Lazy Daisy

I remember being told I was lazy a lot when I was younger.  I’ve struggled with motivation and keeping my passion high on any one thing for a long period of time.  It’s not that I get bored of what I’m doing; it’s more that I enjoy so many things that it’s hard to be passionate about only a few.

I read something the other day about my astrological sign, cancer, that makes a lot of sense:  “Cancer spends about half of their life enjoying the social or more interactive scene and the other half in a reclusive, “I-want-to-be-left-alone” state.  For them, it is very pivotal to have a balance between these two spectrums.” ~Thezodiaccity.com  I’m not deep into astrology but sometimes it makes sense and helps me explain myself in ways I can’t on my own.

I remember hurting my dad’s feelings a lot as a kid.  I would get to to their house where I was the only child and feel a sense of release and relief.  There isn’t much calm and quiet in a house with three other kids so I remember feeling like my dad’s house was a sanctuary and a place where my reclusive half could recharge.  I would only want to hang out in my room and relax.  It had nothing to do with not wanting to hang out with my dad or stepmom…I just needed to recharge.  As an adult I reflect on those times and feel deeply sad that I hurt them and gave them the wrong impression.  I also wonder if this contributed to the impression of me being such a lazy kid.

Let’s be honest, kids are lazy.  They need to be taught how to be a productive individual and do their part.  I am sure guilty of that.  What I’m unsure of as an adult is how much of my need to recharge is being lazy and how much is healthy?

This is a picture of my dining room table yesterday.  I have two computers open and stacks of papers everywhere.  I completed 17 things on my to-do list yesterday.  Some big and some small.  Many of the day’s activities were not on my to-do list.  And yet, with a full and productive day I still felt lazy.
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It is important for us to give ourselves time to recharge and permission to not be running ourselves mad.  It is important for me to realize that there is only so much that can get accomplished in a 24-hour period.  There is a point where busywork will lead to inefficiency.  I have always struggled with this balance.  Somewhere in the back of my mind there is a constant voice telling me I’m lazy if I’m not pushing myself to the max every single day.  When I listen to that little sucker I end up frustrating myself for my own unrealistic exceptions.

Don’t be like me….give yourself a break.  Give yourself a reasonable amount of stuff to do in a day.  Don’t stress about not getting the ironing done or the laundry fully put away.  Pace yourself and don’t forget to pencil in some time to enjoy your day.  Trust me.

xoxo,

Christi

Daily Tidbits

  • I’m hungry for my Arbonne breakfast shake.  Tummy time!
  • Violet is slowly waking up.  She is so funny to listen to as she moans and mumbles and grumbled about getting up.
  • We are working on some projects around the house.  It feels good to finally be turning our attention to putting our own stamp on this place.  🙂
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Actively Enduring

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I’ve been unsettled the last few months.  I’ve started a new job, moved into a new house, got married and had a few other major challenges.  None of those are bad; they just have me feeling quite out of a routine lately.  Do you ever have that?

I can’t seem to get a new rhythm into my life.  I keep trying to make sure I get all of my tasks or to-dos done each week but I seem to still remain unbalanced.

A new job is always an adjustment but especially in a new industry.  I have switched from healthcare technology to energy and although the work and tasks are largely the same I am learning new terminology, new methods and techniques as well as new people.  Add that to the fact that I’m back in an office environment after having worked at home for the last 7 years and its easy to see why the transition has left me in a fog.

Denali (our boy dog) had TPLO surgery on his rear left knee to correct a torn ACL.  This has been a challenge of it’s own.  He has had several complications and only recently did we learn that it’s all stemming from a staph. infection that has carried over from his surgery.

Married life to the man of my dreams and my absolute best friend is more amazing that I could have ever dreamed.  With any new phase to a relationship there are changes and discussions to help us get on the same page.  In addition to the relationship growing pains there are also adjustments at home.  Chris moved in very shortly before we were married to help with Denali’s surgery recovery.  I don’t care if it’s the best person in the entire world, a friend or a random roommate…learning someone else’s living style and meshing yours with theirs always takes some work and time.

