Monday Musings

So who stole the weekend already? Sunday night has shown up with the stealth of a cat ready to take down the dinner mouse.

I’m pondering the wisdom of coffee but it seems like a warm, delicious hug after a busy day and I’m close to losing the battle on making it.

Ah yes, I think that’s exactly what’s needed while I let my random Musings outta my head.

Let the monkeys loose

I wondered again today, how I can possibly squeeze more out of myself. Besides the usual life stuff, taking care of myself,family, housekeeping and all that, there’s my little vintage business that is growing.

I’m all happy over that but gosh…I need more time for projects. Besides pieces I do for my shop, I’ve been blessed with repeat customers and custom orders.

Ya know, in the beginning, that terrified me a wee bit. It’s one thing to dive into one of my needy, fixer upper pieces and a whole lot different working on a piece my client tells me has been in her family for over 100 years 😱

I got over it.

I will admit there’s a huge amount of vulnerability putting my work out there.

No one is tougher on me than me.

It all vanishes as soon as my customer sees their refinished piece and is thrilled over it.

I just wrapped up this little curio cabinet for a customer this weekend.. check out its before condition….

And now with it’s cool new look. I’m obsessed with these colors..

I’m pondering what piece I have that I can use this look on.

Maybe this little vintage table/magazine rack? I had a customer bring it to me….she was like…here I want you to have it. It was in an old rent house we’re cleaning out and I know you love stuff like this.. I happily took it..dust, cobwebs and all 🀣

Not to mention hubby and I went out hunting items this weekend and got some cool pieces for the shop. With the approaching holiday season I want it packed out.

Snake oil and magic potions

Ok if you’ve been with me for awhile you know one of my favorite soap box topics is the modern day snake oil of the diet/health industry.

It definitely makes for plentiful writing topics.

Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.

I’ve been researching/watching/ learning about one company that seems to have quite a cultic following.

I have more than one problem with this (company that shall remain nameless…for now at least)

For instance, nothing is discussed online. Not the name of company or what they are about…other than miraculous weight loss concoctions. However yours truly picked enough keywords from comments to figure it out. πŸ˜›

You do have to wait to receive a message from someone about it after you ask then I guess you get the secret info

Well. Ok.

I get it. The idea is so people like me don’t show up and ruin their party calling out the nonsense and drivel.

Doing things like informing them of the junk that’s in those fat burning, toxin cleansing, appetite suppressing, fat blocking miracle supplements they are shoving down their throat.

I think one of the biggest things that got me was a comment from a supporter of this and she said.. I quote

“Diet and exercise backfire”.

Help. Me.

What kind of thinking IS this???

Yes, a restrictive, depriving diet won’t last.

Learning to have a healthy daily balanced diet will last.

Combining it with purposeful exercise will go a long way to keeping you fit and healthy.

Of course that doesn’t sound as dramatic and exciting as the miracle potions Karen is trying to sell me on.

But more disturbingly kids, smart people really buy into all this.

In the past I’ve been a Guinea pig with various things so I could write on them from an informed way.

Everything from foods, to diets ( hello whole 30 and Paleo) to exercise trends (crossfit showed me how capable I am to lift heavy stuff) to more harmless things like athletic wear and shoes.

I love doing it because I can write from a really informed place.

I…briefly…contemplated being a lab rat for a short time.

However…one…I’m not up for paying the equivalent of a car payment for a month of fat burning supplies…( yes for real) and I don’t mean a cheap car payment….

Two….I don’t dig starving and being hungry for the sake of losing weight…especially since I know you don’t have to for success.

Oh and three…I really don’t wanna put all the crap in my body.

So I will continue my fact gathering and may present a post on this…this company…. who shall be nameless cause I’m not giving them advertising time 🀣

Oh a final tidbit…their revenue was listed at 103 million dollars.

In fitness news

I’m doing some time in physical therapy. Mostly we’re working out hips and legs and an IT band that is really giving me fits…horrible fits some days.

Last week they wanted to do some assessments on my strength. They put me on a machine and calculated how much weight I should do with one leg.

