Thursday, 31 March 2016

March Wrap Up & April Goals

Before we get into what I want to accomplish this month let's do a quick recap on my March Goals and what I accomplished last month...

March Goal: Read one book of the Bible every day in March
Outcome: Nope. I read 5 books, which makes it more of a once a week accomplishment than a once a day accomplishment. I'm not being too hard on myself with this one. I've made progress and I'm going to keep it up for the month of April.

March Goal: Read two books.
Outcome: Seriously, what is my problem with this!? Another month has past and I didn't read a single book. I'm too disgusted by this thought to elaborate any further.

March Goal: Journal/Write Creatively 16 days out of the month.
Outcome: I'm giving myself a check mark next to this one! 

As for my 52 in 52 List...I did try a new food (baked brie with apricot jam) and made two new recipes (icing and pad thai). I'm anticipating April being a more successful month because I already have some things 'in progress' but can't actually call them done until next month. 

April has a few unknowns right now. Basically one of two scenarios is going to play out; either everything will continue according to plan OR I'll check a pretty big item off my life goals list...which is the preferred scenario and it will also come with some big changes. So keeping that in mind I'm keeping my April goals pretty simple. I'm going to go ahead and carry all of my March Goals over to April with a few moderations. I am going to keep up with my Bible reading plan and aim to read 10 books this month. On the literature front I'm going to take a different approach. I'm just going to read one book. One. Surely, I can read one book during next next 30 days. As for the writing, I'm not sure I want to put a number of times on that. I discovered last month that It can be hard to count days, somedays I can easily write for a few pages and others the only writing I do is a quick five minutes to answer the question in my Five Year Journal. So I'm going to try and keep track of how many hours I spend journalling and writing. I'm going to aim to spend 30 hours writing and we'll see how it goes. To make my goals a little more rounded and since the weather is warming up I'm going to aim to have at least one day a week with 15,000 steps on my FitBit. 

There may be some changes to this list depending on how the month unfolds, but for now I'm balancing living in the present while being aware of things on the horizon. What are you planning to accomplish in April? 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Ten On Tuesday - Posts I Haven't Published

There was a time when I never had more than six half written blog posts sitting in my drafts. I currently have 39 posts waiting to be finished or edited so in the spirit of Karli's Ten on Tuesday link up I present to you the title of ten of those posts along with a brief synopsis of what I was planning on writing about.

Ten Things On My Mind
I identify as being a multi-tasker which means I generally have at least ten thoughts bouncing around in my head. This was originally going to be my post for today, and then most of my thoughts were related to trying to be be patient and weren't necessarily an accurate representation of my usual sate of mind.

Bloom Where You're Planted
I first came across this phrase a few years ago. I think it was on a Mormon blog about preparing for their Young Women's Program, but I can't really remember. I'm not Mormon but the concept stuck with me. Last year I found a sticker with that phrase and stuck it to my clipboard in plain sight and this time of year when flowers are starting to push through the soil I think about it even more. 

Experts & Extremists
I'm not sure how it happened or why it happened but it seems like everyone and their dog needs to be an expert on something these days. And if they're not declaring themselves an expert on the topic they seem to be an extremist on the matter. I have a pretty strong belief and value system but that doesn't mean I think my way is the only way. This ever growing society of experts and extremists has made the world a little more hostile to each other, which is not what we need. 

Plans & Progress
One Year Plans, Two Year Plans, Ten Year Plans...I've got them all. And some of them I've made progress on and others I've changed my mind about how I want life to look. 

It's Alright To Be Itty Bitty
Small is an adjective I use to describe almost everything in my life. Small town, small statute, small voice...and in a society where bigger is better sometimes being small is hard, but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Day in the Life
This is self-explanatory. I love reading other blogger's Day in the Life posts and I always mean to write my own but in the four years I've been blogging I think I've only ever finished one. I'd like to make this more of a priority and complete one every six months or so. 

Prayer Journalling
Blogging is great but it's not the same as putting pen to paper. I always have a regular notebook journal to write out my thoughts but I also always have a sketch book. I use my sketchbook to doodle, write quotes and verses and prayer requests. 

Things I've Never Done (And Probably Never Will)
There are some things that the vast majority of the population does on a regular basis that I have no interest in doing and have never done before. One of those things include getting a mani/pedi which I think might get be kicked out of blogland.

