2017 is Actually Here Now

I’m not an early adopter, so it took me until Chinese New Year to get fully into 2017. Maybe I didn’t believe it was real because I watched Pitbull’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve which is not how someone my age should close a meh year like 2016. Now that the Year of the Rooster started, I revisited failures and accomplishments of 2016 and goals ahead.

Failures of 2016: 2016 had a few letdowns but in good ways. Or at least I’ll spin them that way.

*Looks like my goal of blogging last year didn’t stay on track. That just means this year I’ll blow everyone’s expectations by ACTUALLY blogging! Win for me this year.

*After March 2016, I dropped my pyramid scheme, Zestive. Turns out, I’m not much of a pusher or a buyer in bulk, which disappoints a good pyramid scheme boss. But I do love a good boozy slushy which is what the pyramid scheme was based around so no regrets there!

*I started my book but did not finish it. Starting is half the battle, right? Also, National Write a Novel Month is in November. That’s when I have to travel for Thanksgiving and start making presents for Christmas. Not great for writing. Why not use March? March is a completely useless month. I can write through St. Paddy’s Day and be the better for it.

Wins for 2016

*Developed a morning routine where I got up at 5am consistently even on weekends and got writing and other fun things done before the toddler started making his demands. I was able to write 3 pages almost every morning I attempted. Now, I just have to be more productive with my writing.

*Got to Level 100 in Habitica with my team (see my post, http://unconventionalmuse.com/level-up-your-life/) . I crushed many habits I had been trying to do as an adult, like floss. Resulted in 6 months of every day flossing and a sticker from my dentist. Suck it, 2016.

*Had awesome zombie apocalypse party for my birthday. Feel better prepared and have chosen a team based on people’s performance at the party.

*Did not kill or maim anyone. Solid win.

Here’s my annual list of things I want to get done. Last year I got half my list done (see post here) then rolled over some things I still wanted to do.

2017 LIST OF AWESOME GOALS

1) Once a week, try a new hairstyle (update have mastered the sidebraid, Hunger Games style)

2) Declutter every room in the house

3) Have a baby (4 months in, still have a parasite)

4) Have a unique sprinkle for baby (because I love theme parties – I’m thinking knocked up prom)

5) Make soaps in fun molds (looking at you Darth Vader head)

6) Write something creative every day – hello future blog posts

7) Do my own National Write a Novel Month on a lazy month (March, you useless appendix of a month)

8) Start an etsy store/amazon handmade

9) Update and maintain my blog weekly

10) Make a will

11) Finish “Your Tax Dollars at Work”

12) Finish my online classes

13) Make a funny recipe book

14) Draw a comic

15) Make a painting

16) Make a gingerbread brothel house

17) Begin crafternoons again

18) Write a letter to Johnny for him to open later

19) Post 50 comments on blogs

20) Get business cards and a logo for Unconventional Muse

21) Do coupons at stores for a week

22) Do a 52 week craft challenge ( I smell blog posts!)

23) Do a self portrait

24) Have a pregnancy happy hour

25) Create a newsletter at work

26) Doodle something daily

27) Write and illustrate a children’s book

28) Clean 10 things I’ve never cleaned before

29) Go through an attic box once a month

30) Make a container planter

31) Make something with an old lightbulb

32) Finish creative workbook

33) Feed the birds again

34) Use 5 fabrics from my stash in a project

35) Play Sims again

36) Find 3 new podcasts I like and catch up on old ones

37) Make an old toy wreath

38) Use all my fitness equipment or get rid of it

39) Improve my time management

40) Get to pre baby weight again by the end of 2017

Stay tuned for an awesome 2017!

Level up Your Life!

Lately, I’ve been in a funk. Hence the lack of blog posts. I’ve been focusing a lot on the mundane like day to day chores/errands and not on any of my writing or fun craft projects.