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t blogged or put up a YouTube video in a while.  A lot of it has to do with the demands on my time but it also has to do with not feeling completely settled with all of my new recent changes.  Although most of them are so spectacularly wonderful, I am still foggy.  As I slowly get into my new routine I am excited to navigate through all the nuances in my days.

My pastor said a few weeks ago that “Perseverance is not passive waiting but an active endurance.”  I took that very much to heart.  Things take time.  There is constant growth.  There is always something to learn.  And with that I will continue to navigate the place I have in all of the new magical and wonderful chaos.

xoxo,

Christi

  • Our town has a wonderful music festival every summer.  I was out there most of the day yesterday enjoying friends, family, sun and music .
  • I’m addicted to “London Fog” tea lattes.  If you like chai tea you should check them out.
  • I’m on a fashion and lifestyle refresh cycle.  I’m looking at clothes, make-up and home decor in a more refined way.  Maybe there will be some of that coming soon to the blog and to Youtube.  😉
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Mr. & Mrs. Ninja Decorate for Christmas

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Yesterday I put together our Ninjabread House.  Yes…Ninja…Bread.  As those who know me know, I’m a bit quirky and I love a spin on just about anything if it makes me giggle.  A few years ago I purchased Ninja cookie cutters from Think Geek to make this lovely type of creation each year.  I imagined it being more fun to decorate and plan a house around a ninja family.  And low and behold, it was!

I’ve been more sore these last few weeks and I’ve been waking up with some numbness in my hands.  I am certain I can attribute it to all of the extra activities we’ve been doing this month (moving, making treats, decorating, wrapping presents, etc.) but I was worried about my ability to decorate our Ninjabread House and still make it look nice.  I mention all of this to encourage you to not stop doing the things you love to do around the holiday season.  It is important for people with a chronic illness to prioritize their activities and make sure that you don’t overdo anything.  Also, there are usually ways to tweak your favorite activities so they’ll be more comfortable and enjoyable for you.  I’ll give you a few examples as we build this house.

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The first thing you will need to build a Ninjabread House is a house and some ninjas.  I found a kit at a local craft store after Christmas last year with a pre-assembled house.  It came without the door and window frosted (I forgot to take a picture before I drew those on) and on it’s own little cardboard platform.  Buying the house pre-built took away several steps of frosting and holding until the structure was secure and thus, saved some wear on my hands for this project.

Chris suggested I place the platform & house on top of our white cutting mat so I could build a larger yard.  These are the times I know he’s a keeper.  😉

Also, The previous Saturday I baked holiday treats to make trays for family and friends.  One of the things I made were these ninjabread men.  I saved 4-5 for myself since I knew I was going to be building this masterpiece.

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The larger bag in this picture with the white icing was included in the kit.  The other icing bag is mine and filled with black icing and a small tip for decorating.  While decorating I found the white icing to be very tough for my weakened hands to push out of the bag and frost with any kind of control.  Again, in his brilliance, Chris recommended I microwave the bag to soften the icing.  It worked like a charm!  Just remember to microwave the icing for 10 seconds or less at a time.  It heats up very quickly.  You’ll see in later pictures where the icing was a bit too soft to achieve very straight lines.

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I knew I would also need black icing for the ninja’s and some additional candies as well.  The gumdrops, round red & white striped balls, little tiny green & red balls as well as the green & red peppermints came with the kit.  I had the ribbon candy, red hots and sprinkles in my pantry already.  I knew I wanted to incorporate black licorice somehow and I also thought that Junior Mints could function well for something on a ninjabread house.

 

 

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I wondered what kind of shenanigans ninja kids might get into at home that would be different than non-ninja children.  I finally decided that they probably go through a lot of windows while the entire family practices their kicking skills.  So, I made sure that their front and back windows looked broken.  I don’t claim to be an artist of any kind so you might have to stretch your imagination with me but that is what the dark black jaded portions of window are supposed to be.

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I decided to outline major junctions of the house with the black licorice.  I love how the roof line turned out with my icing squiggly under it.

