10 things I’m loving for October

Y’all.

What happened? I looked up and it was the second week of October. Weird!

So anyway, here’s some stuff I’m obsessed with this month. As you know, I’m not getting any endorsements for any of this. I honestly just like it. Enjoy!

 

  1. Superhero Mascara by IT Cosmetics
    You guys, How did I miss this? It came in my Sephora Play! box a few months ago, and I am finding myself reaching for it regularly! PLUS, HELLO, it’s SUPERHERO themed! I know, I’m a sucker for good marketing, but dang that’s nifty. s1868215-main-hero
  2. Apple Cider. I’m not giving you a link on this one, because you NEED to get some fresh. Last month, I admitted to loving the Starbucks PSL, and I do, but Apple Cider is a real fall favorite- you can have more than one! Do yourself a favor and get some at an apple farm, if at all possible. It’s great cold (preferably with mini powder sugar donuts!) Or you can warm it up for a treat that will keep the chill out as the Fall nights get cooler!schramm-apple-cider
  3. Sephora Play! Box
    You’ve heard me talk about it at least once a month, so it seemed fitting that it finally get a shoutout of it’s own! I LOVE my subscription box from Sephora. It gives me extra Sephora points, which would be awesome all by itself, but I also get 5 great samples, a fragrance, and tips and tricks. Worth it for I think $15 a month. It’s always such a joy to come home to!
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    4. Purposeful Planner
    I would be completely lost without this book. It’s a little on the pricy side, but it. is. INVALUABLE to me. I cart it around everywhere. I write EVERYTHING in it. It has a spot for everything! I honestly can’t recommend it enough. water_color_4b3c0cc3-b2fa-4b45-8f95-d01ea521ad18_large

    5. Audible If you like to listen to books, Audible is where it’s at. I’ve never looked for a book they don’t have (except for one author who apparently doesn’t want to do Audio?) It’s easy, it hooks into your amazon account, and they play through a pretty nifty app that doesn’t even suck my battery too bad on my phone. 100% do recommend.
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    6. Brandon Sanderson
    Obviously this isn’t a “thing”, but I do love this author’s work. His new book, Oathbringer, is going to be released next month. If you like fantasy or speculative fiction, this is a MUST. Start with The Way of Kings (pictured).

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    7. Kanoodle
    This game is so fun! IT’s a great stocking stuffer or small present. I know it says it’s for kids, but I honestly think it’s fun for all ages. It’s kind of like… reverse TETRIS. I like it!
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    8. Pressed For Words
    If spatial reasoning isn’t for you, maybe you’ll like Pressed for Words. You get 6 letters- how many words can you spell in two and a half minutes?
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    9. The Fiona Show
    If you don’t know about America’s Hippo Princess, you simply HAVE to catch up. From tiny preemie baby to beautiful, sassy girl, Fiona is the cutest hippo ever. And you can watch her whole journey on Facebook.
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    10. The Try Guys
    Someone at Buzzfeed had a brilliant idea. These guys will try anything- and they’re hilarious to watch.
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    So, there you have it! Ten new things to try this month! Enjoy- and let me know what you think if you try them!

The Super Busy Person’s Guide to Keeping Your House Clean

I started my new job last week and I am drowning! I know, I know I’m never satisfied. Either too busy or not enough! However, it hasn’t been a particularly smooth transition. But! I’m using my systems and we’re figuring it out!

Tonight, I want to share with you my newest system for keeping the house clean. I posted a while ago how I do a full clean of my house. Tonight, I want to share how you can keep your house clean when you quite simply don’t have time for anything. This system keeps my cleaning time to under 30 minutes a day and then I never have to take a whole morning to clean, which I just don’t have time for right now.

So, here’s how I do it!

DAILY: 

-make bed (in the morning)
-do the dishes from the day (evening)
-10 minute tidy
-one weekly chore
-one every other day chore

EVERY OTHER DAY CHORES: (do one of these every day. I do them in the morning.)

-wipe surfaces in bathroom
-wipe counter tops and surfaces in kitchen

WEEKLY CHORES: (do these once a week each)

-clean floors (swiff or vacuum)
-empty trash
-clean out fridge
-scrub toilet
-clean cat box (sub something else here if you need to!)
-change sheets and do laundry

MONTHLY CHORES: (do these once per month, ideally one each week)

-dust all surfaces
-clean baseboards
-mop floors
-clean windows and mirrors

 

And there you have it! This is how I keep things looking ship shape in my apartment. If I stay on top of it, it keeps my house looking pretty clean without taking up a huge chunk of my day!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What would you add to this list? Did I leave any thing out? Let me know!

