Friday, December 24, 2010

2010: A recap.

2010 has been quite the year for us. It's been jammed packed with goings-ons and yet it's passed in what seems like the blink of an eye and with surprisingly few photos to show for it.

We ended  2009 with my older brother Andrew and his (then) girlfriend, Jenna. It was a fun, low key Christmas in California.
In January I started on the journey towards getting my degree in Graphic Design through an online school. Starting the year this way sets the tone for the rest of the year. Between Stuart's schooling and mine (and work) we've been kept really busy and try our best to reserve a few hours at night for each other. We're busy but progressing, which feels good. School has gone well for both of us and we can hardly believe I'll be done in 6 months and Stuart is almost halfway through his.

In March we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and then I went home to Scotland for 7 weeks by myself. I had a bit of a health scare but everything turned out ok AKA I don't have ovarian cancer. Phew! Whilst home I continued with school online and learned a few non-school related lessons. It was a pretty special time and although I missed Stuart so much I cherish having those 7 weeks alone with my mum and dad. How many 5th-of-6 kids can say they've had that? Those 7 weeks are a blur in my mind already. The feelings of being there are still close to the surface though. It was 2 months of love, memories, travels, family, dinners, faith, tears, hurt, and some heart healing. Mostly, growth.
I got home to Stuart at the end of April - when I first visited him in 2003 I flew out on almost the same day. In May I went insane and cut my hair... myself. Somehow (luckily) it turned out really cute. In June we both had a couple of weeks off school so we had a roadtrip up to Oregon and enjoyed the break. I was able to score a few things off my life list, like seeing Paul Bunyan and visiting a ghost town.
In July, on Stuart's birthday we welcomed our newest niece and waited impatiently for 8 weeks for her to be named. Baby Nora is practically named after me... Laura... Nora... no? Ok fine. Either way she's a little golden haired angel baby who lives in Denmark and I love her. Hopefully we'll get to meet her in December 2012 if we get to Scotland for Christmas.
In August we took a couple of little trips to Capitola and Santa Cruz. In September we drove up to Seattle to take care of some business and enjoyed a day in Bremerton.
October and November flew by faster than anything else and here we are now, in December back in Seattle for Christmas. In October we started our diet and exercise routine and in November I turned 26.

One of the parts of 2010 that stand out to me is the creative outlet and friendships SHEnanigans has provided me. Amidst the hustle and bustle of school, work and housekeeping it's been a perfect little escape.

I hope 2010 has treated you all well and that 2011 brings you all the happiness and love you need.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to make it feel like Christmas.

I love Christmas and how it makes you long for familiarity. I love the feeling of Christmas, the spirit of it, if you will. No matter where I am Christmas means the same and the spirit feels the same but the traditions are different. I have an idea of how to make Christmas feel the best to me. I think everyone has a list of preferences when it comes to this time of year. There are traditions and triggers that fit my heart better than they might fit you. Immersing as many senses in the experience is what makes Christmas "effective" to me.

See: Christmas lights and sparkles on the tree, smiles, order, candle light, happy helpful hands, Christmas crafts...

Hear: Music and singing, laughter, stories, memories, my mum's knitting needles...

Taste: nibbles of Christmas treats aka "testing", hazelnut hot chocolate...

Smell: Spicy pumpkin, fresh baking, cinnamon and mint...

Feel: Warmth, comfort, love, peace, happiness and gratitude, home...

This year I'm seeking ways to take these feeling to the next level by breaking out of what I know works and supplementing them with new ideas. I never want to lose the feeling of Christmas amoungst the gift wrap and rushing around now that I've truly found it.

What are your Christmas essentials?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today we went into Seattle for a trip to Lush for Stuart to buy some stocking stuffers. Megan had never been before so it was quite the treat for her. We did a hand treatment and now have hands as soft as babies. Afterwards we went down to Pike Place and tested some jellies and saw a fish be thrown.
Here's the pictures:

It was such a good day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2011: Goals.

My goals for 2011 and Y26 are more business focused than my goals for "self actualisation" last year. I've been reading Craft inc: How to turn your Creative Hobby into a Business and getting my head wrapped around really setting up my own business venture and developing my own trademark pieces of graphics art. I have concepts, I have the skills, and I almost have the confidence and time.

