12/11/18

'The Workday of My Dreams' Exercise

I recently took a class on CreativeLive by Jasmine Star (affiliate link here and below) and one of the assignments was to think about the workday of our dreams.


It's harder than it sounds. At least, it is for me.

Part of my difficulty is that I work from home and my day is built around other responsibilities besides work. Ideally, I'd get up and start working right away, as the first thing in the morning is often my most productive time of day. But that is not my reality. I need to get Trevor off to school before I can think about my own workday. I need to stop working in time for the afternoon carpool, no matter how well my work is flowing or what I'm in the middle of doing. There are countless interruptions during the day, some welcome* and others not. I'm sure everyone has their own version of this whether they work from home or elsewhere. 

(*I mean, could you say no to a nose scritch if he asked?)

Back in my teaching days, it would have been much easier to define the perfect workday: all kids 100% on task, learning, and happy with my dynamic, engaging, hands-on lessons that each finished seconds before the bell, with no whining, excuses, tattling, arguing, injuries, parent phone calls, or rain. I never had a perfect day as a teacher (and I find it hard to believe that anyone possibly could!) but it is a worthwhile exercise to figure out what that perfect day would actually entail.

This is the template that Jasmine provided:

I wake up at ___ in the morning and the first thing I do is _. Then I ___ to ensure I'm feeling ____. I start the work day of my dreams at _____ in the morning, but not before taking time for myself to _____. I leave space in my day for ____, and my favorite part of running my business today is ____. Today I made/wrote/produced ____ but I'm most proud of ____. After work I ____ and I have dinner with ____. Before going to bed, I will _____.

Here is my attempt to outline my perfect workday as it fits into my current life:

I wake up at 6:00 in the morning, get myself ready for the day, and greet Trouble, who is ready to play. Then I answer emails, get Trevor off to school, and eat my breakfast to ensure I'm feeling free from distractions. I start the workday of my dreams at 8:00 in the morning, but not before taking time for myself to read blogs and check my personal social media. I leave space in my day for lunch with Steve and at least a half-hour of scrapbooking. My favorite part of running my business is writing blog posts and working on new craft ideas. I work on Fun Family Crafts, post to my business social media accounts, check in with other bloggers, and firm up details for future educational travel. I have the perfect lighting to take photos of my crafts and am most proud that I barely need to edit them before they're ready for blogging. After work, I pick up Trevor, supervise homework while reading the newspaper, and make dinner. We eat together as a family and then play board games together. Before going to bed, we watch Project Runway or another show based on creativity/crafting, then I read an interesting and inspirational memoir. 

Even though the exercise was difficult, I'm glad I did it. I got a lot out of Jasmine's class, as I have with every CreativeLive class I've done. If you are interested, you can purchase their classes to watch at your convenience, or watch them for FREE when they're live on the air or during rebroadcasts. Either way, they are great. And there's definitely something for everyone.

So tell me... what does the workday of your dreams look like?

12/10/18

Ramekins Culinary School:

Awhile back, Steve's parents gave us a gift certificate for a class at Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma. We redeemed it last Sunday. 


Our class was called From the Kitchens of Puglia: Focaccia, Pasta and Panzerotti. Puglia is a region in southern Italy that borders the Adriatic Sea. It makes up the heel of the boot of Italy.


Steve and I were so excited; we both love Italian food (who doesn't?) and were eager to learn to make these dishes from a region we don't know much about. We have attempted several Italian recipes together (most memorably, the Valentine's Day ravioli), but knew we'd learn so much more from a hands-on class than trying it on our own. We totally did and we had a great time. 


I am in love with the door handles at Ramekins. 


They have a beautiful facility. In addition to the culinary school, Ramekins hosts weddings and other events and is an inn. The courtyard area is gorgeous and the perfect place to wait for our class to start. 

Our class started at 3:00 pm. There were 18 students, one main chef-instructor, Linda Carucci (affiliate link), and three assistant chef-instructors. When we came in, the room was set with 18 chairs along one wall. Raised tables were pushed together in the center of the room, with 18 cutting boards set on them. There was a large mirror over the demonstration workspace, and cameras over the stovetop connected to monitors. 


