Tag: family

Gardening Update 07/05/23

Gardening Update 07/05/23

It’s been a while since my last garden update so I thought I would write up a quick one today even though my garden is in pretty bad shape. It looks like my last garden update was in April of 2022. Every year I think […]

2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

I thought I would make a list of books my kids are reading during summer of 2023 as a fun way of tracking where my kids are at and to share book ideas with other book loving families. Last year I posted a couple of […]

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

As I sit here mid-way through 2023 with my first official Covid infection I thought I would take some time to look at my progress with my 2023 goals. For 2023 I wanted to focus on self-care and take time to relax every day. I did great the first couple of months of the year but then I was swamped with school work for myself and with kids activities in March and April so things kind of took a downwards turn for a couple of weeks but I am pretty proud of myself for getting right back on track once deadlines has passed.

I needed to remind myself of exactly what I had written for my goals and here they are below:

2023 GOALS

  1. Practice Self-Care every day. – My main goal is to practice self-care every day. I have found that I am not good at resting and my focus this year will be in practicing this.
  2. Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! – As part of my self-care I set myself a goal of doing puzzles every week. I outlined it here in a recent blog post. I do want to try and sign up for a puzzle competition next fall but I am not sure if the timing will work out with my school and my kids’ school.
  3. Cross-stitch to finish projects. – I really want to finish my Zoo Alphabet project and start the Autumn Love project I bought last fall. I also want to make headway on both of the HAEDs that I have started and work through some of my smaller projects. I will be talking more about this on my YouTube channel but for now I want to finish some WIPS.
  4. Maintain my Commit30 planner. – My fourth goal is to keep up with my planner every month this year. I have found that writing things down really helps me remember what I need to do. I love my Commit30 planners and how every month you set a goal for yourself. You can find them here.
  5. Read some books. – I don’t have a concrete number of books to read this year but I do have a few that I want to get through. Some are favorites like this series by Dorothy Dunnett and others are new to me. I may post something later this year for one of my monthly goals but for now I just want to read a few books and rediscover my love of reading.
  6. Maintain the status quo with finances. – I am not working but I am taking classes all year for 2023 and this has made our budget very tight so my goal is for us to stick to it and maintain the status quo. I don’t want to take on any new debt and I also am hoping we can see an increase in our emergency fund this year. I don’t have any investment goals besides continuing to contribute to our account every month. The stock market has been down and I am just going to keep trucking along with our set amounts and not worry about it.
  7. Continue to grow my YouTube channel. – I have really enjoyed filming for my YouTube channel Oscoey which can be found here. This year I am expanding beyond groceries into cross-stich and my puzzle content.
  8. Keep working on my health. – I am still recovering from the major burnout I experienced last year and I am going to continue with recovering for 2023. I have been doing more gentle exercise, focusing on my eating and practicing self-care and it is slowly turning things around. I have signed up for one 5k so far (walking) and I am thinking of doing a 10k next fall.

Ignoring the messiness of my deck you can clearly see that Luna is great at practicing self-care by laying out in the sun on a hot day to soak up some rays. Overall I would say I have done great at my first goal. There are some days when I only get a little bit of time for self-care but I definitely have it on my mind every day and am getting good at recognizing when I need a break.

Puzzles. Well, I started out strong with my puzzle game but then I became more focused on stitching which is ok. I only have limited time available to me for self-care tasks and although I do want to work on more puzzles I have been on a a stitching kick as of late and that is ok too. I do want to finish at least one puzzle a month for the rest of the year and I think I can do it. We tend to do more puzzles over school breaks and this summer will hopefully be no exception. This flower puzzle I started at the end of April and I am still working on it. I have the border and some of the pieces put together. It doesn’t seem like a difficult puzzle so I should finish it quickly when I get back to it. Maybe for July I can work on finishing two puzzles.