10 Products I’m loving for September

Sorry I’m a few days late with this!

But here we are with a list of things I’m loving as we go back to school and get into Fall weather!

As usual, I’m not getting paid for this, so you can be sure I actually love all of these things!

 

  1. All hail the almighty PSL. I am not as obsessed with Pumpkin as some people I know, but I do love pumpkin flavored coffee. Also, if you’re drinking it iced, try it with almond milk for a slightly different flavor! I don’t like the almond milk hot but cold it is excellent!
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    Pumpkin Spice Latte, Starbucks, $3-5
  2. The Backstagers

    I’m not a huge comic book person, but this is an adorable story about high school theatre- how could I not love it?? You can get digital versions from Amazon, or order it online from mycomicbookshop.com, but I recommend going down to a local shop and asking for it. If you’ve never been, it’s a great way to have an adventure AND support local business. 410464-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

    The Backstagers, BOOM Publishing on Amazon, $2-6 an episode

  3. Neutrogena oil free pink grapefruit body wash. This stuff takes care of any body breakouts I get in a snap. Perfect for midwest weather that changes it’s mind all the time!
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    Neutrogena body wash, Amazon, $5.96

  4. Asics no show invasion socks If you know me, you know I’m not a huge fan of socks. However, these are my absolute favorite workout socks. I stumbled across them several years ago and they’re the best. Soft and cushy, my feet don’t feel too sweaty or hot and they come in both fun colors and black and white.

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    Asics No  Show Invasion Socks, Asics.com, $18 for six

  5. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is my go to breakfast right now. I’ll write up some of my favorite recipes sometime soon, but I love that you can make it hundreds of ways, it’s easy, pretty healthy and warm and comforting as we head into colder mornings.
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    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Amazon, $2.98

  6. Overdrive. Overdrive is an app that hooks up with your local libraries to provide you access to thousands of audiobooks, e-books and other stuff. It’s super easy to use and best of all, totally free!

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    Overdrive, App, Free

  7. Mint. I’ve been using Mint for several years, but I really feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. Mint helps me manage my money, and with all of my freelance work, that’s more important than ever.
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    Mint, App, Free

    8. Moo.com. If you have to get stuff printed, I can’t recommend Moo.com enough. I recently got some stickers made for the etsy store, and everything about the experience was just so great. They’re made for small businesses, so I didn’t have to order 10,000, and the upload and design tools were very easy to use and accessible.

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    moo.com, printing company, prices vary

    9. ELF Instant Lift Brow Pencil. This crayon style pencil has a spoolie brush on the other end, making it perfect to fill in and come those brows into submission. Anyone who has taken my makeup classes knows I hate eyebrows, so making it these easy to deal with them is a plus! It isn’t as precise as some of the more expensive tools, but for this price, it’s still a steal. I get it in taupe.

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    ELF Instant Brow Pencil, Ulta Beauty, $2

    10. Vigo Black Beans and Rice. This was a staple in my house growing up, and I’ve gone back to them recently as I’ve been slow this summer. This is a cheap and filling dinner, without giving up on nutrition. And also, it’s bursting with flavor.

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    Vigo Black beans and Rice, Amazon, $15.50 for four

 

And that’s what I’ve got for this month! As always, I’d love to hear your suggestions for things to make life easier and more fun!

Set some Goals

Hi Supers!

Tomorrow is the first Monday of September! Can you believe it? I hope you enjoy it, whatever you are doing on Labor Day. As for me, I’ll be at my first official shift in my new job as the Costume Shop Manager at King’s Island, a local amusement park. Wish me luck!

But tonight, although it’s getting late and I’m still at school working, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about setting goals.

If you don’t set regular goals, you probably should. I hope that’s not the first time you’ve heard that!

There are a ton of different ways to do it, but in the end it doesn’t matter a whole lot- as long as it works for YOU! But here are a couple of guidelines if you’re a little (or a lot) overwhelmed.

I like to start with categories. For example, I routinely set career, physical, mental, and emotional goals. Maybe you add school or relationship goals. Or financial goals. Whatever you need!

Then I like to put a BIG goal in all of the categories. Right now my BIG goals are:

Career/financial: Be able to comfortably full time freelance, pay off all debt before I turn 32 (includes student loans)

Physical: Be able to do an unsupported handstand and run 30 minutes non stop before the end of the year

Mental: Be fluent in another language with in three years(this one was hard!)

