Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week One - Project 333 & Happy New Year!

Hmm... maybe it's the lighting in my room. My photos are all pretty grainy. Oh, well. I've got too many other things I want to do rather than editing photos all day. So here is my first week (I started a day late, hence the 6 photos) of Project 333 and I'm really liking it so far. I can see that the striped sweater/gray cords combo is one that should remain at home (like it did; I was putting away Christmas decor that day) or just not come out to play at all anymore! In fact, I MAY swap out the striped sweater altogether for something different that I have in storage; we'll see.

It was kind of an odd week anyway, being a holiday week and all. Though I didn't do hair and makeup every day, I still like to "get dressed" even when I am on vacation. A normal week has me a little more pulled together most days.

Already the project is stretching my creativity which is one of the things I wanted. The gray dress in the large photo in the collage is one that I've had for 5 years and has normally only gotten worn in the same way it was sold: sleeveless with a belt. This is it here:

It's very flattering as-is, but doesn't get worn too often since it is sleeveless and is kind of dressy on its own. But layered, it is much more versatile and it is my surprise favorite outfit of the week! Don't you love it when that happens?! But I don't think I ever would have even thought to try it when I was using all of my other clothes. It simply would not have occurred to me to try it with anything else. So far, the project is off to a good start.

So is the rest of my year... all three days of it! :)

I have spent a good deal of time thinking about all of the things I want to do in the new year. I am not talking about radical changes. Most of the things/goals I have set for myself are more like just trying to incorporate new practices that continually reflect my priorities. This morning I was introduced to Sarah, a YouTuber at "Marital Glue" via another YouTube host, Hilary of "My So-Called Home." Sarah was talking about "3 Ways to Prepare Your Heart & Mind for the New Year." She talked about goal-setting and it seems she has a very similar philosophical approach about it to my own ideas about it. She said that she approaches setting new year's goals, "... in a way that what will really make what matters to you happen...and to really think about what those things are that really matter."

One of the things that really matters to me - and has for years - is my personal footprint. A number of years ago I began thinking a lot about the amount of plastic in our lives - in my life - and I took some steps to reduce it. But I didn't go very far with it. I felt challenged by finances and a feeling of being very alone in my concerns and practice. Fast-forward to 2015/2016, and there is a booming community online of other like-minded people incorporating zero-waste (the new terminology for it) practices and reducing consumption overall. So, this year I am revisiting seeking out and choosing zero-waste alternatives wherever and whenever I can. This time around I am learning from some great blogs: Zero-Waste Home, Zero-Waste Chef, Trash is for Tossers and more (search Google or Pinterest or Instagram and you'll see what I mean). And I am feeling a great deal of support and shared values over at My Make Do and Mend Life and the groups Jen of that blog hosts on Facebook.

One little project I've already done in this vein is to be done using cotton rounds for removing my makeup. I cut up an old, cotton, stained sweatshirt and an empty tea tin and am now using these. It works perfectly and looks pretty on my bathroom counter!

But that's not all! This theme carries over into my creative life as well. Kate at A Playful Day (podcast and blog) is hosting "The Makers Year" all year, which is a "creativity and sustainable living challenge." And my friend and knitwear designer, Sarah, at Imagined Landscapes is hosting a GAL - a "goal-along," which many of you knitters and crocheters is a play on the KAL/CAL "knit-along/crochet-along" that you are probably familiar with. I will be participating with both of them through Instagram and occasionally here.

Whew! It makes me fairly buzz with ideas! And that is another goal... to take things slowly. One of the things I love about the internet is that it connects me with really creative, interesting people. I love knowing that there are others out there around the world seeking out ways of expression and living life that are life-giving and unique. At the same time, it becomes easy to jump around from idea to idea and not focus. I am really trying to be more mindful of doing one thing at a time. It's not so easy in our hyperspeed world, but it is something I began working on last year and am bringing into 2016 with me.

Speaking of mindful, I do have one short-term goal and that is to complete Yoga Camp with Yoga With Adriene. As I mentioned, most of my goals are just practices, but I have a few that are actually materially measurable:

Complete 30 days of yoga in Yoga Camp
Sew a dress
Make a sofa for the dollhouse

Yoga Camp is free - and free is good as I work at finishing up my last semester of school and then begin looking for work. In the meantime one of my big financial goals is to continue feeding my vegetarian family of four a whole-food diet on $346 a month. That's the original $500 budgeted minus the additional $54 a month added to my health care plan minus $100 a month I would like to save toward a vacation in August. So. Can it be done? I don't know! Right now my strategies are: menu-planning, little to no pre-packaged snacks, and maybe even just eating less!

There's plenty of fodder to talk about here on the blog! I'd like to do that, but again, it's catch as catch-can while I'm still in school. I hope to be able to track my progress with all of these things and continue to share new ideas with you in the new year; I will do what I can! In the meantime, Happy New Year to you all friends. I hope your new year is bursting with some inspirational ideas if that is what you want, and relaxation if you'd rather take that. Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

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