Sunday, April 28, 2013

Funk in the City 2013 - My First Art/Craft Show

Hooray for Funk in the City! 

Participating in my first craft show was fun, exhausting, challenging, and rewarding.  I am not scheduled for another show until September 28th & 29th in Brown County, IN.  For that, I am thankful. 

I loved the thrill and excitement of the days building up to the show.  However, I felt like I had 2 full-time jobs for the last month and a half!  As soon as my IT job was over, I'd start working on making more pieces, making displays, or marketing myself for Funk in the City.

I didn't get everything made that I wanted, but I graciously accepted that fact and was able to enjoy all that I had accomplished!

Funk in the City 2013 was good for my first show.  I stayed busy enough (just so much that I forgot to take some pictures), but I wasn't overwhelmed.  The weather was much less than optimal.  It was chilly, in the mid to lower 50's, and the rain dripped down for a constant hour with the skies were grey all day.  However, I feel I offered a ray of sunshine with a smile and positive attitude.  I couldn't believe how good of a mood I was in considering the weather situation.  The first show, a semi 'washout' quite literally, and me still happy...what?!  I will contribute that to the support of my family and friends & to my own personal mindset I was able to put myself in.  My glass remains half full!  I met my sales goal (just barely), which makes me even happier!

So onto my display!  The only thing I forgot to take pictures of was the wall of jewelry organizers, & I feel so silly because it was so pretty!

My little sign below washed away in the rain, but it was cute for an hour or so!

These may have been my most popular pieces, the elastic stretch bracelets & druzy wrap bracelets. Behind them is where my jewelry organizers were hung...silly me for not getting a picture of the beautiful display Neal built me!
These shutters with all my earrings were in the wind's way all day.  Thankfully, Neal figured out a way to tie them to the tent so they wouldn't blow over onto people!
My necklace display still need some work.  This too blew over in the wind a bit, but I think I know what I will do for my next show & my next necklace display!
 This necklace was one of my most favorite new beauties, and it blew over in the wind and was perfectly fine until I stepped on it!  I cracked off the crystal surround, but plan to put it back together...clumsy me!
 And lastly, a cute way to display business cards!
I had a great time at Funk in the City 2013!
  • 15% of all my proceeds went to the Boys & Girls Club per the regulations of Funk in the City. 
  • I met my sales goal. 
  • I met a lot of great people, many who asked which boutique my shop was in, that made me smile since I am not in a boutique but would love to be :-)
  • I also met with a few people on committees for other craft shows who are interested in my participation in their shows!
  • The Funk in the City group loved my setup and thought I did really well.
  • Many people were surprised that it was just my first show.
  • Customers loved that I gift wrapped everything and took time to put their new pieces into boxes with ribbon & a cute teal bag!
  • I remained positive and happy throughout the rain and chill!
  • I had a lot of fun! 
Question of the Day:
Have you ever done a craft show, or gone to one and really liked something about a person's setup, displays, or service?  I'd love any ideas!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Going Wheat Free

A little over 3 months ago, I visited my allergist for a follow-up from my esophagus scope.  The team reviewed my eosinphillic cell count from 2012 to this recent scope in 2013.  While they said the number of eosinphillic cells had lessened, they said that I was still showing quite a bit of eosinphillic cells. 

Thus, my current 'treatment' of keeping food allergens out of my diet, taking a protonix when I have acid reflux, and doing an inhaler treatment in the morning and evening hasn't been helping enough.  Insert super sad face!

I will be completely honest, I am not that great at remembering to take the inhaler.  I am, however, generally good about avoiding the foods I am allergic to, tomato & coconut.  It's easy for me to avoid those foods because the instant tomato is ingested I have a massive burning sensation in my throat like I just took a bite out of a jalapeno pepper after consuming a tablespoon of hot sauce.

Now, it's been suggested I take a different approach, either I try going wheat free for a month, dairy free for a month, or possibly both to see if that helps.  WHAT?! 

My amazing friend Natalie signed up for a contest at for a giveaway to nominate a friend with nutritional issues to win a year of free nutritional counseling.  Umm, guess who won?  NATALIE!  Guess who she nominated for a year?  ME! 

Yes, if you follow me on the blog, Instagram, or Facebook, you would think that I eat super healthy, how could anything be wrong with me?  In fact, after submitting 5 days of a food journal to Aimee, she complimented my good eating habits as well.  (yes, I may have just patted myself on the back).  However, Aimee did describe why the doctors suggested me trying wheat and/or dairy free.  Aimee suggested wheat free for me.

Why wheat free?  Aimee has done a lot of research on this, and I don't want to misinterpret any of the information, but I will try to summarize what I retained.  Wheat is one of the many foods in the US (and around the world) that has been genetically modified to help it be bug resistant, survive in various weather conditions, grow stronger/faster/bigger etc.  It may be that when foods are genetically modified is that some people are affected adversely by the changes made.  When allergies are tested at your office, the tests may not be updated to include the additional substances that now make up the wheat we consume (this is a MAY, so do NOT by any means think that this theory is a scientific fact rather make your own educated opinion).  This is why we could be seeing an increase in certain food allergies.  Again, there are various theories, some facts, and other professional opinions.  This answer made the most sense to Aimee and it makes sense to me as well.