I started reading Chris Hardwick’s book, The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (in Real Life!). The idea is to motivate yourself through gamifying your life, which totally works on me. Here’s my quick and dirty rundown.

First, a cool badass name for my character: Zaqurus. Boom, done.

Second, identify what you want to do. What are your goals? Don’t go crazy, just jot down what you really want long term or short term. Here’s mine:

  • Get in shape
  • Write a book
  • Edit one of my books
  • Craft on a regular basis
  • Update my blog

While these are great, I’m the queen of to-do lists. Now, we need to gamify this.

Breakdown each of your goals into actual steps to get you to each of these goals. Let’s start with get in shape:

  • 15 minutes of cardio
  • 5 minutes strength training
  • Drink water
  • Drink a green smoothie daily
  • Take a walk
  • Walk 10,000 steps a day
  • Craft for 15 minutes

Now, you can assign a value to each of these steps. This is how you “level up”.

At this point, I realize you COULD do it yourself. I already waste a lot of brain power on remembering random trivia like 2 out of 3 koalas have an STD, might as well make up a system where I can waste more time/effort/brain cells on.

OR not. Here’s my new friend, Habitica.

habitica_lockup2_desatintro

Source: habitica.com

Habitica is an app to RPG your life, just like was outlined here. Only better. They give you friends you connect with, quests, a tavern to rest in when you are sick and unable to do you dailies and you lose health points if you don’t do your daily tasks!

I took my goals I created above and fit them into this app. It does take awhile and you do have to do some decisions on habits versus to dos.

For example:

Habits – something I do multiple times a day/week/month

  • 15 minutes of cardio
  • 5 minutes strength training
  • Drink water/Drink alcohol (+/-)
  • Take a walk

Daily – something I absolutely do once a day that I will lose health points if not completed

  • Walk 10,000 steps
  • Drink a green smoothie

To do – something I will do once, infrequently and just check the box

  • Complete 10 songs on Just Dance (my cardio of choice)

I filled out all of my goals into Habitica, created my avatar, added a friend and you are now reading the blog post of someone who’s a leather armored, fire nunchucks wielding, level 19 badass with a zombie flying pig pet named Momo!

habitica avatar

You can be jealous.

If you are like myself and need a new way to motivate yourself, I recommend trying the level up process. I’ve been doing it for over a month now and it’s working already. I wanted new armor for my avatar so I went downstairs and did Just Dance for 30 minutes and earned myself some gold.

Just wrote 500 words, I think Momo is getting a treat today.

Choco-Beer Tasting

beerchocolate_tasting

I love our friends. They know what I like: beer and chocolate. Combined together you got a classy ass tasting we put together to make this week suck less.

beer_tasting_chocolatesThe beer delivered on its promises of not a slap to the face of chocolate but smatterings in a dark warmth of Guinness-y snooty cousin.

Beer – B+

Chocolate pairings came with a menu, but what is apparent is hazelnut has become the new Samuel L. Jackson and needed to be in everything. Dark chocolate, white chocolate, truffle, caramel and always mother-eff-ing hazelnut. That said, hazelnut was an okay pairing with this beer. I prefer the sweet caramels. A lot of time was spent on the chocolate presentation and hazelnut took over the innards. Still tasty, nice packaging, a solid menu and a gift so they taste better.

Chocolates –  C – work on variety next time and don’t skimp on the nuts.

Get Excited 2016 with a Lipstick on a Dead Carp!

I’m always a sucker for a ball drop, possum drop or lipstick on a dead carp celebration for New Year’s (didn’t make this up http://blog.scout.me/13-unusual-alternatives-to-the-times-square-ball-drop/). It’s a time to start over, forget that crazy resolution you wanted last year of getting sexy enough for Magic Mike to quit his day job. This time it’s for reals. Those buns of steel will be YOURS!