My plan is to start small, continue with etsy or big cartel and continue to make some money here and there mostly pay off my student loans. Once I graduate in June I'll focus on building my inventory and concepts so by the time we leave California in 2012 I can start registering my business, trademark etc. We'll also hopefully be moving into a more permanent home where I'll have my own creative space.

The main thing I'm looking to work out for now is how to print my artwork - do I invest in the paper and printing apparatus and do it myself or do I order prints from elsewhere... I like the idea of being in control of every aspect of the business whilst I'm able to. I'd like to screenprint/letterpress/blockprint but don't have the space right now.

Oh the future is so exciting!!

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? What would you sell? Have you tried/done it?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Prime.

I'm in the prime of my life now and wish I'd realised it sooner rather than feeling eternally 17. Stuart and I were talking about how, right now we're at what we feel to be the peak of our lives. We're at a point where absolutely anything at all could happen - we could end up just about anywhere, doing just about anything. We have a few years left of this but once it's gone, it's gone. We don't imagine we'll ever be in the situation again where we has as few ties as we do right now. Because of this realisation I decided I'm going to try and look the way I imagined I'd look at this stage of my life. I like how I am. I really like my bodacious curves and I'm about 87% comfortable with my body. I want to try something different though.

I'm keeping all the numbers and embarrassing photos to myself until I reach my ultimate weight goal which I should reach by summer... actually by GRADUATION. Yep. It's like life is giving me such a treat by letting those two things happen at the same time. I'll unveil the photos when I reach my goal weight and everyone in the whole world will be encouraged. If Wii Fit ever does an infomercial like nutrasystem or Jenny Craig I might even go on that.

So far the weight loss has not been difficult. It's certainly a little more work but it's not been anything terrible, like I'd imagined it would be. Having Stuart joining me on the skinnying trip has helped a lot. I'd not have done it without him I don't think.

If you have goals you've been putting off I encourage you to work towards them NOW. Don't make excuses, find the motivation and just go for it. You really know you want to. If you leave it too late you'll regret it and there's nothing worse than that. You can do it. You CAN.

Today during an interview I was asked if I had achieved any of my dreams or goals within the last 5 years. I was so happy to say that, yes, I really have. Year 25 was so goal orientated and Y26 is going to take it to the next level. I have a serious zest for life.

The goal for Year 26 is to enjoy the view from the peak of my life.

To observe, change, and be. That is my motto for the year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 random things about ME.

I've been tagged about 30 times with this sucker on facebook this week so I thought I'd put it on my blog which is linked to my facebook and kill 30 birds with one stone. Yeah!

1. I always read when I'm in the bath.
2. When I take a bath I'm in it for at least an hour and a half.
3. I have a tattoo on my face.
4. I'm sensitive.
5. I don't deal well with tension, it makes me cry or laugh. If I laugh it's so I don't cry.
6. I love candles.
7. The only time I've tasted alcohol was when a cup of it was poured on my head at a concert.
8. The first concert I went to was Green Day when I was 13. Thanks Scott.
9. I love facebook, especially on my birthday.
10. I have a phobia of things that are upside down. They really disturb me.
11. I also have a phobia of crossing the road. Sometimes I just close my eyes and run.
12. I don't recommend online school anymore.
13. It blows my mind how much I love Stuart. Sometimes when I look at him I can't even believe it.
14. I love seeing stuff. Seeing is my favourite.
15. I still get night terrors.
16. I love being surprised... but not by night terrors.
17. I can't go cross eyed because one eye won't do it. I only learned this recently.
18. I love working for Decclo because I love getting to talk to artists and other creative folks.
19. Sometimes I get into a fit of rage and complain about one thing over and over. Usually on boring days I do that.
20. My feet are always freezing cold but I like them like that.
21. I've lost a stone since I started eating and exercising 7 weeks ago.
22. I worry I'll get skinny and then want to dress immodestly. It must be a struggle being skinny.
23. I regularly tell Stu his fly is down, usually it's as a joke but usually it really is down.
24. I hate doing the dishes.
25. I love Robert Downey, Jr. If he ever asks me out to lunch I'm allowed to go.
26. I love to laugh but when I laugh too much I throw up.
27. I hope I look as good as my mum when I'm her age.
28. Stuart is very, extremely reserved but I can make him do anything for a laugh.
29. Sometimes I seem boring and rude because I'm quiet but I just like being quiet. Silence isn't uncomfortable for me.
30. Because of the night terrors I'm scared of dinosaurs and albino rabbits in real life.

