New Year Resolutions

new yearEvery year we write out a set of New Year resolutions to either lose weight, eat healthier, go to the gym, and like every year, we vow to stick to them no matter what.

The problem with New Year resolutions is that we are initially motivated with them and then life slowly goes back to the way it was, and these resolutions eventually take a backseat to everything else.

I have always had these problems and would really like to make significant changes in my life this year. I’ve created a daily checklist of things that I would like to keep track of in hopes of creating a healthy habit of more than one thing at a time. We’ll see how it goes.

monthly tracking sheets

January monthly tracking sheet

If you would like to print out your own set of monthly tracking sheets, please click here.

Each page is a separate month that will help you track various things that will help promote a happier and healthier life.

You are free to use my chart as a reference for customizing your own or feel free to use them as they are. Here’s a brief explanation of each columns that I’ve listed:

Hours Slept – Every morning, you should write down how many hours you slept. This will help you see just how much sleep you are getting each night and help you get motivated to hit the sack earlier if you are not hitting your recommended average.

Here is a sleep guide from www.helpguide.org

Average Sleep Needs by Age
Newborn to 2 months old12 – 18 hrs
3 months to 1 year old14 – 15 hrs
1 to 3 years old12 – 14 hrs
3 to 5 years old11 – 13 hrs
5 to 12 years old10 – 11 hrs
12 to 18 years old8.5 – 10 hrs
Adults (18+)7.5 – 9 hrs

 

 

 

 

 

Steps Taken – To track just how many steps you take in a day. Many people say the average person should take about 10,000 steps each day. Ten thousand steps is supposed to help promote a healthy body and mind, but the average office worker or overall sedentary person will only take between 1,000 and 2,500 steps each day, which is a dangerously low number. You can track your steps with a pedometer or by using an app on your smartphone. I’ve been using the Ozeri digital pedometer and so far, it’s pretty good.

Glasses – This section is to help you track just how much water you are drinking per day. I know the standard that has been thrown around is 8 glasses per day but the actual amount depends on the person, their environment and active lifestyle. To find out how much you might need per day, check out this page on About.com: http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

Workout Min. – The dreaded workout routine. Even if you can take 10 minutes out of each day for a quick workout, it can have a lot of positive benefits for your overall health. Give it a try and make sure to keep track of each workout session. Looking at the numbers just might motivate you to increase your workout time each day.

Clean – One problem that everyone faces is having a busy lifestyle with little time to clean around the house. This section is to help you write down just one area around the house that was cleaned/organized. If you clean up one area each day, it will help maintain a tidier home.

$ – This section is to help you keep track of money that was made or saved during the day. If you would like to make a little extra cash on the side, this column will help you track how much you make each day. If you’re goal is to save more money throughout the year, track down how much was put away or saved from coupons, sales, deals etc..

There you have it. I hope my charts will help you reach your goals this year. Please tell me what you think I can add to improve this list. I would love to hear your thoughts!

What do you do to stay on track of your resolutions?

resolutions

Adenture and the Northern Lights in Yukon Canada

Yukon is a territory of Canada and a neighbour of Alaska. Many people believe there is nothing but snow and ice, but there are actually many wonderful experiences to be had!  Witness various wildlife in their natural habitat, enjoy the incredible views of the Northern Lights and feel excitement while taking in the landscape during a dog sled ride.

When visiting Canada, a trip to Yukon is a short plane ride away from Vancouver British Columbia. Being a popular holiday destination for people from Japan, there’s a group that offers travel packages from Tokyo to Yukon and back again: oce-center.org.

yukon 01

yukon 02

 

New Project Brewing…

As many of you may already know, I’m one of those people who can’t throw certain things away. I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder because I fairly regularly clean house (toss, donate, give away), but there are so many things that I know I can recycle or repurpose as a craft project. The main problem is that I never get around to actually making any of these wonderful crafts…. hence the pile up of boxes, bags and other random objects. It has become my crafting Everest.

In order to use up most of my mountain, I’ve decided to make a children’s play castle. I have lots of different ideas for this project, so I’ll have to create a general plan to stay on track, otherwise it may become the never ending castle craft.

Here are some of the materials that I have to work with:

princess-castle-materials

The majority is empty mail boxes, tissue boxes and I’ll add a few scrap cardboard paper and fabric for the finishing touches.

I’ll try to post my progress when I can and please send over your suggestions for making it better/different!

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How to Make Simple Origami Bunting

origami bunting

Use mini bunting for greeting cards, invitations or place cards.