Emotional/ relational: maintain equilibrium during the current storm

 

These are all things I’m SUPER excited about. I WANT them- hopefully badly enough to really dedicate some time working towards them! Notice that most of them have a time limit or deadline attached. This is key! Otherwise it isn’t a goal, it’s a wish.

Once I have my BIG goals, I start subdividing. I do monthly and weekly goals, and then I set to do list items for the day to day.

So, for example, my monthly goals for September are:

Career/financial: launch my etsy store, write 15 blog posts

Physical: hit my step goal 5 out of 7 days per week, do at least ten minutes of yoga every day

Mental: read three books

Emotional/ relational: plan my weeks and stick to it

 

My weekly goals look like this:

 

Physical: Hit my step goal 5 out of 7 days, do at least ten minutes of yoga every day

Career and financial: close and ship the giveaway

Mental: read the 10 chapters of my book for the book club

Emotional/Relational: plan my week and stick to it

 

 

And there you have it! That’s how I set goals. When I do it consistently, I notice I’m WAY more productive, happier and much more focused!

 

Superhero action of the day: What are your goals? Are you achieving them?

10 things to do (that aren’t staring at your phone)

Hi supers!

Some business first: if you haven’t entered the giveaway, you should go do that. Right now. I’ll wait!

 

Why are you still reading this? Go now!

 

Ok, cool, you’re back!

 

So, as we all know, I was vastly underemployed this summer, and I didn’t handle it very well. I seem to be doing much better now!

Anyway, this Summer, I found myself spending hours sitting around on my couch, playing around on my phone. Facebook, Two Dots (my game of choice), Instagram… you name it, I was wasting time on it this summer.

So today, I am making a list of things to do instead of staring at your phone screen! Let’s get right to it:

  1. Activity Books. Whether it’s coloring books for adults, word searches, crosswords or sudoku puzzles, there are tons of ways to keep your mind and hands busy! Personally, I’m a fan of those super cheap crossword magazines, and of course, an erasable pen!
  2. embroidery, painting or another artistic hobby.  A lot of people like to knit or crochet. I like to do some hand embroidery- it’s portable, I can watch tv or do other things while I’m doing it, and at the end of it, I have something to display or give away!
  3. Deep clean or sort something. Maybe it’s the junk drawer in your kitchen. Maybe it’s your bedroom closet. Wherever it is in your home, I bet there are places that you know could use some organizing. Dig in and get them cleaned out! You’ll feel better once it’s done!
  4. Dust. I don’t know about you, but dusting is the chore that usually gets skipped at my house. But if you find you are bored, dusting is a great way to get you moving and get some (in my case) much needed housework done! Bonus points if you turn on some music and have a dance party!
  5. Write a letter. Handwrite a letter or a card to a friend. My bff and I have an ongoing (although not constant) stream of written communication, and getting something in the mail from her ALWAYS makes my day. Better yet, write that letter to your grandparents.
  6. Do a jigsaw puzzle or learn a form of solitaire. I don’t have a lot of room for puzzles (although I really enjoy them), but I spent the majority of my down time one weekend this summer playing solitaire and was amazed at how well it kept me busy!
  7. Learn more about something you are passionate about. The library and the internet are such amazing wealths of information! Make good use of them and learn about something you love or maybe just something you’re curious about! Become an expert- just for fun!
  8. Decorate your dream house. Sometimes I get on amazon and etsy and just make lists of all the pretty things I would buy if I had the money!
  9. Read a book. Again, you can learn anything you want to this way. MY personal favorites are sci-fi/fantasy and mysteries, but I try to read one book that’s good for me while I’m getting those stories in!
  10. Get up and get out of your house and go exploring. Find a new park, eat at a new restaurant, drive down a new road. Change your surroundings just enough to make you look around and appreciate them.

 

And there you have it! Ten things to do when you’re bored. Get off your couch and be amazing.

 

Superhero action of the day: Tell me your boredom busters! Comment here or over on the Superhero Living Facebook Page.

 

HELP ME HELP YOU: A Giveaway

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Hi my Supers!

I am so excited about this idea, you have no idea. Let me begin with the back story.

I’ve thought about running an etsy shop for a long time. As I’ve mentioned, my public persona is that of a costume designer and seamstress, and if you read this post the other day, you’re caught up and know that I’m full time freelancing now.

When I started this blog, my intention was to also start an etsy store that would sell some of my handmade creations. These items tend to be things like a variety of different use bags, blankets, etc.

Well, I think the time has come! I’ve made lists of the items that I will list in my shop, and I am working on making some of that inventory this weekend. These items will no doubt change over time, and I have some fun ideas to keep people visiting- but more to come on that!

