DIY Table Runner

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We bought our current house last year. We made the long journey, a mile up the street from Harper Woods to Grosse Pointe Woods. Our last house was adorable. It kept us dry in the rain, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. For a time, our first home served us well.

With the dream of expanding our family becoming a reality and both Matthew and I working from home we were getting a little cramped. I work out of my home office 99% of the time. So last fall when we began looking to buy a home we really wanted four bedrooms. One bedroom for us, two bedrooms for babes and one for an office. The office might very well be converted to another nursery if I get my way but that’s for God to decide.

For now it’s my little sanctuary.

This is my inspiration. Minus the antlers.

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To start building my dream space I recently purchased a white desk. Now I am not the type of girl who should own anything white. I eat a lot of pizza. Red sauce and white don’t mesh well. To preserve my white desk I knew I would have to have put something over it’s surface if it was going to last more than a week. So I got crafty and made a table runner.

Up until three years ago, if a button fell off a shirt I had to have my Mom sew it back on. When I entered my thirties I decided it was a long overdue, necessary task I needed to achieve. However, sewing actual material together to make something functional, not in the cards at this pinnacle of my life.

I knew I had some fusible tape in my craft box that would work just as well as thread. Within 10 minutes I had a cute little cover for my cute little table.

All you need is….

  • Fusible Bonding Web you can pick up at Joann’s
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Cute Fabric
  • Iron
  • Ruler

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I bought a yard of fabric from the 30% off pile at Joann’s. Then I started on one side of the fabric by ironing an inch wide crease. I slipped the tape in the crease and with a little steam from the iron it was sealed in seconds. Then I repeated this on the other three sides and within minutes I had a tailor made table runner.

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I can’t wait to get festive and make some of these for the Holidays!

My Intention is to be Intentional

Do you hear that? Time is ticking away and as fast as you run you can’t catch up to it.

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There are not enough hours in the day or so they say.

Hey that rhymes!

Chances are if we had more time, we’d want even more. Such is the existence of a human being. We have to figure out how to live in such a way to make each moment count.

Got any bright ideas how to do this?

Some moments you need to just breathe. Some moments you need to stare at the stars. Some moments you need to be super productive. Some moments you need to just listen. Whatever the moment calls for I want it to count. I really want to lay my head on my pillow each night and think peacefully and joyfully, that was quite a day!

As I open my blinds around 7:30AM this morning and watch my neighbors back out of their driveway I’m reminded how awesome it is to work from home but something interesting happens when you work from home.

You are reminded/distracted by all the other things you could be getting done while you are at home.

My laundry lives in my office. The dirty floor of my office is also my home. The dogs laying on the couch need a bath. I should paint my nails. My focus hangs in the balance.

I would love to say that at the end of each day my house sparkles, I’ve checked in and had meaningful conversations with family and friends, ate right, exercised, and completed all the requirements of my J.O.B. Most days I have one or two items checked off and the rest spill over to the border of tomorrow.

Last week while I was talking to God, or commonly called praying, I felt encouraged to get my [time] organized. Be disciplined and consistent were the words running through my head.

2 Timothy 1:7 God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of 
power, love and self-discipline.

Honesty Check: I’ll admit that the dozen or so times I’ve read that verse I breeze over the word self-discipline. Other bible plans read, self control. However you slice it – I don’t define it.

I am SO not disciplined. I’m more of – go with the flow kinda girl. Meaning I like to go where the fun is flowing.

No time like the present to start!

When it comes to time – I’ve been trying to be more intentional this year. My husband and I started “Date Day” as opposed to just date night this past January. My sweet little hubby suggested this largely in part because he has a crazy travel schedule for work. This way we could have specific days for just the two of us (more to come in a future blog).

With that being said, I suppose this is part two of my living intentional year.

Soooo here’s what I have so far….

I started by isolating the most hectic part of my day. Mornings. Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner! Hands down the most rushed and unorganized time of my day.

Then I mapped out how my ideal morning would go. This is way more neurotic than I’ve ever been in my entire life but if the end game is to consciously try to make each day count I’ve got to make a change. This seems right. At least for now.