Bunting has become one of the prime decorations for pretty much any occasion these days. You can buy a wide variety of sizes, styles and colours but the cost can quickly add up over the course of a year. To save a little cash, recycle materials from home and work on a fun creative craft, why not try origami bunting instead?

pink and purple origami bunting

mini origami bunting

These mini origami bunting pieces measure approximately 3.5cm x 4cm. They’re great for any small decorations or craft project.

It’s easy to make them, so grab some square pieces of paper and have fun with them!

origami bunting

Start with an even square.

origami bunting

Turn it on the side.

origami bunting

Fold it in half to make a triangle. Make sure to crease it well.

origami bunting

Open it up again.

origami bunting

Fold in the two bottom ends to the middle crease.

origami bunting

Flip it over.

origami bunting

Fold down the top point.

Top 10 Crafting Books to Check Out – Part 2

Here is the rest of my craft book list that I think all creative people can enjoy:

RETRO-CRAFTSThe Complete Book of Retro Crafts: Collecting, Displaying and Making Crafts of the Past by Suzie Millions

Go retro with this book. Perfect for hipsters, baby boomers and those who love anything vintage and retro. You’ll surely love the projects that would bring back the glory days. Not only that, but this book also includes pictures and historical notes that would make you know more and understand the nitty-gritty of retro and crafts.

ECO-CRAFTSEco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle by Susan Wasinger

With all the problems and change brought about by global warming, wouldn’t it be great to create crafts while making sure that the planet benefits from your projects? Eco Craft is the perfect book for your goal. Not only would you enjoy making all the projects listed in the book, you’ll also be able to minimize waste and help save the environment.

REPURPOSED-LIBRARYThe Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life by Lisa Occhipinti

We all love books, but there will come a time when you have to give some of your books away to free up some space for your new collections. With The Repurposed Library, you don’t have to throw or give away books. Transform your books into mobiles, wreath, vases, shelves and even a tablet/Kindle “keeper” for those who want to feel like they’re reading the book in its true form. You can even make these old books into decorative pieces for your home.

You Are AwesomeYou Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy by Abbey Hendrickson

Doing something fun can make you feel happy and satisfied. You Are Awesome is a book of crafts that would make you feel happy without having to do anything drastic. Abbey Hendrickson is a popular blogger that would guide you with the step-by-step instructions of each and every craft in the book. Have fun and be happy.

One-Yard-WondersOne Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric! by Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker

With One-Yard Wonders, you’ll surely discover the wonders of sewing. Even if you are a newbie in the world of crafts and sewing, or an experienced seamstress, you’ll surely find the projects in this book easy and fun to do. As the book promises, you’ll be able to turn a yard of cloth into anything: accessories, jewelry, pouches, bags, baby items and even banners for all occasions.

 

Top 10 Crafting Books to Check Out – Part 1

Are you looking for a new hobby or just want to try out doing some crafts? Crafting can be fun and enjoyable, especially if you like the idea of creating something new from scraps or old material. Here are some of the best crafting books to check out (or give to your crafter friends).

big-ass-bookThe Big-Ass Book of Crafts/The Big-Ass Book of Crafts 2 by Mark Montano (and Auxy Espinosa)

This book is packed with everything craft-related, from stationery, paper products, sweaters, body products, ornaments and other ideas for your home and for your friends. What makes this book more interesting is the way that Mark Montano wrote it: with witty titles and funny (yet helpful) instructions. You (or your friend) will surely love this big-ass craft book.

Martha-StewartMartha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts by Martha Stewart

In this book, Martha Stewart compiles her endless crafts projects in one book. All the crafts that you want to try, with detailed instructions and visual guides can be found in this book. The Encyclopedia of Crafts is just one of Martha Stewart’s several books that you can check out. Perfect for beginners and expert crafters.

craft-a-day

Craft-a-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt

Are you looking for a new and fun 365 project to start this year? Try to make one project a day with the help of this book. Craft-a-Day is packed with projects that would keep you busy every single day of the year. The book is also divided into weekly themes that would make your craft-making easier and more fun.

DUCT-TAPEGo Crazy with Duct Tape by Patti Wallenfang

Who thought that duct tape can be used to make jewelry, bags and accessories? With this book, you can create almost anything and everything with duct tape. Duck Duct Tape is available in different colors and prints, perfect to customize your accessories and things. The book also provides detailed instructions to help you along the way.

terrarium-craftTerrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant and Kate Baldwin

Terrariums are perfect to add a dash of nature to your home. You can also give these away for your friends and family. This book will help you in creating these whimsical and magical crafts. It is a perfect project for both crafters and gardeners. Mix and match different plants and stones to create your own style.

*Stay tuned for the next post to see what other five titles can bring you lots of great ideas for different types of crafts!*