Here’s where you come in: I’d like to do a giveaway on some of these products! FREE STUFF! Here’s a picture of what’s on offer in this giveaway:

 

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If we start from top center and go kind of clockwise, the items are:

  • set of three reusable beeswax food wraps, sized 8, 10 and 12 inches
  • Two lovely cloth napkins
  • Two quilted placemats
  • Quilted handmade table runner, size 78 inches by 16 inches
  • microwaveable bowl coxy
  • 9×12 quilted trivet
  • set of two quilted hot pads
  • casserole cozy
  • reusable snack pouch (bottom center)
  • set of three bowl covers, size 8, 10 and 12 inches

This is a surprise giveaway- so I’ll send you one of these items, but which one will be a surprise! (Although feel free to tell me your favorites!)

To enter, it’s three simple steps!
1. Like the Superhero Living facebook page, as well as our sister page Charis Weible
2. Share this post on your timeline
3.Comment on the facebook thread

Tag a friend on facebook in the comments for an extra entry!

It’s as easy as that!

The giveaway period will close on September 4, 2017 at midnight Eastern time. I will announce winners on Tuesday September 5, and then be in touch with the winners through facebook message to get your shipping address!

Once you get your item, I will follow it up with a message to get your opinions about your it! I really and truly want your feedback! Don’t worry, I will have specific questions to help you out with that!

This giveaway is open to anyone, worldwide, as long as you have a facebook account!

And that’s it! Sounds pretty easy, right?

I hope you’ll all enter, and help me get the word out about both my shop and this blog, and get yourself some free stuff!

Superhero action of the day: Do you really have to ask? Hop on over to facebook and enter the giveaway!

OMP: Paleo meatloaf

 

It’s been a minute since I posted a recipe, huh?

Well, this is a good one, especially with the unseasonably cool weather we’re having here in Southwest Ohio!

Say what you want about meatloaf, I love it. My mom makes good meatloaf, and maybe that’s why. To me, it’s comforting. It goes with anything. And although it isn’t a super quick meal to make, it lasts a long time and it’s pretty easy.

When I changed my diet to being mostly paleo, I eventually went looking for a good meatloaf recipe. Meatloaf usually has breadcrumbs in it (strike one!), and the best ones are topped with that awesome ketchup based glaze (strike two, lots of sugar).

But man, I found a recipe that I like. If you want to try it, you can find it here. It’s pretty good… but I think I’ve improved on it a bit.

The last time I made this recipe, I forgot to buy tomato paste to help it knit together. I stewed, rather like my fictional tomatoes, trying to decide what to do.

And then I had a stroke of genius. I had canned pumpkin. I added most of the can of pumpkin to my meatloaf and baked it up. I also added quite a few eggs and as usual, kind of punted on the seasonings.

So now, we’ve got whole 30, AIP, Gluten free, paleo meatloaf! Woo!

The results were excellent. I made one full size meatloaf and two baby size ones, and I ate meatloaf for at least a week. But I love leftovers, so that was fine by me!

Here’s the complete recipe:

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 8 ounces canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling. Don’t do that to yourself)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 T oregano

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. The better mixed, the better your results will be. Really get in there!
  3. Place meatloaf in greased loaf pans (I used one large and two small)
  4. Bake for an hour or until cooked through (less time for the little guys!)
  5. Top with a can of tomato sauce + 2 tsp italian seasoning, if desired.

 

Enjoy!

 

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Converging Circles

This is just a super short little update, really.

If you know me, you know I don’t like it when my people groups touch. It freaks me out when person from group A somehow randomly knows person from group B. And don’t even get me started on the stress of introducing the groups to each other at things like birthdays. OR, GOD FORBID, having to introduce a new partner to my family. Seriously, I’ve had panic attacks over that one.

It’s not a trait in myself I am particularly proud of. It isn’t good at all for creating community and connection. It’s something I am continuing to work on.

So, in that spirit, I want to introduce to this audience the launch of my professional career Facebook page and website.

There’s more to come on both of them, but if you’re interested in my costume design work, you should definitely give the page a ‘like’ (and dare I say, a share?) and keep an eye on what I’m doing! After all, that’s a part of my Superhero Living!

Also, thanks to those of you who reached out after my post yesterday. Having some support makes all the difference!

Superhero action of the day: Check out my new Facebook page and new website! And let me know what you think of both in the comments!

 

The Worst Things About Freelance Work

Hi Superheroes!

I’m a freelancer. I work in Costume Design, primarily for live theatre. It is work that I absolutely love. I am passionate about it. I believe firmly that it is important, invaluable work.