Mornings are a blur. Even for the girl who works from home. If I get up on time, I usually have just enough space in my morning to read my bible and pray before the onslaught of conference calls begin.

Side note: Jesus and coffee are the most important part of a successful morning. They get dibs on the first few minutes of my day.

So in addition to my devotional time I would like to work out and get some healthy snacks lined up and prepared for the day. You see when I say I work at home it’s more like 50% of my time is at home. Half of my time is in the field with my sales reps and half is spent at home on the computer. On a typical work day I’m so pressed for time, coffee and water sustain me through the morning and then I mimic a Tornado’s furry and rush out the door without eating and have no choice but to grab something on the road. Fast food, while delicious is terrible for you. Or at least that’s what they say.

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If I can shed some pounds through intentional living – sign me up! That’s a double bonus.

 

I’ve got a plan, now on to executing it. We’ve come a long way in the advances of alarm clocks. My iPhone has a large role in this intentional living quest as you can see below.

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I mentioned I lack discipline so these serve as reminders to wrap up what I’m currently doing and move on to the next part of my day. Honesty check: I don’t take on any stress if I miss out on my 8:35AM appointment. I know I can fit in a bike ride or walk or downward dog to the voices of Wheel of Fortune later that day if need be.
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7:15AM – 8:35AM – Gotta hit the good book and spend some QT with my BFF Jesus.
8:35AM – 9:10AM –  Stop complaining about those few extra lbs and do something about it!
9:10AM – 9:30AM – Check out what’s happening in Outlook and get caught up with work.
9:30AM – 10AM – Shower, grab a green smoothie and water so you’re ready to sit through the morning load of conference calls. Boring.com
10:50PM – Start getting ready for sweet, sweet bedtime so you can be well rested to start this party all over again tomorrow.

Honesty Check: On Day 1 I was supposed to wake up at 7:00AM and I snoozed. Fail! Therefore I pushed everything back 15 minutes. Day 2, I snoozed again. So today, Day 7, I am waking up at 7:15ish.

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I’m going to give this a whirl and see how it goes for a few weeks. By the end of this, the goal is to be a slightly slimmer more peaceful version of the girl who writes this today.

As always, I am a work in progress. Praise God!

Outlook, Helping Us Get Less Done Since 2007

I was on the phone with a coworker this week. I had a follow up question concerning an email I had just sent him. When I asked if he’d read the email, he told me to hold on while he walked back to his computer.

You see when I called he had to get up and physically remove himself from his computer screen. He said if he sits in front Outlook while we talk he’ll end up reading emails instead of truly listening to me.

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I’ve been there. I’ve had to do that. And so I wonder, whose getting less done because of all these emails? Microsoft Outlook, friend or foe?

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At times my inbox can be like gardening – you get rid of one weed and another sprouts up seconds later. Get out the round up – The round up of inbox offenders that is.

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The Volleyball email. Back and forth the ball lobs. They respond, you respond, and so on. How about I give you a call which is much better suited to resolve this matter.

The Novel email. If you cannot accurately get your point across in less than 3 or 4 sentences you should probably save your fingers the workout and let you mouth do the work on the phone.

Twisted email. “Don’t twist my words.” If you are married or have been in a relationship for more than a day – you know what I’m talking about. Even in face to face verbal discussions words can be misinterpreted and taken out of context. Yet our fingers dance across our keyboards all day long, sending and replying with little regard to how these notes may be understood. Do you want to save time or save face? Take the time to skim your message or read it aloud just to guarantee it comes across correctly to the recipient.

Return to Sender email. Your palms get sweaty as you start to panic. “Oh my gosh! I just sent that to the wrong person!” Let’s be honest we all have our opinions about work and about the people we work with. Sometimes those snarky comments find their way to an email. Better triple check that To: recipient. Or better yet just play nice in the work sandbox and don’t send it at all.

