Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall

Ran a few errands today. Mailed a sale (woot) and picked up ink cartridges for my printer. It was so nice to get out of the house for a bit. Drove home through a blizzard of yellow leaves. Fall is definitely here. It was gorgeous.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Life kicks you when you're down

I was going along composing a new blog entry in my mind on Thursday and Friday morning because, well, it's been a while and I wanted to write something. Then, life came along and kicked me in the teeth. Again. I was "let go" from my job because Someone there was Scared of Me and My Bad Attitude and couldn't give me work to do. WTF? Also, my previous position as an office manager/controller told these guys that I just Wouldn't Fit In at this company and I couldn't be happy as a receptionist. For the record, I left a high stress job for a lower stress position and was completely happy with that. After thinking about it for some time, the only thing I could think of is that someone there just plain didn't like me and wanted to see me fired. I can think of one or two people right off the bat.

Not going to lie, I'm not sad to see the job go. I was never really invested emotionally in the job. It was something I had to do but I thought I did a damn good job there. I am pissed I got let go though, haha, I wanted to leave eventually, but on my own terms (like, if I had another position lined up). Greedy of me, I know. So I have to look for work again. I hate the hunt so much.

So that new blog post has been lost (I honestly can't even remember what I was going to say) and my weekend has pretty much sucked. Mind, I did get to spend most of it trying to figure out what I want to do now (and with the rest of my life). I think I have it figured out. I just need to find another job for now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sums it up nicely

This? This is how I've been feeling for a couple weeks now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP Jack Layton

What a sad day for Canadians. We lost a truly inspiring, heartfelt man today. I remember watching my first election with my parents. It was November 2000, I believe. Everyone was enamoured with the newcomer to politics, Stockwell Day but my eyes were drawn again and again to the charismatic, well spoken, and charming Jack Layton. Although the NDP did not have a chance for that election, my political heart was captured by their passionate leader. I may not agree with all the NDP views or stands, but I've always believed in the man leading it. Thank you, Jack Layton, for everything you've done for Canadians; for inspiring us; and for motivating us to change. You are the reason I voted, every time. I voted for change.

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

- Jack Layton

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School

So. This budget thing. Not really working. Or rather say, it works to well and I can't deviate from it even once.

I need to pay for a night course so I can complete this stupid accounting certificate I've been working on for the past 2...3 (?) years now. And the budget is set, the bills need to be paid, there is no deviating allowed. Bills must be paid. In order to pay for the class, I've come up with a brilliant solution.

Sell stuff.

Specifically, sell the stuff I make. Sure, it looks pretty cluttering decorating my desk, work space, life, home but I do make this stuff to sell. And, technically, yes, it has been selling. July was a very good month but I reinvested a lot (read: all) of that back into supplies for reason of the budget. It is August now, August 16th in fact, and school starts September 1 so I must do something drastic.

I'm having a sale. A Back to School Sale in both shops.
Use the coupon code at check SCHOOL and receive 20% off all items in both stores.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/frogprincessdesigns
http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelsbyJasmin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh to be 5 again and without a pain in the world...

One of the good things about getting older, I guess, is that you learn more and more about your body. For instance, today I learned that I have osteoarthritis in my upper chest joints (weird spot, I know, but it oddly makes sense when I think of all the creaking and cracking my ribs do on my front) from this fascinating full body scan I got sent to a couple of weeks ago. Seriously cool. You get a needle a couple hours before the scan - a needle of radioactive material, btw. You go and lie on a table and the x-ray machine moves all around you; it circles, spins, slides up and down the table, and gets right close (thought it was going to squish my boobs a couple of times!) taking in depth photos of your bones.

Another fun thing I learned today? I have a genetic condition where my spine curves to the right. Mild scoliosis. It pushes on the right side of my spine when I sit up straight (like we've been taught since elementary school) creating pressure and pain on the left side of my back. Coincidentally, I originally went to the doctor because I've been getting pain on the left side of my back.