165 lbs. For a single leg press.

I was told to just start and do as many as I could. I got to 20, felt like I could do a few more but decided to finish strong and leave it there.

After doing it on the other side I got a brief rest and then had to knock out 2 more sets of 10.

My PT guy comes back and was like…wow you’re pretty strong.. yay for the old lady hahaha

I will admit…it felt pretty cool. It’s one thing to know I’m strong and another to be put through a test and knock it out of the park.

The goal is to get me loose so I can be 100% on the road again doing what I love.

Time will tell I suppose.

I’d still rather play hard, hitting hard goals an challenging myself than watching life from the sidelines. I understand doing that might involve injuries.. it’s a part of the game.

Fall is coming… I think

We’ve had a cool morning or two and its hard not to think of those comfort foods that always seem so enjoyable once the weather changes.

I whipped up a chicken casserole that’s a family favorite this week. Find it below😊

https://pin.it/u3xbwglckelsht

And what about an easy chicken and dumpling recipe? you’re welcome

https://pin.it/ghvsdrla27p2we

I’ve got lots of amazing recipes saved on Pinterest, be sure to check them out!

Your turn. How’s the week been kids? What’s on your plate for this Monday?

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Saturday Snippets

As I’m writing this little installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m a bit in denial that July is now tipping into the “it just started and is now wildly speeding out of control ” zone.

Holy hello, where has the month gone??

Besides pondering that deep question, I thought I’d share with you what I was up to this week.

I’ve kept athletic things low key ’cause I went and got this done on Tuesday…..

And when you have that much open skin…well….the idea of sweating alot into it wasn’t appealing 🀣

I’ve had ideas for quite awhile to pull together some pieces I already had. I got with our local artist for a consult and set things in motion.

This is what my arm previously looked like.

It was so exciting to pull the ideas out of my head, hand them over to her and let her weave them together.

To say I’m in love with how it’s shaping up is an understatement. This piece is about 90% done now.

In two weeks I’ll go back to touch up any areas and also to have some lace added around my wrist.

Since I’m writing a post on my most recent tattoo shenanigans, I thought I’d share questions/comments etc that I’ve gotten. I have many people in my life who understand what goes into it all and mostly there’s a whole lot who don’t.

So here’s my favorite question.

Did it hurt? The first time someone ever asked me that ( I resisted the urge to roll my eyes)

I said, just think of a sewing machine needle stitching thread into the fabric…Haha the look on their face. 😝

Seriously though, of course there’s pain.

There is a level you just get comfortable with and then there are areas that you definitely take yourself to another zone and just breathe through it. Weirdly, there are times I look forward to the pain.

I’d have to say with this piece, being about 4 hours in the chair, the shading of black was the most intense.

This literally feels like someone using little razor blades to dig into my skin…over and over..

Yeah the arm starts feeling a little raw. It’s especially fun when the hot sun hits it.

How long does it take to heal?

After finishing my arm got wrapped in something akin to plastic wrap. I’m wondering why this stuff can’t be used for my kitchen bowls 😝

This keeps it clean and protected. I’m supposed to wear it 3-6 days.

Here it is at day three. I’m ready to take it off.

No my art work hasn’t smeared, it’s just extra ink oozing under plastic. Can you see the tiny lace details though? It amazes me she could do such tiny work.

Once plastic comes off it’s washed and cleaned several times a day. Washing it feels.. delightful.

Raw open skin with dial soap on it 😱

It will begin to heal as it dries and then it goes through the awesome itchy phase in which you attempt to not scratch. A few weeks out it’s 100% again

What made you do it?

Why not? The pieces on my arm were specific, intentional, and have meaning to me. I wanted to fill between them with the end result looking like a vintage type lacey sleeve. I have a small area on the back of my arm yet to do that will complete it.

Beside all that, it’s been a wonderful way to wear creative art that belongs to just me.

I think that’s uber cool and I’m privileged to wear someone’s art.

What about when you get old?

Uh. I am old. Next question.

Seriously, I am way old enough to know what I want, what I like, and do what I wanna do.

