5 Minute Meditation Practice

Before I got pregnant, I had a fairly consistent yoga and meditation practice. It continued until my son was born, and then I no longer had the time, energy, wherewithal to do either.

Yes, there was the occasional pocket of time where I was able to indulge in yoga, but I didn’t try to get back into meditation. I was already mentally struggling with being a first-time mom, and in hindsight (it’s always hindsight isn’t it?) I should have prioritized meditation.

The other weekend, while my husband was rocking our son to sleep for his first nap of the day, I sat in another room, laying on the loveseat, and decided to try to meditate again. I didn’t turn on a YouTube video or an app. I experimented with my own way of meditating.

If you count to 300 slowly (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, etc.), five minutes will pass.

I closed my eyes and began counting to 300.

Now, for most people, trying to sit quietly with their thoughts or clearing their mind only results in the opposite. Hundreds if not thousands of thoughts swirl around inside our heads at any given time. And normally, my brain is no different.

But this time, I only allowed myself to focus on images that brought me peace and joy: images of a cabin in the mountains I hope to visit one day with my family, a campfire blazing as the sun sets, my son asleep in my arms….

Five minutes may not seem like a long time, however, by the time I reached 300, I felt calmer and more at peace than I had in a long time. Five minutes was all it took.

As a parent, and especially as a mom, finding time to do anything for yourself seems selfish and impossible. But you can find five minutes. We need to. I shared my “epiphany” with my doctor last week and her emphatic agreement has encouraged me to try for a 5 minute meditation daily. I don’t always succeed, but tomorrow is another day.

Using Less Plastic

Earlier this year I read another book called How to Get Rid of Plastic by Will McCallum. It was quite the eye-opening book, especially the chapter on plastic in the bathroom. One of the main reasons I want to use as little plastic as possible is because my county’s recycling program doesn’t take most plastics or glass.

Even before coming across this book, I’ve been doing what I can to use less plastic in my life. Before I list the examples, please note I’ve listed several resources I’ve found useful in my less plastic, less overall waste journey.

Less Plastic ~ Less Waste examples: *spare dishes and silverware in my desk at work so I don’t use disposable stuff as often *bamboo cutlery for on the go *reusable produce bags at the grocery store *reusable carry bags for grocery and general shopping *carrying my own water bottle *asking for a mug for my drink at certain restaurants *using silicone and other reusable straws *switching to shampoo, conditioner, handsoap and body wash bars *cloth napkins instead of paper napkins *DIY facial scrub *DIY hot cocoa mix *using glass jars for leftovers and dry goods storage *purchased a refillable wipe pouch for my diaper bag *made my own reusable face pads for applying toner to my face out of flannel fabric

One thing I learned from the Sustainably Vegan YouTube channel was the notion of using a plastic container until it is no longer useful. I do that with the containers for my facial scrub, using the previous scrub container and a Gelato container for storage. We keep the plastic tubs from take out and deli meats to use as faux Tupperware for leftovers and lunches. Any plastic food containers that we don’t use for leftovers and lunch are used for freezing items so I’m not risking my good, legit stuff like Rubbermaid containers. If they break after 1 freeze, oh well. My latest was taking a large body wash pump bottle I’d finished (I’ve since switched to a soap bar) and made it into a huge liquid soap dispenser for my guest bath. I also have soap bars in there and in my bathroom.

Resources: *Sustainably Vegan YouTube channel *Shelbizlee YouTube channel *How to Give Up Plastic by Will McCallum *Article: A Guide to Zero-Waste Living *Article: 6 Easy Ways for a More Zero-Waste Life

Books Read in 2020

Maureen Johnson Truly Devious #2 The Vanishing Stair Couldn’t put down!

John Curto Perry & Constantine Pleshakov The Flight of the Romanovs A long slog but really enjoyed the last 5 paragraphs.

Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrow The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society Interesting side story of WWII

Candice Flemming The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia Insightful Read

Terri Dulong Sunrise on Cedar Key

Terri Dulong Post Cards from Cedar Key

Andrew Cook The Murder of the Romanovs More about politics & finding the remains

Mur Lafferty The Shambling Guide to New York City

Mur Lafferty Ghost Train to New Orleans

Sarah Knight The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck (#1) Loved the TedTalk; can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Sarah Knight Get Your Sh*t Together (#2)

Sarah Knight Calm the F*ck Down (#3)

Sarah Knight You Do You (#4)

Sarah Knight F*ck No! (#5)

Jen Mann People I Want to Punch in the Throat Funny & Relatable

Isabel Sharpe Knit in Comfort I knew the blow up was coming, but there are still unanswered questions.

Dr. Rebecca Sharpe Redemption Good escape reading for newborn phase of parenthood

Ursula Vernon A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking Took a bit to get into, but I enjoyed it

Caballo Publishing Freeganism A tad militant, but informative

Will McCallum How to Give Up Plastic Disgusted with all the plastic in the world, but also inspired me to change some things

New Recipe: Cojito

I was given the Disney Festivals Recipe book. Of course the first thing I make out of it is an alcoholic drink! Happy New Year!

Favorite Pregnancy Items

During my pregnancy, I found several items that made those 9 months more comfortable.

Clothing:

I essentially gave myself a uniform once I couldn’t fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes anymore. Maxi dresses and leggings. It made things so much easier in the morning. Everything could be mix and matched.

KORSIS Women’s Summer Casual T Shirt Dresses Short Sleeve Swing Dress Pockets (multiple colors)

No Boundaries Juniors’ Macrame Leggings, 2-Pack (I bought other patterns)

Items:

Leachco Back ‘N Belly Pregnancy/Maternity Contoured Body Pillow, Ivory

Exercise/Mental Health:

Yoga was a huge part of my pregnancy. I had an anxious pregnancy for no other reason than I was worried about the WHAT IF.