So what to do?  Time to find things that are wheat free.  Currently, I am looking for Gluten free options as I know they will not contain wheat. 

Just look at this delicious loaf of bread I made!  I added 2 T honey to the mix and topped it with brown rice flour and pumpkin seeds.  It turned out AMAZING!

Some things that get my blood boiling to consider about why I was told to go wheat free and it's possible relationship to GMO's:

More than 60 countries around the world outlaw and have bans on GMO Products, including countries you and I have heard about like Japan and Australia.  Yes, I completely get that the number of countries that DON'T have any bans is significantly higher than those that do.   Learn more about non GMO here

In almost every article I find on GMO's, the most basic concern is the affect GMO's have on people with food allergies.  In this article from Oprah (yes I know, not a scientist, but the girl does her research), it states that no one really knows at this point the total effects of GMO products, but some studies link them to kidney malfunction, inflammation, and reduced fertility.  The last one possibly is currently affecting yours truly.

I am no scientist.  I am just a normal girl with a major curiosity about healthy & clean living.  I search for the balance of living a healthy lifestyle and not overly focusing myself on food and exercise.  I watch nearly every single food, happiness, and healthy living documentary on Netflix, and I try to take it all in with a grain of salt & make my own evaluated decisions.

I encourage you to think about what you are eating.  How it affects the environment, your body, & your family.  I don't discourage or dislike anyone for eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, a fast food burger, or sipping on sweet tea, sodas & beer.  I simply encourage you to never over indulge and be mindful of the choices you make & how you nourish your body.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Funk in the City is Taking Over!

For the past month you may have noticed that my blog posts have been sparse.  That's because I'm prepping for Funk in the City!

I have been so busy filling orders, training for the half, working 40+ hours at my day job, sorting out some medical/nutritional items, and making more and more pieces for my Etsy shop in preparation for Funk in the City that I have totally put aside the blog.

I'm not fully back in the swing of things just yet to start posting more regularly, but I have stopped training and most of the medical/nutritional pieces are coming together (that's a post that's been a loooong time coming).  That being said, I plan on attempting to do a few more posts when I am not too busy prepping for Funk in the City and working my day job!

If you are in the Evansville area, I would LOVE if you would drop by my booth, #158 Lively Happenings at Funk in the City on April 27th from 10-4!  This will be in Haynie's Corner, 3501 N. First Ave., Evansville, Indiana 47710.

Here's a sneak peak at what you may find! Note:  some of these are still in progress & other's have links to them in case you want to purchase before it's sold at Funk!

Key Necklaces
Druzy Stud Earrings (amazing color and AAA quality!)
New Spring Collection
Stacking Bracelets & 2 Zodiac Bracelets - one of a kind, or should I say two ;)

Druzy Wrap Bracelets
Cross Wrapping Bracelets
Fluorite Necklaces- natural stones in their beautifully natural color along with jade and other beads!
Druzy Teardrop Earrings - I have this pair in pink, two pair in silvery grey and 1 pair in white

 Jewelry Organizers many of those listed below have yet to be finished, but will be in time for Funk in the City!


And of course a few new designs that will be available first at Funk in the City prior to being online at the Lively Happenings store.
So what do you think?  Will you be able to come see me at Funk in the City on April 27th from 10-4?  Mention my blog and I may surprise you!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Half Marathon - Southern Indiana Classic 2013


This morning at 5am I woke up happy as a puppy!  I couldn't wait to have a yummy breakfast of TIU Perfect Fit Protein Pancakes.  I made enough for my dad, Kim, Neal & myself.  I loaded them with fresh strawberries and frozen blue berries. 

We chose to have breakfast about an hour and a half before our race so we shall I gracefully state what every runner goes through pre race....umm digest and use the restroom at home :)  If you have ever been to a race, and used the porta-potties, you will know what I mean!

I had all my clothes set out and was ready to get dressed and go to the 4-H center where I was running the Southern Indiana Classic Half Marathon & Dad & Kim were running the 8k.

It was a chilly morning with a lot of wind as we started, I was thankful for bringing my great Sherpa long sleeved shirt with thumb holes that I bought off The Clymb last year for our Grand Teton Summit Adventure!

