Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Look what I made... My Outlander Scarf

I am a rather large fan of the Outlander Series.

I love the books by Diana Gabaldon...

and I love the TV series on Starz...

It is not often that series or movies do any justice to the books they are based on, however, in the case of this series, the Starz has done an amazing job...

Especially the costume department.

I am crazy about all of the knit wear that the characters wear. Especially Claire.

Some of the girls at work and I are obsessed with the series, both the books and the TV series.

I wanted to make them jealous...

So I crocheted myself this scarf.

It is quite easy.

I found a chunky mixed colored yarn in an Outlander color, browns... but greens or greys would also work.

I made a ring of chain stitches the size that I wanted, and then double crochet until it was super big and cozy.

It is that easy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Returning to Yoga- 5 tips

I love yoga.

I love the way I feel when I do yoga.

I stand taller... my brain is more focused... I eat well... I sleep well... I have the endurance that I need.

Now I have a confession to make.

I haven't done any yoga in over six months.

and I can feel it.

I've been practicing yoga off and on for about eight years now. It is something that has always had varying degrees of importance in my life.

But it was almost always in my life.

Six months ago, I just stopped doing yoga.

I can make excuses, we let our membership to the gym end, I could not find a class nearby, I got to busy with work, the girls, life...

The truth is, I just stopped making time for myself to do yoga.

But here we are, starting a new year, and in 2015, I am making time for myself to take care of myself.

Here are my tips for returning to the mat...

1. Find a quiet time, quiet place and close the door. It is almost impossible to practice yoga with children interrupting you, dogs trying to give you kisses, husbands asking you questions. For me, I am practicing yoga after the kids go to bed, in the bedroom, with the dog and husband in another room.

2. Go to your favorite yoga flow. There are so many different types of yoga, and different instructors that you can practice at home with. When I am feeling sporty I like Tara Stiles, when I feel like challenging myself I like Shiva Rae. When I feel like doing a basic quiet hatha flow, I often use this one from youtube.

3. Do not expect yourself to be at the same point as you when you started your break. When you practice yoga routinely, your body, mind and heart open more and more, but taking a break creates an opportunity for all that was opened, to start closing. Be gentle your first time back. Don't forget that if you push too hard, you may need a break again.

4. Have fun and laugh at yourself. This is building on tip three. Relax into everything, have the ability to look at what you are doing, smile and enjoy the moment. Did you fall out of tree pose? Just laugh it off and try again.

5. Breathe. Breathing is everything in yoga.

I hope these tips helped you with your practice.

They helped me with mine...


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Motivation for a New Week...

**Every Sunday, I will be putting a motivational quote in a photograph that I have taken...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What I'm up to this weekend...

This weekend is my youngest daughter's third birthday!

Happy Birthday Ela!!

We are having a small family brunch here at our house in Saturday, and then on Sunday I will be making cupcakes for her class party on Monday.

It is also the last weekend before our winter break is over... so I think we will be trying to get in the last of our family time, and preparing for the week.

Since I will be spending a bit of time in the kitchen, I am going to be listening to an audiobook... This weekend I am listening to Hamish Macbeth, Death of a Charming Man by M.C. Beaton.

I like Hamish, but he just isn't Agatha Raisin...

Right now, I am also, very slowly making my way through All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I hoping to actually have time to sit down and read a bit of this book.

And since Downton Abbey is starting it's fifth season in North America, I think I will try to watch it again with everyone... Don't worry there will be no spoilers...

As for yoga, my New Year's resolution to get back on to the mat (more about returning to yoga after a break to come....) has not even started, and I am feeling rather guilty about the whole thing... hopefully I will be doing some yoga this weekend... but I'm not counting on it...

Wishing all a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Favorite Books of 2014

2014 was a good year for reading. With the girls more settled into their own routines, I was able to get more time to myself for reading.

According to Goodreads, I read forty seven books in 2014.

Most of the books, I actually really enjoyed, which is probably why making this list has been quite difficult...

But, here are my top five books of 2014...

(in no particular order...)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

This was my last book of 2014, and I love it! I have already recommend it to many of my friends, and I am recommending it to you as well. As a mother of kindergarten aged children, and a teacher of that age group, I could identify with so many of the characters in the book. It is a great book, and I look forward to reading more of Liane Moriarty's books in the future.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

There hasn't been a Jojo Moyes book that I haven't loved, and her newest book was also a winner. I love they way she develops her characters, gives them so much baggage and makes you as a reader actually feel like you know them, and want the best for them. One Plus One is a great road trip story that shows that you don't need to be from the 'typical' family to love one another.

Longbourn by Jo Baker

As a true fan of Jane Austen, and Downton Abbey, this book was perfection for me. I loved the flip on the Pride and Prejudice story told through the eyes and worlds of the people working in the Bennett home. To be honest, I am generally not a fan of Austen 'fan fiction' however, I thought that is one was done quite well, and I enjoyed reading about some of the other people in the Bennetts' lives.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

I first heard about this book a while ago on the podcast Literary Disco, but was unable to get a copy until this past autumn. I like a dark comedy, and this book is that. Sibling rivalries, manipulative parents, returning to your childhood home, it's all there in this book.

The Blood of an Englishman by M.C. Beaton

I could not write my best of 2014 and not include my slight obsession, Agatha Raisin. This was the newest installment in the series, (book 25!!) and all I can say is, Agatha is back!! After a few books that felt like they were written to completely fit a mold, Blood of an Englishman had a nice story, and there were points when I actually laughed out loud!

So, these were my top five of 2014. It was a good year for reading, and boy am I thankful for Goodreads to be a place to keep track of them all.

Here is a link to what Modern Mrs. Darcy was reading as well...

What did you read in 2014?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Year of Documentation....

As a teacher, I do a lot of documentation... I am forever documenting what my students are doing, creating, saying...

This year, I am going to document my life... what I am doing, creating, living, feeling...

2014 was a great year for me and my family, there is nothing that I would go back and change. It doesn't mean that everything is perfect though.

There is always room for improvement.

I want to have a more creative and positive life...

A positive life? Ok, I get it, I understand the concept, I'm going to work towards it...

But what does that mean, "a creative life"?

I have no idea...

I learned at a workshop last year that 'creativity' does not mean 'artistic', and that being 'artistic' does not mean that you are creative.

Creativity, for me, is the ability to look at something, and find a new way to approach it...

So this is what I am going to try to do... find new ways to approach 2015...

and document it.