And that fun hip pain I've been getting? Probably linked to one of the above conditions.

Weee! Getting old is fun!












I'm only 28.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Etsy Front Page

For the first time in my almost 3 year Etsy career, one of my items made it to the front page of Etsy. So very excited that I was able to see it!


















Second row, third item in.

It's funny. I noticed Rozzie (first row, first item), and Lindy (first row, fourth item), and Kori (second row, second item), but missed my item. I also totally missed Freya and TrekkerJen! I'm so used to not seeing myself there I didn't even look. It took another team member congratulating us to make me go back and check for my item.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

... One Month Later?

Whoops! Didn't mean to go on a blogging hiatus, just got caught up in life and dealing with the aftermath of the accident.

So, the insurance company wrote off my car. I wasn't thrilled about it (stressed to the max, actually) mostly because I still owe over $4000 on it. Luckily, they estimated the value of the car to be almost that much and, with a bit of pinching, I can make up the remaining amount. Now we're just waiting on the cheque to arrive. (And waiting, and waiting!)

I bought a new car. Like, brand new. Like, only had 17 kms on it when I picked it up from the dealership. I'm pretty amazed by it still (3 weeks later) mostly because I never thought in a million years that I'd qualify for a car loan by myself. I mean, my credit is good, I just never realized how good. Also, I'm amazed by the car itself. My family was pretty poor growing up. We never got new vehicles. Hell, the first new vehicle I ever sat in was bought by a friend 3 years ago. So to own a new vehicle is a big deal to me. And it's mine. I bought a 2011 Rav4 4WD. In Edmonton, that 4WD is going to come in darn handy I think!

What else is new? Well, I went to the doctor with back pain and came out with 6 prescriptions, referral for massage therapy and physiotherapy, orders for blood work and 3 types of x-rays. Only me.

Can I just say how amazed I am by the healing properties of amber (the gemstone)? It's just amazing. Made myself a necklace to deal with the headaches I've been having and it works! I shouldn't be surprised because the bracelet works wonders, so why wouldn't the necklace, but I am. And happy. Headache pain is greatly reduced.

Although, it didn't work to well when I clocked myself in the head with the car door this morning...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad News Round-up

Let's just get this all over and done with in one place.

Surgery Update.

Last Monday I wentback to work. For all of 1 hour. Yup. Went to work before going to get my stitches out and while at the doctor's office I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I was not to go back to work for at least another week. Not happy based mostly on the fact that I was bored out of my mind at home. Fine, I'd cope. Really, really hoping work decides to pay me for that week of sitting on my ass. Hah, Yeah right!

There's a reason I need that pay though. That's because, due to the WONDERFUL weather Edmonton has been experiencing, with about an inch of water on the roads and it pouring down, I got into a car accident this morning. Rear ended another lady in her big SUV with my little Echo. Guess which vehicle won??? Yup. The SUV. I felt (and still do) terrible, I mean, I rear ended her, it's my fault right? Her vehicle, thankfully, has minor damage. Cracked the bumper so it'll have to be replaced. My car on the other hand?
Well, a picture's worth a thousand words. Enjoy.


















The nice police man I talked to while filing the police report estimated the damage to my car to be about $2000. Right where I estimate my 2000 Echo to be. Great. Really awesome because my insurance agent has already informed me that, if the damage to the car exceeds the estimated value of the vehicle, it will be written off. I still have 2 years of payments left on this car (bought second hand) and I really don't know what to do.

Trying to see the bright side of things. I'm ok, she's ok, it's just a car, things will work out. It's not working.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surgery, Part 2

Had another surgery on Monday.

I needed to have a large cyst removed and there was the possibility that an ovary would come out too. It did. I am now a one ovary PCOS suffering woman but I'm strong and healthy so I can handle it.