My third goal was to finish up some cross stitch projects and I have definitely achieved this. I finished this Thank You one and I am about half way through a bookshelf bookmark for my son. I also finished several pieces for my store and made good progress on my Alphabet Zoo piece. I got sidetracked from some of my initial projects by stitching pieces for my store which was equally as fun but some of my other stitching goals got shuffled to the back burner while I have been stitching up samples. I am now focusing on stitching some fun pieces during the week as well as getting through the samples I need to stitch.

My fourth goal was to keep up with my Commit30 planner and I have done a much better job this year than in years past. There were a few weeks I skipped but overall I have been keeping up with my planner weekly and it has really helped keep my organized. School has been busier than I anticipated the last two quarters so I haven’t had time to add as many pictures to my calendar as I had hoped but I am still tracking my daily self-care habits most weeks and it has been great to look back and see what I have achieved.

My fifth goal was the very vague “Read some books.” which was purposefully not to specific. I wanted to focus on reading more for fun and not make it a chore. I used to be a very avid reader but as I got older and had more kids time to read became much smaller. I am someone that likes to read a book nonstop until I finish it. I can’t put it down and pick it up and read small chunks at a time, I need to keep going or I will forget everything I have read after a couple of days. So far this year I have read at least four books which is four more than last year so I will take that as a definite win! I read the Silo series by Hugh Howey coincidentally just in time to watch the TV show and I just finished a book my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day called “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” which was excellent. I traditionally read the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon every summer but this summer I may tackle the much more weighty “Lymond Chronicles” by Dorothy Dunnett which is another favorite of mine.

My sixth goal of maintaining the status quo with our finances has been the most difficult goal for me this year. I wrote these goals in January before we found out that our biggest expense every month was going up by a large amount. All of our expenses went up this year but this one was a doozy and I knew immediately that I would have to work a little bit to make up for it. I have been focusing on my business and working hard at Oscoey Shop but businesses take time to build and I recently took on a part-time job to help out. I found one that is very low stress and will work around my kids’ school schedules. The job is also temporary and finishes up right around when my school is done which is super convenient. We are continuing to keep a close eye on our budget and have cut back some of our other expenses to help out.

Growing my YouTube channel has also proven to be more difficult than I thought but only because there is only so much time during the day and I can’t do everything. I would have loved to have filmed all of my grocery hauls this year and done Fridge and Freezer Recaps every week but I have not had time. My husband has been doing more of the grocery shopping and it is hit or miss whether I can film what he buys before it is put away or used. I would also have loved to have filmed my puzzles and more of my cross stitch but finding quiet time to film in my house is challenging. I am going to continue to work towards this over the next six months and see how I do.

My last goal for 2023 was to continue to work on my health and I have done a great job at this so far. I have been exercising more and I am eating much better. I graduated from meeting with a nutritionist every couple of months and just need to keep up with what I am doing. We recently took our first vacation in a long time and I was able to complete two 3 mile hikes within a couple of days of each other without having some of my health issues flare up so I was pretty proud of that. I am continuing to walk a few days a week and once I am over Covid I plan on starting back up again with my swimming. We are continuing to help my dad chop wood on a regular basis which is great for upper body strength and I am still doing a lot of gardening. I am hoping that by the end of the year my strength and endurance will be back up to where it was previously. My best takeaway from the last year of working on my health is that even small steps will help you reach your goal!

 

Overall I feel like my goal getting for 2023 is going well. There have been a few hiccups but that is to be expected. How are your goals going this year? Leave a comment below to let me know!

 

Links:

Oscoey Shop

Oscoey YouTube Channel

 

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Outlander

Lymond Chronicles

 

2023 Goals

Oscoey Shop Update #3

Oscoey Shop Update #3

On Friday 05/05/23 Oscoey Shop will have our Tulip Collection 2023 drop at 10:00 am PT. I was very inspired by my trip to the tulip fields a couple of weeks ago and took so many photos! I knew right away I would try to […]

Arboretum in April

Arboretum in April

Recently we went to the Washington Arboretum near the University of Washington in Seattle. We have gone there many times in the past but have not been there for quite some time. We love to walk the trails and learn about the plants from all […]

Oscoey Shop Update #2

Oscoey Shop Update #2

This week we had our second shop update for Oscoey Shop located here or by clicking the link in the top menu of this page. Opening up the shop has awoken the creative side in me I forgot I had. My journey over the past year recovering from massive burnout has been rough and although I still have some ways to got I am doing a lot better. I love all of the things I am selling and using my creative brain instead of my analytical one has been a challenge but I am enjoying the work much more.

