My boyfriend, his brother, and his brother's girlfriend have been playing a lot of Minecraft lately. Until this week I had never played before but was invited into their game. I went into their server for a few hours and watched them playing at a level I couldn't hope to attain as a newbie... it had me feeling pretty useless in helping them accomplish the goals of the world they had created. So I decided to start my own game and learn from the bottom up. My boyfriend, M, wasn't available to play with me this weekend when I decided to jump into the game so I decided to send him entertaining updates on what I was learning. I did this in the form of texted 'journal entries' from the point of view of my character: a girl who woke up one day to find herself alone in a new world full of monsters. M got a kick out of it and decided to share it with a few others who also enjoyed it so I decided to share it here as well in case any of my followers also enjoy the game.
Minecraft: A New World
Night takes forever without a bed to sleep... buried alive to hide from the monsters but the first day I got my crafting table and tools in wood and stone taken care of. No sheep so far, I appeared in the tundra (I assume, it's icy) on an island with in the middle of the see so haven't gotten far yet. I hate night, with a passion. The noises and unknown monsters above me. Dislike.
Buried alive again listening to the sounds of monstrous life above me. I still haven't found food in this frozen landscape, a fact that has concerned me greatly. I caught a rabbit today, it took forever and got nothing but a hide out of it so that didn't work out. I also constructed a furnace and made sugar... which apparently you can't eat (???). Still no bed. My stone pickax has taken a beating these last days but I have all the tools I need in stone now as well as a furnace and craft table. Will update again tomorrow if I survive day 4.
I found life today in the form of a small village. I am not proud but I stole from those hospitable people, bread, potatoes and a bed. One day I will make it up to them but it was greatly needed. Tonight will be my first restful sleep here.
I created a rudimentary house and from spruce today. It is barely large enough for my bed, furnace and craft table but it will suffice. I must now learn to either farm or raise animals for food to ensure my long term survival. I dearly miss my family and friends but I am surviving, one day at a time.
My hut now has a chest to hold items I do not need but may in the future. I caught a pig today and dined well come evening because of it. I also encountered some kind of lava monster on my hunt but fared well throughout the day with the exception of falling from an embankment. I am debating expanding my hut to a house but would need to navigate the mines for supplies, a daunting task.
I have been too exhausted to write the past two eves, mining cobblestone for my new home has been a grueling but satisfying task. My home's walls are made from the stone as is the roof, though I had to remove and raise it yesterday. The claustrophobia of low ceilings is not a joking matter.
I crafted glass for windows and two doors for my home today and installed a torch. I haven't figured out how to plant the seeds that I have harvested yet... there is much to learn yet about this strange place but having a secure home is helping to lessen the anxiety this place initially caused me.
I continue to go into the mines in search of iron. So far no luck. I have made a smoker though so when I find meat next it will be a fine evening indeed.
I spent much of the day creating an entrance to the mine near my home and creating an irrigation moat for my crops. Continuing this tomorrow
I have settled into a pattern here, near the village but distinctly apart from it in my home. My home is modeled after castles of old. I figured that castles kept armies at bay, they should work for the odd monsters that roam these lands. They still scare me greatly and I retreat at dusk each night to my castle on the hill but my farm is coming along and soon I shall have a crop to show for my labor.
I spend my days looking for iron in the mines these days. There doesn't appear to be much and I am going through multiple pickaxes daily. I also can't tell when my crops are ready for harvest... maybe I should have taken some of those Ag classes in school after all. Who knew they would be useful.
The garden is coming in nicely, finally got the irrigation as I want it. Entrance to the mine is nice but we had a cave in yesterday so the fencing needs replacing and path adjusted.
Yesterday I created animal pens on the land I have claimed near the village. I do not yet know how I will get animals but now that the mine and farm are both progressing well it is time to expand my homestead. Perhaps I will visit the village today to see if anyone there has anything of worth to trade as well.
Day 34 Addendum:
There is a villager with llamas in my pens and I cannot make him leave not do I know how he entered through the gates. Also, the llamas are not friendly.
I have two llamas... decided to expand my house as the storage chests were making me claustrophobic.
The llamas are gone... disappeared in the night.
Now that my basic needs are easily met and I understand the land and its terrible creatures I am looking towards wants more than needs. I wanted an ocean view from my house... so today I made it happen.
You know how they say you can move a mountain if you're determined enough. I have a grass front yard now instead of a beach.
I missed the beach. I added one in front of the front yard.
The llamas came back... they're mad... they have trapped me in my house. That's ok, I needed to organize the chests anyways... they were getting pretty cluttered.
Day 49 Addendum:
Staying inside was boring. Killed the llamas.
I enjoy watching the squid from my rooftop and the beach. One day I will learn to fish... today is not yet that day. The monsters come frequently now. I have encountered three kinds:
I nursed my wounds last night... I encountered one of the exploding ones in the mine. It must have spawned behind me in the two seconds it took to place the torch. I never even saw it.
This morning I crafted a breastplate and today I go back to the mines in search of more iron ore to complete a full set of armor. It is not the best armor but it will protect me more than none at all.