Surgery went well but the recovery this time is just taking forever. They used a different anesthetic than last time and this one, well, it made me so very sick. (Last time I was so sore for days afterwards.) I spent 11 hours at the hospital on Monday, mostly trying to recover from the surgery. It doesn't help that, before the surgery, they gave me the citric acid stuff to suppress acid reflux and I was throwing that up too. Seriously, the most vile stuff I'll ever consume. Anyways, after surgery I was so sick, dizzy, nauseated and throwing up from sips of water. My darling husband came with me and spent the day at the hospital waiting to take me home and every time he came by to see how I was doing in recovery, well, I was throwing up. Poor guy! I finally begged them to let me go home, even though I was still sick. I'd rather be sick in my own bed than somewhere else. Luckily, they let me go. I've spent the past days at home, mostly on the couch as I'm still to dizzy to sit up and do anything most of the time. The only good thing to come of all this down time is that I've been able to come up with some new designs for wire worked pieces. But really? I just want to be better and back to normal, work and all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Handmade Mafia, Telus TV, Part 2

So for the April 16th Handmade Mafia show, we had the Telus TV crew in filming us. I was interviewed and I demo'd some jewellery for them. This is the video of that day!


video

So I'm very happy to see they cut the footage of me talking because I sounded so bad. I was a stuttering mess and I was so nervous! Also, I don't, personally, think I'm all that photogenic, haha, so I'm not upset about it being not included. I'm glad they kept some of my demo though - the ring wrapping , that's all me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Past Month

Ai. Went pretty much a month without posting anything. Just fell off the face of the earth due to work and exhaustion. So sorry to disappear on you all! It's been a busy month, new job, new crafts, visits to Kelowna, and sleeping. There hasn't been enough sleep it seems.

So, new job. Love it. Work with some really great people at the City Centre Airport in Edmonton for a private corporate plane and courier company. Doing admin work which is 100% stress-free and easy. I was looking for a job I could do and not bring work/work issues home with me and I found it. The big perk is that the people are great and easy to work with (unlike my last job). The next big perk, and the best part in my mind, I have a great view! I get to watch airplanes take off and land all day. How cool is that? Totally reminds me of my life goal when I was 12 and I wanted to pilot the F-16s. I feel like a kid in a candy store; this is work? So happy! I even got to see one of the corporate jets up close and I got to go inside. I was in heaven, haha!

New crafts. Well, I've listed a ton of new stuff in both the Frog Princess Designs shop and the Jewels by Jasmin shop. I still have a ton of new stuff to list and I have so many ideas floating through my head that some are getting lost :(
Here are a couple of the new things:

Bridal Jewellery at Jewels by Jasmin!








Sheet metal work! So excited for this new stuff. (Big hint of new things to come, look for metal stampings!)








New bobby pins on Frog Princess Designs!








Pins and brooches!








LOVE these rose pins!








And there is soooo many other new things listed too! And about to be listed. I'm so excited for so much of it!

Went to Kelowna for Easter to visit my family and just had a blast. It was a super busy weekend but we had fun and managed to take a ton of pictures. My favourites?

Sales on the Okanagan Lake. There were so many sailboats out that day and we managed to get some great shots.









Me and my two brothers.













Wade and me at the lake.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Still Here!

New job is still draining all the energy and life out of me. I'm still alive. I even have a show on Saturday. First Handmade Mafia of the year for me. I need to get organized for it so bad. Help!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teammate Feature!

Check out the wonderful Alisa, from CloneHardware, in this great news spot!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood

Isn't this just pretty? I remember the original version of this song from my childhood. My mom had this great record with the original on it as well as a lot of other fun, crazy songs. The original is fun and campy, and only a little creepy. Amanda makes this song sweet, creepy, and so poignant. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New(ish) Stuff! Lots of pictures!

Hey everyone! I've been lurking for a while, not posting, but here I am with a TON of new things I've made recently (and not so recently).

Just so you know: If you click on the pictures you will navigate away from blogger, but you will be able to see the entire picture. The pictures are linked to my other blog on livejournal.