I always have a Confession post in my drafts. I usually add to it as things happen and when I feel like I have enough content for a post I link up with Kathy's Humpday Confessions.

Weird Questions People Have Asked About My Job
I had a running list of weird things people have asked me about my job working in the camp industry. And then a few weeks ago some well meaning person asked if I had ever applied to work at the bank. After that doozy I was a little lost for words.

What posts do you have sitting unfinished in your draft folder?

Monday, 28 March 2016

March Currently

The first part of March was pretty straight forward. I worked a bunch of overtime at the office job and worked on a handful of things for camp in my spare time. And then last week things took a little turn (hopefully for the better) and now life is a little more uncertain. 

Reading... Month after month I seem to fail at reading anything that isn't a news article, Buzzfeed list, blog post or Instagram caption. I can't even come up with an excuse this month and it makes me sad to think about all the reading I'm not doing.
Playing... Occasionally 1010! 
Watching... I jumped back on the Big Brother Canada bandwagon this season, but now I've sort of fallen off. The contestants throw a lot of tantrums and I just can't watch that kind of nonsense. I have been keeping up with Criminal Minds, although I'm not sure I like what's happening there either. 
Trying... To pace myself. I worked a lot this month and my inner introvert felt a little neglected.
Cooking... Nothing too fancy this month. This month my best meal discovery has been a pita with chipotle mayo, cucumber, cheese, red onion and chicken cooked in a sweet & spicy sauce. 
Eating... This month there has been a lot of bagels, yogurt, crackers, bananas. Basically I've been eating like a toddler. The last week I've been getting my act together and returning to meal planning. 
Drinking... Lots of water with cucumber and/or lime, a cup of coffee to start the day and a glass of pop every now and then.
Calling... The dreaded Guiding related phone calls in an attempt to coordinate various schedules and activities. 
Texting... The usual crew. H., R., J. and N.. Sometimes the ladies I carpool with to work. 
Pinning... I didn't do a lot of pinning this month, occasionally some ideas for theme days at camp and little staff moral boosters. 
Tweeting... Mostly just the automatic tweet from Bloglovin' when a post is published.
Going... Hopefully to visit H., however we don't have an end date for work yet. We've been extended so I'll be working past March 31st but we haven't been given a new contract yet, which is incredibly annoying but I'm trying to be patient.
Loving... Daylight!! Saturday I looked outside at 7:33 p.m. and it was still daylight out, which is purely magical.  
Hating... "Work uncertainties. I like to have a plan, complete with specific dates. "You're being extended until sometime towards the end of April" does not make for a good planning base." is what I wrote on March I'm starting to recognize the work uncertainty might just be working in my favour. 
Discovering... Life plans can change pretty quickly.
Thinking... My mind has been very busy lately. There's a lot of stuff going on up there, which has lead to a lot of motivation to write and colour. 
Feeling... Sleepy. And also hopeful and optimistic. 
Hoping (for)... I'm going to go ahead and be a little vague here but I'm hoping for a big change in April. 
Listening (to)... Podcasts! My favourites are Bringing Up Betty, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Camp Code
Celebrating... Easter! 
Smelling... Spring! There have been a handful of days this month where I've been able to open the windows and let in some fresh air. 
Ordering... I do a lot of browsing but not a lot of ordering. 
Thankful for... Family, Friends, Cats, Community, Creativity, Education...
Considering... In this moment I'm considering if I want to shower & get into bed or get out my colouring book and let my mind relax a little more before sleep. 
Starting... To get back into a routine. Working overtime messed with my groove and now that's over I'm reclaiming my leisure time, making meal plans and generally returning to a more well rounded life. 
Finishing... I can't think of anything really noteworthy I finished this month. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Monday Blogging

There's something about blogging on Monday that feels extra intimidating. Almost as though there is an unspoken rule in blogland that in order to blog on Monday you must have tales of weekend trips to  small Texas towns, photos of gourmet meals and craft beer or at the very least photos of you and your adorable children in pyjamas and then their Sunday best. I don't have any of those things to share, but I'm going to blog anyway. 

