7 Things to ADD to Your Spring Cleaning To-Do List Now!!

It’s “Spring Cleaning” time! We make our lists, gather our buckets and micro-fiber cloths, our Swiffers and our brand-new mops, and we go at it. Washboards, windows, that crusty stuff on the stove hood, that icky black corner behind the toilet, the hair pulled from the drains. We go at it with ferocity and yank open our windows so the place smells like Spring. The birds sing. The music dances all around us. We feel accomplished, fresh, and ready set a fresh bouquet of flowers on every table top.

Spring cleaning is a wonderful way to freshen up our living spaces and renew our sense of comfort in our home, but there are a few things that may not have made your list. Here are some things you may not have jotted down on your Spring Cleaning TO-DO list, that should totally have made the cut:

  1.  Give your home a “clean” check. Swap out some of those cleaners with green cleaning solutions such as white vinegar for those pesky smells (Just put some white vinegar mixed with water into a spray bottle and spray away!) White vinegar mixed with baking soda is also excellent for scrubbing. Safe and non-toxic, safe for the pooches, and once the vinegar smell evaporates (quickly) it takes stinky smells with it…better for the environment and better for the health every living thing in your home. What feels better than clean? GREEN glean 😊 And, while you’re at it…unplug everything in your home that you are not using. Save some money while you’re checking off your list.
  • Clean up your online face! What do I mean by this? Just take a cruise through your social media accounts and remove anything that may be, let’s just say “unclean” or “unpresentable.” What you project out into the world matters. If you are unkind to people or posting drama-related junk, just remove that mess. The world does NOT need any more toxicity and unkindness in it. Cleaning up your online presence also helps you to attract less junk into your life. Have people on your friends lists that are always bringing negativity? Bye. Bye. Life is too short to spend parts of your day wasted with that nonsense. Present yourself respectably and get respect. Show the young men and women in your life how it’s done. Had an argument for the world to see? Delete it, drop it, be done with it, and move on. Clean it up and enjoy less drama in the days ahead. Who knows, you may find you like this cleaner-online-you!
  • Clean up your language. Take some time to think about what you say, before you say it, and practice uplifting others, genuinely. You’d be surprised what a change in your life this can be. It is so easy to get stuck in a pitfall of complaining. Try a different approach. See where positivity can get you in your relationships and with your attitude. It will make the days have more spring than drag.
  • Have you cleaned out your car lately? Add that to the list. And don’t forget to refill the window washer fluid to help with all those pooping spring birds that are filling the air. It’s hard to enjoy your beautiful spring day when you can’t see past the bird poop in the shape of Louisiana that’s parked right in your line of sight. Enjoy the birds but get rid of that poop.
  • Clean out your pets’ homes.  Don’t forget your furry and feathered loved ones with the stinky kennels. Get them some fresh bedding and swap out their crusty toys for new ones. They will surely thank you with peeps, and songs, and thankful tail-wagging.
  • Clean out your phone! Get rid of unused apps. Go through the 4000 pictures and get rid of the ones you don’t need anymore. Delete all those unneeded texts and emails. Swap out your ring tones for new ones and feel like you are starting afresh. Delete old contacts! You know you are never going to call that guy you sold something to on Craigslist like 3 years ago! Delete. Clean it up and bask in the glow of cellular clarity.
  • Hit the “refresh” button on your soul by spending a little time outdoors. Leave the phone. The Tablet. The laptop. Grab a bottle of water and something to sit on and park yourself in a quiet place with nothing but the trees, or the field, or creek and the moss, and just BE. Listen to the sounds of Spring. Watch a bug going on about its expeditions. Just spend a little time away from the electronics and let the beauty of the natural world soothe your soul.  Nature is a healing and restorative thing that we often neglect to immerse ourselves in…I invite you to spend a little time soaking up the warmth of the Spring sun and feeling the Spring breezes on your face. You will feel rejuvenated and renewed.

Do YOU have any Spring renewal plans for your life? When the mop bucket dries and the windows close will you feel like your spirit has also had a cleansing? Spring is a lovely time of the year to hit the reset button and start something new.

Christina Ward
writer, poet, blogger
http:// https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/03/08/evolution/
https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/18/coming-home/

Perfect Bra Fit – Tips and Tricks You Need to Know Now!!

Need a little help finding the perfect bra fit? You are not alone.

Ladies, I know your struggle. Finding the perfect bra size is frustrating and challenging, but it is NOT impossible. I have been professionally trained to measure for bra size by a major high end retail store and what I learned through this experience, I will pass along to you. You will be able to measure for your perfect bra size and also you will know what size to choose if you go up or down a band size for the comfort you want! I will also show you the biggest mistakes most women make when choosing a bra, and how you can avoid these common pitfalls. So, get a NON-PADDED bra (or take yours off,) a pen and paper and one of those handy dandy tape measures…and meet me back here!!