I tried to end that on the most random thing I could think of. Don't use it against me as a weapon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

25: The end.

25 ends for me on Friday. I was horribly nervous and absolutely distressed over the idea of being 25 for some reason. Maybe being in the absolute middle of my 20's made me realise some stuff... ok, no maybe about it, it really did.

First of all 25 is half way to 50. I think that's why (hopefully) people freak out about that age. It's also "The Prime" for most folk. It has been for me. It'll sound ridiculous to people older than me but I am a ridiculous person, I don't mind it being down hill from here. As in, down hill out of my prime and into whatever comes next. Middle aged? I'll tell you more about "The Prime" in another post. It's profound for me.

I started 25 with a friend who has come to mean more to me over the year and I'll be ending it with her here too. That's the kind of symbolism I really love. Another year passes, a new one begins and we're all on the journey together.

This year I've tried to be more conscious of my own milestones because I'm still growing up and those achievements still deserve to be celebrated even if I'm not 7 years old anymore.

Twenty-Five =

Family: Andrew was here for Christmas 2009. I had to go home to Scotland for 7 weeks. I also gained a new niece, lovely little Nora. Some bridges were also mended/strengthened this year. Some were weakened but there is always next year.

Roadtrips & New places: Santa Cruz, Capitola, Trees of Mystery/Paul Bunyan. Driving from here to Seattle - staying in hotels which is always the ultimate treat for me.

School: Majoring in Graphic Design, 6 months left. If it wasn't for one little B, I'd be a straight A student. I'm even putting my major to good use and making a little money here and there. I've become a little more disciplined and I quite like it... can't wait for it to be over though.

Decclo: Got completely involved in Decclo starting with a photo campaign and now working on advertising and marketing along with tshirt designs and daily interactions with some of the most talented people in the world.

Self awareness & acceptance: This is something that goes along with a post I'll do later about "My Prime" but I've learned a lot about myself this year. I'm a needy person but I'm also independant. I need to remember that it's ok to be like that. I'm not attention seeking, I sometimes just need to feel more approval to help me take steps forward. I'll expose the workings of my brain later. I also cut my own hair and have started losing weight in Y25.

Sleep habits: A while back I posted about how it was normal for me to wake up 4-7 times a night and how it would take me a couple of ours to first get to sleep and then another 45 minutes after waking up to get back to sleep. Well, in my 25th year I finally got my first whole nights sleep! I worked hard on this one and it paid off. I sleep almost all night every night now and sometimes I do sleep the whole night!

Infertility: A big milestone I reached this year is accepting the possibility of never having a child. Explaining those feelings and sharing them with others was a big step in accepting that.

SHEnanigans: Silly Girls went world wide and through my struggle of self awareness I turned into a monster. Luckily I've been forgiven and Silly Girls/SHEnanigans has grown and helped me whilst helping others. Is that cryptic? Probably. I'm pretty ashamed of myself sometimes and the whole cross over of Silly Girls to SHEnanigans is one of those times. I'm just glad it stayed wonderful even when I wasn't. Sorry again to one of the best examples to me, Megan...

Stuart: Basically he's the best part of me. On November 11th it was 7 years since he flew in to Scotland. On my birthday it'll have been 7 years since he proposed. This has been our first whole year living together just the two of us and it's been the best. I can tackle all my years, transitions and milestones as long as I have him with me. He makes each year more special and it's because of his encouragement that I make most of the progress that I do. Love him.

That's a recap of 25. It's been full of ups and downs but looking back it's the ups that I only really remember.

How is your year going? Have you made any progress in your goals? Have you realised your potential yet?

Do you need help or have any questions? Ask me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas music, why the hate?

I'm prone to exaggeration and have a flair for the dramatics at times but let it be known that I am completely serious when it comes to the hot topic of Christmas music.

Right around Halloween there'll be comments, statuses, even texts questioning and sometimes even blatant aggravation concerning Christmas music being played "too early" because "it's not even Thanksgiving yet". Well, let me tell you I feel very strongly about such bah-hum-buggish attitudes.

Firstly, Christmas is about Jesus' birthday. Why on earth does that alone not make Christmas music "early" acceptable? Why are you getting so annoyed when the music is about Jesus?! These comments seem to come more from Christians, no less! It's like listening to hymns... except you can dance to them.

