Life Lately

I've been doing a bit of work to my room and so far I've gotten 2 walls painted, my desk moved to the corner I want it in, and the first of my movie shelves put up!  It's impossible to tell what color I've chosen for my walls in these photos, after editing them for Instagram, but they're a really pretty eggshell blue.  I'll post real photos once everything is complete!

I'm going to have to start digging out all of my movie related toys and such to help decorate the edges of these shelves!  I love my vintage little ET toy :)  I had no idea how many movies I'd be able to set up on these shelves, but once I got these up it kinda put it into perspective for me.  I've got them all stored in about 6 crates and this was only one and a half crates worth!  Once I paint one of the empty walls I'm going to line the center with these shelves, but double the length.  I can't wait to get everything put up!  I've finally gotten my record player out and can't wait to paint this little table I've got it on.  I'm not sure what color I'm going to go with yet, but it's starting to feel like me.  This Wildewoman record by Lucius has become one of my favorites.  If you haven't heard them before, give them a listen!
If I had known a year ago that Monty Python would be doing a live performance in London, I would have seriously saved all the money I could to buy tickets and fly out there to see the show.  Watching it live from a local theater was the next best thing though, and it was such a great show!  It was sad knowing it was their last performance as a saying goodbye, but I'm so happy I was able to be part of the experience!

What have you been up to lately?

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

Big Tree at Goose Island State Park

Is this not the most amazing Oak Tree you've ever seen?  I couldn't fit the entire tree in the shot with the lens I was using so this photo really does it no justice at all, you HAVE to see this tree in person.  Just a few quick stats to put in into perspective:
  • It's thought to be one of the largest in the nation.
  • The trunk circumference measures 34 feet & 1.75 inches!
  • The average trunk diameter is 11 feet & 2.25 inches!
  • It's 44 feet tall
  • It's over 1,000 years old!  

You can learn more about Big Tree by clicking HERE!

There are a few large Oak Trees nearby as well that have incredible root systems:

While checking the trees out, Matthew spotted this Texas Spiny Lizard, and I probably spent about 30 full minutes taking a gazillion photos hahaha!  Here's my favorite:

And this is where is gets it's name:

I hadn't climbed a tree in a few years and there are "no climbing" signs posted and a fence placed around Big Tree, so I climbed one of the other ones instead.  I am now convinced that this should be a regular occurrence.  I miss climbing trees!!!  That was thing when I was a kid!  Oh, and I had my first pedicure in over 8 years!  I've totally been missing out.

When is the last time you went tree climbing?

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

Honest to Blog: What's Keeping You From Achieving Your Goals

Today's post comes from a link-up on Elizabeth's blog, and once I read what she had to say, I felt inspired to share my take on it!

So what IS keeping me from achieving my goals?  I'll give you three answers actually: Money, Procrastination, and Insecurity.

Money.  This part honestly should NOT be on this list of things that's keeping from reaching my goals.  My day job leaves me with more than enough money to support my hobbies and interests and funding my goal of opening my etsy shop.  So why is this on the list?  I'm terrible with money.  It seems like I've always lived paycheck to paycheck.  If I have money left over after the bills are paid, instead of saving it like I know I should, I hop on over to Amazon and order something (or many somethings!)...then I wind up with next to nothing before I get paid again..wondering how that much money emptied out of my account so fast.  I realize that this is a part of my life that is going to have to change if I ever expect to someday work for myself.  I need to learn to live with less.  I often use Parks & Rec as an excuse and am always telling myself to "Treat Yo Self!", but I end up over treating myself and it gets out of hand.  I've sat down the other day and went over my bank statements for the last 6 months and was blown away by how much of my paychecks went to online orders and fast food.  Gross!  Of the many lifestyle changes that I feel I need to make, this is one of the big ones.

Procrastination.  This is probably the largest flaw that I see in myself.  I am a procrastinator.  The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem right?  I'll say it again. I am a procrastinator.  I always have been, and it's gotten me...well...not very far.  I moved into this house in April, and I literally just now got around to unpacking boxes that are in my craft room/office.  Seriously!  That's what I spent Sunday doing.  It felt great to get it done, but it took me forever and a day to finally tell myself to get off my ass and do it.  Now I have half my room painted and things are starting to look a lot prettier in here!  If I stopped procrastinating and started doing...I would have reached 99.9% of my goals years ago.

Insecurity.  Uh oh.  Not that ugly word!  Over the past 5 years I've packed on about 50 pounds and it has really done a number on my confidence.  I've always been a very shy person, and it's sometimes come off to others as insecure.  I've never felt the way I feel now after gaining so much weight though.  I haven't worn a swimsuit in years.  My clothes are continuously getting smaller and smaller.  I have less and less energy and have started noticing stretch marks in places I never ever in a million years thought I'd have them!  I've gone from wearing a size 6 to a size 12.  I hate going shopping.  I hate being in any sort of social situation where I have to see someone I haven't seen in a long time.  And I never share photos of myself on my blog.  I've always wanted to do outfit photos, because I love dressing up and putting together cute outfits, but I always put it off because I don't feel confident in my body.  I don't feel like ME anymore, and I hate that.  Not only do I feel this way about my body, but I feel this way about a lot of things.  I'm always comparing my projects to that of people who have inspired me.  I finish something and get excited about accomplishing or creating something, and then I compare it to something someone else has done.  I know I need to stop doing that and just be proud of myself for creating something.

