This and That

I’ve decided to do a post smooshing all the things on my mind, blog updates and whatnots all in one. Apologies in advance for the length.


Anyone remember the Craft Book Challenge? It was well intentioned and fun while it lasted but fizzled out halfway through the year. I’ll admit, I wasn’t a very organized hostess and should have kept the momentum going somehow. Luckily though, Michelle over at Shee Designs has jumped in to take over, in case anyone is still up to the challenge!


Image source.
However, in other challenge news, I’ve been doing pretty awesome. Remember when I challenged myself to only buy secondhand, vintage or handmade for one year (a la Dottie Angel)? I can happily say that in the last (almost) year I haven’t cheated. (Well, not terribly.)

—Like I’ve said before I had to buy a new laptop almost right after I started the challenge (after failing to find one used after six months of looking.)

—I also gave in and bought a pair of boots via Payless in like September or October.

—In the last few months, I’ve bought a couple new Moleskine cahiers and a sketch journal. I have to admit, I did that without even thinking about the Challenge restrictions. I’m not generally a “brand loyal” person, but I do like Moleskine products. However, after some thought and research, I may make the switch over to a brand like Ecosystem because they are made right here in the US and with recycled paper.

—I also bought new earbuds. I didn’t know how to get around that one. I don’t think any decent hygiene loving person would buy used.

—And a toothbrush and water bottle but from Preserve* and LifeFactory, respectively. Both are great companies, so I feel like they were positive purchases.

Other than those things, nothing else comes to mind in the past year. I’ve bought some secondhand clothes and books but I’ve finding myself becoming more discerning. No more “thoughtless buying,” even if it’s secondhand. I don’t want to clutter my life up with things I don’t *love.*


I’m thinking of trying out a Typepad blog for a potential move. Any of you have arguments for or against?


I’ve been meaning to thank you all for the great feedback on cooking dried chickpeas. I did it! I made a bunch of falafels again (via this recipe) and froze them. (Though I fried a few right away to eat and they were awfully crumbly this time. Then I baked a few and they held together a little better bit still were different than the first batch. Not sure why? Could it be because I cooked the chickpeas myself instead of using canned? Over soaked? Over cooked?)


Some of you have asked about my personal style sister-blog, Girl of Slender Means. (I don’t know why I linked up, right now it’s a bit of mess.) I was pretty upset back in January and was tempted to delete all of my online presences, but luckily came to my senses and simply made that blog private and filtered through my flickr photos. I’m still in the air about whether or not I am going to continue to blog there or not. I’d like to get back into some personal style posts again. I’ve even thought of turning the whole blog into my consuming habits on “slender means.” You know: how I’m making smarter choices about what I buy and DIY-ing where I can, doing reviews of products, etc. More on how to be a conscience consumer on a (very) small budget. (And not just fashion/clothing.) Anyway, bear with me in that department.


Remember this? I don’t want to make false promises so let’s just say I’ll reevaluate where that is going when I’ve come out of this sewing slump. (Sometimes I shudder at the thought that I may not sew for years. Or ever again!)


In the beginning of May, I turned 27 and thought it interesting to make a list of the 28 Things I Want To Do Before I Turn 28. I’m down to only 10 months or so and I only have four things on my list. I started feeling a little glum about it all. Why don’t I have goals? Why am I so afraid to make goals? Where the hell am I headed? Oh, I have lots of grand goals in my head but there is a part of me that thinks aren’t even worth aiming for. I need to work on pushing out this negativity. I’m going to think and plan on. Any suggestions, speak up! In regard to both how to make goals and what kind of goals (short and long term) to make!

*Quick note on shipping when ordering directly from them—it was creepy fast. Like: it was here the next day. I don’t know who they are sleeping with at the postal service but way to go Preserve!


  1. Reply
    tammie June 25, 2012

    i love these random type posts.

    regarding shopping: within the past two years or so I’ve found that most of the clothes i TRULY LOVE come from thrift stores or Goodwill. before i started work i bought a bunch of clothes at nordstrom because i had been out of work so long and really didn’t have a ton of time to wait to find second hand work clothes. those clothes have held up and everything, but they are by no means my favorites. my favorites are the ones i find that not only do i love, but they were a bargain as well. it’s taken some time, but i’ve found that i truly enjoy being thrifty.

    i really liked your style blog and i hope you bring it back. i enjoyed how you put outfits together.

  2. Reply
    Cass June 25, 2012

    Love your random bits and pieces posts.

    I totally understand the issue with making goals. I am having a similiar problem at the moment. I’ll let you know if/when I solve it!

    Could you please send me your postal address? I love to send you something. :)

  3. Reply
    Snoodles June 25, 2012

    Interesting post! Goals come easy to me because I am a Type A personality, but that also makes me difficult to live with (so I am told) because I tend to push (translate that nag) others to keep up with me. If you are more mellow, enjoy that part of you, and enjoy life!! Hugs!

    • Reply
      Liesl June 27, 2012

      Thanks, Snoodles, for the encouraging words. It’s important to know what our rhythm is and how we work best. And you’re right, I’m more of a “mellow” person. I’m generally happy just being in the moment. But I do need to push myself a little and so I don’t get in a rut.

  4. Reply
    Harmony June 25, 2012

    As far as setting goals go… Have you heard of SMART goals? SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Instead of making grandiose goals, like “get healthy” a SMART goal makes you focus on real steps to get there. My friend Marco makes a list of 5 SMART goals every January. He has been doing so for over 20 years! He makes sure they address different parts of his life – personal, business, health, etc.. He tells me this helps him have a more balanced life. This is my first year trying his “goal” system. So far, so good. I liked that the goals I made were specific and attainable. Success leads to more goals. Setting yourself up for failure is a sure way to avoid wanting to make more goals. 28 goals seems like a LOT. Be kind to yourself. After all, “the journey is the prize.”

    • Reply
      Liesl June 27, 2012

      No, I’ve never heard of SMART goals. They sound interesting. I’m extremely organized in certain areas of my life and in others, I’m a mess. I write a to-do list every night. Some weeks, when I’m feeling particularly low, the first thing I write down for tomorrow is “wake up and get out of bed.” Then “make my bed.” It feels good to cross off even those seemingly miniscule things. It’s about a sense of feeling productive. But in the bigger scheme of things, that’s where I’m disorganized. Like I said in the post after this, the 28 goals aren’t “big-life-changing” ones. But a little more challenging than making my bed. ;)

  5. Reply
    Rachel June 25, 2012

    Maybe you should just make small goals? Like…sew for one hour a week or invent a new dish to eat or eat only food from your garden for a week. Maybe something like that? Then if you start small you might gain confidence to go for bigger things!

    • Reply
      Liesl June 27, 2012

      Thanks, Rachel. I like the idea of breaking a big goal into a few little goals. That way it’s not such a mountain to climb. And the small goals you suggested sound really great!

  6. Reply

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