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Archive of ‘An Adventurous Life’ category

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

The most decadent cupcake ever. #Vegan caramel-filled chocolate cupcakes topped with salted caramel buttercream dipped in toasted coconut. Samoa Joe cupcakes, my anniversary gift (everything from scratch, with the thousands of dishes to prove my love.)
Adorable & delicious all-#vegan cafe in the middle of West Virginia. Just what we needed  & we could sit outside with pup! I got a DANDELION latte, and it is GOOD.
Teaching 100+ alpaca farmers how to reach knitters & spinners (like us). SUCH a great group!
Yay! My knitting is in my first-ever project bag! Made by the fabulous @mistydot!
A great Southern, #vegan meal. Black eyed peas, greens, and marinated, baked tofu. #whatveganseat #yum
YAY. My fiber from @graceshalomhopkins arrived! #nofilter needed, it is GORGEOUS. #spinzilla #spinning

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds:

I’m doing:

This week I joined Spinzilla! It inspired me to get out my dyepots and dye someroving from my mom’s sheep, and I gave her a call to see if I could get more…and there’s only ONE pound of white left and three pounds of gray. So if you wanted to get some small-farm roving, snag it here. (Before I do.)

I’m eating: 

  • So much good food on the road! Mission Savvy is all-vegan, in the middle of West Virginia (kind of a shock!); a (small) vegan menu at TJ’s in Wooster, OH; a great breakfast at Spoon Market in downtown.
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe for our anniversary!
  • Ridiculous cupcakes: Samoa Joe cupcakes from Bake + Destroy = chocolate cupcakes filled with vegan coconut caramel, topped with salted caramel buttercream and rolled in toasted coconut. YEAH.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I did it! I finished the sweater I started in 2010!! I kept putting it away worried it wasn't working...but IT FITS!!  Featherweight cardigan in Malabrigo. I'll give you a better look at it soon.
Untitled
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup = my new obsession.  #yaysummer  (syrup =  blueberries microwaved with maybe 1/2 tsp maple syrup)  #blueberries #100happytaradays #vegan

I am so grateful for…

  •  A lovely hike in the Appalachians this weekend.
  • Making a new friend, a real friend that totally gets my crafty obsessions and propensity to talk too fast.
  • Blueberries! Basil! Local summer tastiness.
  • This fabulous surprise on the Rock + Purl podcast!

The Finds:

I’m finding:

I’m eating: 

  • More blueberry crumb bars. Don’t judge. (From this book)
  • More pesto from my home-grown basil over gnocchi.
  • Ancho Lentil burritos.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news each month – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I got one great shot...before my phone died. Leaving me 2 mi from home with no way to get directions or call a car.  So grateful to the gal at @raredevice who downloaded Uber so I could log in and order one.  #taralovesadventure #butnotthatmuch
Who wants pesto? #basil #mygarden
Reason One Zillion I love @storiedyarns: she sent me the BEST card, right to the studio. Ah-mazing. #swigerlive
When life gives you a broken refrigerator and sad blueberries, make blueberry crumb bars.    (And then enjoy with a big mug of coffee  while waiting for the repair man.)  #taralovesmornings

I am so grateful for…

It’s been a full July. I taught live, in front of over 5,000 students. I traveled across the country. My cat died. I didn’t sleep for over 40 hours. Then I slept for 13 hours, three nights in a row. I took time off. I got a lot of work done. I had a zillion conversations with a bajillion interesting people. Jess sent me an awesomely encouraging card. Karen made me a beautiful dress. And I am grateful, for all of it.

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

What I’m reading: July 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.
What I'm reading this month! Full list on Taraswiger.com/blog

What I read

  • Foodist, by Darya Rose – a good primer for anyone wanting to feel better about food
  • Mindset, by Carol Dweck – a LOT of research showing how your mindset (do you think people are capable of change?) matters in…everything.

I didn’t get a lot of reading in this month, because I spent most of my time writing and editing my new class materials. This month I’m flying, so I hope to get more in!