Prenatal yoga: Bettina Rae

Prenatal yoga: BrettLarkinYoga

Prenatal yoga: Yoga from Melbourne

Guided Meditations (from various YouTube channels)

None of these links are affiliate links. Just links to share what helped me.

Bullet Journaling How I Adore Thee

In my last post, I mentioned reading The Bullet Journal Method. I adore the idea of bullet journaling, but I need the flexibility of rings. And the fact that the Mead Flex binder also bends back like a spiral notebook makes it even better.

I’m in several Bullet Journaling Facebook groups and several people have shown how they are doing bullet journaling in rings. But no one can really tell me if they’re going to archive their pages or not. One of the points of Bullet Journaling is to be able to look back on past entries, thoughts, and ideas for reflection purposes.

I definitely use the Collections aspect of the method. So that will continue regardless of if I make the experiment work or continue using my current set up.

One notion of bullet journaling I’m not a fan of is setting up my week or in this case, drawing it out every week since the vertical weekly layout works for me. I may have found a work around. Something I’ll update you on later.

A New Path?

2020 has certainly been a year, more for some than others. In the last couple of months, I’ve had time to read, reflect, and take in the knowledge that those more experienced than me in some respects.

In reading The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll, I found guidance for project management and reflection, as well as a personal challenge to meditate on a challenge Ryder put forth (not a true challenge, but one that really got me thinking): what is something you’ve always wanted to do but never pursued for whatever reason.

For the past several years, I’ve yearned to be a professional (read paid) research assistant or person who gets paid to look up and research random topics. As an Academic Librarian, I kinda do this now, but not on the scale I want. I work at a small, commuter state college where research papers tend to all be about the same 15 topics. Occassionally a professor working on their dissertation have come to me personally for help looking for books, ebooks, articles, etc. I love working with those professors on those projects.

So how am I going to take up the “challenge” of becoming that type of researcher? I’m going to use my blog to share fun facts, resources, pictures, video links, my thoughts, etc. on a variety of topics as they pop into my brain.

I’ve downloaded the app for this blog onto my phone which is making blogging more accessible now. There are some limitations but I’ll work around them as best I can.

This doesn’t mean I’m completely going in a new direction. I’m still writing and self-publishing books, knitting, making YouTube videos, reading whatever book catches me. I hope you enjoy some of what I post.

See y’all in the next post! ~Cori

2020 Blog Update

Dear Friends,

The blog has been pretty silent this year. I haven’t been doing much, except for the occasional YouTube video. I spent January to June going through my 2nd and 3rd trimesters, while dealing with the fallout of COVID-19, like the rest of the world. I was lucky enough to not only keep my job, but work from home from mid-March to mid-June, until my son was born. From June to September, I was on Maternity Leave, and went back to work in September. 

If you follow me on YouTube or Instsgram, you’ll have seen the random videos and posts I made there. To be honest, everything became a low priority as my pregnancy progressed. My energy levels varied each day, and with the mental stress of the pandemic also happening, I just wanted to lose myself in writing, reading, and knitting. 

So where does that leave this blog?

I’m not going to shut it down. I see no reason to do that. In the most recent years, I haven’t been a regular poster. There will be updates to the overall blog coming, once I can catch my breath. In the meantime, here are links to everything I’ve posted on YouTube, if you don’t follow me there:

Tales From A Polk County Girl YT Channel:

Planner Use in Quarentine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBRWJDY5Vrg 

A Year of Me Journal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EC9waLl4Wk 

Goals Update Jan to June 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1yzFQIBUfk 

Custom Planner Inserts from SewMuchCrafting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztTMYUH4GZI 

Dollar Tree Haul July 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCWm_fWA30 

October 2020 Planner Update and Walk Thru https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtOIyLnmiZo 

Knitting All The Blankets YT Channel:

June 2020 Knitting Update https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJCXbZbcXyg&t=1423s 

Fibreshare Spring 2020 Unboxing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jbWCYoTUBw 

Twin Mommy Creations June 2020 Purchase https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwZEK6dNhnI 

Writing Update:

I finished writing the final chapters for my A to Z Knitting Stories project. I’d wanted to finish them before my son was born and I achieved that! Whoo! Now I’m working on getting them typed up before the end of the year. I’m halfway through the chapters!

Upcoming Writing News:

  1. Finish typing up the A to Z Knitting Stories chapters. I do plan on eventually self-publishing this book as well. 
  2. Finish writing the [Baking Competition] short story I started a long time ago.
  3. Outline and write another short story that has a cooking competition setting. 

Upcoming Reading News:

I’m planning on listing all the books I’ve managed to read this year by the end of the year. Surprisingly, I’ve read more than I thought I would this year, and I’m not including the books I’m reading to my son. 

Upcoming Knitting News:

As much as I’d like to be knitting and working on my various blankets and pattern designs, infants take a lot of energy and time. (He’s so worth it!) What little knitting I do is blanket squares, because I can do those in the car, while at stoplights. For those of you who are rolling your eyes at this, some of these lights are long, and this is really the only knitting time I get. I hope to get some time to work on the Mixed Stitches Blanket pattern that I finished knitting before my son was born-it’s his toddler blanket. And one day, get back to my 10 Stitch Blankets. 

Upcoming Blog Changes:

  1. I plan on making a page for my knitted dishcloths as an inventory page / catalog, so I can send potential buyers there to see what I have in stock. 
  2. Revamping the overall look of the blog and some of the tabs up top.
  3. Adding a page for my published works. 

2020 Planner Update

2020 Knitting Plans and How They’ve Changed

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