I spent this weekend doing the same thing I've been doing every weekend since the end of February - working. Which in many ways is insane and on Sunday morning the last thing I wanted to do was spend another 8 hours at my desk, but I did it. In the beginning it was the make hay when the sunshine category of motivation. This past week I did find out that I will be extended past March 31st, but it's still unclear how much past. As per usual, there are rumours swirling that our end date will be anywhere from April 17 to April 27. It's nice to know I'll be working for another month, it would be even nicer to know exactly when we'll be finished. I'm still hoping to visit H. before camp season but she only has a week off at the end of April so depending on my finish date it may not work out. 

When I finished work yesterday I quickly ran to the grocery store and bought groceries for the week. I need to get back on the eating meals train. It's a fact of life that I am a happier (and healthier) person when I plan my meals, prep stuff for the week ahead and eat real meals. Since overtime has been eating up my weekends I've been eating a lot of yogurt and goldfish crackers....not ideal. I had an early Easter dinner yesterday with J.'s family because they're travelling next week but once I got home I found my kitchen groove and organized/cooked things to make steak fajitas, bruschetta, quinoa & veggies and made a big batch of trail mix to snack on all week. Full disclosure, my "made trail mix" what I'm saying is I mixed a bag of dried fruit with some nuts and seeds then called it a day. 

I then proceeded to sleep for 10 hours and woke up on this Monday morning ready to start the week. Because I kind of love Mondays. I like the possibility of the week ahead and the feeling of having everything in order. Meals in the fridge, outfits hung in the closet...Mondays make my Type A soul burst with happiness. 

So on that note I'm off to gather my tupperware containers, throw on an outfit and start the week. Hoping your Monday is equally as enjoyable! 

Friday, 11 March 2016

SUYL: About You

When I first started blogging one of my weekly rituals was to look through the Show Us Your Life posts on Kelly's Korner. I linked up a few times but for the post part the link up felt too big and intimidating for a tiny little blog like mine. The link up has been on hiatus for a while but earlier this week Kelly announced she would be brining it back and I decided this time I would join in on a more regular basis.

Today's topic is tell us about yourself and I had I have known I probably wouldn't have written Tuesday's post about 10 Things You Might Not  Know About Me, but oh well this will be more of a formal introduction.

My name is Donna, I'm in my mid-twenties and in a tiny town on the East Coast of Canada. I spend part of the year working at a rather unremarkable office job and part of the year working at a camp for children, youth and adults with disabilities. Someday I hope to spend the whole year working at camp but until then I'll take what I can get. I describe myself as a Girl Guide leader, Project Lifer, amateur photographer, reader/writer and overall crafty person. Spending an hour (or two) browsing the aisles of Michael's is my idea of a good time. 

I'm an introvert through and through and thrive from spending time strolling through the woods with my camera or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Food is my love language. 

Grace & Galoshes is a mix of posts about my daily life, occasional adventures, reflections on my faith and just about anything else I feel like writing down.

You can also check out my About Me page.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

10 on Tuesday - Things You Might Not Know

Today I'm linking up with Karli for her inaugural Ten on Tuesday link up! I can't pass up the opportunity to make a list so I'm sure this will become a staple in my blog posting routine. Since it's the first week I'm starting off with....