Loads of pictures so be warned!






All these are copper and glass bead wrapped earrings with sterling silver earwires. All made by hand.


Apitite and sterling silver earrings.


Copper, blue quartz and sterling silver earrings.


Vintage lucite flowers, swarovski crystals and sterling silver earrings.


Vintage lucite, crystals, brass and copper necklace. Is it still steampunk with flowers?


Vintage lucite flowers and sterling silver necklace.


Metallic durzy stone with sterling silver pendant and necklace.


Oxidized sterling silver with clear quartz, aqua chalcedony, and turquoise.


Oxidized copper bracelet with quartz star.


So excited about this one! Used my dapping block for the first time! Copper and sterling silver pendant and necklace.


Copper shawl pin with prehnite stone.


Copper wrap ring.


My favourite pair of earrings ever! Isn't that red just soooo nice?


Sterling silver and ruby earrings! (Yes, rubies! They are sooo big! 14mm I think)


Sterling silver, copper, pearls, crystals and a handamde (not by me) flower. Necklace.




How cute are these pin cushions? I was just playing around with the felt bobbles one day and got a brainstorm about these!

Thanks for looking! Comments and constructive criticism is always welcome too!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The News About Amber

Ok, so I started making amber teething necklaces last summer and they have been a big hit at Frog Princess Designs. I'm pretty happy about that.

For those wondering though, why amber is good for teething babies, here is a small rundown on amber properties.

Amber isn't a stone, first of all, so it's not a gemstone. It is a fossil - the fossilized remains of coniferous tree resin (sap) - formed millions of years ago. Amber is a natural analgesic which basically means that it is a natural pain reliever. As the amber is worn on the skin, it warms up and gradually releases succinic acid, the pain reliever. It works on a lot of different ailments from teething pains and drooling relief to arthritis and migraine relief.

I was a skeptic about this so I made myself a bracelet to test it out. (I suffer from carpal tunnel in my right wrist.) I was amazed at how well the amber helped to relieve my pain! I wore the bracelet all day and by the end of the day, the pain had passed and my wrist was back to normal. Skeptic no more!

Just like all types of pain relievers, while it may work for some people, it may not work for everyone. While some babies may feel complete relief from pain while wearing the necklaces, for others it might offer no more help than the reduction of drooling. Babies should be supervised while wearing these necklaces. The necklaces should be removed at nap time and bedtimes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fat/Not Fat

This is just amazing:



Ok, so I'm fat. And, most of the time, I'm ok with that. The rest, well, everyone has those days, the ones where nothing fits right, nothing looks right, and you feel all out of sorts and fat.

The reason I'm changing my diet isn't to do with how I look or how I feel about myself. It's to do with my health and family history. My family history is full of people with cysts, PCOS, and diabetes. I've just been diagnosed with PCOS which tends to explain why all the diets I've tried in the past have failed. I don't need a diet, I need a lifestyle change to make me healthier. And if the result of that lifestyle change is dropping some weight and becoming less fat (cause, face it, I'm realistic about this, I'll never be skinny) then I'll be happy about that but it isn't the main goal of my lifestyle change. It's my health not my looks that are the reason for change.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

iPhone Update

Forgot to update on the iPhone dunking. Left the phone in a baggie filled with rice for 2 days (to soak out any excess water) and it came out perfectly fine. I mean, I wasn't fin for those 2 days while the phone was drying off; I felt like I amputated a limb with my phone gone, but thankfully the phone came out all good.

Thank goodness!

Day - I Don't Remember Anymore

Egg whites without the yolk are tasteless and bland.

And that's all there is to say about that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 7

Woot! Been doing this for a week now!

Ok, in all honesty, today kinda sucked. Not because of the new diet - although the diet was affected by the day - but because of other things.