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I thought about making an elaborate yard complete with a ribbon candy fence (also Chris’ idea) but to be honest I was selfish.  I want all of the ribbon candy to myself.  I think it’s my favorite holiday candy.  So, instead I put a squiggly frame around the cardboard base of the house and made pretend (as I often do in my own mind) that the cutting board was just a lawn covered in snow.

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Since I had the Junior Mints I decided to use them to make a cobblestone walkway to the front door.  I figured a ninja family would like something nice leading them home after a hard day’s work of kicking butt and taking names.

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To add more detail I added a peppermint candy to the front and back roofline peak and red hot candies around the base of the house.  I didn’t intend to make the house white, black and red primarily but this is where the color design started to take shape.

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This is the picture I mentioned a few paragraphs above.  My icing was too soft for me to draw straight lines on the roofline.  I didn’t want to re-do it so I just left it as “personal flair”.  Haha.  I love gingerbread houses that have a cushion effect on the roof and that was what I tried to recreate here.

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After the lines were drawn on I used my black icing to place a small dot in each diamond-shaped void and placed red small candy on each one.  I really like the roof and I think it adds something special to the entire house.  Ninjas like to decorate for Christmas too!

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I started thinking that I needed a tree or lawn decoration for the front yard so I decided to make some lawn art with the candy cane balls that came with the kit.  I like the way they turned out.  Next year, however, I think I’ll try to come up with a better idea for a tree or something similar for the front yard.

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I decided to pose my ninja family as if they were taking a Christmas card picture in front of their house.  (I also obviously understand that they’re not exactly to scale.)  To help prop the ninja kids up in the front yard I used a chunk of my beloved ribbon candy as a stand behind their bodies.  I sunk both the ribbon candy and ninja kid into a glob of white icing to help hold them both in place.  This might be my most genius moment of this entire project….pat … pat… Excuse me while I pat myself on the back a bit more.

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I ended up painting more clothes on Mrs. Ninjabread in an attempt to make her look more like a lady.  Although, to help continue concealing her identity I had to leave her mask on.  I used the house as a base to prop Mr. & Mrs. Ninja upright.

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I hope you enjoyed my 2014 version of a Ninjabread House.  I had a lot of fun with this project.  I truly believe a few simple “cheats” make a project like this so much more enjoyable when you’re hands or body is hurting.  The only part I had trouble with was placing the little red balls on the roof.  Those little suckers are tiny and hard to hold on to.  Microwaving the icing and using larger candies helped relieve my hands of additional stress.

Let me know if you try one of your own!  I’d love to see your creative versions!

xoxo,

Christi

  • I’m going to finish this post and head to the gym.  I love getting back into a routine with working out.  It helps my mind and body feel so much better each day.
  • My office in the new house truly has the best view.  I keep waking up excited to work, blog and read in there because I’m loving the space so much!
  • I changed my nail polish last night to OPI’s Crimson Carol.  This is my absolute favorite color for the Christmas season!
  • I’m going to submit this post to the online Pretty Preppy Party Blog share.  It’s worth checking out!  There are some amazingly gorgeous designs from fabulous women.
    11 Magnolia Lane
  • Be sure to check out some of the contributors for this month’s Pretty Preppy Party collaboration.
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Fall Here

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The other day I took the dogs on a walk around one of our favorite city parks, we tested out some new camera equipment and enjoyed the amazing fall weather.  Here in Wyoming we aren’t often privy to such a wonderfully long fall.  Typically our summer ends on a hot note in August then we experience snow or frost the weekend of Labor Day weekend in September.  Then it’s cold and the leaves change fast and fall off right away.  There’s no time for picturesque walks, no transitional Fall outfits, a shortened season of PSLs (pumpkin spiced lattes) and a too early transition to peppermint mochas. Nnnnoooooo!!!!

Fall 2014 is different, however.  We’re well into October now and only this last week the brightest of the amber leaves have started to lose their crisp color and turn into a golden brown.  We really lucked out this year and I’m taking full advantage of it!  I get to wear shorts with tights and long-sleeved shirts and dresses with boots but no tights.  Who knew the Fall transition fashion is so versatile!