Have you regretted it?

No.

Do you want more?

Is the Pope Catholic?

When I got my first one it was a flower bracelet with the word strength in it. This was such an important life word for me that I wanted it on me in a visual way. I had thought to get that and I’d be done. (Fyi, the wrist is one of the most painful places…)

Not true. Less than a day later I was plotting my next.

I still have creative ideas in my head πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

I was warned by those who had gone before me…”you’ll want more”…. I didn’t believe them…now I know better.

What if your kids got them?

Ha. My kids encouraged me and own quite a few of their own. My son jokingly gave me a list of “girl tattoos” that I should not ever get lest I lose cool status. These included standard quo things like a flower or dolphin on my ankle or inside my wrist, anything tribal (as if!) Or any tattoo in a shop where you select them by numbers.

A final thought

Spending hours in a chair gave me plenty of time to chat with the young artist working on me. She discussed her struggles at trying to open her business in our town and how she had been told at one city meeting by someone that they didn’t want “those kind of people” around. Ha like wow.

I forget, or rather I’m surprised, at the harsh and judgmental attitudes people still carry in regards to this topic. But those personal opinions are there and firmly in place even though I find them a bit dated.

To each their own.

I’ve just learned you can’t or shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and some of the most authentic,interesting, creative people I’ve ever met have had tattoos.

Your turn. Do you have any? If so, any stories with them? If not, do you want one but haven’t? Or are you in the “thanks but no thanks” camp? It’s cool if you are πŸ˜‰

Monday Musings

Monday. Am I the only one lurching into it after a long 4th of July weekend ?? Here in the states we just celebrated our nation’s birthday….our 243rd one to be exact.

Yeah we celebrated with a four day weekend 🀣

I may be biased, but I believe we live in the greatest nation.

Yes, it has problems, but we are still blessed beyond measure with the gifts and freedoms we have.

So we celebrated our freedoms and all that we’ve been blessed with…food, fireworks and hanging with family.

Long weekends equal productivity

Having a block of days home let me dive into the deep end on furniture projects waiting for me.

Does this count as athletic activities? πŸ€”

I mentioned last week I had moved into my new location for my business. I had lots that sold so I was trying to replenish items.

I finished off an antique dresser, four chairs, and some small items too.

I love getting things done!

I’m super excited over how the dresser came out.

Here’s its before pic…

Old, tired and needing a new look.

I kept it simple and it looks so fresh now.

I’m pretty happy with it. The light distressing gives it the aged look it deserves.

Then.. last week I scooped up these antique chairs at the thrift store.

Yeah. I know you’re loving the cheetah print 😏

Cheetah? Leopard? Your call.

Check out the new look I gave them….

Miss the cheetah print yet?

I got this cool chair at an estate sale months ago. I finally got to let the ideas out of my head for it…

Its boring before pic…

Look at it now πŸ™‚

And my final chair. An old harp back and after all my black I wanted to do a bright fun look….

And besides all that, I’ve been working on the room my daughter recently vacated.

Hubby was a trooper and installed new, cooler,molding on the floor and I’ll be painting this week

Then as mentioned previously, the entire antique bedroom set I have in my barn finally has a room to come to 😁

No.

No I haven’t been busy….which is why I’m writing this at 11p m Sunday night..

Oh..and I don’t sell everything…I mean what’s the point of having a fun business if you don’t get to keep some of the goodies??

For instance, I got this super cool old coffee table. It’s over 6’0 long! It has leaves that when open you could use as a table top.

I don’t exaggerate.

Me asking the girl about it.

“Oh, idk, I think it’s from the 50s. I’m selling the stuff for a dead person.”

Me: “whaattt?”

Haha…well she only wanted 12.00 for this solid wood beast so I didn’t waste any time grabbing it up.

Now to decide how exactly I want to spruce it up.

Furniture isn’t the only thing I’ve been lifting

I’ve been adding more strength training days to my week.

Hello sweaty Sunday 🀣

I have a love hate relationship with deadlifts.