Woke up in a bad mood but managed to stick with the diet all day until I decided I wanted a nice, long, hot bath. Yeah. brought my phone along in case I got a call and you see where this is going? Yup. Nice and shiny iPhone 4 ended up in the drink. Only for a couple of seconds but it was enough that it started giving me error messages. So much for the long hot soak. Out of the tub to figure out how to fix my phone. According to the Internet I must take the sim card out and place the phone - making sure it is turned off! - in a baggy filled with rice (to absorb the water) for 2-3 days. Well, the damn phone wouldn't stay off! So I sat here for an hour turning the stupid thing off when it turned itself on until it finally stayed off. So, now it sits, on the counter in rice and there it will stay until the 27th or 28th and I pray I get no urgent or important phone calls between now and then. You know, like a job offer or a call for an interview. Damn it.

Ok, so today I ate the yogurt, all-bran and fruit breakfast/lunch and pizza for dinner. I had a couple of snacks too - cheese and fruit. It was bad, but I had a bad day so I forgive myself for it. Back in the saddle tomorrow.

Day Six

Another good day :)

Breakfast: Whole grain toast with 1/2 a banana and low fat cream cheese. With a glass of fruit juice.

Snack: Low fat Babybel cheese

Lunch: Buckwheat, chickpea and broccoli salad with fresh mushrooms and milk

Dinner: Chicken breast with steamed broccoli, salad, and 3 new baby potatoes. Dessert of pomegranate.

Snack: Small handful of grapes and very small handful of peanuts.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Five

So I think I'm getting the hang of this new diet thing! Did really well yesterday. Regular yogurt, all-bran buds and fruit (blueberries and half a banana) breakfast/lunch. A couple of low fat Babybel cheeses for a snack and ribs and steamed veggies for dinner with a salad! Oh, and an apple crisp shared with Wade for dessert.

Everything I ate was just delicious and exactly what I wanted. I am pretty happy about this whole thing. I have tons more energy these past few days and I'm feeling a lot better about what I'm eating. I know this was the best choice for me to make.

It's such a lovely day so I'm off for a walk to the post office!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catching Up

With everything going on these days, and with me focusing on journaling about my new diet I haven't been sharing anything new with either Frog Princess Designs or Jewels by Jasmin. And, oh my god, I haven't shared anything about Jewels by Jasmin! What a terrible blogger am I!

Ok, on December 8, 2010 I opened a new shop on Etsy called Jewels by Jasmin. I wanted to move my jewellery from Frog Princess Designs to its very own shop where it can be showcased properly without being overshadowed by all the other stuff I was offering at Frog Princess. On that same note, I have a ton of designs, items, ideas that I've either created already or are wanting to create that just didn't fit into the whole shop view of Frog Princess Designs with the jewellery. I felt it was best to divide out the 2 focuses into 2 different shops so here we are. Jewels by Jasmin was created to focus 100% on jewellery while Frog Princess Designs' focus has been redirected towards fun and fabulous accessories and geeky items.

I've also opened up an Artfire store. http://www.artfire.com/users/JewelsByJasmin I want to get my name out there on a lot of other venues with the ultimate goal being opening and running my own website. I'll be posting some of the same jewellery to the Artfire shop, but there will also be some designs exclusive to that shop. I'll try to post them here so everyone will have a chance to check them out.

It's been a lot of work running three shops, but so fun too. I love that I'm now able to share some of the great things I've been making and selling at craft shows, but not online as it didn't fit the "theme" of the shop. I'm so happy now that I can share a greater variety of stuff!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day Four

Ok, so today was also a good day. I knew what I was doing, what I was eating, and how much I needed. Then, we went out for dinner to a (slightly) new restaurant because we were going to do dinner and a movie. Lazia. So not a good restaurant for the diet unfortunately. The menu is very rich and decadent. Lots of pastas, potatoes, rices, not much with the salads and lean meats. So I had a hamburger and a salad. Not the best choice on the menu - that would have been the plain salad - but I was hungry by then and the plain salad would not have filled me up and I'd be tempted to snack all night.

