Finding Positivity in Challenging Times

louise-hay-quotes-self-esteem-choose-feel-good-habit I felt compelled to write this blog post because I thought others might need it.   We live in challenging times, but that’s a phrase that is used quiet often as there are always challenges in the world.  Now, it’s the global political climate, the hurricanes devastating parts of Texas, the Caribbean and Florida, the threat of our impact on the world, and countless other items that fuel news sites and keep people awake worrying.

I don’t mean to marginalize anyone’s challenges, in fact those are what make you, you.  Challenges ideally provide us an opportunity togrow, to make a choice.  There are some challenges that we are in control of, like reaching a goal at work, running an 8 minute mile, eating healthy, the list goes on and fills our days.  Those challenges become months, then years, and suddenly lifetimes.  That’s pretty heavy huh?

We spend our entire lives encountering challenges.  Let that sink in.  Life essentially is how you respond and live beside your challenges.  Whether you embrace them, conquer them, or let them consume you. That is your life.

Of course, there are the challenges you are not in control of.  These seem to be the issues that start to whittle away at us, because we have no power to directly change things.  I can’t decide to alone make world peace happen.  I can’t call North Korea and recommend that we all just “pipe the fuck the down.”  I can’t even force my mom/dog/the dude to do anything they don’t want to truly do.  I have no control over these situations.  Nothing I do can change a foreign leader’s mind – I cannot control it/him/them…. others.

I know what you’re thinking – my actions do control outcomes!  Well, yes and no.  You cannot control others.  Plan and simple. What you can control is your reaction and action towards others.   You can persuade someone, convince them to do things, but fundamentally, you are not in the driver’s seat for them.

So what am I really going on about?   The only thing you have control over is yourself.

You only have the power to control your actions, reactions, and purpose.  You are ONLY in charge of YOU.

What?  It’s true, yes even if you have kids – especially if you have others depending on you, I’m sure you know that you can’t really control them and trying to do so makes every situation worse.

So what do you do?  You focus on yourself first.

You are 100% in charge of your own reactions to a situation.  You can choose to be upset, you can choose to facilitate anger, disappointment, or fear.  You can choose to react anyway you want.  I’m sure you see where I am going with this – your choices do  have consequences or further reactions.

So how do you find positivity in challenging times?

You choose that for yourself and set the intention of positivity.

Instead of watching the hurricane coverage and feeling sad, scared or angry, you could start a local Facebook group to collect toiletries for the victims stranded in Houston and surrounding areas.

Instead of feeling like you hate your job and dread going to work each day, you could start challenging yourself to learn one new skill and use it each day.  Or you could make a list of all the reasons why you are such an amazing asset to the company and then spend your free time looking for a new job that will recognize that list.

Instead of feeling consumed by guilt and fear over money, you could honor yourself to create a realistic budget and exercise it.

I could go on forever.  Now this doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days.  It doesn’t mean that every single moment is a ray of sunshine or that the state of our world is in any different shape.  However, I think you’ll find that as you start to react intentionally and with positivity, you can dramatically change the way the world impacts you and thus how you give back to it.

xx

GFK

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Happy 30th Lovie!

I’m writing a very happy birthday blog to my best friend Tannith today!

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What an amazing lady you are Tannith.  I so appreciate the kindness you offer to me, the time you spend despite being a super busy mom and wife, and the true friendship that we have.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we’ve only been this close for four years!  I can’t imagine my life without you in it.  You make everyone around you a better person plus you bring such joy to other’s lives.

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I think the best thing about you is that you constantly cheer others on, because you genuinely care for other’s successes and happiness.  You have been there for me when basically no one but my mom was in my corner.  You have walked beside me, dragged me, and helped me through so many days.  I just want you to know that you are so special to me and the friendship we have is something I’m so grateful for each day.

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Cheers to 30!  I know that this side of 30 will be the best and that the potential you have will lead you to exactly what continues to make you the best person I know.

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Thank you for being you Tannith, you smart, funny, delightful wizard you!  I love you girl! I’m so happy to be in your life. Have such an awesome day. ❤

 

Things I’m Loving 8.18.2017

Another edition of Things I’m Loving right now!

I am so happy it’s Friday.  This week has been just weird. Work has been tough – which can be inspiring, but it can also wear me down.  I’m ready for some days off.

Millet Tots


What the fuck is millet? Isn’t that mouse feed? You know the corn cob looking blocks you get for a hamster? Perhaps? BUT, I recently found these millet tots and I love them.  They are like grown up healthy versions of tater tots, I can get down with that.  They come in a few variations – King Soopers/Kroger has them plus all my local health food stores including Whole Foods. I just am digging them in my breakfasts with eggs and some green chili. *drools

Plus Colorado made!