Men …this is an article about boobs. Proceed with care 😉

Are you ready? Measuring for the perfect bra is not hard and you can do this!

We are going to take 2 measurements. I will walk you through this, but I will also tell you the things that will make your bra size make more sense to you, and help you understand what bra is best for you! (And no, I don’t sell bras, I just want to help other women be happy, confident, and empowered!) Ok, let’s DO this.

STEP ONE: Measuring for your band size

  • Using your soft tape measure, wrap the tape horizontally (parallel with the floor) around your torso, right where your bra band will be, just underneath your breasts. The tape should be level with the floor, not angled. use a mirror to make sure you are getting an accurate measurement. The tape should also be snug, no more than one finger should fit underneath. Ok now read your number and round UP to the next inch. WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN.
  • Now, take the number you just wrote down: if it is an ODD number (31, 35 etc.) add 5 to your number and write this down.
  • If your first number was an EVEN number, add 4 and write this down.
  • Ok you should now have 2 numbers written down, your torso measurement and the second number, which is your BAND MEASUREMENT.
  • *** A little trick I learned from the bra-fitting experts I worked with and trained with…and I don’t see this information posted in other bra-fitting sites…if your torso measurement is 40 or up, don’t add the standard 4 or 5, add 2 or 3! If you do this and when in the store you find this doesn’t help and it feels too tight, then go with the standard of adding 4 or 5. SOMETIMES I have found this to allow for a better fit.

More on band size later, let’s get to CUP SIZE…

STEP TWO: Now, let’s measure for cup size…

YOUR CUP SIZE IS MERELY A LETTER … NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BREASTS

But first. We need to talk about cup size for a moment. Before you take your measurement, and we figure out your perfect cup size…FORGET EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT CUP SIZE. Little known fact: CUP SIZE IS NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BOOBS. Letting that sink in? There is NO standard cup size of A or cup size of D…each cup size combined with the band size makes for a size to fit the breasts. This cup size thing needs to NOT be attached to a stigma of whether or not your breasts are “big enough” or “small enough.” More on cup size later but if you promise to take your measurements without attaching them to your self-esteem…we can continue. LET’S DO THIS LADIES.

Measuring for cup size

  • There are two ways to take your bust measurement; standing, or bent over. I will walk you through both.
  • Standing method. Take another measurement like you did for the torso measurement, with the measuring tape parallel to the floor, at the widest measurement of your breasts (usually right across the nipple area.) You want the tape to be an accurate true measurement so do not pull too tight or have it loose either. It should be resting against your skin all the way across your back and sides and softly across the bust area. You will want to round UP to the nearest whole inch number. Write this number down.
  • Bending method. Bend in half at the waist, until your back is parallel with the floor, and let your breasts hang to take the same measurement. (I often take the standing measurement with a non-padded bra and then take the bending-method measurement with NO bra on and compare the numbers. Try to make sure to round up to the nearest number for both and you should have the same bust measurement. it is ok to take both measurements several times and feel confident in this measurement. Write down your number (remember to round up to the nearest whole inch number.)
  • FIGURING YOUR CUP SIZE: Take the very first number you wrote down, the torso measurement and subtract the bust measurement and write this down. This number will determine your cup size.

CUP SIZE CHART

BRA SIZE CHART – If you do not fall in this chart, I would recommend a professional who works with special sizing. Larger and smaller cups sizes are often not available and will need to be specially ordered.
So now, you have your band and cup size! Here are a few other things you need to know BEFORE you go bra shopping:
  • An estimated 80% of women are wearing the WRONG bra size! Once you have measured correctly, I would advise that you re-measure anytime you have changed weight by 10 pounds or so to be sure your size has not changed. It is also a good idea to re-measure each year.
  • if you have “side boob” or that unattractive boob roll at the top of your bra, your bra cup size is TOO SMALL!
  • If you have gaping at the top of your bra, your cup size is TOO BIG, or this could be a sign that you have what is called “shallow” breasts, meaning there is less fullness in the top area of your breasts. This is a good indication that a bra with under-padding would be good for you.
  • If you lack the cleavage you desire, opt for this padding to be more toward the outer area of the cup. It is possible your breasts are more wide set (and since you’ve probably been wearing a cup size too small, you’ve been hiking your boob over and into the bra–very annoying to have to keep doing this!) and going up to the correct size could correct this for you.
  • Know your breasts are NOT the same shape as everyone’s. Breast tissue can be dense and round or slack at the top, or sprawly…everyone is unique and choosing the best bra style that best fits you is also important. While you may LOVE that delicate style, you may need more support for a fuller breast tissue. Wide set breasts need more support at the sides. Hanging breasts may need more lift. There are also minimizing bra styles for breasts that protrude more than you want them to. Once you have your correct sizing, try on several styles and see what looks best on you. Don’t try to be like everyone else – do what works for YOU.