I had my play list ready, my prayers were made, my mind engaged for the task at hand, and my body well prepped from my half-marathon training.  A lot of my music consisted of what I refer to 'dirty skanky rap music' although most of it is dance songs you hear on the radio mixed in with some Journey "Don't Stop Believing", Ram Jam "Black Betty" (thanks Brittany DC!!! awesome suggestion), and some my favorite for this run, "Hall of Fame" by the Script! 
Most of the run took place the Booneville/Darmstad area, a little north of Evansville.  The run was actually beautiful.  Around mile 4, I found myself appreciating being in this half marathon much more than I felt in the Music City Half I did a few years ago.  We went through soft rolling hills around wide open farm land, through some slightly wooded residential areas, and then back through more farm land.  I absolutely loved the scenary.  I think this race really made me appreciate Evansville a little more. Yes, it's mostly GMO farms, but everybody's just making a living :)  The only downside was the smell.  From mile 7-9 the stench of cattle manure was so strong, I actually coughed a little at one point!
Around mile 7 was where I first felt my left knee hurting.  It was a very strong pain, one I am familiar with.  In training when I would get this pain, I would stop running and go work out on the machine, building my leg muscles instead.  That's supposed to help, by strengthening the muscles around your legs, especially your quads, you can prevent knee injuries.  Although, since today was race day, I just had to push through those last five miles.  I could really really feel it at mile 10, but I knew I only had 3 more miles to go.  My iPod changed songs at just the right moment, and "Carry On" by FUN came on.  It put a big smile on my face and I pushed through the pain.
I believe I would be quite entertaining & embarrassing to watch as I run.  I had many songs on the play list that was just raunchy & totally make me giggle and move my hands to the beat of the drum or strum of a guitar.
From mile 11 to the finish line there was motivational phrases like "Never Give Up", "Way to Go", "Almost There" & "Go (insert name) go" written with chalk along the roads.  Even though they weren't my name, I still found motivation!
Two other big differences I found between this race and the Music City Half was the amount of porta-poties on the route (thankfully didn't need them), and the amount of community supporters on the route!  There was hardly ever a time longer than 3 minutes that I didn't see another family watching at their driveway or gathering as groups at certain turns along the trails.  It was absolutely wonderful and I applaud these great families for showing their support!

I saw Kim at mile 13, happily holding a massive bag of kettle corn which we are going to likely devour by the end of the weekend!  Having her cheer me on really helped me push myself and pass two people before crossing the finish line.

I finished the race strong with Alicia Keys "This Girl is On Fire", which I found highly appropriate and very motivational!

I love that when you do a half or full marathon, you immediately get a medal.  Totally makes my day, I freaking love medals.  Yes, I am motivated by a medal, it's kinda lame, but they really make me happy!

I did some good stretches after walking around for a few minutes and posed for some pictures with my favorite shirt from Abundant Heart Apparel.

Neal took a picture of the family of runners before we went and found out our official race times.

I could hardly believe the screen when I saw my official time.  WELL under the 1:55 I was aiming for, I made it in 1:45 at a pace of 8:05 and most surprising was 5th overall the women and 2nd in my age!  Holy cow!!! I know this is a MUCH smaller race than many, but 5th overall!  Woot woot!  And my time, wow!  I still can hardly believe it!

Dad & Kim also found out that they are 2nd in their divisions!  We all came in 2nd and posed for one more picture!

It was a really great race.  My left knee is going to give me trouble for the next few days, I can tell, but I am so glad that I did the Southern Indiana Classic!  I am so thankful for my Dad & Kim coming out and running the 8k and for my amazing husband supporting me today and every day!
Just look at those calories burned :)  I know my monitor even stopped at one point, so I may have burned even more...We are off to eat a delicious lunch at a local Mexican restaurant!
Have a happy Saturday!
Question of the day:
Has being involved in any event in your town made you appreciate the area more?  If so what was the event and what changed your mind?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shape Magazine Inspired Meals

This past weekend, on our drive to and from Tennessee, I was finally able to read most of the last two issues of Shape magazine.  I get them monthly, but hadn't found the time to read March or April, so I was glad for the 3 hour car rides, Neal driving both ways, and some 'me' time.
In the March edition, there's an article "Shop Once Eat All Week" with recipes by Melissa Lanz.  I typically will choose one or two recipes from the magazine to try, but this time I saw the menu and decided to base my entire weeks meal's off of these items!  You can find the full article here.
The meal plan is simple, allowing you to cook a bigger chunk of the food on Monday and then use portions of that meal to incorporate on foods you will prepare throughout the week.  I love this idea!  That means making Monday's dinner will take about 50 minutes, but Tuesday - Friday's meal will take less than 20!
Even better, I spent less than $70 on my groceries this week, and because these meals are for servings of 4, Neal and I will have leftovers!
We had to switch our days around from the article because I wanted The Fresh Market antibiotic free chicken which is on sale today (and every Tuesday this month) for $2.99/lb!  We buy in bulk and freeze.
Here's what's on the menu in the order we are cooking:
Monday:  Mediterranean Lettuce Cups with Mint Yogurt Dressing
Tuesday:  Lemon Chicken with Red Beans & Quinoa
Wednesday:  Tilapia with Asparagus and Mint Couscous (recipe calls for red snapper, but we have the tilapia)
Thursday:  Creamy Spinach Salad with Cumin Chicken and Quinoa
Friday:  Lemon-Asparagus Linguine with Italian Turkey Sausage

Question of the day:
What helps you to meal plan each week?  If you don't meal plan, would you give it a try?