We're still in the middle of moving, but the blog is now found at everythingisntnormal.com

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Critter Cam

So I've had this thing on my writing calendar that I really want to do, but it's almost impossible to do it when it's raining outside given that it's a outdoor DIY. So yay, that means I'm left without anything to give you (for today.) So please enjoy these cute photos of some adorable critters that share my living space.
Waffle has no respect for grad homework. And yes, that is a pile of laundry.
The hairy man with the terrible taste in shirts is Nick.

Thalia is a short-term resident here, but she's a soft & adorable one.
And she really loves grapes. 

To be clear, I was wearing shorts in this picture. And Mars is bigger now, but whatevs.
Join me later this week for actual words and some cool link up fun!

Monday, April 28, 2014

How to Love a Cat

I'm sure if you have a cat, you're occasionally wondering, what does my cat need from me? Maybe you're thinking of adopting a cat and you want to know what type of interaction is necessary from your cat since you won't really need to take it for walks. Well, today Waffle and I came up with a short list of things your cat needs from you at any given moment.

Waffle Loves Hockey (hats)
  1. Kitty needs you to pet him.
  2. Kitty needs you to scratch right there.
  3. Kitty needs you to stop scratching so much and just leave it to petting.
  4. Kitty needs you to stop right now. You're annoying her.
  5. Kitty needs you to leave him alone.
  6. Kitty needs you to put more food in her dish, 27 kibbles isn't nearly enough to last the next two hours until dinner.
  7. Kitty needs you to turn the faucet so it drips just enough for him to drink out of.
  8. Not that much! That dribble of water is way to fast and scary.
  9. Kitty needs you to open the door so he can come in, going potty alone is dangerous.
  10. You must let kitty play with your fish, hamster, guinea pig. If you don't, kitty will scratch up your carpet.
  11. Kitty needs you to let her double check for tuna on your sandwich. The tuna is hers, not yours.
  12. Kitty needs you to sit perfectly still so he can sit on your lap.
  13. No really, don't even breathe, you'll disturb Kitty.
  14. Kitty needs you to stop typing on the heater bed. That's his heater bed. 
  15. Kitty needs you to quit tickling her face with that feather.
  16. Thank you, now let Kitty play with the feather by herself. 
  17. Kitty needs you to fill that cup fuller so she can get some juice out of it.
  18. If you don't Kitty will just tip it over. 
  19. Now you have juice all over your floor.
  20. Kitty isn't going to clean that up, are you kidding her? Juice is gross.
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment if you think there's anything else your cat just needs to have to survive.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Relieve Stress With Yoga, Essential Oils, & Candles

Once upon a time, in a far away land, a long long time ago, I used to do yoga. Like, three times a week. It was delightful and a terrific stress relief. Fast forward to now, I have more stress than ever and I don't have much room to do yoga at home, or time/money to do it not at home.

A few days ago, I cleared the biggest space I could on my living room floor, rolled out my mat, doused a few "candle holders" in oils, lit some palm candles and forced myself to do about fifteen minutes worth of asanas. It was absolutely exhilarating. I found such joy and peace in just relaxing. I can't wait to move into a bigger space so I can practice yoga more frequently. By the way, the menu screen from the movie Argo provided the musical experience for my yoga this time. I have also found this lovely musical track.

In the meantime, I want to share a trick I found the other day. If you have votive candles, do this for a great essential oils experience. Cut a toilet paper tube in half, or a paper towel tube in four, and stand them on plates, drip essential oils onto them (drench it really,) cut some slits in the top if your candle is bigger around on top like mine. Insert candle into tube, light, and breathe amazingness while they burn.

Note: In the photo, the candle that I had closer to a fan burned lower and faster so the oil spilled from the candle a bit - hence the need for a plate, or like I used, the lids from some food storage containers.

I'm not a certified aromatherapist, any effort made to explain use of essentials oils is based on my own experience and research. Please do your own research or consult an aromatherapist before using essentials oils to enhance your yoga experience. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

How to Add [and sell!] a Pattern on Craftsy

How to Add & Sell a Pattern on Craftsy
(This post contains affiliate links which means I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)
In addition to tons of online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee!

Adding a pattern to Craftsy and starting your pattern store is easy! The pattern store can be found from the Craftsy main page just by clicking the "Patterns" tab after you logged in.

