Maybe I’ll run on Saturday instead…
-other than that – it’s easter so big family gathering at my parents’ place.

So do you try to map out your week? Does it help? I hope so! This ended up being a bit more detailed than I thought it would be so I hope I can do it all!

Get Crafty

Knitted Blanket – inukshuk

A few years ago now, Toby and I took a couple of intro to knitting classes at a shop in Kensington Market. Yep, Toby was the only guy but he enjoyed it and we made a scarf and then a baby hat. I kept it up a bit more than he did and one day I was flipping through a catalogue from a craft store when my dad says “hey that looks nice, make me that.” A blanket! WTF?

Well, why not? I thought.

I thought I had some more work in progress pictures but maybe they were from the old camera. I’ll have to check out the big Mac to see if they’re on there.

I got to do a couple of new things making the blanket: double stranded knitting – so knitting with two strands of yarn at the same time. And it was knit on one circular needle – which meant casting on a little bit shy of 200 stitches!

Anyway, here it is:

bottom - about half way done
bottom – about half way done


top half - almost done!
top half – almost done!

And the whole darn thing:


It’s really soft and comfy. And my dad completely forgot that he had asked for it! Sigh.

I really liked making it because it really doesn’t matter that I knit a little tight. I worry about making clothes and stuff for that reason. But it also means I have leftover yarn, and, well, I thought it would be fun to make a scarf with the circular needle so….