I built a boat today and went out on the sea. It is a rowboat and as such is difficult to navigate with on the open water but it will come in handy when I learn to fish and I love being out on the water.
I brought in my largest crop of wheat yet and finally learned to bake bread. Seemed a fitting thing to do. The mines haven’t been the same since mister explode-y showed up and I’ve stayed above ground more often.
I left it here as it was the end of the weekend and date night was about to start. I may continue it in the future. If I do would you guys be interested in following along?
Until next time,
I'm excited to announce that we have a guest blogger today: Kris Louis of Parenting with Kris. She and her husband recently sold their home and wanted to share some of the tips and tricks they learned throughout the process. Please give her a warm welcome to the blog.
5 Ways Busy Parents Can Prepare Their Home for Showings
You’ve made the big decision to put your family’s home on the market. You know that relocating to a new neighborhood is the better choice for your family, but when you have young kids, preparing your home for showings is no easy task.
As a busy parent with a packed schedule, you’re probably wondering how you can keep your house in order for buyers and keep your kids happy at the same time. It’s a balancing act, for sure, but sticking to a few basic guidelines will help. These tips can help busy parents get their house looking spotless from top to bottom before inviting in potential buyers.
Make a Checklist
Before you begin the staging process, come up with a checklist that will help you prepare for every open house. Having a list in front of you will help you stay on task when you’re juggling your responsibilities as a seller with parenting.
Which tasks should you include on your list? Redfin suggests asking a loved one or pet sitter to watch your pets for a couple of hours during open houses. You’ll also need to ensure that any valuables in your house are safe and secure. In addition, make a note to open your blinds to let natural light in and take steps to minimize smells.
Basic Home Makeover
When you list your home for sale, it’s time to take down personal family items. According to HomeGo, depersonalizing your home is a crucial aspect of staging it for buyers — they need to be able to envision themselves living there. Don’t be surprised if this sparks some strong feelings from your children, especially when you have to make some changes to their rooms! Be patient with them and give them space to express their emotions.
Decide What to Keep
As you declutter your home, everyone in the family will have to be prepared to get rid of a few things. Help your kids sort through their toys and decide which ones they want to keep in the house, which can go in storage, and which they are ready to let go of. If your child is attached to a particular toy, make sure it does not get placed in storage! You can donate unwanted toys, or you could host a garage sale to bring in a little extra cash.
Want to spend less time cleaning up before having buyers over? Take steps to prevent your kids from creating messes in the first place. For instance, you might have to explain that they won’t be able to paint or do certain arts and crafts activities in the kitchen right now. It’s also smart to be a little stricter than usual about having your children take off their shoes after walking in the front door so that they don’t accidentally track mud through the house.
Tidy Up Daily
When you’re showing your home to buyers on a regular basis, the cleaning never really stops. You’ll need to spend a day or two deep cleaning each room, but even after you’ve put your mops and sponges away, you’ll need to keep up with your efforts to make your home shine. Each day, dedicate a little time to tidying up. Whenever possible, have a loved one watch your kids for an hour or two before each showing so that you can clean without interruptions.
When you have children, keeping your home looking clean and tidy is an ongoing challenge. If it’s time for your family to pack up and move, you’ll have to put in a little extra effort to spruce it up before open houses. By keeping a checklist of essential tasks and making it a point to clean up each day, you’ll have no problem impressing prospective buyers.
When I set goals I typically do an overarching "One Word" goal as well as a set of eight categories of goals that represent all areas of my life. My overarching goal this year is to be fully present so the 'One Word' goal that I chose was:
I know that multi-tasking isn’t real but yet I still try to make it a part of my life too regularly. This year I want to make it a goal to stop this practice and be fully present in whatever I am doing. To fully enjoy the moments that will never come again but also to efficiently use my time on tasks I don’t enjoy as much rather than trying, and failing, to do multiple things at once all the time
Moving into the eight categories...
Until next time,
In this video I review my progress towards my 2019 goals. My goals consist of multiple parts, my "one word" goal as well as eight categories of goals to represent all areas of my life.
Until next time,
The last third of the year went fairly well... but there were some changes as I am no longer single and traveling regularly to visit my boyfriend who lived out of state. He is well worth the shift but it did represent a change from what the initial plan for the year was. If you are interested in seeing these very timely please subscribe to my YouTube channel where you will see new content from me several times per week.
Until next time,
I love all things office supply and stationary. That is likely pretty obvious from my YouTube channel as I have entire playlists dedicated to stickers and planners. What may not be obvious is that I send cards out fairly regularly as well, like with snail mail. It may seem like an antiquated notion with today's instant connection and communication but there is something special about receiving a note, letter or card in the mail. A card is something tangible that can be kept as a keepsake, scrap-booked or simply posted up as a reminder so that I don't forget an important event coming up. When I was asked by Basic Invite to take a look at their upcoming holiday line I had to say yes, there wasn't really another option. I send cards not only for myself but also for my dance group every year so was excited to get a sneak peak and start planning!
The first thing I did was parusse their website to see what other types of cards and stationary they had... I was impressed. There were some adorable baby shower cards I would totally have used for a baby shower that was hosted just recently as well as some stunning stationary that I may go back and order next pay day. Some of the baby shower options are below (shared with permission). How adorable are they!?! And don't even get me started on the birth announcements, too cute!