 

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

cross stitch pattern
Our rainbow Self-Care Every Day cross stitch pattern.

One of my dreams ever since picking up cross stitching over a decade ago has been to make patterns. Life got in the way and I never even downloaded the software but a little bit ago I took the leap, spent the money and now I have made two patterns finished so far. The first is my Purple Tulip Fields pattern which I have not stitched yet and this Self-Care Every Day one shown above. I have a few more I am still working on that should be released in the next few months. My next few will feature flowers but I am also thinking of doing another version of my Self-Care Every Day pattern in darker colors. Is that something you would be interested in? If so leave a comment below and let me know.

holographic sticker with black background, flowers and a rainbow
Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower sticker.

Oh man were these holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower stickers hard to photograph! They are dark, holographic and beautiful but they reflect light like crazy. Believe me, in the sun they sparkle fabulously and I absolutely love how they turned out. These and my matching Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards balance with my Brights collection which has the same pattern but in bright, vibrant colors. I really enjoyed making these and I am thinking of what to make for next time. I don’t think the new items will be in time for my May shop update but possibly for the June one.

Matte black postcard
Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcard

Speaking of my Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards, I love these too! The matte black finish on the side you write on is amazing. I used both metallic Sharpies and Pental Milky pens to write on the back and it is very clear to read. I preferred the Sharpies but I write with really large print so I don’t think I could fit very many words on the back. I may look for finer Sharpies and see if those work too. Do you like these? Let me know in the comments.

Tulip field postcard
Orange Tulip Fields Postcard

Another thing I did for this shop update was to lower all of my postcard prices and list my Nature Photography Series One postcards individually in case people wanted to just buy one or two. The five pack set still comes with the super cute mini-sticker pack while supplies last. I love how pretty all of these photos turned out as postcards. These have traditional white backgrounds and can be written on with regular pens. My May shop update will heavily feature tulips from my trip up to the tulip fields last week. I got some really great photos with the overcast sky we had!

 

Purple Tulip Fields puzzle
Purple Tulip Fields puzzle

One item that did not make it into Oscoey Shop this time around was puzzles. I am still trying to find a manufacturer that I love and produces a higher quality puzzle. If you have one and are happy with them please let me know! This sample the photo turned out fabulously but the pieces were very loose to the point that I couldn’t even brush my hands over the top without several coming apart. This would definitely not have passed a pickup test! I have three designs finalized and I’m working on a fourth. My goal is to have puzzles released in June of this year. Fingers crossed I can get everything together in time!!!

 

Thank you for reading about our newest shop update. I am going to aim for one update a month until the end of the year but I may skip one this summer to spend some time with my family. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of in the shop. I am still finding my groove and open to suggestions.

 

Have a fabulous day! – Jennifer at Oscoey

 

Links:

Self-Care Every Day Pattern 

Purple Tulip Fields Pattern

Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower Stickers

Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards

Metallic Sharpies

Pental Milky pens

Nature Photography Series One Postcards

2023 Goals

2023 Goals

My goals for 2023 revolve quite a bit around self-care and doing things that make me happy such as cross-stitching, gardening, puzzles, hanging out with my family and reading. I am also trying to make them pretty open ended so I don’t feel to rigid […]

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 was a year with mixed results for me. As I reflect on my 2022 goals post from March of this year I am struck by how different my year turned out from where it started. I started the year gung ho about my career […]

2023 Goals: Puzzles

2023 Goals: Puzzles

It’s that time of year again for goal setting and reflection. I am hopeful for 2023 and one of my focuses will be self-care. I love puzzles so I am setting a goal of working on my puzzles for 2023. I was very inspired by Karen Puzzles on YouTube (link here) with her journey towards the puzzle championships. I had no idea there were competitions!!! I have not found any in my area yet but I am definitely keeping an eye out. All puzzles mentioned in this post are listed at the bottom so if you are here for my 2023 list feel free to scroll on down.

