Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Blas & Weight Loss

I can honestly say that I Hate this time of year. It's freezing, there is little sunlight and what sunlight there is gives me a headache as it bounces off the snow and ice. So depressing! I never want to rush time - every minute we have is precious - but this time of year I tend to want to speed ahead a bit.

Another depressing thing about this time of year is everyone is talking about losing weight, working out more, and getting healthy. As if the new year is the only time that doing this is important. All the focus on getting in shape tends to make me feel that I too must join in and continue to fight the battle of the bulge. I've never been satisfied with my weight so the emphasis on it is even more depressing. Though I do have to admit that I'm quite proud of the little bit of weight loss that I accomplished before the holidays. But the holidays were wonderfully indulgent and it's time to get back to work at losing a few more pounds (well technically a slight more than a few). In the fall I used Nutrisystem to lose. But the thought of going back to eating boxes of food - that frankly taste slightly better than the cardboard it's packaged in - doesn't appeal to me. Not to mention the cost. With the money spent on the three months of Nutrisystem food I purchased in the fall I could have purchased a new wardrobe (ok...not quite but close!)
So instead of doing that I'm going to jump on the Weight Watchers band wagon. Many people I know use it. I need something to track the amount of food I should eat and the amount of food I actually eat. The points system sounds a lot better than counting calories. Going to meetings is not for me so I joined the online version of Weight Watchers. Today was the first day of me logging in food and figuring out what points each food item was. I ended up going over my daily target points by 2 points. The Chick-fil-a lunch I had was to blame for that.
Better choices ahead tomorrow... Does anyone have any idea of what to order at Texas Roadhouse that won't blow all my points?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cows & Creativity

Cows&Cows&Cows <---- click this!

This is so fun. A Art Education professor that I follow on Twitter posted this last night. It was not his creation - just a great YouTube find. As I watched it for the first time I found it humorous but I immediately wanted to know how to create it myself. I seem to find myself doing that more often than not. I enjoy other peoples creative endeavors but often can't just enjoy them and more on. Instead it triggers something inside me and I feel the need to figure out how to do it and try it myself. I love to create. I love to create in as many different medias as possible. There rarely has been something that I have found or have seen that I haven't had the urge to try to do myself.

Is this a bad thing? Well...I don't think so. I get so much joy in the creative it can't be bad. But Gosh Darn It! I don't have the time, space, or energy to do as much of it as I'd like. Perhaps when I we win the lottery - "Hey Honey did you buy a Powerball ticket?" Or perhaps...if I spent less time online looking at everyone's creativity I'd have more time for my own? just a thought

Monday, January 10, 2011

Loving creating on my iPad!

This is a video of my very first iPad painting. I did this in the car on the way down to visit family in Southern Illinois.

I'm really enjoying using my iPad to create.

It allows me to paint without having to pull out paints, brushes, water, and my easel. Now don't get me wrong - there is nothing better than the feel of a paintbrush in my hand that has been dipped into creamy paints. I hopefully will be able to do more of the real thing very soon. But when it's a real challenge to find a spot in my house that an easel and the rest of that creative mess can reside, it is a great feeling to be able to paint digitally. And hey - I certainly couldn't paint with the real thing sitting on my couch or even cozy under the covers of my bed. So...I'm liking this creative outlet a bunch.

Break is over and it's back to work time - so I haven't had a lot of time to do a lot of different iPad paintings. But I did a couple during break and one this last week. I also used the Brushes app to create a logo for my Reuse - Recycle - Recreate unit that I'm doing at one of my schools this second semester.

Glow Blooms

Logo for my Reuse Recycle Recreate unit at Washington this semester

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Family Game Night

It was a very long week for everyone in the Gillespie house. Getting back into the grove of not staying up too late and getting up early to go to work and school is never fun. We always enjoy our breaks - especially when we travel and visit family. Our vacations almost always involve playing games. We all try and find fun party games that everyone can participate in. These might be an old fashion game of scrabble, an new board game, card games, an electronic game, or even the dictionary game that requires nothing more than paper, pencils, and a good old Webster's dictionary. The recent Christmas vacation was the same - everyone crowding around Janie's kitchen table or spreading out a bit in the dining room. Many fun times involve playing games.

Often though as we get home from vacation and back to work and school, the game playing seems to disappear. Although we all love to play a good game, the day-to-day routines often keep us from doing so. Tonight we decided to pull out the new card games that Santa so thoughtfully left in each of our stockings. These smaller, faster versions of games allowed for us to be able to hang out on the couches or floor and have some fun. We didn't want to give up keeping the couch warm - it's been a long week after all. Chuck, Sara, Chris, and I had a great time playing two different of our games. We started with Pictionary. This card version of the game doesn't require drawing. It's a cross between charades and pictionary. You use the pictures they provide to have your team guess from. Sara and I teamed up against Chris and Chuck. And of course us girls kicked butt! It's a very fun fast-paced game that I recommend.