Here’s the thing. Sometimes it sucks.

I mean that.

It is scary. It is hard. It means sleepless, worried nights. It means giving up on some things. It means remaining confident in the face of unimaginable fear.

And that’s the worst thing about freelance work.

The fear.

When you have enough work, freelancing is the dream, right? I mean. I get to do work that I love, on my own schedule, and get paid for it. There are many days when I wake up and I cannot wait to get to work. When I’m doing this work, I simply can’t connect to my friends who say “ugh, I don’t want to work today”. I’ve had jobs like that. But my costume design work never, ever feels like that.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m frustrated or disappointed by what has happened. But I alway see the good side of it. Always. I always want to keep up with it. I can talk about it for hours.

I’ll take my worst days of freelance work over most of my days doing other work. It makes me feel alive.

But when work gets slow, it’s the scariest thing in the world. When the contracts run out unexpectedly, and you realize all of a sudden with a start that there isn’t a paycheck coming. And not ever again unless you get off your couch and go for it.

And sometimes, you do just that, and you don’t get the gig. And there still isn’t a paycheck coming.

Meanwhile, how are you paying your bills? How are you buying dog food? How do you generate work and content that are interesting and provide value when you’re so scared of losing your shirt it’s all you can think about it?

That, my supers, is the worst part of freelancing. It’s hard. But not in the way you think. Not the work itself- the old saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? It holds true. The work is hard, but when you love it, you don’t care. You do it anyway.

But when the work dries up… That’s hard. Learning to budget for those times is hard. Giving up vacations is hard. Admitting that you can’t go out with a friend because you’re broke is hard. If you’re an extrovert (like I am), staying mentally healthy when you can’t afford to go out and have adventures is hard.

And I don’t know how to get through it.

That is why I’ve gone so silent on you. It’s so, so, so hard to write about being a superhero when you feel like a guttersnipe. I don’t feel Super. I’m scared. I’m anxious. I’m just barely managing to keep my head above water, and honestly, some days I don’t. There are too many days when I am content to sit on my couch playing games on my phone and listening to audiobooks for hours on end.

And what kind of hypocrite would I be, if I can’t even be my own Superhero? How is that Superhero Living? How can I help you if I can’t help myself?

I don’t have the answers. A lot of times, I do feel like I can shed some light on these kinds of subjects, but I really and truly can’t today.

But here’s the thing I’m holding on to. My raft in a sea of fear and confusion. It’s pretty simple: This too shall pass. It will. If I’m being honest, the end is already in sight. It feels like it will last forever, but it won’t.

And today, that’s how I’m living like a superhero. How are you?

 

Stand in your truth

Hi my superheroes!

I feel like I might actually be ready to write this post- and I feel like this might be part of the reason I’ve had trouble writing for a while.

Tonight I want to talk about living in your truth.

There’s a lot to unpack there, isn’t there? Let’s see.

First of all, to be able to live in our own truth means that we have to know ourselves well enough to know what that is. Yikes, that seems convoluted. What I mean by that is, when a situation comes up, you have to know where you stand on it. And you have to stand there for yourself.

A lot of times, when you face a difficult situation, there will be people in your life, people that you care about and who’s opinions you value. And those people will be on opposite sides of your situation. They’ll tell you to turn right, yelling to be louder than the people you value telling you to go left.

You have to make the choice for yourself.

Sometimes, you’ll choose poorly. That’s the risk. Sometimes, you’ll think you were doing everything right and all of a sudden, you’re upside down in a ditch with no idea how you got there. You still have to choose.

So once we know where we stand, then you have to find a way to act on it. You have to. No options. If you’re going to stand up for something, you have to put your money where your mouth is.

And that can be so, so, so scary. I know. But here’s what else I know. You’ll feel better for it.

Say, for example, you see a friend making a risky change. Maybe your best friend is catching feelings for someone new, and after thinking about it, you realize the guy is bad news. Do you tell your friend?

Yes. You speak the truth with great love, but you tell her. And when you do, you’ll feel it. Your chest will loosen up. Your breath will ease. Speaking the truth, even when you’re scared, is a huge, huge part of becoming a superhero.

But it’s more than just having the courage to speak up. Every now and then, we’ll be faced with a situation that will test us. Every now and then, you’ll have to stop in and check in: Does this still feel right? Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation that no one else will understand, but for whatever reason, it feels right to you. Follow that instinct. Stay on your own path, no matter how twisty it seems. Find your place, and stand tall.

 

Superhero action of the day: Stop and take a minute today to really determine where you stand on something you’ve been avoiding.