Vega Hydration


Being a Vega fanboy takes a lot of time and energy without any the glory of free items, but I’m still a huge Vega fanboy.  These hydration mixes aren’t new to me, but I find that as it continues to be hot I need the something extra to put electrolytes back in.  I love the to-go packets the most – I can add them to any water bottle and they aren’t too sweet or leave gross after taste in my mouth or Nalgene.  Come in berry and lemon-lime flavors!

Podcast – The Secret to Victory

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To say I’ve been tested at work lately has to be one of the biggest understatements I’ve made this year. It’s part of the reason I love my job – I’m challenged all the time.  It can be hard to deal with misses and failures though, that shit doesn’t fit into my straight A living lifestyle (yes I still grade myself).  I loved hearing how these athletes got through it and ultimately got so much better.  The premiere episode is about Peyton + Eli Manning’s rookie years, pure gold.  Did you know Peyton still holds the record for most interceptions for a rookie? He hopes someone new will break the record for him soon.

Instant Pot + Paleo Cooking with your Instantpot

First things first, I have wanted an Instantpot for over 2 years. I technically have one since my autocanner is an electric pressure cooker, but that’s not really meant for the same kind of cooking the Instantpot is.  What is the Instantpot? It’s an electric pressure cooker – surprise!  I haven’t done any cooking with a pressure cooker – as a kid my grandma had one, but I guess I never paid attention to the foods she’d cook in there.

At any rate.  I finally splurged (aka used an Amazon gift card) and bought this one. I’ve used it every day for the past 10 days. From haricot vertes, spaghetti squash, and chicken tika masala – I have been loving it!  I made green chili in 30 minutes in there on Monday and it was so great. I got this book (I’m dairy free now). The chicken tika masala is the best we’ve ever had.

I’d highly recommend both the pressure cooker and the book!

Well hope everyone had a better week than me.  I’m heads down on a secret project that I can’t wait to share, but I noticed I never blogged about my quilts from the holidays so you’ll see those soon!

Happy Friday!

xxx

gfk

 

 

Riding to End Diabetes: Tour de Cure 2017

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me and my uncle scooter pie at the 2016 Tour de Cure

It’s that time of year!  Tour de Cure Time!!

For those of you new to this blog, Tour de Cure is an annual bike ride to support the effort to find a cure, prevention, and treatment for Diabetes.

You can donate to me directly here. 

Each year I have to reflect on why I ride for this cause. The answer is simple – it’s for my family and for all the families that have been affected by diabetes.  Diabetes is not a disease only for the obese, the old, or the ‘unhealthy.’  Diabetes strikes anyone at anytime no matter their fitness or health habits.  While we know there are prevention items that lower the risk, we still see that every 19 SECONDS someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

EVERY 19 SECONDS.
3 people per minute.
180 people per hour.
4,320 people per day.
1,576,800 people per year.

Furthermore:
1 in 11 Americans has Diabetes.
1 in 4 adults who has Diabetes doesn’t know it.
1 in 3 adults is at risk of developing Diabetes.
And it must be stopped.

I’m lucky that I’m able to live a diabetes-free life.  I’m lucky that I don’t know what it’s like to be at risk, that I don’t have to worry about DYING due to complications that the rest of us couldn’t begin to understand.

I ride for the 29 million people in the USA that have diabetes.

I ride for the one person I knew who struggled with diabetes until his death – my grandpa. You can see his story here. 

Every dollar that you can donate for the ADA goes directly towards:

RESEARCH

Since the American Diabetes Association launched its Research Programs in 1952, it has funded nearly 4,500 research projects, investing more than $700 million in diabetes research.

In 2014 alone, the Association funded 376 new and continuing research grants and made nearly $30 million in diabetes research funding available through its four major grant programs: the Core Research Program, the Pathway to Stop Diabetes? Program, Research Co-Support, and Collaborative Targeted Research. These funds supported 364 investigators at 143 leading academic research institutions across the U.S.

INFORMATION

The Association provides the public and health care professionals with the most up-to-date information to help take a stand against diabetes through our Center for Information and Community Support (1-800-DIABETES) and two web sites, www.diabetes.org and www.stopdiabetes.com, as well as via consumer and professional books and periodicals. The organization has offices in communities across the country and serves the public through a multitude of programs and activities including American Diabetes Association Expos, Diabetes Camps, and outreach to high-risk populations through its Por tu Familia, Live Empowered! and Native American initiatives. In 2014, 5,400 youth attended one of the 50 Association Camps hosted in 24 states.

ADVOCACY

The Association fights on behalf of the diabetes community to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs, improve comprehensive health care and insurance coverage, and to end discrimination against people with diabetes. Explore the Advocacy section on our main ADA website and learn what is being done on a local and national level to support people with diabetes, and also learn how you can get involved in those efforts.

You can donate to me here.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Thank you again for all your support in this effort to end diabetes!!

Brianna

What I’m loving right now

Okay, this is me being a big fat copy cat. 😽 I follow a few other blogs that do this feature and I thought I would get in on the fun!

I usually try to shove the things I love down everyone’s throats on Instagram but here is a consolidated version with some extras I probably haven’t shared!