I love knowing I can lift some solid weight, I know it’s also gonna be a little work.

I usually do three sets of 6 at my current weight of 165. I’m fixing to add on to that soon.

My 25lb dumb bells have become quite easy to handle. I’ve added more reps on the mix.

I got to thinking when I first started off a few years back I was using 8lbs

8.

Now I can toss 25s around and use a 35 lb kettlebell for swings and other fun moves.

Consistent work is all I can contribute it to

Well…anyone who wants to make progress needs to stay consistent.

Oh. And hard work too 😏

And finally…

Would it be a Monday post if I didn’t offer you up some tasty food I had experimented with???

This is uh…not on the healthy treats list.. but it’s chocolate sooooo….

I made this for the 4th celebrations.

It was devoured.

Trust me, you’ll love it and it’s super easy to make.

https://pin.it/mx5cz3fwji5mty

That’s a wrap boys and girls. Tell me about your week and any summer celebrations you’ve got going on.

Non Diet Tips For A Healthy Lifestyle

Often when the topic of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle comes up, there are certain things that may come to mind.

Being hungry.

Deprivation. ( ohhh that MUST go with weight loss!)

Following rigid plans.

Following rigid plans for a number of weeks or months before getting back to “normal”.

Excessive exercise.

Cutting out all foods you love that bring you joy.

The list can go on. Can you add to it?

So often in a quest for a healthier lifestyle people overlook other areas that are more than “diet related” to being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s look at a few areas that can contribute to the overall success of a healthy lifestyle.

Rest.

We live in a world that promotes constant work and productivity. Often we sacrifice rest in the pursuit of busyness.

Yours truly can be just as bad.

I’m a night owl by nature but try to respect that my alarm still goes off a 6 a.m. no matter what time my head hits the pillow.

If there’s one thing being athletic has taught me, it’s the value of rest. Our bodies heal and repair in this time and honestly if I want to feel like I’m doing my best in my days quality rest is just as important as eating quality foods.

Don’t short yourself on rest time.

Get in outdoor time

It’s no secret that being outdoors is my jam. I will hands down, take a solid workout flying down the road on my bike, running or walking, over working out inside. It’s not just the exercise, but being out in the elements that makes me feel good. It clears my mind and feeds me mentally.

Being outdoors has wonderful therapeutic benefits. Make sure you get out not just for your physical self, but your mental self too.

Don’t cut out foods that you love

You know why so many people don’t last on structured, restrictive diets? Because they have a misguided idea they have to cut out all the things they enjoy.

Supposedly being on a diet means you have to suffer, do without, and be miserable to lose weight.

No. No you don’t.

In fact you have a higher chance of success if you allow your favorite things into your nutrition plan

You can still lose weight while building in foods you love. Doing so will keep you from binging or giving up because you feel deprived.

Remember to treat yourself

Really. Get a pedi. Have that special coffee treat. Buy that cute dress ( or shirt!)

Do the thing that makes you happy.

Treats are those non-essential things in life that make life fun. Give yourself permission to do an occasional treat.

Spend time with those who matter

Pretty self explanatory right? Physically we’re designed for relationships.. they give us a wholeness and completeness in our lives. Family and friends not only love us but can be our support system as we work towards a healthier, more fit lifestyle.

Keep these non-diet tips in mind to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Would you add anything to this list?

Saturday Snippets

If there is one thing that often seems to be a stumbling block to people who want to lose weight it’s this….

They think there has to be an “all or nothing” mentality to get it done.

Either they have to exist off of kale and water ( both of which I have nothing against) and live a totally miserable existence constantly checking the scale to see if a pound or two has vanished.

They go back to counting down the days till they can get back to “normal” again because they don’t think there is room in a nutrition plan for having a hamburger or Chocolate cake on occasion.

I feel bad when I see people choosing a complete deprivation plan. Mainly because I know they are setting themselves up for failure.

It’s the same when they choose a specific diet that eliminates food groups or severely restricts foods that make life enjoyable.

We just aren’t wired for complete and total extremes. None of us are.