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I will continue to enjoy this amazing fall weather and let the pups run around all they can.  They’re loving the cool down and as always its so much fun to photograph them with great color contrast.

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Happy Fall y’all!

xoxo, 

Christi 

  • Wedding planning has commenced.  We have a lot to decide but at the end of the day I’ll be marrying my best friend and nothing is better than that!
  • I am currently surrounded by puppy snoring.  I have my two big snore hounds and my puppy nephew tonight as well. I am one happy dog-person.  🙂
  • You should now be able to subscribe to the blog directly and receive automatic updates.
  • Pumpkin chili is getting made tomorrow.  Eaten only by me but made tomorrow!  Lol.
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Walk the Line

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Walking is such a great low-impact way to get some exercise, movement and de-stressing into your life.  Although I love to run I haven’t been able to in several years because I can never seem to heal from one jog to another. If you check out RA Warrior’s recent blog post on a shirt she spotted at a sporting good’s store you’ll know that we’re not alone.

http://rawarrior.com/reaching-beyond-limitations-nike-versus-yoda/

It may not be RA or any kind of chronic illness that is preventing you from putting rubber to the road.  One of my best girlfriends recently powered through her emotions of being sidelined from running with a hip injury.  Knowing her and how important her running is to her and also knowing what it’s like to have that taken away from you I was so empathetic to the change this recent injury presented to her life.  She knew, however that she had to let it heal or she wouldn’t be able to return to the road.  So, she waited…and waited…and finally she was able to run again.

Some of us will never run again but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find a new way to be active.  Whatever has put you on the bench and kept you from your favorite game has to be given the respect it needs so you don’t damage yourself further.

For me, one of the things I have replaced with running is walking my dogs.  I love spending time with them anyway and I love to be outside.  And although it’s not as fast paced as running I still get MY time and the chance to decompress my mind.  I walk with earphones in listening to music that fits my current mood.  If I’m sad I work through a sad playlist.  If I’m upset about something the music is a bit heavier.  😉

The point is to find something that keeps you moving and active because RA or not..activity is good for your body, mind and soul.  Water sports, walking, biking, hiking…any activity you can do with little to no pain is the key.  Take care of yourself.  Yesterday’s body will not be here tomorrow.

xoxo,

Christi

  • I am making some chili tonight for dinner.  I also made a batch of Famous Dave muffins to go with.  I love those things!!
  • I just posted my video on how to make an inexpensive flower arrangement.  Check it out on my videos page.
  • The puppies are super sleepy after our walk.  Since they are so big it doesn’t take much to tucker them out.
  • I get to have lunch with my stepmom today!  What a treat.  We never get to go to lunch together!  I’m excited.  🙂
  • This has been the most beautiful fall I remember in Wyoming.  We usually go from HOT summer to FROZEN.  Hahaha.  This year we actually have a long fall and I’m soaking it up all I can.
  • Later taters!
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Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

Fresh Hawaiian Pineapple

My parents recently returned from a Hawaiian vacation to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.  True to form, my mom brought back something spectacular for all of us.

One of our favorite things from the Islands is their Maui Gold Pineapple.  If you’ve never tasted this brand of pineapple you’re truly missing out.  Consider Dole pineapples to be the generic version of Maui Gold.  They still taste alright but they’re just not the same as the real deal.

Incorporating fruits and veggies into your diet while you have RA is essential.  Many of us take medication to control our symptoms and disease.  You’re medication will only help you as much as you help yourself and your body.

Truthfully, it’s not a fight to get this pineapple into my diet when its available because it is so good!  I do find myself eating too much at one sitting sometimes which can cause my mouth to begin to feel an acidic burn.  To that I end up using my trusty Glyoxide to combat any mouth issues (blog & video to come soon).

Remember to treat yourself but do it with things that are kind to your body; such as pineapple from the beautiful island of Maui.

xoxo,

Christi

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