Every year, my alternative to the vague general resolution of “I want to be a better person” is to write a list of about 40 things I want to accomplish this year. Some are specific and easy to do like “Go to a Farmer’s Market” while others are a habit like “Take a quality picture every day”. I have never completed the entire list but I always manage more than half of them. I try and keep the list somewhere I can see them every week or so and revisit them monthly to see how I’m doing.

The best part is crossing them off with red ink with a BOOM! and happy dance.

Here’s a couple from my list to help inspire any of you.

Deep Fry Something

I have a cute deep fryer. I have an onion blossom kit. I could be eating that right now! I have a donut maker…which I could then deep fry those suckers! Why is this not a regular part of my life?! Health wise, I’m just going to try for once this year. Any extra times will be bonus.

Make a Gingerbread House

This has been on my list of things to do for years. The holidays just suck up too much energy. Some time this winter I want to make a bad ass gingerbread house. And it will be bad ass.

Take an Artsy Fartsy Class

I see some classes online and in real life  that look interesting. Then I see something shiny. This year I’m going to take a damn class that sounds fun. None of those stupid sounding “How to mold fondant”. You taste terrible fondant, no one likes you.

Stop Being a Craft Hoarder and Do a Craft Project Once a Month

My name is Lisa and I’m a craft supplies hoarder. It’s a problem. Why do I need scraps of a fabric with half naked men in a halloween theme? I should probably use it for a 16th century tapestry, the only kind of tapestry there is in my opinion.halloween sexy fabric_picmonkeyed

There’s a random sampling. Stay tuned for completion of these said tasks and more. Also feel free to post your own in the comments. I’m always up for fine tuning my own resolutions. Or stealing better ones.

Nostalgic Costume Parade

This past Halloween was the first I didn’t dress as the freak I love to be. I went to a masquerade theme wedding with formal attire and masks. Eyes wide shut style only without the sex and nakedness.

I know it’s been a week since Halloween but let’s revisit some of those creepy-ass, beloved costumes.

My Halloween costumes are all homemade and had three rules:

1) Since I would go out in public for the annual costume contest (gotta share this stuff with the world!) I have to be able to pee.

2)  I need to be able to drink.

3) The costume needs to be recognizable to most people. Explaining it ruins my buzz.

beaker_costumeThere was Beaker with the severed head of Bunsen. I love me some muppets and so did other people based on the awkward chest bumps I got from dudes. Poor Bunsen never saw it coming.bender_costume

Bender is always a hit with drunk and sober people alike. There was even a beerinside for my own personal stash in case I got stranded somewhere, beerless.

piranha_plant_costumePiranha Plant after eating Mario. She ran off to be with Luigi, the sexy of the two. He digs the black widow vibe.

man_yellowhat_costumeThe Man in the Yellow Hat with Rabid Curious George was a hit. Who doesn’t love a cuddly monkey ripping eyeballs out?

hellokitty_costume

Zombie Hello Kitty was one of the more uncomfortable costumes but I have no regrets. YOLO.

ronald_babyeater_costume

Ronald McDonald after he ate the kids. What better costume for someone pregnant. On top of that, I have diverse baby parts representing that this clown eats all babies.

After 6 solid wins of the costume contests, I’m a little sad. That time of my life is over. The wedding was a good segway out. I’m not sorry to leave the bar scene and be home by 10:30pm though. I have a feeling I will have something ridiculous next year planned.

Who Needs a Fifty Shades of Grey Bear?

Recently, my friend got a promotion. And not just any friend, but my special smut reading friend who I’ve traded some trashy books with over the years.

So, of course, she deserved a special congratulations present.

She has a great love of Fifty Shades of Grey. A quick Google search later, and for $90 the Vermont Teddy Bear company had this amazingly dirty bear. EDIT: My friend, Mitch, pointed out that this was not my google search nor original idea, his wife was the mastermind behind this. I was merely the executor of the idea. Most ideas are group efforts and this is no different.