ONE MORE THING ABOUT YOUR BRA SIZE THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT

THIS ONE IS BIG…PAY ATTENTION: If your band is just TOO TIGHT and you want to go up to the next band size for the sake of your preference and comfort, DROP DOWN A CUP SIZE. Also if the bra you like runs loose, and you drop down a band size, GO UP A CUP SIZE. It is a good idea to know the next size up and down so you can shop different brands and styles easily. For example:

You wear a 36 C. Therefore your “sister sizes” would be a 38B or a 36D. Some brands run small (Calvin Klein for example) so you may want to try the 38 B (or C if it is still too small in the cup area). Or that bra you really want is not available in 36 C but maybe they DO have a 36D. Try on that one! Each brand, whether your favorite is Bali, or Maidenform, or Victoria Secret, all run differently, just like jeans or any other apparel. So take this into consideration.

So …are you ready to toss out all those floppy bras that are every size BUT the right one? Are YOU wearing the wrong size? Ready to go shopping? When you do, be patient with yourself and KIND to yourself. We are all built differently, and everyone deserves to feel confident and content with exactly who they are.

Thanks for reading. If you found this article helpful, so may others! Use the buttons below to share or reblog.

Please leave any thoughts or comments below and have a wonderful day!


When Good Intentions Wind Up in the Ort Jar

Happy Monday to you all!!

This article is based on a project I had begun for my sister: to stitch a lovely picture of her lovely children…now you may not be a stitcher, but there is a life lesson here you may not want to miss…

Before we begin, take a look at the “lovely picture to the right there…yes. That one. The one that appropriately says YUK underneath it. Not so lovely right?

When a project goes DISASTROUSLY wrong…

Image
YUK!!!

Now, does that even look CLOSE to skin color? It’s a weird mesh of terra cottas, pinks, and greenish browns….NONE of which look like my beautiful nephew Charlie. I made the pattern with Pic2Pat and wasn’t feeling terribly confident in the colors. I just had this feeling the colors were going to be all wrong. Well, they were WAY wrong. Thank goodness I started stitching one of the faces first and was able to make the decision to trash it NOW and not after stitching a page or two of the pattern. So, I frogged it. About 600 stitches I nipped, pulled, tugged, ripped, and brushed out into little balls of ort garbage and tossed into the ort jar. Disastrous.


Frogging: a term used by stitcher for the action of removing mistaken stitches. We call it being visited by the “frog” and we have “to rip it rip it” taking stitches out…aka “ribbit ribbit” Get it?


Handling Frustration with a Measure of Dignity

I’m bummed. I’m frustrated. I worked with sharp little scissors and my frogging needle and very nearly decided to throw the fabric across the room. How often is it that life has different plans than we do and despite our best intentions, we end up filling our ort jar with those ugly little fuzzy balls instead of snippets of pretty colors from a successful project?


What is an ORT JAR you ask? This is also a stitchers term for the jar we toss the end snippits of floss (the embroidery thread we stitch with) that we cut off. The spare, ending pieces (called orts) are often collected into an Ort jar and later used for a craft project, such as stuffing them into those clear glass Christmas ornaments.


Life often laughs in the face of our intentions. So, we can take our sharp little scissors and out of a blast of frustration cut the whole piece of fabric in half and set it ablaze in the fireplace, or we can nit pick at it until we’ve removed the wrongness, the sour parts, the problem details and hopefully, hopefully at the very least save the fabric. After all, you can brush away the dust and start afresh right? Tonight, I chose to save the fabric. With that. I am pleased.

Not happy about calling off this project, but confident it was the right decision. Handling a decision with grace is always an admirable thing. For now, I am tucking the slightly manipulated fabric into the Aida drawer. It’s back to the drawing board.

Redirect with Purpose

The point, after all, is to make something nice for my sister. Her favorite song is You Are My Sunshine. Perhaps I could design something for her. Maybe I will run across the perfect pattern. The right thing will be in the right place at the right time. I have followed my Lord long enough to know that if I am patient, this will be. His perfect solution rolls itself out right in front of me. If I am open. If I am trusting. And if I am willing to let go of my best intentions, my best laid plans, and brush away the messes I make and allow Him to show me something better. I know it will be something very special to honor my sister and her beautiful family.

Putting my stitching hands to rest tonight.

Although this is an older post of mine, and does read a bit “diary-ish,” I thought the lesson here to be valuable. When things do not go as planned, there is nothing wrong with “quitting.” I have been told a lesson about “not quitting” all of my life, and while that sentiment has it’s value, there is also a wisdom to knowing when to throw in the towel, and pick up a new one. Redirect your efforts and take with you a new lesson. Somethings you will learn the lesson in because of failure. That is ok, just learn those lessons quick before life throws them at you on repeat. All for now folks…have yourselves a fantastic Monday!


For more fun articles on Christina’s stitching adventures read up here:

George Washington Project Makes Front Page!

The George Washington Project – One Year Anniversary

Flosstube Video 1 – Two-Handed Cross Stitching and Parking Method

Christina ~