They have cards for just about every possible occasion and the services offered are pretty cool as well.
OK, on to the holiday cards! They're super cute y'all!
They have photo holiday cards (which is typically the way I go for the dance group's Christmas cards- a beautiful group photo and text in German regarding our well wishes) as well as some vintage Christmas cards that I am looking into for my annual holiday card mailing. Vintage is pretty in right now and rightly so, so many beautiful options! The last type of card I was interested in was the holiday party invitation templates for my work Christmas party. My only issue is that there are too many choices. Luckily I have some time yet to choose. Not too long though as they are having a sale on their cards right now (15% off with coupon code 15FF51) and I don't want to miss the savings so I'll have to get on that decision making asap. Which is your favorite?
If you're interested in beautiful cards definitely consider Basic Invite. If you aren't quire ready to order your cards yet (or if you want to see even more of their cards and stationary) head to their socials to follow them for future purchases. I have!
Until next time!
The pups have their own diaper bag... and have since basically day one home with me. It makes our life so much easier to be able to just grab the bag, toss a few things in it and be out the door. I've had this bag for a few years and it is my favorite so far so I wanted to show you the features in case anyone was also looking for a 'doggie diaper bag'.
If you are interested in getting one they have gone down in price significantly since I purchased mine (yay!).
What Gets Packed:
Until Next Time,
I moved my financial updates into video format in May and completely forgot to also post them on the blog. I'm so sorry guys, please forgive me! I've been doing pretty well but had a few bumps along the way that caused me to restructure the way I am attacking my debt pay off goals.
I'll make sure to get them posted over here as well going forward. The next one will be just a few weeks away actually! I'm excited to show you September's progress. :)
Until next time,
Today I wanted to jump online for a few minutes to show you a little bit about how I manage lighting in my classroom.
I have a number of different lighting options in my office, and on the road, when I am working online. As the majority of my supplemental income is earned via telecommuting and is language learning based it is extremely important that the students be able to easily understand me as well as mimic me- which means they have to be able to see my face very well. If I want repeat students then I have to have decent lighting. Here are a few options, at various price levels I have tried so far:
soft box or a full size ring-light.
I have used a number of different options in the 2+ years I have been with VIPKid and the number one key is just to get rid of shadows and make sure that you are well lit. Anything that gets you to that end- whether it be one of the above options or just a table lamp with the shade removed and a daylight bulb installed, which I have done- will work.
Until Next Time,
Fasting is not a new thing in general and it’s not a new thing for me personally either. I’ve fasted for surgery, for blood work, and I’ve done intermittent fasting on and off for the past year. I’ve never been a breakfast person so it wasn’t a difficult switch for me to do once I got into ketosis. This time was a little different though as I went for three full days. The longest I had ever gone in the past was 24 hours or so.
I hadn’t intended to fast for 72 hours when I woke up on Friday morning but nothing seemed good to me, and I certainly wasn’t interested in my packed lunch. In the past I would have likely just thought about what could fit my macros and then gone out and purchased something but as I am trying to save money I decided to just wait until I got home to eat. After all, I wasn’t hungry and I had food in my lunchbox if that changed. Once I got home I got busy with odds and ends… cleaning the house, teaching classes, writing up student feedback and etc. and completely forgot to eat. When I realized I’d gone well over 36 hours the next afternoon I figured I may as well push it and see if I could do a 72 hour fast. I had heard of really good results when it came to autophagy and general wellness for a 72 hour fast and I still wasn’t particularly hungry so figured now was the time to try it.
Most of the time during this fast I wasn’t hungry. There were the occasional urges to eat but they were from boredom or that it was the right time with two exceptions so were easy to ignore and go about my day. The first exception was when I was teaching a class all about food. Talking about food and being hungry for 25 minutes made me think hard about going and making something to eat in my kitchen but, as it was the first of 5 classes that night, I was back to being not hungry by the time I was finished teaching for the night and just went to bed without dinner. The second exception was right at the tail end of the fast. I had been cooking hamburgers for meal prep so the house had smelled like burgers for hours and, I’ll admit, I started watching that timer count down to 72 hours during that last hour or so.
The experience was actually really good overall. I felt very relaxed all weekend, got in a simple workout routine, cleaned my house and slept really well. I will definitely try to incorporate at least one of these per quarter if not more often as I hope to see some results with tightening skin (from the autophagy) as I continue to lose weight. I would not suggest going from a carb heavy diet directly into a fast though, it would likely be miserable, at least from my experiences with intermittent fasting and OMAD I can imagine that I would not have made it to the end.
Results of the fast? I started Thursday at 231.4 and ended Sunday at 226.4. That’s a five pound loss, which is amazing. Not all of that stayed gone after eating my first meal, as expected. The next day I weighed in two pounds heavier and the day after one pound down from that weight. So I would say that it leveled out at four pounds lost for the fast after taking into account that first day’s fluctuation. From the autophagy side of things I didn’t notice much of a difference but hope to as I have more loose skin to get rid of. Fingers crossed!
Until next time,