2018 Week 3 – Challenge 3

This week I will continue with the weeks one (1) and two (2) challenges as I continue to build on positive habit/lifestyle changes.

3rd Challenge

Smoke fewer cigarettes – no more than 15 cigarettes daily, I know I should quit smoking altogether, that certainly is my long-term goal.

I started smoking when I was a young girl, about the age of fourteen. At first I only smoked a few cigarettes a day, however over time the number of cigarettes per day has continued to increase. I smoke between a pack and a pack and a half each day. This is 20 – 30 cigarettes per day (usually the latter) – Wow, really sucks.

This week’s challenge is to smoke no more than 15 per day. I realize that this still sounds like a lot, and it is, but I want to slowly decrease the number of cigarettes per day until I no longer smoke at all.

In the past I have tried to quit cold turkey and I have tried using quit smoking aids. I have successful quit for a few months a couple of times but always start back.

For me the physiological addiction is much harder to deal with than the physical addition (nicotine addiction).  My hopes are that as I slowly decrease the number of cigarettes I smoke each day I will reprogram the physiological aspect.

It may take several weeks for me to adjust to the decrease in cigarettes but once I have done so, I will set a new challenge to smoke even fewer each day.

I am not sure if this approach will work for me but there is no harm in trying. I really hate this addiction!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

Review of Week 2 Challenge

This week’s challenge was to eat a healthy breakfast as soon as I get up in the mornings. This has been more challenging than I thought; most mornings (so far) I have to force myself to eat breakfast. I know that as I continue to practice this good habit eventually it will become a healthy lifestyle change.

What I have discovered is that on those mornings when I wake up too early (3:30 a.m.) if I eat at that time then around 8:00 a.m. I want to eat again. So, I have decided to modify this challenge to better fit my lifestyle. I will continue to eat a healthy breakfast but around a set time-frame. A time-frame that works much better for me is to eat breakfast between 6:30 and 8:30 in the morning.

What I have learned this past week is that if something in not working it is okay to make changes to encourage positive growth.

This past week I have continued to drink 60 or more ounces of water daily and started eating breakfast daily. I look forward to incorporating the week 3 challenge with the two previous challenges.

Check in tomorrow for the week 3 challenge.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

Using Talents for Others – How do I Start?

I am still working on my list of weekly challenges. My main focus for these challenges is to feel better about myself and be good to others.

One way to make oneself feel better is by helping others. Something I really want to do is meet someone else’s need.

Because of whatever is going on with my health (still waiting on test results from the doctor) I am no longer able to work outside of the home. However, God has blessed me with talents that I can use for His glory.

I sew and crochet, amongst other things, items that I sell in my Etsy store at: https://www.etsy.com/people/rockenco. I would like to use these same talents to sew items for those in need.

I have researched a bit on making items like tee shirt dresses, walker caddies, baby blankets…but I cannot say with a great deal of certainty which programs are legitimate.

I want to get involved but need some direction. If you or someone you know is involved in a program or programs like those I mentioned above contact me I would really like to hear from you.

I really want to get involved but I am not sure where to start.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

2018 Week 2 – Challenge 2

This week I will continue to drink at least 60 oz. of water daily. I want to snowball good habits that make me feel better about myself.

2nd Challenge

Eat a healthy breakfast – To some this may not seem like much, but I am not a breakfast person. This will, like the water, be a push for me.

I usually wake up between 4:00 – 6:00 a.m. and one of the first things I do, with that 1st cup of coffee, is smoke a cigarette (quitting is a future challenge). Currently coffee and a cigarette is my breakfast.

That will change starting this week. I can still have that cup of coffee but with a healthy breakfast instead. This will require a little planning ahead (i.e., know the night before what the next day’s breakfast will be) and a lot of self-determination.

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day then let’s consider ourselves important enough to start this healthy habit.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

P.S. Additional positive results from last week’s challenge, by drinking plenty of water each day I lost 2 pounds.

Review of Week 1 Challenge

The week one (1) challenge was to drink at least 60 oz. of water daily. Overall this went well, there was one day that I struggled but still met the challenge and a couple of days I actually drank 80 oz. of water.