What I’m reading

My new bookish obsession

About a  month ago (right when my workload was ramping up), I got obsessed with the idea of reading the Great Books - you know, the books that have formed the foundation of our culture, that teach us something about ourselves…those books that everyone else read in high school and college that I missed. (As a French Lit major I read MANY “classics”…in French. But I seemed to miss many of the English/American classics.) I scoured many Great Books list, and added the ones that seemed to show up the most (and that seem “great” to me). You can see my list of 102 Great Books here (some of which I’ve read, thank goodness!), but I’d love to hear from you – what are the most important books to how YOU see the world? Whether the Western Canon thinks they’re “great” or not, what would be on your own Great Book list?

And also – what the heck should I do with this list now? Read through it in a year? Read one a month? Where would you begin?

 

My most-recommended books for your small business or life:

I’ve collected my most-recommended books in a list of 28 books in the Bibliography of my new course. This list is my answer to the question: Where do I start? And: How did you learn to..? I’m entirely self-taught via books, and these are the ones that have had the biggest impact in my own business business and life. You’ll get the full bibliography when you purchase the course here.

 

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I am so predictable the baristas warm my cup when I walk in.  Ritual: find a chair, write today's list, order coffee: Tall Komodo Dragon (brewed in The Clover) in a mug. And a big ice water. Add a dash of cream + cinnamon.   #taralovesmornings #everyday
You gotta love a downtown with a mountain view.
My go-to travel&teach outfit: @karinadresses wrap & Old Navy flats. (For when I drive for an hour+, teach for 2 hours, then drive home).
Love this quote from @Beverly_army13.  The Starship closes at 4pm EST today, don't hesitate to ask if you've got questions!

I am so grateful for…

  •  Coffee! This week has been a constant battle with my deadlines (and distraction). If I weren’t slightly caffeinated, I don’t think I’d be nearly finished with my CreativeLIVE class materials. (Here’s what I drink at a coffeeshop, or at home)
  • The amazing Starship boarding! I’ve gotta double-check but I’m fairly certain this is our biggest boarding party ever. Either way, I’m delighted by the smart, clever makers beaming up.

 

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m listening to:

I’m eating: 

  • Butternut Mac. It tastes nothing like mac+cheese, but non-vegans LOVE it. So so good.
  • Tempeh Chili (followed by chili dogs!)
  • Garlicky thyme-y marinated tempeh sandwiches, with roasted red pepper and greens on ciabatta. YUM.
  • Nut granola with almond milk and bueberries.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

My $2/yd fabric. I went ahead and bought the whole 5 yards, so I have back-up.  Question: do you wash fabric before you sew clothes? (It's rayon, a crepe I think)
My adorable bunny-lover. (He saw the bunny, froze, then shook it off and started inside.) #bestdogever
Huzzah! Just opened The Starship for the quarter! So excited to meet who beams aboard.  All the details in the link in my profile. But ask me anything!   #starshipbiz
Morning glories are just so happy. (And they make me feel special, being up early enough to see them) Song of the Run: Do My Thing by Estelle, feat. Janelle Monae (This song is so great!) #foundwhilerunning #yaysummer #summerjam #running

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds:

I’m reading:

  • I love that Pinch of Yum shares their monthly income report, but the best part is how the answer the question, “What does it take to make money blogging?”
  • Not much else! Spending all my time writing class materials + welcoming in new Starship Captains.

I’m eating: 

  • Pad Thai, of course!
  • BBQ tofu sammies + summer squash rice casserole (from Cookin Crunk.)
  • THIS was amazing. My lasagna noodles totally broke apart, so instead of rolls, it was more of a lasagna with pieces of noodles above and below a layer of DELICIOUS pesto-y vegan ricotta. Topped with more pesto. I could eat this every day.

I’m listening to: 
The Songs of Summer, since 1962 - this is a great playlist for summer-ing it up!

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Finally found peonies for sale! (Trader Joe's AVL) #nofilter because they don't need it! #peonies #yaysummer
This day never recovered, even after location change. The solution: knocked off early to get fabric. The fabric store never disappoints! #100happydays #100happytaradays

While Jay picked up his comics, I explored our tiny downtown.   I've been meaning to tell you: I downloaded the app Moves, and it's totally changed the way I think about waiting. I take a SHOCKINGLY low number of steps in my tiny home or working at coffee
Still obsessed with #peonies. #yaysummer

Embroidery done by my great-grandma, hanging in my mom's studio. Grandma knew how to put a bird on it.   (Also used in Mom's logo: bluebirdlegacy on Etsy).