Secondly, when you think of Christmas does it not conjure up warm, happy, gleeful memories? Does it not make you think of your family and traditions, gifts and food? This is why I listen to Christmas music in June. Sue me. I love those memories.

Third, you are not going to get sick of Christmas music if you start hearing it in November. Honestly. There is SO much Christmas music out there (just look on my mp3 player) and if that was really a valid reason to not enjoy Christmas music before December you ought to be ashamed - and you ought to stop listening to the radio, cd's and everything because you'll get sick of Katy Perry and Justin Beiber too... that last one was pushing it, I know but some people really love Justin Beiber... I wonder if he'll do a Christmas album?

Fourth, when you gripe about Christmas music and how you don't want to hear it you really just sound like Scrooge. You're not spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear. It makes me genuinely sad.

ALSO, Thanksgiving and Christmas go hand in hand. How can you be so stuck on Thanksgiving and be cursing the Christmas music? That doesn't even make sense.

Lighten up, eh? It's Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year and the music only means it's getting closer. Accept it and love it! I will fight this one to the death. I really don't think there's a good, proper reason for Christmas music to only be played in December. There is no logic behind that idea. If you just embrace it you'll feel so much happier and I won't have to get all Christmas-Crazy on you.

Did you know any form of Christmas celebrations were banned in Scotland for 400 years and that if you were caught even baking a mince pie you could be punished by death? Christmas only became "legal" again in Scotland in the 1960's. I'm thankful to have Christmas to celebrate.

"Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
--- The Grinch even gets it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget.

Just one reason I'm proud to be a Stronach.

"I started work with J. Fairley in 1938 till 1939, when I got the chance to start work with a Foundery and Engineering Work called Campbell, Binnie,Reid and Co., in Burnbank, Hamilton. Where I got an Apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner that would be in 1939 till 1942 when I joined the Army in the Y.M.C.A. building in Motherwell, had my Medical Examination received the King's (1s) Shilling, and was asked what Regiment I wanted to join and I asked for the Seaforth Highlanders my father's old Regiment, but there was no vacancies so had to accept the Black Watch Regiment, hence the Black Watch number 2767219. 

I was given a travel warrant to Perth Barracks where I went for initial training, arrived there on the 12th February 1942. In the summer of that same year the Battalion was doing Guard duties on the Royal Naval Air Stations. We had a Company at each Station, at Teeling, Arbroath, Donna = Bristal, Milnathorpe, Crail, with Headquarter Coy., at Monifieth and Broughty Ferry near Dundee.

It was a beautiful summer that year and when we were not on Guard Duties we were working on local Farms bringing in the Harvest. I was at Crail working with a Clydesdale horse with a Rick Lifter on a Farm during the day. When the Harvest was over we were all moved to Freckenham near Newmarket, in England for a short time, then we moved to Leigh-on-Sea farther south near London. It was from here that the Black Watch Battalion was Dissbanded and we were all sent as reinforcements to other Regements to prepare for the Normandy landings. It was from here I was posted to the 7th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders at Swarling in Northumberland on 18th December 1942 to 1943. From September 1943 to April 1944 in Queensbury Yorkshire. Then from April 1944 to June 1944 Hove Sussex, 26th June 1944 - 2nd July 1944 -- First Battle of the Odon.
7th July 1944 -- 22nd July 1944 -- Second Battle of the Odon.
23rd July, 1944 - 5th May, 1945
Caumont. Blerick.
Falaise. Nijmegen.
The Seine. Siegfried Line.
Courtrai. Cleve.
Albert Canal. Moyland.
Eindhoven. Schloss Kalbeck.
Best. The Rhine.
Helmond. Celle.
Asterwijk. (Oisterwyk) Unterluss.
Tilburg. Ulzen.
Liessel. The Elbe.
The Mass. Kiel Canal.
May, 1945 - March, 1946.
Laboe. Neungamme.
Wismar. Pinneburg. End."

From family history notes written by James Wiseman Stronach himself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Restless in Hayward

I'm feeling all sorts of restless right now. It's finals week and I just can't be bothered. I keep thinking "Only 6 more weeks, Laura. Six more weeks until you get a break"... 4 weeks break in a year is not enough. I don't even get weekends off school. I'll be done for good in 6 months. No amount of pressure or encouragement is going to get me to go back (to this school) to get my bachelors degree. I'll save my griping about that for another post.