After beating the guys with that we moved to Trivial Pursuit Steal. This card version of the trivia game is slightly easier than the big board game and you are given the chance to earn wedges by stealing them along with answering the questions. Of course the kids and I were in no way able to keep Chuck from winning. He quickly collected all six wedges and then proceeded to continue on to play. He turned in all his wedges and then even won a second time. The closest anyone got to him was having 4 wedges...but it was no use. All that knowledge (both useful and useless) up in that bald head of his beat us good!

Whoever wins, it's always a fun time playing any game with my family. I think it should be something that we do regularly.
Perhaps Friday should always be Family Game Night in our house.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Today I celebrate 41 trips around the sun.

It's been a pretty good day. No problems with any classes, students were well behaved (an unusual thing at my school), and birthday treats in the lounge always make the day better. After work I was greeted by my wonderful husband who had made me cupcakes. The cupcakes were decorated with an artist pallet and paintbrush. I love the fact that he worked most of the day on making these for me...makes me feel very special. He is quite handy in the kitchen. He seems to enjoy cooking and baking but doesn't usually decorate the sweets beyond spreading some frosting on or shaving some chocolate to top a pie. So the fact that he took the time to make something special for me just gives me another reason why I'm the luckiest wife in the world! My birthday present was a new red Keurig coffee maker and a bunch of coffees to go in it. We then had a nice dinner at Red Lobster -mmmm...Cheddar Bay biscuits!

As we age we tend to have a bit more aches and pains, tend to pull this or that, tend to feel exhausted on a Friday night, or tend to not be able to shop as long as we used to. (That last one really bothers me)
Even with all this quirks of aging - I don't mind it as much as I thought I might.
I agree with the saying that you are as young you feel - and I don't feel 41...however I don't feel 21 either.

Time to go have a cupcake!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year is Here

Today is the second day of the new year. January has always been a month I have dreaded. It means that the fun of the holiday season has come to an end and I'm turning one year older. It's a time of reflection on the year that has past and thinking about ways to make life better.

Now I'm not saying that I hate the month of January - it's good to reflect on the past and look forward in life. I've always tried to improve on anything that I'm doing...whether it is in being a better teacher, mom, wife, artist, or person in general.

Reflections of 2010 -
Briefly said 2010 had many ups and downs. It was a very productive year for me professionally. I finished an exhausting but rewarding Masters Degree program. I sadly left one of my schools that I had taught at for 12 years and began teaching at a newly remodeled school with a really great art room (3 sinks - yippee!). I moved from a yucky basement art area to a regular classroom at my other school. And I entered a national contest for that school - we were a finalist and won $5000 for our art program and a special visit by a fun art bus. I trimmed down a bit since last year and was able to drop a size. I was very proud to watch my husband complete a post-graduate degree and be certified to teach high school Social Studies. He worked very hard and will be an awesome teacher! He also transformed our living room into a perfect, warm and inviting place to be.
Though 2010 was very productive - it wasn't the healthiest for me. My struggles with a vitamin D deficiency and some stupid muscle and joint pains were an annoyance.

Looking to 2011-
New Year's Eve, as we were enjoying food and fun, the inevitable question was asked - "What's your New Year's resolution?" As loved ones and friends answered this question I began to feel a bit nervous. Oh do I really have to do this? I've had years where I've made resolutions and they have succeeded - but mostly - they have failed big time. Last year I said that my resolution was to paint more. I had this in my mind as each person said what they were going to try and do. The word "failure" was repeating in my mind. Then I thought back to the other resolution I had - to lose some weight. I had some success there...nothing drastic but success no the less. When it was my turn to give my resolution I simply said that I didn't know. Liar! I did know - because it was pretty much the same as the last year's. I really want to paint more - or draw more - or just create art more. It something that I love to me a sense of accomplishment...relieves stress...and makes me happy. But that is not all -

So here in writing is my 2011 New Year's Resolution:
To be a happier person by loving more, laughing more, creating more, eating healthier, and exercising more. Sound simple enough?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 31 of my Picture-A-Day Challenge

Goodbye 2010!

We spent the last hours of 2010 enjoying some yummy food and playing games at the Davis house in Carterville. One of the games played was "Poop on your neighbor". To win the game you need to be the last one with quarters left in front of you. My pic of the day shows that I have far more quarters than my two boys. I ended up winning the game and the pot of quarters. Sorry guys!

This week has been a great time spent with people we love to be around. The time went by very fast as it usually does - but it is always filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Tomorrow we head home and begin the new year. May 2011 bring everyone around me much love, much laughter, and creativity!