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

  1. I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 22 before then I loved the smell but didn't like the taste. Then I had a particularly challenging summer at camp and coffee seemed like a good option. Now it's one of my favourite daily rituals and the occasional trip to Starbucks makes my heart very happy. 
  2. I could eat pizza for days on end without getting tired of eating the same thing. There are so many options for toppings and crust it would be like eating a different meal every time even if it's all technically the same. 
  3. Budgeting is not something I struggle with. When I see people posting about all the things they spent money on in any given month I'm constantly in awe of how much money people spend on stuff and eating out or how much credit card debt they have (I didn't get one of those until I was 25). I'm incredibly thankful my parents made teaching me good money sense a priority. That's not to say I don't eat out occasionally or spend $20 on stuff I don't need at Michael's every now and again but in the big picture I know my stuff.
  4. My knowledge of football basically ends at being able to identify the correct ball. I never attended a school with a football team and it's only been in the past 2-3 years that there's even been a football field within our municipality. I think the culture around football (especially college football) is fascinating but it's not something I've ever taken a keen interest in learning more about. 
  5. If you asked my mother or grandmother or a selection of close friends what my worst habit is they would immediately reply with "nail biting". I've tried every trick in the book to stop, including putting gel nails on, but nothing has worked. At this point in my life I've kind of embraced it. 
  6. I used to write all the time. I was never without a notebook and a pen and would spend hours writing every day. In high school I had writing published in a national literary review and writing was generally considered something I was good at doing. I more or less stopped in university because I didn't have time and although I've tried to make writing more of a daily habit in my life it's something I struggle to make time for on a regular basis.
  7. I am a 'verbal learner' I learn best by reading something, taking notes while someone else talks and re-reading things. Physical learners are my nemesis...I hate being in a class that involves a lot of up and down and movement games, it totally distracts me from what I'm trying to learn. 
  8. I strongly identify as being a cat person. I think puppies are cute and some dogs are lovely but I don't trust strange dogs and the responsibility of being a dog owner is so unappealing to me. 
  9. I took painting lessons for years and has now been years and years since I picked up a paint brush and to be honest I don't really miss it. 
  10. I was in French Immersion in school and once I graduated high school never took another French class. Last week I downloaded an app that's supposed to help you learn a second language and I've been practicing my French for 15-20 minutes a day. I'm surprised with how much I retained when it comes to reading and writing. 
Now that you've learned some new things head over to September Farm and share your Tuesday list! 

Friday, 4 March 2016

Four on Friday the Fourth

I have been eating some super tasty meals this week.

I kicked off March by eating waffles and bacon (and coffee) for breakfast. I tried a frozen butter chicken pizza which was surprisingly delicious for a frozen pizza. I celebrated 100 Days Until Camp Day with a traditional leadership training meal of perogies and a spring roll*. And balanced it all out with a stir fry full of veggies on multiple occasions this week.

*Spring rolls & perogies is ridiculous meal that happened once because the director and I were the only ones at camp for the first few days so we picked up a few groceries. When we got back to camp we realized we had bought food but not any meals. And thus, spring rolls and perogies were born. And now it's an annual event. 

I hadn't been keeping track of days before camp so when the '100 days until camp' post went out earlier this week I was taken by surprise. Since that means there's somewhere between 80-90 days before my first day of camp. Which seems impossible, but is also exciting. 


N. gave me a cat and quote of the day calendar for Christmas and on Wednesday the quote read "You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.".  Coincidently Becky Higgins shared the exact same quote which just solidified my instinct to proclaim it as my mantra for the summer. And maybe life.

A new Starbucks opened in the general vicinity of me last week but I haven't made an initial visit yet. I'm working overtime all day Sunday so maybe a carmel macchiato will be my reward for an extra day of work. Then again, there's a snowstorm coming our way so it's possible my weekend will be spent eating storm chips and watching Big Brother Canada. 

Linking up here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March Goals

I'm keeping things simple this month, but I'm also being smart. Last month I totally and completely failed at completing the One Little Word prompt. Even saying I failed to complete it is giving myself too much credit, I hardly started. The good news is I'm cutting myself some slack and tweaking it for March. And, since I also didn't get much accomplished on my 52 in 52 list last month I'm going to go ahead and kill two birds with one stone. 

One of the biggest goals on my list is to read the Bible cover over the course of the year. At first I was going to go the chronological route, but I don't think that's the route for me. I'm not going to follow any particular reading plan, I'm just going to read book by book. I whipped up a simple bookmark shaped checklist to keep track of which books I've read that I'll keep in my Bible and then transfer to my OLW album when I'm finished. How does this fit into OLW you may ask? Well, last month the challenge was to choose a practice and do it everyday. And I really struggled to decide what my task was going to be and then when I decided that I was overthinking things and my practice would be to simple interact with my word each day it was February 10th and the month was half over. I could have started then but I chose not to, I don't want to skip the month all together so my March goal is going to be to read one book of the Bible each day in March.

In addition to all the Bible reading I'm also going to read two books this month. And I'm also going to journal/write creatively 16 days out of the month. 

I'm keeping it simple with goals this month. I have a few things on my to do list that I would really like to accomplish but I'm intentionally not making them a priority this month. Verdict is still out about a contract extension, and it's possible there will be overtime each weekend in March so I'm choosing my goals wisely and reminding myself I can do it all....but I can't do it all at once.

What do you have planned for March? Let me know if you're sharing your March goals today as well!