This Document Design class has been more useful than I care to admit though. If you need a poster created, I'm your girl. The main thing I've learned is that there's really no place in the world for centre aligned text. So stop writing your blogs in that format. I didn't agree with the statement the first 12 times I heard it but now I do. Centre alignment is not balanced, you just think it is but it really isn't... does it sound like I'm trying to avoid class today?

In other news we just launched a design contest over at Decclo which raises funds for Surfers Healing, a foundation for autism. If you know of anyone with graphic design skills please, please, please pass this info along. They're completely non-profit and need to raise $10,000 every year to run their surf camp and we want to help out as much as possible - plus for the two winning designers it's going to be really good exposure. The Paskowitz family that run the camp are being featured on the New Oprah Network in January, just sayin.

Get contest info here. Share our facebook status, retweet us and all that good stuff.
And if you have any questions at all, let me know. I'll do anything to encourage anyone to join in with this!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

what do you say, Et-say?

I'm planning on listing some Christmas photo cards in my etsy this week and need some opinions. I think I'll list 5 or so designs. Tell me which ones you like the best. Some have different colour options and can have more pictures put on them.
Chevron Christmas
Christmas Carni
Snow Flakes
Candy canes
bunch of baubles
Wreathly Happy Christmas
Merry and Bright
Star beams
What do you think?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

San Francisco to Seattle

Here's the video from our trip up to Seattle a couple of weeks ago. I'm glad we won't be driving that again anytime soon.

San Fran to Seattle. 2010 from Laura Stronach on Vimeo.

I need to wear a tshirt over my swimsuit next time we play with the underwater Flip case. Eesh.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Food stuff.

We've done really good this week eating healthier. Mushrooms are becoming our meat substitute - we've had mushroom burgers twice this week and another time I sautéed a big portobello with some onion and tossed it in with our first spaghetti squash experience. Heaven!

Tonight we had Stuffed Mushroom burgers and sweet potato and yam fries. Here's the gist of how to make that -

2 portobello mushrooms
half a block of cream cheese
1 small onion, finely diced
buffalo/hot sauce
extra virgin olive oil

Put cheese in a bowl and allow to soften.
Pull stocks off mushrooms and finely dice.
Sauté with the onions
Put some oil in a baking dish to coat with some garlic.
Turn the mushrooms in the garlicy oil in the pan and set flat side up.
Mix sauteed mushroom stalk and onion with cream cheese, add a little garlic if you fancy it and a splash of hot sauce.
Put the cream cheese mixture onto the mushrooms, squish it down and put a splash of buffalo sauce on top.

Bake at 350'f for 45 minutes or until juices run clear from the mushrooms.
Serve between bread with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and a little mayo - then drop the open jar of mayonnaise on the floor for good measure like I did. It's versatile, you can change any of these things ingredients to suit yourself.

That's it.

Stuart just said to me, "I feel like I'm losing weight". I have to agree, just after a week of healthy eating and exercising I feel like I'm getting healthier. It feels nice!

I've been getting a good bit of freelance design work lately and was able to buy Wii Fit without feeling guilty about it. We had used Stuart's mum's wii fit two years ago so all our info was stored in it and updated when we used our one yesterday. I put on 10lbs in 2 years... that's not bad! I won't tell you how much Stuart put on though. He's been crying about it all weekend.

Week one of healthy eating is done with no troubles. Week two here we come!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The story of Stuart & Laura

I think I've shared the how-we-met-story here before and if not the whole story there's most likely bits and pieces of it scattered around.

The story starts in September 2002. I was 17, almost 18. There was a lot going on in my life. I had just graduated high school. I was working for my dad running his ebay venture and trying to work out what to do and where I wanted to be for the rest of my existence. Beki, my little sister had just turned 15 and was about to become my best friend. She had also just found out she was 3 months pregnant with Cameron - the cause of our sudden best friendness.

Looking back I realise I was at the biggest fork in the road of my life I'd ever stand at. Anything could have happened. I could have ended up anywhere, doing anything. What happened in September 2002 is pretty much what made me who I am now and shaped my entire life from then on.

With all the confusion and craziness going on with my family's situation and trying to find myself  I somehow found myself emailing an American boy one rainy Saturday morning. I think I was really just looking for someone who didn't know anything about what was going on - someone who wouldn't ask what I was doing with my life or what my little sister was going to do with her life and the one in her womb. I didn't want to witness any more judging or condemning concerning that. It was also a pretty lonely time, with everyone's attention elsewhere.