It is amazing how such a small step in the right direction has brought with it a lot of positive side-effects.
They are as follows:

  • Taking control back – I may not be able to control everything but this small step reminds me that I do not have to give up total control either.
  • Focusing on something positive instead of all negative – helps to keep me out of the dark places in my mind.
  • Getting some “want to” back – Even though I sew and crochet products for my Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/people/rockenco), for the past several months there has been no joy just work. However, this past week not only did I want to try my hand at a new project, I also took a great deal of joy in doing so, words cannot describe how wonderful this felt. See apron project picture above.
  • Swapping a bad habit for a good one – Being mindful about drinking enough water to meet my daily goal has certainly decreased the mindless eating (trying to stuff the negative emotions down) I have been doing.

I am curious as to if I have lost any weight this week just by incorporating this small change. I am 40 pounds overweight and would love to lose the additional weight. Monday’s are my weight days so I will keep you informed.

If you joined me in this challenge this past week I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

P.S. Tomorrow is the start of the week 2 challenge I hope you will consider joining me in these challenges.

Two Important Steps I Need for Setting Challenges

Setting SMART Goals

I have started working on a list of some of the positive changes I want to challenge myself with this year, which is a challenge in itself.

I know that whatever goals I set for myself need to accomplish two things

Improve my inner self

I know if I feel better about myself mentally this will flow over to my outer self. I will feel better mentally, emotionally and physically, which in turn will create a more positive outlook on life.

If we do not like or love ourselves we cannot really like or love others the way we should.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

If the challenges are too far reaching then I will set myself up for failure. The challenges I will be setting are baby steps that should ideally build on each other. For example, my challenge for this week is drink at least 60 ounces of water daily. I will continue to do this and hopefully increase (over time) my daily water intake.

The weekly challenges I am setting may seem small and insufficient to others, but I have let myself go so far down a dark path that baby steps for me are challenging.

If the challenges I set each week are what you need to improve you own feelings of self-worth than let’s do this together.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

2018 Week 1 – Challenge 1

This year I want to focus on the positive instead of the negative and I know one way to do that (at least for me) is to have short-term goals that will led to long-term goals. In my case the long-term goal for 2018 is to pull myself out of this dark pit of depression and reclaim my life.

My last post in 2017 was titled, “2017 The Year of the Snowball Effect – The Dark Places in my Mind.” This past year was a rough one that was made a lot worse because I focused on the negative instead of the positive. It is time for me to pull myself out of the dark places in my mind and the one way I feel like this will be possible is by setting weekly challenges.

These challenges will not only be good for my physical health but will also change my focus, little by little, to a more positive state of mind.

Because January 1, 2018 is on a Monday, I will keep a journal throughout the week and I will do my best to post a new challenge each Monday and recap the week on Sundays.

1st Challenge:

Drink plenty of water – I know this sounds like a small challenge but for some (like me), it is a challenge. I have a water bottle that holds 20 oz. of water and my challenge is to drink three (3) bottles or 60 oz. of water each day.

I am starting with baby steps and believe if I continue to build on each step of the process that 2018 will also be a snowball effect, but one with a brighter, healthier and happier outcome.

Please join me in this challenge or whatever baby step you need to take this week that will change your focus from the negative to the positive.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Comments, suggestions… always welcome

2017 The Year of the Snowball Effect – The Dark Places in my Mind

It has been a while since my last post. The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have really kept me busy. We have had house guest since the week of Thanksgiving and will continue to do so until December 28th.

I am thankful that God has blessed us with the means to host both of the holidays and open our home to visiting family members. It has however, been exhausting.

The unfortunate side of all of this is my inability to physically do as much as I would like to because of the pain in my leg and back. On the other side of that coin, I have seen a specialist who has scheduled some test to try to determine what is going on with my body. Granted, it is a slow process and my next appointment is not until December 29th. I really hope this test will give me some answers, I just want to know what is wrong and can it be fixed?

2017 has been a bad year for me, not only physically but mentally as well. The inability to walk without intense pain caused me to quit working, which has led to a feeling of worthlessness, lack of purpose and severe depression.

2017 went from bad to worse, starting with the pain, and even though I have sought medical attention the doctor just wanted to prescribe pain meds (which I do not want to take because of fear of addiction). After several doctor visits I was finally scheduled a test that resulted in seeing a specialist. However, it is a slow process and I have to wait about a month in-between appointments.  Apparently I am more concerned than the medical community – they are in no hurry.

