Friday Fast Five: Almost February

The last weekend of January 2012 is rolling in…and while I cannot believe it’s almost time to say goodbye to a WHOLE dang month of 2012 already, I am looking forward to what is coming next (and hopefully it’s not a blizzard of epic proportions like we had LAST Feb 1st).

No, I’m talking about the only thing that pretty much saves February from being absolutely blech.  Valentine’s Day. I won’t get into how much I still enjoy all the pink pomp and circumstance of this pseudo-holiday, I’ll save that for another post. But as part of this Friday’s Fast Five – I will share a few Valentine-related bits for you.

1. Veronika’s Kandy Koated Dreams (she of the most awesome giveaway I ever had the luck to win) is hosting a lovely Valentine’s Day giveaway over on her blog right now.  Enter soon because it ends when February starts. (That means the contest closes on Feb 1st, if you can’t follow my word play).  From her contest post, here is what her Giveaway includes:

2. I am not ashamed to admit my addiction to Pinterest – it started sometime early last Fall and has been growing steadily ever since…and the fever is spreading because recently there has been an explosion of friends (personal and social media alike) that have discovered this incredibly wonderful little website. I may need to ask the husband to create some kind of Pinterest app that controls how long I get to play on there each day – maybe something that after 20 minutes it kicks me off and won’t let me go back on for 12 hours, (that’s probably as long as I could stay away!). Are you on Pinterest? Check out my pin boards and let’s enable each other’s addiction! (Confession: I totally found most of my ideas for this year’s Valentine’s cards, gifts, and treats on Pinterest!)

3. Sometimes it is SO hard to find the motivation to work out. Here are some tricks I have been using this month to help me stick to it:

  • A little is better than none. On crazy busy days I try and sneak in a quick 20-30 minutes at the gym. I know I won’t get a whole lot done, but if I manage to run 2 or 3 miles than I’ve squeezed in a workout where I otherwise might not have done so.
  • Make it a regularly scheduled activity. So many things on my calendar are routine and I know I have to do this and be there, etc. So why not have the same expectation for my workouts? I may not always feel like going to Spin class on Friday mornings – but there it is on my Google calendar, and since it’s there I will tend to plan around it rather than over and through it. Also: Spin is hard, sometimes I really hate it. BUT – the other day the husband was admiring my quad muscles, and I know I have those hard hours on the spin bike to thank.
  • Speaking of admiration…I am lucky to have a husband who is generous with the compliments. After a week of seeing me in nothing but workout clothes, over the weekend I tried to wear something I thought he would like – my efforts were rewarded. He complimented me all day long  – to the point Miss A was getting embarrassed! 😉  Makes me want to keep working hard to look good (though that also means he will have to keep seeing me in the workout clothes…sorry babe.)

4. On the subject of scheduling time to do things – I have also started blocking WRITING TIME on my Google calendar for the same reason. If I give it the importance of a “REAL” commitment, I am more likely to follow through and less likely to schedule something else on top of it. Are you a writer? Aspiring to get that novel published? You should enter the Fire & Ice Contest sponsored by Chicago North chapter of RWA. You get 2 judges in pre-lims (at least one of them is pubbed) and all final judges are agents and editors. The contest deadline was just extended to Feb 5th – so polish up those first 25 pages of your manuscript and send them in! Winners of the contest will be announced at the Chicago North Spring Fling Writer’s Conference at the end of April. (Which you should totally go to – it is going to be an amazing opportunity to improve your craft, network, and pitch your book!)

5. I think I have my talents,  but I am also not ashamed to admit there are skills I simply don’t excel at. That’s why it’s awesome to have friends who are talented at doing things I suck at…like sewing. My college roomie has MADSKILLZ with a crochet hook (it’s a hook, right? Not a needle?) Check out this Hello Kitty hat she made for Lil’ G:

After much nagging and being told of her awesomeness, she finally put together a “shop” of sorts, and is taking orders for her hand made hats. Check out more of her amazingly cute hats at Wendella’s Handiwork.

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