I had found Stuart's hotmail profile and saw he was the same religion as me. I emailed him and asked if he knew where he was going on his mission and that was it. I didn't hear from him until a week later. His reply was short and seemed slightly rude. He answered my question and that was all; he didn't know where he was going. I didn't reply.

A few days later I received another email from him apologising. He thought I was one of a number of other Laura's he knew. He replied properly and hoped to hear from me again. And he did. Within a couple of months he started to phone me every Sunday and my schedule was arranged around chatting to him on msn as often as possible. We emailed every day and although we didn't seem to have that much in common we were still interested in each other. Compatibility at it's finest. Not having that much in common gave us a lot to talk about and still does although we're more similar to one another than we were then.

I started applying for my passport and saving up so I could visit him. I had scraped together enough money when a huge gas bill came in and needed paid. The bill was enormous and unexpected so there was no money set aside to pay for it. I handed over my plane ticket money to help pay it off. Stuart had been working hard for a company laying AstroTurf and saving up to go on his mission. He'd been working so much overtime he had a pretty healthy savings account which he assured me had plenty in it and he wanted to buy my ticket so I could still visit. I promised to repay him. It felt right.

I remember standing in the livingroom pitching the idea to my mum and dad because Stuart wouldn't buy the tickets if it wasn't ok with them.  I can still see exactly where we were all standing, the light coming in the window and the look on my dad's face. My dad was strongly opposed. My heart dropped and I thought that was the end of it, there's not much point in ever arguing with my dad and I understood where he was coming from - he was doing his part to protect me - but I was still sad. The next couple of years were rich with lessons for me of how much my dad loves me. With a firm, "no" from him and a sigh from me, I heard (and still can) my mum's sweet voice, "Weeell..." she said, drawn out in a way that you just know something good is coming, anyone who knows my mum will know how this is, your ears perk up and her smile appears after she's finished, "Weeeell... I was 19 when I first went to America. This is an opportunity she'll never have again. An adventure."

And just like that my dad's mind was changed. Tickets were purchased and sent to me in the post. In April 2003 Cameron was born, I was flying for the first time, leaving the UK for the first time, alone and responsible in a brand new way.

It all happened 8 years ago and my mum was right, it's been a once in a lifetime adventure.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This week marks 8 years since I sent that first fated email to my Lover-buns, Stuee.


Picture taken December 2003
Is anbody in the mood for a story?

Colour me Laura

I love colour. I love making colour combinations. I save random pictures that catch my eye because of the colours and then I make up swatches and save them so I can look at them later and use them for projects or if I'm glum. Colour cheers me up. I was putting together a swatch of colours for a job I was doing yesterday and I thought maybe there's some other colour addicts out there who would appreciate seeing what colours I'm nom'ing on right now. If you have any favourite combo's of your own I want to see them too.

There's definitely a pattern going on but those are my favourite combo's right now. If you're an addict or looking for perfect combinations you should check out Design Seeds. It's a feast for the eyes! Heaven!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I AM a graphic designer!

Remember the Jane Austen's Fight Club video that hit the web a few months ago and remember how I'm involved in Decclo? Well, when I saw the JAFC video I immediately thought that the concept would be really cool on tshirts... I work for an apparel company... Perfect!

The Decclo website ( just officially launched yesterday (YAY!) after a year of extremely hard work and I'm excited to say that I was able to design the first batch of official JAFC tshirts we have for sale. They're approved by the Fight Club girls who will be adding a couple more designs to the collection too. Get over and take a look! I'd appreciate any help at all in getting the word out about this, like I said it's be a year of super hard work and sleepless nights!

I've added an official Jane Austen's Fight Club apparel button over on my right sidebar you can grab and share on your blog if you feel so inclined.

Meatless in St. Louis.

Day one of the "diet" went fine. I went to bed a bit hungry though since along with cutting back junk food and trying to eat raw I need to eat and drink a bit more to feel satisfied.

We weren't stocked up with anything so I threw together the first recipe on the list, the peanut coconut tofu without the tofu... actually just with potatoes and mushrooms. It was quite tasty. I'll make it with more veg next time though, it was missing a lot of flavour since all it had was mushrooms and potatoes in it....

