Resolved in January.

januaryresolutions

 

We are 10 days into 2014 and yes, I’m just crafting resolutions now. The problem with resolutions for me is that unless they are super duper specific they don’t happen, and in order to create specific resolutions you have to be willing to actually commit to said resolutions. It is much easier to be introspective and simply daydream about the changes you’d make if you were brave enough to try.

Pinterest to the rescue! I found this great pin ! Instead of just having yearly resolutions, you pick something to work on each month. You can begin over each month, each day. She even designed these printables for each month, with the goal of printing it out and putting it somewhere visible. (Added bonus you can print them off, write your goals, check off goals, and add it to the scrapbook).

In January I will focus on organizing. Having specific locations for things means they are much more likely to be returned to those places. Each day/week will focus on a different area/aspect of organizing. Some of these will be planning and organizing goals in other areas. (Gives me more time to think of and commit to specific goals for future months).

January’s Goals (to be achieved in any order)

Organize Pinterest board about organizing (we all know its the first step). Organize photos. Develop a “system” for adding photos. Organize reading goals. Organize kitchen cabinets. Organize fridge. Organize chore cleaning schedule. Organize bedroom closet. Continue to scrapbook and organize memory stuffs from past years. Organize health and fitness goals. Organize goal races. Organize spiritual goals. Organize travel daydreams. Organize professional goals. Organize crafty goals. Organize under the bathroom sink. Organize meal plan system.

I’m really excited about getting my life “right” especially since I hope to be applying for counseling jobs in the future.

Also, I’ve chosen my “one little word” for 2014. Anchored. This year is about clinging to God, staying in His hope instead of the wavering-ness of the temporary things around me and my emotions.

I’m excited to see how this month wraps up. This means I’ll be able to report back next month how I did, taking this time to continue organizing my life, the apartment, and my future goals!

Let me know about your resolutions, we’ll encourage each other together!

 

Made Eggless Firecracker Sugar Cookies

With our friends we ended up having a 5th of July party, since all of those who worked for the school had that day off. We planned a cook out since one friend’s parents were in from out of town. I figured this was the perfect time to make the “Firecracker Sugar Cookies” that I’d seen on Pinterest. Basically, these are simply sugar cookies covered in white frosting, covered in blue/red pop rocks that act as sprinkles!

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Since I can’t walk around very well husband was sent to the store to procure the needed items. He could not find pop rocks at the grocery store, since we’re so far away from Halloween. So, he ended up calling the company to find out who were their biggest distributors! He was able to find several packs at Walgreens :0)

Then, I discovered that the sugar cookie mix he purchased required an egg which we did not have. Instead of sending hubby back out to the store I consulted google. I discovered that for one egg you could substitute: 2 Tablespoons of water and 1 Tablespoon of oil. I actually used olive oil on accident instead of vegetable oil, and I didn’t notice a difference. I used a little extra oil when I realized I only had half the amount of butter needed as well!

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The biggest concern I had about these cookies was knowing that they are triggered by any liquid. I wondered if the icing would set the carbonation fizzing, and defizz them before people had a chance to eat them. There was nothing in any of the pinterest recipes, so I trudged ahead. I only needed 1 packet of pop rocks for the 28 cookies, the powder goes far. I used two so I could have red watermelon and blue tropical punch.

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I couldn’t wait for people to try them. Husband was in on the secret, so when people tried the cookies we were staring at them. He asked, “Do you taste it?!” “Taste what?” To which point I guessed the fizz had worn off and I explained that the firecracker part was due to the pop rocks on top. We brought out more packets and our guest freshly applied the “sprinkles” and enjoyed reliving childhood memories of the candy, so I’d say it was still a success.

I think the humidity helped to defizz the pop rocks too. I think this is one of those recipes where it is hard to keep the secret “secret” because you really need to put the pop rocks on right before they eat it.

Everyone loved and demolished the cookies as we played with sparklers and fountains.

 

Dressed Professionally

Week #11 of counseling internship. I have a total of 151.75 hours (yay!) Here is the specific breakdown: 26 hours face to face, 4.25 hours individual supervision, 5 hours of group supervision, and 116.5 hours of related activities hours.

I’ve been lucky the past few years that I’ve never really been required to dress professionally on a regular basis. I had some nicer outfits for interviews et cetera, but working as a student worker for a high school missions program even as an office supervisor wearing one of our organization tshirts and jeans was fine. This presented with a challenge when I was moving into the internship face of my education, I had not updated my wardrobe on a consistent basis and many of my dress shirts were too short now, or my dress pants too tight.