I sat dead-center, but all of the seats had a good view of everything. After introductions, Linda did some demonstrations, including how to make focaccia. Not only could we watch directly and via the mirror, but the assistants brought everything around for a closer look.


They also passed around flours and doughs so we could feel the textures, and a commercial version of something we'd be making so we could taste it.

After the demonstrations were over, we each took a spot at one of the cutting boards. At our first station, Steve and I made ring-shaped taralli, which would become a crispy snack after they were boiled and baked.   


This is what they looked like after boiling and before baking.


At our second station, we made panzerotti, which are fried triangular pockets of pizza dough with mozzarella and tomato sauce inside. Think calzone, but smaller and deep-fried. 


At our final station, we made two pasta shapes: cavatelli ("little hollows") and orecchiette ("little ears"). It was a lot of fun.


Finally, when everything was done, we dropped the work tables down and rearranged them to make a large banquet table. Soon, the wine was flowing and we got to enjoy everything we'd cooked.


Everything was absolutely delicious. 


We had such a great time at Ramekins! If you're local (or will be visiting the Sonoma area), I'd definitely recommend looking into a taking a class there. Thanks to my inlaws for the chance to do this! I have a feeling we'll be back. 

12/7/18

First Day of 7th Grade

Oh, how the time flies! How can we be halfway through 7th grade already?!

First Day of 7th Grade (affiliate link)


In the journaling, I wrote out Trevor's schedule, including the starting and ending bell times. I  wish I'd done on the page about the first day of 6th grade. Fortunately, I haven't done the page about his 6th grade year (just the one for the first day), so I'll include it there. I think it's something Trevor will enjoy looking back on years from now. 

12/6/18

Pantone's Color(s) of the Year, 2000-2019

I wanted to do a quick follow-up to the announcement of Living Coral as the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019. First, check out this video that Pantone released to showcase Living Coral.


Stunning, right? Like I said yesterday, there is nothing inherently wrong with Living Coral, but I still think it's a hard color to wear and difficult to incorporate in both crafting and home decor. I am very interested to see how it shows up in fashion, crafting, etc. I have to say, I love how it pairs with the ocean water and the fish's eye.

Here's a look back at the Color(s) of the Year from 2000-2018. You can click on the colors from 2007 on to read more about each one. It's fascinating.

2006
Sand Dollar
13-1106
2005
Blue Turquoise
15-5217
2004
Tigerlily
17-1456
2003
Aqua Sky
14-4811
2002
True Red
19-1664
2001
Fuchsia Rose
17-2031
2000
Cerulean Blue
15-4020

12/5/18

2019 Pantone Color of the Year

I've been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Pantone 2019 Color of the Year, and it's finally here! Rather than wait to post this in the morning, I wanted to jump in and publish this as soon as possible, which is why you're seeing this early.

Pantone selects the Color of the Year from among their Spring/Summer color palette, which is announced in the fall. According to Pantone,

"Spring/Summer 2019 reflects our desire to embolden ourselves as we face the future; turning to colours and colour stories that provide confidence and lift our spirits; embracing a colour and design direction filled with creative and unexpected combinations.... This new mindset underscores a desire for a joyful juxtaposition of colour that transcends seasonality..."


Overall, I like the palette. My favorites are Princess Blue, Pink Peacock, Pepper Stern, and Turmeric, though I like many of the others. My least favorites are Jester Red and Living Coral. 

So which color came out on top for 2019? 


I'm not pleased. While there's nothing inherently wrong with it, Living Coral is not a universally flattering shade for clothing and not a popular color for crafting. I don't think it plays all that well with others, unlike some of the Spring/Summer colors. I'll be very interested to see if it shows up at the Creativation Show in January, or if manufacturers will steer clear of this year's Color, as they largely did last year with Ultra-Violet

What are your thoughts on Living Coral? I'd love to hear whether or not you'll incorporate it into your wardrobe, home decor, and/or crafting in 2019!