 

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

Practice puzzle #1 – 300 pieces large size.

I started my 2023 puzzle journey in 2022 with some practice puzzles. We have a bunch stashed from over the years so I dug through our pile and started puzzling. I timed my first one which was Grandpa’s Garage at 300 pieces and it took me 1 hour, 18 min and 56 seconds to complete. If that seems fast to you, this was a super easy puzzle with large pieces. For comparison, in 2022 at the World Jigsaw Championship the fastest times for this 500 piece London Postcard puzzle was 34 min and 25 seconds which is amazing!

The Craft Cupboard by Colin Thompson

Next I tackled the 1000 piece The Craft Cupboard by Colin Thompson. This one took me about eight hours but, huge caveat, I had help from my husband with sorting for the first four hours which is when everything is the most difficult. No doubt if I had done this on my own it would have taken way longer. I loved this artist and I’m already thinking about which ones to add to my list for the future. I would really like to do the massive 18,000 piece Magical Bookshelf but one, it is super expensive and two, I have no idea where I would put it to keep it safe from dogs and kids. I am sure it is the size of my living room (or bigger) and logistically I don’t know how it would work.

500 piece Home for Christmas

I pulled this 500 piece Home for Christmas Puzzle out of our stash and it was unopened. We got this one out of one of those random Woot boxes many years ago. Did you ever do those? My husband was really into them for a few years and we did get a few good things out of them but it was mostly stuff we gave away. I will put a photo of the box below but I could not find this one on Amazon although it looks like you can find it on Ebay if you are interested.

Home for Christmas

I found a similar one on Amazon here. I didn’t time this puzzle because my daughter really wanted to help with it and honestly if she had not helped me it would still be sitting there undone. The quality on this one was not great and it was hard to tell if the pieces fit together correctly and with the glare I was having a really hard time seeing the colors. If I did another one of these I would try to change the lighting up a bit and see if that helps.

Golden Gate Bridge 500 pieces

Lastly I started this 500 piece Golden Gate Bridge puzzle of unknown origin from my family room. This is the brand Costco carries so we probably got it from there. I had a great time sorting this one and had it sorted in a record 15 min into edges, the bridge, some sky and then the rest of the pieces.

Golden Gate Bridge First Sort\

Unfortunately I quickly remembered why we don’t buy this brand of puzzle any more. The pieces do not fit well together and I really struggled to get the edge put together. I gave up after about an hour and started working on the clouds. I am really glad I didn’t time this one because it will probably take several hours. My kids have been helping me a little bit but they are also discouraged by how difficult it is to see if the pieces actually fit together. I will post a photo here on my Instagram when I finish this one, hopefully before the end of the year!

Snow Day!

To keep track of my puzzles I will be filming as much as I can and posting it here on my YouTube channel. I have created some boards on Pinterest linked here and below. The completed list is currently blank but as I work on my puzzles I will add them to the completed one. For now, I am finishing up what I have started and trying to pry out of my kids which puzzles they bought me for Christmas. Ha ha!

 

Happy holidays and puzzling everyone!

 

2023 Puzzle List

 

Completed 2023 Puzzles

 

 

Puzzle links:

 

World Jigsaw Champions Website

 

World Puzzle Championship Individual Puzzle:

London Postcard

 

The Grandpa’s Garage puzzle is a Goodwill find and I could not find a copy but here is an interesting 300 piece substitute:

The Silver Trout

 

 

The Craft Cupboard

 

 

Magical Bookshelf

 

 

Christmas Cottage

Golden Gate Bridge Puzzle

 

June 2022 Final Grocery Spending

June 2022 Final Grocery Spending

Our June grocery goal was to eat through our fridge and freezer as much as possible and for the most part we reached this goal. I am super proud of our progress! Up until the last week of June we kept our spending under $300 […]


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