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

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I seriously cannot get enough of this series. IT IS SO GOOD. Honestly, one of the best series I’ve read in a while. I’m a huge fantasy fan so this meets the mark with Fae Realms, supernatural powers, and conquering your own demons.  The entire series is amazing each book better than the last. At the end of book 2 I got up, walked over to the dude and said ‘THAT BOOK WAS SO GOOD. OH MY GOD, OH MYYYYY GOD” I then proceeded to tell him the plot, but I couldn’t there is just so many backstories, and the book unfolds with them all. It’s just great. This is going down in my hall of fame (my place for books that get read over and over).

GAH I JUST LOVE IT.

Ello Camping Mug

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This is the second year that Target has carried this mug from Ello.  Last year I treated myself to a pink version and use it all the time.  I went back a few weeks after the initial purchase to get another, since I now have reached the stage in my life where I buy multiples of things I love, and they were gone. I was sad, but eagerly awaited this summer season to see if they would return. THEY DID!

Keeps things cold or hot for hours. Plus the handle is made from cork. The top never leaks and I love the camping enamel finish. Got the teal the second time around.

MillaMia Yarn

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Lois introduced my to MillaMia last year (she made those amazing Christmas ornaments for everyone) and then got me a bunch of it to make cowls for shopghostfaceknitter.com. I had a bunch left over from then and am now making the So Faded sweater with the surplus I had. But I LOVE this yarn. I’ve found it on loveknitting.com for $3 a skein and bought a whole bunch more in green, purple, and grey to make another So Faded sweater in the near future.  They have a bunch of free patterns available here. Try not to giggle like an idiot at the baby stuff.

Vintage Pattern FREE-FOR-ALL

I’ve been getting tagged a lot lately (thank you for those who have) in the huge public online release of both vintage knit and sew patterns.  SO AMAZING. Especially considering that people ask for a lot of money for vintage patterns.

South Hampton’s Knitting Reference Library

Free Vintage Knitting

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Vintage Patterns Wikia

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CHIA + FLAX SEEDS!

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The dude brought home this chia + flax seed mix a while ago and I have since re-purchased multiple bags of this. I just love it. It feels like a treat! It’s been a huge staple for me since giving up processed sugar for good plus with the Omega-3s! It’s a great treat.

What are some things that you have been loving?

So Faded Sweater – Work in Prog

I have a confession.  I’ve never finished a knit sweater.  I have started two vintage patterns, probably a dozen pet sweaters, and have completed the Heliopath – Luna’s vest from the Harry Potter Knitting book, but never actually successfully knitted something that wasn’t an accessory.

At any rate – I saw a Knitterly ad on Facebook for this sweater when I was in Iowa in May – I LOVED IT.  I quickly found Drea Renee’s website and now am a cult fan. I’m probably in 30 hours on this sweater in total.  I have 2 inches of ribbing on the body, 7 inches on each sleeve, and then the neck ribbing to complete. I’m guessing another 5-10 hours.

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Specs on Time/Cost during WIP

Supplies List

Random Comments about pattern:

  • super easy make one left/right increase pattern
  • loved the in-pattern commentary about color changing and tips for success
  • love the texture of the sleeves being garter stitch
  • I did have a confusion point on the sleeves, as written in the pattern I felt they were not symmetrical – but decided to make the sleeve location on the body symmetrical and feel that was the right thing.  It probably was what the pattern had meant, but of course I interpreted differently as there were no corrections online regarding this.
  • Drea Renee – available I reached out to her about the sleeves (albeit not helpful in my description!) but she replied.

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just ribbing, sleeves, and neckline to go!!

Snake Dress

Another selfish sew! Look at that face! That’s someone who was super excited about some more new clothes.

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I found this snake fabric on Etsy a month ago and loved it. Only in hindsight I’m sure it’s kids fabric but still I love the colors and and how the design was.  I love the weight of the jersey fabric too – generally jersey is pretty see-thru but this was so thick and not see-thru. Since it was sturdy material I didn’t even use my serger as there was no tension issue.

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This was less than an hour project as I almost got thru 1 hour of the Roosevelt’s Doc from PBS. I love that documentary – I’ve seen it probably 4 times all together. I think I love it because it so radically changed my perspective on so much about that family. I especially love watching it now since our political climate has changed so severely.

I used this Pattern from McCall’s:

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Specs on Time/Cost

  • Total Time: < 1 hour
  • Total Cost:  $1.99 Pattern + $24 for 2 yards of jersey fabric on Etsy

Supplies List

Random Comments about pattern:

  • Have you ever bought the wrong sized pattern? I did here lol whoops! But i just shorted the smallest size by 2inches and aimed for 10-12. I didn’t want this one to be skin tight since I wanted to wear it to work, so I think it worked out perfectly.
  • Pattern was super easy.
  • I’ll be making the V-neck and the long sleeves for sure.
  • I only used 1 3/4 yards of fabric.