I want to be successful. I want to be confident. And I want to reach my goals.  There are obviously things that are standing in my way of reaching one goal or another, but nothing is permanent and there is always room for change.  Writing this post has helped clear my mind and I should probably share more of these types of posts regularly.  

Be sure and check out Elizabeth's post and read through some of the posts linked at the bottom!  Inspiring stuff!

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

Insects: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

I'm a big fan of visiting state parks and wildlife refuges, so of course we went to visit a few while we were in Rockport!  One of the places we visited was the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  We got to see quite a few deer, a snake that I wasn't fast enough to catch, and a coyote with a couple of pups!  I was so disappointed that I couldn't get my camera out fast enough to snap a photo before they darted into the tree line, but it was awesome getting to see them anyway!  I did get plenty of shots of different insects we saw while on the trail, and decided to share these:


Mating Monarch Butterflies

Leaf Footed Bug
Insects are one of my favorite photography subjects.  I can't wait to get a real macro lens and start getting into it more :)

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

New Illustrations + Society6

One of my July goals is to come up with at least 25 new illustrations to build my inventory for Oh Rocky.  I still have a ginormous list of other things I still need to do aside from illusrations including: designing and ordering business cards, filing for a DBA, and opening a business checking account.  Until I get everything in order for my Etsy shop, I decided I'd go ahead and make my illustrations available on Society6!  Each time I design something new I'll add it to Society6, so check it often!  I'm currently on a Princess Bride kick so expect to see at least 3 more very soon!  I've added a link that I'll keep at the bottom of my sidebar, so head over and check it out when you can!

You can visit my shop by clicking HERE!
Are you on Society6?  I'd love to check out your shop!

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

Wish I Had: A Macro Lens!

 Ants are really fucking amazing creatures.  Did you know that:

  • The weight of all ants in the world is the same as, if not greater than that of all humans?
  • They have the longest life span of all insects?  30 years!!!
  • All worker, soldier, and queen ants are female.  
  • Ants and humans are the only creatures that farm other creatures.
  • Most ants can survive 24 hours under water.
  • You can find these and other fun ant facts here!
I really really wish that I had had a macro lens when I took these photos at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  I'm really happy with the results I got though using my 55-200 zoom lens without a tripod.  The ants were super docile and didn't seem to mind me getting up in their space too much at all.  These particular ants are Red Harvester Ants.  I've never seen a Harvester Ant colony up close before, but it was really fascinating watching them work together. 
Harvester Ants make up close to 70% of the Texas Horned Lizards diet. The combination of pesticides and the red imported fire ant have drastically reduced the number of Harvester Ant colonies...which in turn has made the population of Horned Lizards plummet.  I've lived in Texas my whole life, and I've only ever seen one of them.  It was really neat getting to watch these guys though and I plan on having a macro lens the next time we go (hopefully they'll still be there)!

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg

Goals: July 2014

1) 25 Illustrations.  I plan on cooking up AT LEAST 25 new digital illustrations to incorporate into items for my Etsy shop.  My plan is to open shop with at least 40 items and continue adding from there.  I'll definitely share as I go!

2) Paint Bathroom.  My bathroom is so messy right now and covered in wallpaper.  I'm ready to tear it down and slap some fresh paint on the walls.  I have a vision of what it's going to look like already and I'm totally excited to get started.

3) Paint Office.  My Office/Craft Room hasn't come very far in the way of "making it my own" since I moved in 3 months ago, and that makes me sad.  I have like 12 or more boxes to unpack in addition to the 6 crates of DVD's that need to be displayed.  I want to set up a shelving system for them on the wall, but I HAVE to paint first.  I think I've decided on the color(s) I'm going to go with, and so now I just need to make a run for paint.  I can't wait to share before and afters!!

4) Buy a new printer.  I've decided that in addition to selling buttons/magnets/pocket mirrors, I'm going to sell prints as well.  I hate the idea of having my prints done by someone else, and think I'll be much better off if I can print them at home myself.  I've picked out the printer I want already, so now I just need to set aside some money.

5) Lose 6-8 pounds.  My ultimate weight loss goal is to lose at least 50 pounds, and it seems so much less intimidating and discouraging if I break it up into tiny bits.  Losing 6-8 pounds per month is reasonable I think.

If I reach all of my goals this month, I'm splurging and getting a new tattoo!  Yay!!!

What are your goals this month?

 photo xoxomindi_zpse464302f.jpg