Today I'll be starting my day with a bowl of porridge - before it gets too hot outside, holy moly! It was 35 degrees celsius yesterday, that's in the 90's in Fahrenheit. When it gets cooler I'm going to start up my morning workouts again - Bollywood Burn, anyone?

Um, yep. This post is nothing interesting, it's more like a note to myself so I'll remember when I started this meatless madness.

I hope you're all well. If any of you want to join in my recipe blog community leave me your email address here and I'll add you as an author. There's just over 20 contributing recipe sharers on it right now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Stu's younger sister, Megan is on an elimination diet right now. She eats super basic foods and then after a couple of weeks will add one new food in and eat it a few times in the week before adding something else in, in order to work out what it is she's eating that's upsetting her stomach.

We were visiting them last week and I was super impressed with her will power but not so impressed with the lack of selection she had to eat seeing as she can barely eat anything. I'm now curious to see how Stuart and I could do on a strict, healthy diet. We're going to try and be vegetarian for a couple of weeks, as in we're only going to eat vegetables. We're cutting out junk food too and as much as possible, sugar. Our aim is to go back to basics. I'm excited but nervous about it to be honest since my idea of a meal is meat and two veg. We're both aware that we eat far too much rubbish, we also want to support Megan in her challenge and get into the habit of eating more veg - going full steam ahead like this doesn't give us much opportunity to break the rules, that's what I need. I'm not undisciplined enough otherwise.

I'm going to try and utilise the slow cooker, that should work good for soups... ?... I have no idea what I'm doing. Help? I'm pretty much just pulling recipes of CuisineNie. If all else fails there's always salad, right? Why is the idea of being healthy so scary?!

Here's some ideas we have so far:
Black bean burgers here
Sugar and Spice sweet potatoes here
Banana bread for a treat/snack here
Spaghetti Squash confetti here
Corn and Cheese custard here
Portobellos with leeks and feta here also Portobello burgers anyone? NOM!

Along with those things I'm looking forward to steamed carrots, soft boiled potatoes (a super fave!), cucumber, smoothies...

We shall see.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's that Etsy time of year again...

I reeeally really look forward to the day I can decorate my own house. You know this already. You also know a couple of months before Christmas I go Etsy mad! Here's some cute vintage stuff I've been finding lately.
Vintage Humpty Dumpty light switch cover from Shuggabea.
Vintage Space Needle plate from CosyStudio
Vintage mirrored vanity tray from RosePetale99
Vintage Beatrix Potter bib clip from ViolasVintage
Vintage file box from SleepyOwlVintage
Vintage movie camera from ZebrasAndBubblegum
I got distracted by vintage cameras and never finished my list...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So silly.

Do you want to hear something ridiculous? It's a bit of a confession really.

When I read certain blogs I feel lost and little, um... unsuccessful? Insecure? It makes me wonder why I'm not in a position to travel, to buy lovely clothes and house decor, to have super cute babies or a puppy. It's weird I feel like that because counting my blessings I have everything I need and more and I'm actually very successful. The fruits of my labours isn't the number of blog followers I have or number of things I own from expensive shops - those might be yours and that's absolutely fine. I have dreams that have come and are coming true, those other things aren't my dreams. The number of my blessings is the number of times in a day Stuart tells me he loves me multiplied by the number of odd socks in our laundry basket... plus a bajillion.

Year 25 is coming to a close and I'm getting my Year 26 goals in order. Realising my potential and my success is going to be one of them.

That is all. Y26 is only going to be onward and upward from where Y25 ends.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ferry far...

We took the ferry over to Bremerton yesterday for a Team Decclo reunion with Jake and Rachel, or Rake and Jakel if you're talking to Stuart. It was such a nice sunny, bright day and it was really good to get together with the Fry's and catch up in person rather than our usual ten-hundred emails a day.
I wore a skirt yesterday which made the ferry trip quite an adventure. More pictures of the Decclo part of the day will be posted over on the Decclo blog soon.

As a heads-up to anyone looking to make some money through designing tshirts, this is your last chance to have direct feedback from myself on any designs you submit - I work with designers to make their designs pretty much guaranteed to be printed. The site is going to launch very soon and designs will be submitted through the site. I won't be able to give feedback to everyone so if you're desperate to be an artist, tshirt designer get your designs in to me fast. ;)