1. Make sure you have a Paypal account. All pattern transactions happen through Paypal, and Craftsy requires that you have a Student, Premier, or Business account in order to sell patterns. Your PayPal will charge a small transaction fee, but that's typical with all PayPal transactions.
2. Put your pattern in .pdf format. You can’t upload any patterns to the online pattern store unless they’re a .pdf file format, so if they’re currently saved as a Word doc, .jpg, or other file format, you must convert it to a .pdf before you upload it to Craftsy. To do this, most programs have a Save As option. There are also many online converters that can be use free of charge.
3. Include a photo. All patterns must have at least one photo to accompany them, but you can add up to five photos. Colorful, interesting photos tend to work the best for catching peoples' eyes!
4. Fill out the pattern description. They will ask you some basic questions about your pattern,  making it easier for Craftsy folk to find your pattern and know what your pattern is for. Make sure you have info about your pattern handy for this step.

For more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy, or to get started, visit Craftsy today!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kids & Birthday Questions

So, recently we celebrated the third birthday of my daughter and Nick's 25th. My four year old son however, has been anxiously waiting for his 5th birthday. He knows it's a big birthday and he knows he's excited. This quite possibly will be the first birthday party he will actually remember. So I definitely understand the excitement behind their behavior.

However, I'm also greatly annoyed by it. Every day, the kids come home from day care talking about whose birthday it was that day, what that kid got for their birthday, and how long it is until their birthday. I don't have to worry much about Scarlet, she just had her birthday and she knows it's not going to happen again for a very long time. But Abel, man, he knows his is going to be coming soon and he will not stop talking about it.
"How long until my birthday?"
"What are we doing on my birthday?"
"I want a spider-man for my birthday."
"Hey mom, I'm going to be five right? On my birthday."

It has come to a point now that I have implemented a rule that we won't discuss his birthday unless I bring it up or I tell him his birthday is close enough to discuss. I wonder if that was a bit strict but it has worked to avoid the daily questions and keep some mystery in his birthday. How do other parents handle the constant questions about upcoming birthdays?

(Linked on #SITSSharefest)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Big News! We're Moving!

We're moving! No, not the blog - I'm content right here. But this family is about to move our physical location! About 2 months ago (yes, I'm a bit late on the new news part, but there were other factors) Nick was offered a job by a really awesome company and he accepted. He starts May 26th, after he finishes grad school here in Iowa. The caveat, which we expected when he was applying to jobs, is that we're moving to HOUSTON, TEXAS! I'm pretty excited about this, considering that although I've lived in the North Midwest my entire life, I've never once really liked it. The one time I moved out of this area was to Mississippi for two months during Spring of 2010 and I can tell you I've missed it ever since.

This move includes tons of new changes for our life. We're moving into a bigger house, because four people in two tiny bedrooms of a duplex unit is miserable. Everyone who does it, I feel ya. We're going to have a fenced in backyard and a garage, so I'm seriously looking forward to building a few things. We're also hoping to adopt a dog at some point, something we haven't done due to lack of space or leasing allowances over the last 2 years. And the kids? Well they're ecstatic. They're really looking forward to having extra space, their own rooms, going to school, and more.

Now, I would've shared all this news way sooner, but I had to wait until we had dates and places all figured out so that I could give resignation at work. I realize 6 weeks notice might sound like a lot, but because I'll have to train one or two new hires, my boss really needed it. Now that my resignation is in, I can share this awesome news with the world. I'm really excited to share more along our journey as well as having more time to write.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir

Today I'm reviewing a book I read last summer, I also wrote part of the review last summer but couldn't bring myself to posting it because it just didn't seem done. I am not myself these days was written by Josh Kilmer-Purcell as a memoir, meaning although possibly exaggerated, it's all true.

I Am Not Myself These Days:
A Memoir
First of all, a memoir about a drag queen couldn't possibly have been any better. As Josh recounts his tales as his female alter-ego "Aqua" in this comedic tale of partying, performances, and his relationship with a boyfriend that gets paid to play a dominant for kinky parties aka. "male escort." Through love and various other drugs, vodka, and hookers they wade through a long term relationship that provides each of them the security they crave in life but doesn't seem to be very healthy for either of them. It also chronicles some of the really high points in Aqua's career including round-the-world gigs for the goldfish bowl laden lady as well as some incredibly low points in Josh's life.

The book itself is so real and raw and his way with words provides excellent imagery for the reader. I'm instantly in love (in a friend way) with Josh because he just makes you feel like his pal. I bought the book because I knew I'd get a good laugh from it, I love going to drag shows and memoirs are one of my favorite genres. I got so much more though, it was incredibly touching and emotional and I loved every minute.

For all these reasons, I'm giving this one a 5/5. I definitely recommend it. Below are links to the book, in several versions.

I am not myself these days. on Goodreads.com

I am not myself these days. on Amazon [Paperback] [Kindle]

(Linked on #SITSSharefest)