Who wants to be at a birthday party watching everyone else eat cake or not enjoy a meal out that you splurge a little?

Freedom is being able to do those things and knowing the end of the world won’t happen because you did.

In our daily nutrition we should strive to eat well with a good balance of all food groups. Little daily healthy choices add up for long term success.

Each meal should contain good portions of vegetables and fruits and a good amount of protein ( about 30%)

A healthy lifestyle means getting the appropriate nutrients we need but allowing ourselves a bit of freedom to have that treat.

It means that we can trust ourselves enough with those foods to eat and enjoy it and move on with life. When we blend our favorite things into a healthy eating plan we are less likely to binge because we’ve restricted ourselves

Building an awareness of food in our life will help us learn balance but also will lead to a slow steady weight loss that will be permanent

And …you’ll have your cake and eat it too πŸ˜‰

Monday Musings

Good morning my fearless readers! Happy Monday!

Who’s ready for a new week?

Raise your hand if you’re reading this through bleary eyes waking up slurping your morning coffee. Uh…don’t slurp your morning coffee…

So one thing running through my mind starting this post is….well several things running through my mind….

What you may wonder could it possibly be??

20180917_153559

Am I the only one…please tell me I’m not…that cannot stand that “Baby Shark” song?

Tell me I’m not.

Just hearing it makes me cringe because I know it will then be trapped in my head over and over like a merry go round until I blast a dose of heavy metal into my head to get it out.

I think there are two camps on this.

Those who love it and happily sing along with abandon…

And those of us who twitch the moment it begins.

There is no middle ground.

It’s cool if you love it.. I just won’t be singing along with you.

In things that make me go hmmmm….

As I’ve shared before, I have a little business flipping old vintage and antique furniture. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

Measurements are like ya know, super important. I need to get the size of pieces for a variety of reasons so it really, really frustrates me when people post items for sale and don’t give any measurements.

For instance, I saw a gorgeous china cabinet. It didn’t look huge as so many are. I asked the guy and I got back “it’s 54″

So I responded back, ok its 54 inches tall? How wide?

I get back…”no it’s 5’4”.

This my friends was obviously his height. This was the only measurement I was offered to determine my decision on making a purchase.

Alrighty.

I can’t tell you the photos I’ve seen where people are using their body parts or small kids as units of measuring.

Recently I saw a kids play house. One of those “free you come move it” things. The guy is standing by the door with his arm raised to the top of door.

This was so you would understand how tall it was.

Problem here big boy is I don’t know if you’re topping out at 5’8…..or a bigger whopping 6’4….

How is this helpful to me???

My favorite by far was a table with a part of a leg in the pic. I honestly thought the leg photo bombed the pic…

Then I read description and it said…”table goes up to my knee”

You really have no idea how I laughed. I kept that photo and I pull it out on days I want something to send me into wild giggles.

Like Karen I have no idea what the distance is from ground to your knee…for real.

All this to say…is it really that hard to measure something with ya know, the typical measuring devices?

And speaking of measuring things. This week I was again wondering who on earth determines how much of hair products to use in your hair.

Conditioner often says to use something “the size of a quarter” and work through hair, Like… that isn’t a whole lot…

I bought a hair conditioner this week and it said to use 2 pumps… which is nothing… I mean come on Bob I’ve got enough hair for three people that whole “2 pump” thing isn’t going anywhere with me. More like 2 pumps per section of hair haha

Obviously, this cannot be a one size approach to everyoneΒ  but I’ve been left wondering how they determine that usage for customers..

I’m in denial…..

April is almost half over and Easter is rapidly approaching.

I have not bought one single chocolate egg, not one stuffed bunny, or plastic eggs for the kids to do an egg hunt.

I have a million baskets to make.

Yes, my adult kids still like getting baskets.

One year, and may I add, one year only, I had thought to be clever and make couples baskets.

I mean, the married ones live in the same house and all right? It shouldn’t be a problem.

Ha. Oh no.

I never lived it down…no one wants to share their chocolate 🀣

So besides baskets I’ll also be planning a tasty menu to feed the crew

I’m torn between traditional Easter food or going all southern and throwing a brisket on the grill.