The inability to function coupled with not working has led to a feeling of worthlessness and lack of purpose, thus leading to depression. Not only have I lost my joy for everything, I have also been doing a lot of emotional eating, which of course has led to a significant weight gain. The weight gain has made it even harder for me to get around and has further increased the feelings of worthlessness, failure and depression. Thus the title of this post “The 2017 Snowball Effect” which according to Wikipedia is defined as:

“Metaphorically, a snowball effect is a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and build upon itself, becoming larger (graver, more serious), and also perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a vicious circle), though it might be beneficial instead (a virtuous circle)”. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org. Accessed 12/22/17).

It is a vicious circle! As 2017 nears an end I find myself sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am determined that 2018 will be my year to turn things around. I know that I am the one responsible for letting life get the best of me and it is up to me to turn that around.

This year has been the darkest of my life and I do not want to continue down this road of self-destruction, sadness and depression any longer. Regardless of what the test results are on the 29th, I will start taking the baby steps necessary to turn my life into something more enjoyable.

Starting in 2018 I will start making small weekly goals to help me get out of the dark places in my head.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!


Wikipedia – The Snowball Effect. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org. Accessed 12/22/17).

Up-cycled Christmas Decorations

November was an extremely busy month with preparation for house guest and the Thanksgiving holiday.

Even though I have not had a lot of time for crafting I have managed to make a few Christmas decorations. I have also successfully made a Christmas stocking for each of my family members.

When possible I prefer to up-cycle materials, creating something new and different from items and materials of little or no value. Many of the materials I use are items that would normally be thrown into the recycle bin and/or materials given to me by others (i.e., fabric, yarn…).

A couple of the up-cycled decorations I have finished for my old fashioned Christmas are as follows:

– Beads for Christmas tree garland

– Little winter hats Christmas tree ornaments

Winter Hats decorations made from plastic bags

How I made the Beads and materials used:

A couple of years ago someone gave me a box full of cheap bead necklaces of different colors, designs and styles.

Box full of cheap but colorful beaded necklaces


These beads are cheap and were a little challenging to work with. I cut each necklace to create a little sting of beads. I then had to drill a small hole through each of the end beads of each little string. After I had all the little beads strings drilled I used thin wire to connect each small string together to make one long sting, making a wire loop on either end of the long string to easily attach to the tree.

I still have a lot of these cheap beaded necklaces and look forward to seeing what else I can create with them.

How I made the little winter hats:

The materials used for these little hats include a toilet paper cardboard tube and plastic bags. The white hat was made using plastic grocery bags and the colorful hat was made using plastic bread bags. Cut the toilet paper cardboard tube into ½” to ¾” wide circles and cut the plastic bags into strips about 1/2 “ wide. I then folded the strips in half inserting the loop end through the cardboard circle and then looped the two open ends of the strips through the looped end of the plastic. Pull this tight and continue this step until the tube circle is full of the plastic. Gather the plastic strips to create a ball (pompom) on the top of the hat, tie off with yarn and then trim the ball to make it look like a pompom. The last thing to be done is to create some sort of loop hanger. These can be used as Christmas tree decorations, as a gift decoration, to create a garland or any other idea one might come up with.

Currently I am working on some other decorations and hope to share those with you soon.

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

Childlike Excitement about Christmas

I can remember being a child and having daydreams about Christmas. I would dream about how wonderful it would be to have a Christmas tree filled with lights and decorations, stockings hung on the wall, the smell of Christmas cookies and candies in the air and the sound of Christmas music playing in the background. Unfortunately, Christmas as well as most of the holidays, was not celebrated at our house.

Once I got married I vowed to decorate and celebrate for Christmas every year. Christmas season would draw near and I could feel a childlike excitement well up within me. I enjoyed decorating and celebrating year after year. I loved Christmas!

Life has a way of sucking the joy right out of you if you let it, and that is what I have done (let it). I lost that childlike Christmas excitement. I have barely decorated for the past seven years and I have only celebrated the holiday out of obligation. Honestly, I forgot about the true meaning of Christmas.

Recently during my one-on-one time with God I was reminded that Christmas is a celebration of the greatest gift of all, Jesus. Christmas is a celebration of love and of life and there is much life that should be celebrated in our home, not only at Christmas time but each and every day.

Christmas is a celebration of love and of life and I am looking forward to celebrating an old fashioned Christmas with friends and family this year. Thanks to God, that childlike excitement has returned!

Let’s spread the joy of Christmas!

Thank you for visiting my blog,

Comments are always welcomed!

P.S. I recently purchased an inexpensive Christmas tree and I am excited to decorate it!