Foreign language email. By far my favorite and most frustrating of all email. I was on the road so I used the microphone feature on my phone and didn’t check to see if the note made any sense. Time is short and I don’t have time to get an interpreter for these. These emails can be really frustrating but depending on how that microphone interprets what you said it can be very entertaining.

Oh and one more thing I am definitely guilty of but I’m a recovering addict so please be patient. Ever been out with a coworker or friend – maybe grabbing coffee or lunch and in right in the middle of your conversation they have their phone in hand typing.

“I’m sorry, was I boring you?” “Did your office just catch on fire?”

How have we become so detached to human interaction that right in the middle of a face to face conversation we feel more affection for our electronic devices? Emails and texting for that matter cannot rule our life. One day I will die and my email surely won’t be at the funeral. People will.

Happy emailing all!

Chronicles of a Traveling Sales Woman Part 2

Last week felt like my feet were moving faster than my body and my brain was moving in slow motion. Here’s a recap.

#1 I left my Mom’s house in Lansing to head for South Bend, IN and about 15 minutes into my drive I realized I was driving to Grand Rapids. Such a Homer, “DOH!” moment.

#2 Lost my keys twice in one day. Pretty sure it was the same day I drove in the wrong direction to South Bend.

#3 Forgot to approve my sales reps quarter 4 bonus. Writing the email to inform my team of this was a terrible tasting piece of humble pie. In almost 4 years I have never done this.

#4 The dogs were at my Mom’s during the week as Matt and I traveled for work and I nearly forgot about picking them up as I headed back to Detroit. Also a first. I pride myself on efficient road trips as I travel the state for work. Fail!

It was as though my brain was a colander and everything kept seeping out. At the end of the week I was just thankful I hadn’t severely injured myself.

I think the fog has lifted, thank God! Wishing you a great work week 🙂

Life of a Traveling Sales Woman

Two minutes before my alarm and I’m wide awake. This always feels like a small victory starting the day off before my alarm. It’s 7:40am, early by my standards. This is the chief perk of working from home. No kids, no rush hour commute, no wicked early rise and shine time. My first appointment isn’t until this afternoon so I will be strutting around in my jammies until then. Yes it is glorious.

I’ve spent the first part of my morning reading the good book, the best book! This AM I read through several chapters of Mark. I’ll tell ya, this Jesus guy – the most mind blowing man ever to walk the Earth. He’s a true, larger than life – BOSS.

I have 20 minutes before the hotel breakfast ends. To shower or not to shower – that is the question. Not even.

I am 1 of 15 people at breakfast. The only one wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt. Everyone else is polished and smelling of soap. I treat this part of my morning like a secret mission. I dart around the kitchen area trying not to make contact with anyone until my arms are loaded up with nourishment and then straight upstairs to avoid blowing my cover. Oh no, I think, as a woman in heels walks straight towards me. She’s going to wish me a good morning I just know it. She’s got that, I’ve had 3 cups of coffee by 8AM look and I’m all like, “I haven’t brushed my teeth yet!” She turns into the conference room with just a slight smile. I feel relieved, I am off the hook and this day is just getting better and better.

I throw my leg in between a slightly closing elevator door, my hands carrying bowls and plates of food. Nothing like a little adrenal spurred on by the thought of this heavy, massive door squeezing my leg to the width of a pancake to give me a rush for the day. I take my chances. Safely I walk in balancing my breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, cereal and a banana. I hoard food, especially when it’s free!

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With a lot of talent and little luck I make it to my room with my piles of food intact. Time to get to work!

I fire up my laptop – thank you Columbus Marriott for my complimentary, super high speed internet. Perks of being platinum. What, I can connect up to two devices without any additional charges!? What a life! I may never go home. Just kidding. My sweet little hubby lives there and truly there is no place like home. But I’ll certainly enjoy these days of no dishes, buffet breakfast and a gym downstairs conveniently waiting my arrival. Coincidentally my tennis shoes stair at me from across the room as I think about the gym. They are shooting me a look I’ve seen before. Thanks for bringing me along for this trip to sit on the floor and not run on a treadmill. I have the best intentions.

With that my day job awaits. Tata, see you back in the D.