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.



Mateo’s Quilt


What’s this? Another baby on the way?! Yes!

This time my cousins Oli and Matt are expecting their first – a baby boy named Mateo! I just love that name. I can’t wait for him to be here. 🙂

Typically, I stick with pretty traditional quilting.  Civil War quilts are my favorite, followed closely by The Farmer’s Wife (1930s).  But, I just couldn’t see myself giving Matt and Oli’s son a traditional quilt. I decided to go for something bold, modern, and way out of my comfort zone. Pretty much the entire time I made this quilt I asked two questions 1) is there something with more contrast? 2) is there something bolder?  I think I finally got the questions answered with ‘no’.




Again, I didn’t use a pattern and I just used jelly rolls. It will be the last time I use jelly rolls though. They just aren’t consistent! Im pretty sure it’s the one time that a human is more consistent than a machine – plus they cut them between 2 3/4 inch and 3in and it just makes no sense. trying to match them up with anything is a nightmare.  If you look close you can see I used a lot of optical illusions on this quilt to adjust or the non-standard jelly roll strips. *shakes fist* never again jelly rolls! But I’m super happy with this quilt. It’s modern, fun, and super bold. It’s perfect.


Lois’s Floral Table Runner + Quilting Machine!

I am back on my quilting kick and recently have had some fun stuff going on with quilting!

For Lois’s birthday, I made another table runner for her.  I love table runners because it’s a year round gift – not a heavy quilt in the spring/summer.  I also love how I can be more intricate in design due to size.

I first found this table runner – and had planned to make this exactly.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 2.24.45 PM.png

However, I thought at 2inch for 40 squares would be the skinniest/weirdest looking table runner ever. I ended up sewing the squares the same way, but then rearranged the pattern to look like diamonds with chevron boarder.

Between the pattern and fabric, I am very happy about how this came out.

Lois spent some of her birthday week helping me (aka doing it for me) with my long arm quilting frame. Let’s just say when I tired to set this up in January, everyone got yelled at – the dude, Leopold, Boris, and a Centurylink installer who just happened to be there. I’m so glad she put it together though, because now I’m incredibly excited to get back into quilt making!

If some of you don’t know what a quilt frame is, it essentially makes it so I can free-motion, or more easily quilt the fabric without having to drag it through the smaller machine.  There are some crazy AF people online with hooks and rope systems telling you that you don’t need a quilting frame, but that’s nuts.  I was going to post a picture here, but decided to since I wouldn’t want to be put on blast doing something that requires so much more work with IMO not the best results.  However there are some gurus out there that you would never know they did the quilting on their basic sewing machine – but I’m not that good, nor do I have the patience for that crap. But, regardless both methods give you an entirely different finished look. I was tired of the same old, same old in my quilting so I’m beyond excited to get going with my new Juki and frame!

Regular Machine Quilting Example:


Free-Motion Quilt Frame Example:



Ghostface Knitter Returns

Well the holidays came and went, and here it is the new year.  I pretty much took January off, I had two orders that I shipped out, but aside from that I did nothing, but work out and watch Law & Order in my free time.

Here is a wrap up of Ghostface Knitter in 2016:

Soft Launch: Oct 1, 2016 – with 5 quilts, and 10 bibs

Official Launch: Nov 1, 2016  – with 25 hats, 6 quilts, 4 zippy bags, 12 cowls, 24 spa cloths

December Launch: Christmas Trees, more hats!, more cowls, and baby hats

Not to mention – we bought a house, I became a manger at work, adopted Peaches and sadly lost Vladimir.

As you can see – it was busy.

So what do we start in 2017?  Well, I’ve learned a lot!  I’m going to be sharing my nutrition and body transformation, new products from the shop, meal prep recaps, financial tips and a lot more!

So stay tuned!


Paddle Boarding

Last week I was invited to attend Lois’s company summer picnic at Chatfield State Park.  It was a wonderful afternoon, with a full roasted pig, delicious Whole Food’s sides and paddle boarding!  We got an hour lesson and then an hour of free time to drift around the reservoir.  I didn’t really think about how hard it would be until I was walking the board out to knee deep water about to get on.  It was then that I remembered, I’m not the most graceful. I also realized I was the tallest of the group and therefore, gravity was not going to be as kind to me as to others. But, the instructor was great and I got on the board stood up and got away from the group.  The only thing I didn’t not like was having to go back as a group to the instructor – collision probability was at all time high then. Anyways it was a beautiful day and thank you to Jagged Peak for having a wonderful event!


Chalk Creek Camping

Well, we broke our National Park camping stride this summer, but it was definitely worth it.  We went to Chalk Creek at the base of Mt. Princeton and Mt. Antero – GORGEOUS.

We went to a ghost town:

We let chipmunks eat out of our hands – not me though that sh*t was nasty..

We rafted down the Arkansas River thru Brown’s Canyon:

We fished:

We cooked biscuits and gravy:

 It was a great weekend. Beautiful campsite, wonderful food, fabulous friends. It feels great to be living in Colorado and experiencing its beauty.

The Great Sand Dunes

This weekend we kicked off the camping season at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  It’s only a 4 hour drive from Denver and has great campground accommodations. Although the wind was pretty brutal from 10am-8pm we were able to secure or tents and venture off to do some fun stuff.  We visited the Colorado Alligator Farm and a UFO observation point. It was a great weekend and I am very excited for the 3 other trips we have planned throughout the summer!


the dude and i on top the dunes
he hiked barefoot!
none of us wore shoes
a view from the top
enjoying the view with some coffee
roasting wieners
dusk campsite
roasting dinner


The Best of Vladimir

With deep sadness I am writing this blog post for Vladimir.  We said goodbye at the vet after he had a stroke due to HCM on April 6th, 2016.  He was 6 years old, going on 7 on July 27th.  He was my first sphynx cat and the sweetest boy.  He would let us hold him for hours and kiss on him.  He was the friendliest little fella, he would try to befriend anyone that came to our house, whether they wanted his friendship or not. He was simply – the best. His little mannerisms and chirps were hysterical and often times he would have a conversation with you mewing and chirping in response to questions. He LOVED food and would do anything for some TREATS! or a small bite of whatever anyone was eating.  His favorite music was by Neil Young and Queen (“Best Friend”).

He was diagnosed with advanced end-stage HCM in May of 2015 with 3 months to live.  He made it 8 months further than that with the best quality of life we could have ever wished for.  I never even knew he was sick (aside from paying the medicine bill)!  He was just such a huge part of our lives and our home.  I don’t think one day passed that neither Rob or myself didn’t talk about how much we loved him.  I just can’t believe he is finally gone and will never be here again to sit on my lap or cuddle with me while we slept.  There is a huge hole in my heart and my home right now.

I thought I would share my favorite photos since he did have so many fans.


Oh Vladimir, life just won’t be the same without you – I hope there’s unlimited treats in kitty heaven.