Elizabeth of Dear Lizzy

Resolution #15:
Play More
Guest Blog post by Elizabeth 
My 12 year old self would be quite disappointed if she could see future me… because sometimes I take life much too seriously. Last year, for my twenty ninth birthday, I received the following gifts from different members of my family and I'm not joking: Punky Brewster DVDs, a purple hula hoop and a vintage Minnie Mouse t-shirt. Coincidence? I don't think so. They were such simple reminders that even though our lives are spotted with worry, stress, & lack of sleep don't let that turn us into a living Cruella Deville.
So, one of my resolutions is to play more.  
Some ideas to consider while achieving this newly proclaimed mantra:
  • Walk lightly with a skip in your step, no slouching.
  • Kiss someone in the rain 
  • Only eat mini marshmallows while throwing into air and catching them in your mouth
  • Roll down the car windows and sing "Nothing Compares To You" as loud as possible
  • Go bowling or roller skating
  • Leave love notes for people you adore
  • Never walk past a photo booth with out taking pictures
  • Be the one to plan a fun date or outing with friends
  • Build a fort every Friday
Okay, some of these are down-right unruly or verging on annoying but, hey, if it lifts your spirits and makes you smile then go for it.

Danielle of Sometimes Sweet

Danielle Sometimes Sweet Recipes

Resolution #14:
Try new recipes.
Guest Blog post by Danielle 

Hi Here’s Looking at Me, Kid readers, Danielle here, from Sometimes Sweet (http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com)! I’m ecstatic to be sharing an incredibly healthy, extremely easy, and super fun recipe with all of you today.  I remember before I jumped in and actually prepared spaghetti squash myself I would see this large veggie in the produce aisle and feel a little intimidated.  I’d heard a lot about it, but the idea of a vegetable looking and tasting like pasta- how on earth would I achieve that?!  Luckily, this veggie is incredibly simple to prepare and takes less than an hour to put this delicious, nutritious meal on your table. And what better way to start the new year than with a new healthy recipe to add to your arsenal of dishes?


1) Purchase a spaghetti squash from your local grocer- you’lre looking for a squash that feels heavy for its size and one that has no cuts or bruises on the outside.


2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, prepare your squash by cutting it in half, length wise.


3) Remove all of the seeds from each side of the squash with your hands.  Don’t be afraid to get in there, but be careful not to scrape too much off of the sides of the squash in your de-seeding efforts; be gentle.  And if you’d like, you can even roast the seeds in the same way you’d roast pumpkin seeds!


4) Place the squash, cut side up, on a tin-foiled baking sheet.  Add a pinch each of sea salt and pepperif you’d like. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the squash is slightly browned, as shown in the last photo in the sequence below.

You can also pre-season the squash with butter, brown sugar, or anything else you’d like, but for the sake of staying as healthy as possible I chose not to.  There are many healthy pre-seasoning variations too- everything from olive oil and oregano to garlic and basil- so don’t be afraid to experiment!  And just so you know, a four-ounce serving of spaghetti squash has only 37 calories! Amazing.


5) Remove the cooked squash from the oven and scrape the sides with a fork.  The “meat” of the squash should be easily scraped off and resemble spaghetti!



6) Place in a bowl, and cover with sauce of your choice…and enjoy your incredibly healthy meal


Rachel of Smile & Wave


Resolution #13
Be more crafty.
Guest Blog post by Rachel 

Whether you're a young mama, a busy student, or chained to a cubicle in an office it's hard to feel like there is enough time to start, much less finish, a craft project but the new year is a great time to make some space in your life for a new hobby or recommit to sneaking in regular craft time! It's one of the most refreshing things I can do for myself when my day has been full of picking up after little ones and reminding fingers to stay out of noses because it gives my nerves a break and lets my imagination take over for awhile.


One of the best ways to make that easy on yourself is to carve out a little space in your room/home that is always waiting for you when inspiration strikes. Keep a vintage suitcase full of yarn and hooks under your bed or a wooden crate full of paint tubes and brushes in your hall closet. Find a way to sneak your sewing machine onto the dining room table until you someday have a whole corner or room (gasp!) that belongs to you!


Learn to work in small steps rather than needing to finish something in one sitting. Often times I'm either feeling overwhelmed with the size of a project or get frustrated that I won't be able to knock it out easily and put it off thinking I'll do it when I have more time/motivation. Working in small steps not only helps you to set attainable goals, it keeps your project moving forward to completion.


I used to have an iPhone sleeve with the saying 'Idle hands are the devil's tools' that I've adopted as my crafting motto. You only have to look at the beautifully detailed samplers from ages past to know that women were able to get a lot done when they kept their fingers busy. There are days when I'd rather just decompress in front of the latest episode of Modern Family but one can still decompress while crocheting granny squares. Steal back some of that couch time and see how it feels!


Gather visual inspiration, save project ideas, experiment with color palettes, and let it all simmer in your head. Take a local or online class to learn how to sew or watch everyYouTube video ever posted on how to develop your own film. Finding a few crafty friends and getting the support of people in your life (especially if you share a dining room table)will help you keep this new habit and motivate you to work through any dry spells that come your crafty way.


Give yourself time, space, and a little patience when you're starting out. Soon you'll be reaping the benefits of an exercise that not only refreshes your spirit, it'll get you some fabulous new curtains!

If you're looking for something with a little bit of structure to help you get started there are a variety of resources at your fingertips. The Purl Bee offers a variety of knitting, stitching, and sewing tutorials (for free!) for those of you with a little bit of crafting know how under your belt. Try your hand at simple sewing projects with either of Amy Karol's books, available here. Browse a few blogs and see what they offer and then get lost in a few Flickr groups to whet your appetite.  

This is your year to make crafting a part of your regular life and enjoy all of the unexpected ways it creates space in your head for reflection, draws you into an online community, and develops your confidence as you discover a new talent or two!