Saturday, August 29, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


--1--

I finished the pillow last week. According to my siblings the pillow is the first project that I have finished in a while. It is only like that because I was trying to make a blanket with yarn that was really hard to use and figure out. And I already started working on the second pillow and I will post one or two pictures when I remember too do so. The yarn that I am using for the second pillow reminds me of cotton candy.

--2--

School is going good so far. This week and last week I just had my speech class and starting on this coming Tuesday my two online classes are starting. One of my online classes is a continuation of a class that I took back in the spring, so it shouldn't be that hard and the second online class is just learning about the ins and outs of Microsoft Word. One thing that I like about my Speech teacher is that she has been doing activities in class that help us with listening. 

--3--

A couple weeks ago I was at the library in town and I was looking for some new books to read and I had wandered over to the movie/tv show shelves and I found the tv show Call the Midwife and I decided to check out the first season. 

Since it is more of an adult show I was watching in on my laptop with earbuds in. Because it was pretty funny at parts my mom said that she should start watching it. 

Now my mom and Yaviel are both watching it and we are on to the second season, though we have all had to start watching it at different times because we haven't all been home at the same time to watch it together. 

--4--

Earlier this week as I was doing my daily scrolling through Pinterest I came across a recipe featuring pumpkins. The recipe is called Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake. The recipe looks very easy to make and is something that I want to try and bake at some point, though I will have to find a pumpkin cookie cutter somewhere. Of course now that I said that I will have to remember to actually make it.

--5--

Last week Wednesday my family and I went and saw The Piano Guys in concert. It was awesome and amazing and so cool. Especially since it was the first concert that anyone from me on down had ever gone too. We were videoing a lot of the songs that they played and uploading it to Instagram and Facebook, so I think that a lot of people that we are friends with who hadn't heard of the Piano Guys before knows who they are now. There was a way that you could get a chance to do a meet and greet after the concert, but no one in my family got picked :(

--6--

Saturday morning last week the Knights of Columbus council in the town that I am from was hosting a blood drive at the village hall with Heartland Blood Centers. Since I had donated blood once already my mom suggested that I go and do it again. When I got there one of the gentlemen who were checking people in said that he remembered me from when I was little. Unfortunately I don't remember what his name is.

--7--


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Always Say Thank You


How often do you hear someone saying thank you? When was the last time that you said thank you to someone?

*
Thank you is a very simple and very easy phrase to slip into your daily conversations. No matter where you are or who you are with or what you are doing at that moment always remember to say thank you for any help that you receive.

No matter where you are thank you is a phrase that you often hear and have said to you. It is often said to you by cashiers, the lunch lady, baristas, family members, and many other people that you will meet at some point in your life. While others may say thank you to you, how often do you say thank you in return? Just by simply saying thank you to someone say it with a smile, because it could make someone's day just hearing those two simple words.

There will always be people out in the world who don't say thank you to someone who helps them, no matter how simple and easy it is to slip it into a conversation. While there will always be rudeness in the world you can start changing, even if it doesn't seem like much, by simply saying thank you and being polite to others. Even though it may be something that you aren't used to saying very often simply slipping thank you can make a difference. These two simple words may just brighten up your day simply by hearing them from others or saying them.

No matter what happens during your day there is always something to be thankful for. Whether it is good or bad you need to be thankful for it, because the next day is never guaranteed. Even if you don't feel like saying thank you to someone, you should always try to say it.

Because this phrase has been taught to us from a young age, it should be a natural think to say and to remember. While it should be remembered and said by everyone, thank you is often forgotten and left out. And because it is left out we need to try harder to say thank you to anyone that helps us with something.

To me saying thank you is a natural thing to do, and while I might not be in a happy mood I still try to be polite and say thank you to anyone who offers their help. Are there times where I forget? Yes there are times that I forget to say it. But I always try my best to remember to say it to the next person that I meet and that offers any sort off help. Even if you forget to tell someone thank you, always try your best to remember the next time to say it the next time help is offered to you.

So no matter where you are or who you may be with always remember to say thank you when help is offered. And remember to say it with a smile.

"Always say thank you. Say it daily. Say it with a smile. Say thank you to God, thank you to the people most important in your life, To your family, to your friends. Say thank you to the random people you meet. To the person at the check-out counter, to the person at the deli, to the person who hands you your lunch, to the person who hands you your coffee. Say thank you to your teachers, to your co-workers, to your fellow classmates. Never go a day without saying "thank you". Be thankful for everything that comes your way, even if it's good or bad. Because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Never stop saying thank you and say it with a smile."

"No matter how good or bad your life is, wake up each morning and be thankful that you still have one."

*Photos are from unsplash.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Almost Finished


As I'm sure everyone knows by now, I have been working on knitting a pillowcase and that I got the idea for it off of Pinterest. Well I have finished kitting the case and sewn it together already.


If you want to get technical about it I actually crocheted the sides together. I did that because in the pattern that I followed it said that crocheting the edges together gives it a cleaner look than sewing it together. So I figured that I would give it a try since I had taught my self how to crochet several months ago.