We need to make better restaurant choices. We need to start going to restaurants that feature a wonderful salad or light options menu. Gotta stop eating at bad places. Actually. We just need to cut back on eating out and start preparing more meals, more dinners, in the home. We eat at home for every other meal of the day, why not dinner?

Day Three

(Forgot to post yesterday)

It was another good day yesterday... Well, For the most part. Did very well for breakfast and lunch but had mac and cheese for dinner and some popcorn too. Well, I guess we can't let the food go to waste and as long as it's not an everyday thing, eating poorly, and as long as we don't get that stuff anymore, there shouldn't be any problems.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Two

Ok, definitely a better day today. I was more prepared today.

Breakfast:
Small bowl of yogurt with All-Bran (with psyllium fibre) and blueberries and a small amount of sugar. (I couldn't help it, it's unsweetened yogurt)

Lunch:
Buck wheat, chickpeas, and broccoli salad with a glass of milk.

Dinner:
Salmon with steamed veggies and a small salad.
210 cal, 7g of fat

We went out for dinner but I chose the healthy choice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day One

Day one of the new diet. How am I feeling?

Hungry.

No, not really. I mean I was earlier when I was trying to figure out WHAT I could eat for dinner now. It was a bit bewildering. It's hard going from not caring what we cook for dinner to worrying about whether or not the mac and cheese in the cupboard is low GI or if I should just throw everything away and start my pantry up from scratch. Obviously, I'm not going to do that (I couldn't afford to, and besides, think of the waste!) but it was very frustrating. I figure the best thing to do is to try my best and finish the bad stuff we have now and not buy any more. And, supplement it with as much good GI stuff as possible.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lifestyle Changes?

I had to go for a doctor appointment today as (I thought) a follow up to my surgery in December. Well, it wasn't a follow up appointment so much as a "let me show you the gigantic cyst you have in your left ovary" appointment - with full colour pictures. A little jarring to say the least. Now, it came as no surprise I had cysts. I've been told I have them in the past and the doctor did tell me after my surgery that she found them again. What was so jarring was the sheer size the one cyst made my left ovary compared to my right one. The right one, in the picture, looked to be about the size of my thumbnail while the left one was the size of an egg. A small egg, but still, an egg.

Another not quite surprise is that, by looking at my right ovary (as it was rather lumpy) it appears that I also have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Basically, all kinds of fun where my body doesn't ovulate properly, produce enough progesterone, and is infertile. It also seems that weight gain (hey, that sounds familiar), irregular periods, insulin resistance, diabetes and androgenic hormone presence are also all signs of PCOS. I think the scariest parts of this is the fact that I'll never get over it, this is something that I'll have for the rest of my life. I have to treat it, manage it, but I'll never live life with out the PCOS being there.

The symptoms that worry me most are the weight gain (and subsequent difficulty in losing weight), insulin resistance, and the diabetes. Obesity and diabetes run rampant in my family history and I know I'm no feather-weight. Getting diabetes has scared me so much since I was 17 and visited my grandpa for the first time in 5 or 6 years to find out his leg had been amputated due to his diabetes. I do not want that; I am terrified of that. So that means I must make some pretty significant lifestyle changes in order to decrease my chances of a good many diseases and chronic problems due to the PCOS.

1. Change of diet. My diet needs to now reflect a low carbohydrate and low-glycemic index diet. Basically this means that I need to start eating things that break down slower over a longer period of time and get the carbs I need from foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

2. Exercise more. Sustained levels of physical activities over longer periods of time will help to reduce and manage my weight.

3. Monitor my body. Become more aware of what is going on with my body and note changes.

PCOS can lead to any of the following:
  • Heart disease
  • Insulin resistance/Type II Diabetes
  • Strokes
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Endometrial Cancer, and
  • Weight Gain

I want to minimize my risks to these so I will work towards my goals. I will change my diet, exercise more, and monitor my body. I will not develop any of these diseases as a result of my negligence of my body. I will take take care of myself.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011