Therefore, I knew I was going to need to spend some money up front. My apparel at work and designing outfits instead of simply pairing a top with a pair of pants has been a huge focus for me, as I know its important to create a sense of security for the client. My face and body seem particularly young (I’ll appreciate it one day when I’m older so I’m told), so it was my focus to appear older/more professional to, again, help the clients feel more secure. Our new office manager was always ridiculously sweet if I displayed these nerves at the beginning of my internship telling me that she told her children “you have the same holy spirit that everyone else has” reminding me that age is not always an important factor. (I told you she was the best birthday present ever!)

However, recently during a supervision meeting my supervisor suggested that I dress slightly more professionally, just amp it up a little bit. I explained that it was something that I was working on, and would continue to focus on. After polling our counseling intern facebook group for ideas, other friends on facebook, and studying the outfits on Pinterest, I had some guesses as to what I needed.

This is what I was wearing for the meeting, which my supervisor stated that the sweater was more casual looking.

Casual sweater

These other outfits were what I wore to see clients those next few days. Supervisor saw them and approved!

Professional outfit #1

 

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In this instance it helped to pull my short hair into a bun, and focus on smaller details like decorative belts, cardigans, and jewelry to really piece the outfits together. This is going to be different at each location and with each set of counselors. At my private practice I work with many seasoned counselors so I think their style is to lean towards the more professionally dressed side of things, whereas other supervisors may create a more casual environment.

I’m simply excited to have experimented in this realm and to have learned something that I didn’t know as well before. Our outward appearances are only part of the package, however client first impressions are VERY important, and I’m grateful for the little details like pulling my hair up, if it helps the client to feel more secure with me. :0)

Created a Photo Gallery Wall

During my months at home I’ve been scouring Pinterest trying to find ideas to improve our shoe box of an apartment that lacks storage space. The reality is that we’ll likely be living her for at least a few more years, so I need to figure out how to make our stuff fit better in it for my own mental health.

So I googled for these shelves many of them being only a foot wide and $30.00 a piece from target! After intense googling I found the original instructions.. They seemed pretty easy to make, and would only cost $10 for an 8 foot piece of lumber. However, due to the lack of experience of husband and I with making our own shelves I realized that method would unlikely get accomplished within the 2013 year.

Another pinner described using rain gutters.

And yet another recommended using molding to create your own shelves.

So, we ventured off to Lowe’s today to explore their rain gutters and molding. None of the molding seemed to have a big enough ledge for my purposes. Then, with the rain gutters, husband discussed the impossibilities while staring at the towering strips: how would we cut it, how would we mount it, and likely it would scrap up our apartment wall.

Sighing in frustrating I wandered around the Lowe’s a little while longer, heading towards the storage section thinking maybe there would be shelves that would be inexpensive and meet my purposes. Suddenly I turned an aisle and saw little mini shelves in the perfect shape (36 inches wide, 1 5/8 inch tall, and 1 3/4inch long) for only $9.77 each. They also were packaged with the necessary screws, and had holes set up to mount it. Apparently, they were “Door Bottoms” with the primary purpose of sealing and sweeping the bottom of external doors. I was worried because they seemed a little too flexible, but they were the perfect shape, and I justified that picture frames really aren’t that heavy, so we though we’d try them.

Door Bottom

 

We decided to space them in the middle of the wall and a little over a foot apart.

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Husband was only going to screw in the ends instead of all 5 slots. However, I could tell an improved support when all 5 were screwed through to the wall.

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The finished product!

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The shelves took about 10 minutes to hang, and they seem much sturdier than originally assessed. The shelves have only been hanging on the wall for maybe an hour, but I wouldn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t last.

In order to better secure the picture frames against the wall (to protect about the air distributions that occurs when opening/shutting doors etc) I would recommend using a little bit of mounting putting or sticky tack to stick the picture frames to the wall.

I’m so excited by this photo gallery that I’ve been idealizing over the past few months! Husband is happy with not drilling excess holes into our rented walls, and I love the flexibility this provides to switch the picture frames/decorations around. Also, this provides a non museum like way to display my excessive pictures/knickknacks on the wall without it feeling/looking so excessive.

If you try this please post a picture and let me know how it goes!

Update as of Dec. 30th, 2013: The shelves have held! Honestly, I could sand down/cut the frayed edges, I just haven’t yet. There has only been one casualty from these shelves. A large photo frame fell over due to the crazy large dogs running around upstairs. I would recommend some type of tack affixed to the back of larger frames to help hold them in place against the wall.