While the edges might not have turned out to be the straightest I still think that crocheting the sides together was a lot better than sewing them. So now that I am finished knitting and sewing it together I just need the pillow that will be going inside.

Now that I am done crocheting the pillowcase I could just go back to working on a blanket that I started knitting two years ago and never finished, but I decided to start working on another pillowcase. This one is a blue and pink variegated yarn with a white yarn accent. But now that school is starting up again and I will have homework to do, it may take me a bit longer to make this next one that it did to make the one that I just finished.

While I like adding stripes occasionally to thinks that I am knitting I have a hard time making sure that they will be lined up correctly when I am finished. With the pillow case I had added stripes to it and while it still looks cool and everything, they aren't lined up. 

The last time I made a pillow case, each side was four squares that I knit and then sewed together. So it didn't involve adding strips and having to line everything really. While the non-matching lines might annoy some people, I like how it turned out.

Once I get the pillow and finish putting it all together I will make sure to post a picture or two of it on here. And once I get more of the second one done I will post a picture or two of the progress of that one, just like I did with the blue one.



Friday, August 21, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday


--1--

Since it's been over a month since I did my last 7 Quick Takes I decided to do another one. I am also doing it because I couldn't think of anything else to really post about that would make a long enough post by itself. 

--2--

Last week after I had put this post up on my blog, I randomly decided to check the audience views to see how many different countries were viewing my blog. Needless to say I was very surprised to see all of the page views that I had from Romania. Normally the US is on top with a couple other countries underneath. 

<--- That is from Sunday when I checked the page views again to see if anything had changed at all. 










--3--

With school starting right around the corner, literally, because it starts on Tuesday for me, I thought I would do something for one of my quick takes. Last week I bought the books that I need for the three classes that I am taking this semester and I was thankfully able to save myself over $100 in books by renting two of the books that I need, instead of getting them brand new from the college bookstore. 

I know that most people will already have the books they need, but I can still share this tip for future reference in school book buying. Unless the books you need are specific to your college and you can only get them there, rent your books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Chegg and it will cut the cost of books in half.

--4--

Since I am still doing the photography scavenger hunt I decided to share one of the pictures on here. This one is from Saturday and it is for "Something Short." My original idea for this picture was of me standing next to one of my younger siblings, since they are all taller than me. 

--5--

A week ago Thursday I had the day off from work and it was just me, AJ and my mom at home and AJ wanted me to do something with him. The first idea he had was the two of us going to the mall to walk around and shop. Of course I asked him if he had any money and he said no. So that idea got tossed out the window. Then the second idea he had was us going for a walk at a forest preserve near our house, then going to Family Video and getting a movie, as well as getting Dunkin Donuts. We skipped the movie and donuts idea and went on a walk and had ice cream afterwards. 

I was playing around with the panorama setting on my phone
--6--


--7--

I don't know if I have ever shared this on here before or not, but since we are starting to head towards fall and I was scrolling through my funny Pinterest board I thought that I would include this picture.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Journey to JOY!!



When we hear the word joy we immediately think of something that made us very excited and happy. Or you could have thought of the little blue haired character from Pixar's "Inside Out." But what one thing that you might not think of when you hear the word joy is an acronym.

Now after reading that last sentence you are probably wondering how there is an acronym in a three letter word. Well many years ago I saw the acronym written on a post it note and hung up in a bathroom and it has been something that has stuck with me since then. And the acronym for joy is: Jesus, Others, Yourself...and it is something that we should try to follow out. While I might not be doing a good job of it, I have tried to follow it every day.

Whether its, in the morning, afternoon, or evening, or even if you do it through out the day, we need to take some time out of our busy schedules each day for Jesus. While it might be hard at first and take time, just trying to take time out of the day for Jesus is the first step in finding joy.

While I might not be an expert on this, especially since I have a hard time doing this myself,  I know that starting your day with a few minutes of quiet and pray gets you going in the right direction. The same goes for stopping for a moment or two in the afternoon and saying a quick prayer then is good to do as well. Taking time out of my day is something that I struggle with, thought I want to start doing it.

Even though I might not start my day out with saying a few written prayers I do start my day by going to daily and Sunday mass with my family. As a family we also go to Adoration once a week on Monday evenings and we say the Rosary every night as a family as well. For the past three years I have been apart of a young adult group and we meet weekly on Thursday for two hours and we have someone come and give a talk and then we have an hour of Adoration, and when I can I do that as well.

O, the second letter in joy. The word that goes with it is others, which is the second step in helping us to find joy. When trying to help others out, whether it is relatives, friends, or someone that you meet on the street, we should start by having a loving and kind attitude. Without one it won't feel the same as when we are joyful in what we are doing. Often it can seem like there is nothing that we can help others with, though there actually is. While I could come up with a long list of ways to help others I am just going to share a short list to get you started with ideas of how to those around and that you meet in life. This list is called the Corporal Works of Mercy, and it is a short list because there are only seven things on it.