I am so grateful for…

  • A lovely weekend with my family, exploring Nashville
  • The Moves app, it’s totally changing my days
  • Clarity of purpose. Is there anything better than knowing that you’re doing what you should be doing?
  • The patience of Jay, Mom, and my friends while I freak out over what I’ll wear (and how I’ll do my hair) for my CreativeLIVE class. It’s so obviously the least important aspect, and yet the one I talk about the most often.

 

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating:
(I share my favorite meals as they happen, on Instagram. Since there’s always at least one person who wants the recipe…here they are!)

In case you missed it: 

  • I had a great conversation with Mei, of Tiny Hands, about how she got her work on a popular TV show (and in many magazines and blogs!)
  • Next week I’m sharing a much-requested (free!) mini-course on How to Say No. Get the whole thing in a handy PDF (with worksheets!) here.

What adventures have you had?

 

PS. The beautiful embroidery of birds, above, was made by my great-grandma. You can see the whole thing in the header of my mom’s shop here. (Did you know you can get wool from her sheep?)

What I’m reading: June 2014

follow my enthusiasm by reading…a lot. And once a month, I share (some of) the books I read last month and the books I intend to read this month. You can join the informal book club by sharing your own list in the comments and find all the posts here.

Here's what I'm reading  this month! (Details on the blog.)   What are you reading?

What I read

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg – This was so great! I find myself applying this to my own life and my work with clients already! I highly recommend it!

Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh – This is hilarious (dogs!) and poignant (a great description of depression).

The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup, by Jamie Tardy – Despite the title, this book is less about being a millionaire and more about starting a business and growing, based on how millionaires have done it. I tend to avoid “get rich” books, and this book is far from it. Jamie has a great podcast with interesting interviews, and she’s taken all she’s learned and turned it into a great getting-started guide.

Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community - As a kid, I feel completely in love with I Love Lucy and Lucille Ball. We got all of the shows from the library, and then I read all of her biographies. Friends was our Thursday Night standing Roomate Date. So when I spotted this book at the library, I had to grab it. With it’s look at sitcoms from I Love Lucy through Friends all the way to Community (which I love) was a fun (if somewhat nerdily academic read.)

 

What I’m reading

How about you? What are you reading? 

 Disclaimer-y Disclaimer!  Or course I’m biased when my friends write a book, but I don’t mention things I don’t like. Read the usual disclaimer here.

On my 32nd birthday

Rocking the bangs & the pink sweaters & the flyaway hair way back in...86? I think I'm 4ish. #tbt

It’s my birthday! Yay!

It’s become a kind of tradition that I reflect back on the last year + share what I’ve learned (and accomplished) each year on my birthday.
Finally cold enough for tights, sweater, shawl. #yayfall
Of course, I always do this on my own, for myself (I talk about that more in tomorrow’s episode)…but I also share it here for two reasons:

  1. It takes time.
    I think that, when you’re looking at anyone’s life and business from the outside, it’s easy to miss just how long it took them. (More on that here). By sharing the last year (and a quick brief on the years before), I hope that it helps you see that everyone’s growth goes slowly, piece by piece.
  2. Celebration is important.
    It’s more socially acceptable (and comfortable!) to be modest, humble and self-effacing…to the point where we skip over acknowledging our accomplishments and move on to the next thing. (Claudine and I chatted about just this!) But celebration is important – it keeps you going, it reminds you of your awesomeness, and it builds your confidence so you try the next thing. Since I build my work around encouraging others to celebrate, I have to do it myself in order to have integrity. It’s my hope that, as uncomfortable as this may make me, it serves as a model for your OWN celebration.