Unfortunately, that’s out of my price range for a horny bear.

vermont teddy bear christian grey

http://www.vermontteddybear.com

And I could do better…presenting, Christian Grey bear!

christian_grey_bear

First, found a teddy bear. Then I went to T.J. Maxx because I remember seeing a onesie with a tuxedo on it. They outdid themselves with this crazy onesie, which has the buttons undone, the tie loosened, and in gray no less! Sidenote: while this is great for my project I’m really questioning the martini drinking baby that’s wearing this.

I cut the back of the onesie and sewed it up to fit the bear. At this point, we could call the project over, however, this is a very special friend and her Christian Grey bear needed a little bit more. I added the butt spanking paddle accessory made out of polymer clay. Further accessories could be added along with handcuffs, blindfolds, nipple clamps, etc. and those are available with further purchase. Suck it, Vermont Teddy Bear, this only cost $7!

What’s Christian Grey without some action shots of his sexual deviance?

spanking_christian

Christian Grey loves making his lover look into the mirror at themselves while he paddles away.

furries_christian_grey

After researching Furries, Christian knew he had to try something new and was delighted with the result.

Teach Them Young: Using Sexually Transmitted Disease Microbes on a Mobile

STD MOBILE

While it may seem weird as a first blog post, this just goes to show the level of awesome and crafty bastardiness I have in my life on a regular basis.

Recently, one of my friends had given me a heart-shaped box filled with not just any microbes but primarily popular STDs like HPV, herpes, chlamydia and syphilis along with the treatment of penicillin. This again speaks volumes of the level of amazingness of my friends. I couldn’t just leave these in their cute box to waste away. I came up with an idea for my nursery. I loath to use the word nursery because it used to be my craft room, however, a recent parasite was pulled for me in the form of my son and apparently he needs his own room. That being said I’ve been converting over my awesome craft room into a den of nerdy goodness. This seemed as good a time as any to get my DIY in motion by combining my friend’s gift into a mobile.

mobile materials

First, the equipment. It should be stated that you could use some high-quality materials for this project, though I will not be. I’m cheap as hell and believe my brain and crafty powers can overcome having to spend money. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. What you can see in this picture are two white hangers that seem breed in our closets, a pair of industrial scissors that can cut through the wire hangers, yarn I had from some other project, the microbes in question (look how cute they are), fishing line/thread that preferably is clear but for your purposes they can be any color you want, and maybe a little glue/duct tape that aren’t shown here. Let’s get crazy!

Decide how you want to lay this out. All I did was clip off the top of the wire hangers. I had already decided that penicillin should be in the middle as it was used to treat all of these diseases and have the disease microbes surround the penicillin. I felt this was apropos for teaching my son his early sex education of the treatment of unprotected sex. Remember, you can never start too young.

mobile yarn step

Grab a piece of duct tape and haphazardly, or as type A as you want to be, attach the wire hanger parts together. You can see that mine form an ‘X’. Feel free to get as crazy as you want with your pattern. Once that’s complete, grab your yarn. At this point, grab the end of your yarn and starting from the duct taped middle of your mobile, wrap the mobile. I did this for aesthetics, you can leave this as naked as you want. Since I was using plushies I wanted to give the mobile that plushy look to it. This took me about 30 minutes to wrap the entire mobile. When you’re ready to finish, wrap back towards the center and use a bit of glue to stick it underneath one of your pieces to hide the end.

Cut five pieces of crystal fish line. Depending on how you want the plushies dangling from the mobile. I ended up using different lengths. The length of the mobile extensions may also depend on how heavy each microbe is as I had to make adjustments to make sure that the mobile hung appropriately.

Here is the finished product. I varied the lengths so that I could manipulate the mobile to hang correctly.

std mobile

Here is the mobile actually hanging in the nursery. All I did was add another piece of fish line and hang it from the ceiling.

My son is already dumbfounded by the twirling microbes above him and I can only assume that his brain is swimming with all the information of knowing what safe sex and treatment looks like when you add googly eyes to it.