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy:

1. Feed the Hungry
2. Give Drink to the Thirsty
3. Clothe the Naked
4. Shelter the Homeless
5. Comfort the Imprisoned
6. Forgive Offenses
7. Pray for the Living and the Dead

While it may seem like a daunting list of ways to help others it won't feel like it once you start doing them. Do you have to do all of them all of the time? No, you don't have to do them every single day, but you can still try too. Even if you just pick one or two things to do a day or one each day of the week, if possible, though not required, go for it. You can even start doing the first two in your own home by offering to help a sibling or parent prepare a meal for the day or offering to get someone a drink. Praying for the living and the dead is an easy one to do because you can do it every day no matter where you are or what you are doing at the time.

One thing that is sometimes forgotten in the busyness of life is to stop focusing so much on yourself. In order to find joy in our lives we need to remember the last step and that is yourself. This is something that I heard once somewhere and it will be something that I will remember for a while but: in order for us to decrease, he (Jesus) must increase. While it might not be the right phrasing it is still important to remember.

In order to start finding joy in our lives we need to start going to Jesus with our troubles instead of worrying about them on our own. We also need to start focusing on Jesus and others first and ourselves last. By doing this greater joy will be found. Will it be hard to do at times, of course it will. But once we start doing it, it will be harder to stop.

"Unhappy is the one who is unaware of so great a gift." ~ St. Cajetan.

The quote from St. Cajetan is something that I read recently, and there is more to it, but I thought this part kind of fit in with what I am trying to say. While it might not have originally been about joy I think that the quote works with what joy is and how it is a great gift. Because without joy, life seems rather grey and dismal and not very fun. But when we have large amounts of joy we can pass it on to others and make lives better where ever we go, even if we might not feel joyful at times. Even if you don't to do it at first, go and start spreading some joy around; whether it is in your life or in someone else's life. As you go and do that remember the three stops that I mentioned and go out and be like the happy snowman in the picture.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

An Unexpected Day Off = Baking


Last week during one of my many Pinterest scroll and pinning sprees I found a delicious sounding recipe for Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins. So I printed out the recipe and thought that I wouldn't be able to make them last week. But I ended up having Thursday off of work unexpectedly so I decided to make the muffins.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins Recipe:
1 egg (room temperature)
1 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
1 cup milk (I used almond)
½ cup honey
1 cup flour*
1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp. baking powder
2 tsps. cinnamon



Recipe Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl add egg, honey, and melted oil. Stir until the ingredients are combined and slowly stir in milk. Add the oats to the mixture and let it rest for 1-2 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and add to the mixture. Mix until dry ingredients are blended in well. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and add 1-2 heaping tablespoons of batter to each liner. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.

Yields:12


I had three of them for breakfast on Friday morning and they were pretty good, though I want to try adding a few raisins the next time I make them. Because the recipe is so easy to follow I might be making these more often.

*I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix for the recipe and left out the salt and baking powder because they are already in the flour.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Birds in the Fireplace


The idea for this popped into my head one night while my family was praying the Rosary together and because we have a couple birds currently living inside the chimney of our house. It's not the greatest but let me know what you think.

Birds in the fireplace.
It's what they call their home
From Spring until Fall.

From darkness into light they fly.
And from light to dark they return,
Flying between walls of brick and stone.

In their choice of nest,
Birds in the fireplace are heard.
Bickering back and forth
They speak in a language all their own.

Inside their home of darkness and soot,
They speak while flying to and fro.
Constant chatter and flying they use.
Hardly stopping while in their nest.

Day or night they fly about.
Either sky high or or darkness and soot,
Hardly slowing down as they do.

At Summer's end they prepare.
When the leaves start to fall,
The birds prepare to move on.

Soon the birds leave their fireplace home.
As the weather changes from warm to cold
The birds find a new home to stay.

In the cold of winter
The birds in the fireplace
stay happy in their new home.

When spring returns
So will the birds.
To their home in the fireplace.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Yet Another Knitting Project


A while ago I decided to ditch the black and white blanket that I had been working on since January, because I was so fed up with trying to use it. So now I am working on yet another knitting project. This time it is a pillow case for a throw pillow. As usual, like, most of my ideas lately, I got the idea off of Pinterest.

The website that I got the idea from is The Decorated Cookie, where the owner did a post back at the end of January this year with a bunch of different knitting projects and links to the original posts for those. The last one in the list was for knit pillows.

After looking at the link and seeing that it was really easy to make I decided to give making a pillow case for a throw pillow. Using two skeins of yarn that I had already purchased for other previous projects I started making a pillow. I haven't bought the pillow that goes inside of the case yet, but I will probably get it soon.

When I first started knitting this project the weather was still on the cooler rainy side of things. But the other day I pulled it out again and decided to bring it to work with me. So far I think it's going along pretty wall.

Once I finish the project, with the pillow included, I will do my best and post a picture of the finished project. And depending on how long it takes me to make this one I am thinking of making another pillow to go with it. If I do in fact end up doing a second pillow it's going to be a pink variegated yarn with black accents since I really won't have enough of the blue yarn to do a matching one. But I will have to wait and see on how the first one goes before I can start on making a second one.




(the picture was taken on Friday and I have added a lot more on since then.)