Auditioning all-over pink for Boston trip. Will it last the whole week? (This after 3 washes). #hmm

A look back…

Last year, I reflected that you never know where a tiny step is going to take you

Two years ago, I shared my secret of success. Then I started leading in-person workshops, finished two quilts, and explored my enthusiasm. I trained for (and ran!) a 5k
Three years ago, I explained why I was giving it all away and opened the Starship. The following year I got a book deal, wrote my book, and gave my first live speech. It was a sparkly year, full of firsts + traveling + feeling like a rock star.
Four years ago, I welcomed you to this site. The following year I moved from individual classes to building a community for makers, and got my first “big” client. My house was broken into (multiple times) and we moved suddenly into a 10×10 room, with all our stuff in storage, for 3 months. It was a rough year, but by my birthday I was feeling brave.
Five years ago, I was at the beach, about to quit my dayjob. That year I became self-employed, and opened a yarn shop (and quickly closed it, when I recognized that I wasn’t having fun). It was a year of boldly following my enthusiasm through fear.
Six years ago, I was working full-time in an office, making yarn at nights and weekends, growing my business.
Seven years ago, I was teaching and dyeing custom colors for a local yarn store.
Eight years ago, I was managing a paint-your-own-pottery studio, beginning to dye yarn, but hadn’t even dreamed of starting a yarn company.

After missing the first day and a half of the beach thanks to the flu, I'm that much more thankful to finally be in the sea air. #windy

This year, I feel like I fully let my enthusiasm become by business advisor and I doubled the Starship membership, opened the Solo Mission, and created 4 new digital workshops.
Later, Boston. See you tonight. xoxo, your new girlfriend.
I also got brave + bold with my in-person teaching: I taught at the national trade show for the knitting industry (!) in San Diego (and learned an important lesson), two workshops in Boston, at community colleges and arts councils around North Carolina, and signed a contract to teach with CreativeLIVE. I dedicated myself to helping you explore your Enthusiasm, by hosting the Exploration Party in July and by starting a podcast (Explore Your Enthusiasm) last month. Oh, and I totally redesigned by whole website.

Moms new Christmas quilt, on top of last year's Christmas quilt. #nofilter #pennypatchqal

I found a good balance between work and play- I finished 2 quilts (and started 2 more), I started painting and I picked knitting back up.

Emerald Isle quilt

But I definitely made less this year than others, because I spent a lot more time outdoors: I ran my first 10k, in the Redwoods (and of course, trained for it most of the winter).

Hiked 4 miles to swim at the falls (& then 4 miles back. Oof).

I went to the Outer Banks with my extended family, took a roadtrip with a college roommate, watched the sun set on my brother’s boat, visited my dad twice, celebrated a friend’s wedding, and met a whole host of students, friends and fellow biz explorers during my travels. Jay and I spent endless evenings snuggled in with great food and our favorite TV shows.

More from my goodbye to the Oceanside Pier yesterday, because pretty. (& running though CLT requires pretty).
There were, of course, less-than-awesome moments. Beau had a weird growth on his mouth, that required several hundreds of dollars in vet visits (and one surgery)…to discover it’s just an bacterial overgrowth of skin and nothing to be worried about. There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and one friend-break-up (Jay’s). There was hope and possibility, disappointment and impatience.
The rain is busy pelting the petals off the trees, so I wanna remember this moment in last week's run. #yayspring #foundwhilerunning

But really, when I look back, I can’t remember much about the bad, sad, or exhausting. I remember the beautiful spring runs, the seabreeze, the hugs, conversation, smiles, and gigglefits. I remember the moments when I felt loved or understood. I remember that this was a year full of love and opportunities.

And that’s all I can hope for the coming year.

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

 

The view

I stopped to smell the roses (literally) and found a tiny nest in the rose bush! #foundwhilerunning

I was awoken by this face burrowing into my armpit. #taralovesmornings
Today is a two-cups of coffee, two-screens day. Holding a (surprise! bonus!) Q&A for Customer Path students...and the classroom software is totally down.
These 2 are unconcerned with the swinging weight above their heads. #totaltrust #fitstagram

Beau knows there's *something* here...(see the bunny at the far top, center?)

I am so grateful for…

  • Jessica! My Number One makes the endless amount of worksheets + class material I create possible + pretty + error-free.
  • Your sweet replies to this week’s lesson! So many Thank Yous, made my whole week.
  • A great conversation with Mei, which you’ll hear on the podcast in 2 weeks.
  • Patience when my classroom stopped working for an entire day. I very nearly lost my head. And then I didn’t. So I’m grateful for that tiny bit of progress accepting Things I Can’t Control.

The Finds:

I’m reading

I’m eating

What adventures did you have this week?

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