I made this recipe last year and it was a huge hit….

https://pin.it/vfh2eax3wrli4w

Spring means more time outdoors…..

I have a hard time being inside when the weather is so perfect outside. Whether it’s working in the yard ( I cut miles of grass today with a push mower) working on my furniture or exercising, it makes me feel so alive to be in it

I’m looking forward to longer rides and serious sweat again.

20190410_075855
Nothing like the sun coming up on you πŸ™‚

No matter how I mix up my workouts, being outside is always the best. I mean seriously, the world becomes my gym.

It doesn’t get better than that.

Ok your turn! Wanna weigh in on the shark song? What are your Easter plans? Do you enjoy working out in the “outdoors”?

 

Monday Musings

Hello world and hello Monday.

Didn’t we just do this??

Is anyone else appreciating that the days are slowly getting a bit longer and for us, warmer as well?

So I’m feeling a bit victorious...

Why you ask? I’m coming off a 9 day stint of taking care of my very active, busy, precocious 2 year old granddaughter while my son and wife were in Ireland.

Rough for them I know πŸ˜›

Anyway, I dusted off my 24/7 mom skills and thankfully they were still in place. And it should be mentioned, being fit has payoffs in keeping up with a non stop 2 year old.

Thankfully she enjoys being busy and enjoyed running and going places with me.

She loves being outdoors with the sun in her face and wind in her hair. She wants to explore and is open to new adventures. She’s fearless and doesn’t hesitate from jumping into things.

She’s my spirit animal, seriously.

We went to the park one day. And of course she wanted me running up the hills with her, and then climbing up the big slide. She delightedly waited at the bottom for me to slide down squealing in joy. We got on the swings, her in my lap holding on to the chains thrilled we were sailing into the trees.

***me…attempting to bend all 6’0 under the slide over hang***

It was all fun and games till she let one arm go. I was trying to keep her on my lap while the swing was twisting wildly and I’m internally freaking out ’cause I’m terrified I’m gonna break her little arm. When I finally get the crazy swing under control and stop us, she turns to me and says “Nanny come on, do it again!” While my heart is still pounding out of my chest…

I got to climb bars, swing from them, and all kinds of other things while well behaved moms in yoga pants sat chatting watching my antics.

It’s the cool thing about being old. You just do what you want and you don’t care if anyone may or may not be approving.

There’s a crazy amount of freedom in that.

And you know something? It is true…what people used to tell me…that grandkids are awesome and blah, blah…I thought they were just running their mouths

You love them in this crazy, awesome, different way from your own kids. They are the reward for not eating your own offspring 😜

They own your heart in ways you can’t explain.

I have 6…and a 7th due in less than a month…another little girl to own my heart. My first born son expecting his first born. I can hardly wait to see him in a daddy role to his baby girl.

I just hope he doesn’t pass out during the delivery….

So yeah, grandbabies are kinda cool.

Then one day, we’re in my car hitting the highway. I drive a Charger and it never gets old letting it open up, hearing the engine kick in, and that swift feel of rapid speed. It’s a head rush.

I do love it.

Then from the backseat I hear….”Whoa!” Followed by a wild delighted laugh. I glanced back to see her with this big smile on her face. Β It appears she may enjoy it too…

This was us “driving” later. I may be ruining her for her dad hahaha

The next morning as we were going to car she runs for drivers side and I hear…”Nanny are you ready?”

I spent a whole lot of time laughing. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Her parents returned home after a fun trip and collected her.

I missed her sleepy little face that first morning they were back, waking up, calling me and giving me morning hugs and kisses.

We had been partners in crime.

Fortunately they live next door so I don’t have to go to long before I get those again.

Later, I got to enjoy my coffee in a cool cup. Pretty sure not many people have a coffee cup like this around Texas….

Oh yeah, aside from busy 2 year old care, I had time to work on lots of projects for my business. That has kept me running too. I love all the creativity that comes with it.. I find it quite relaxing in a weird way.

I finished this cool antique table this week. I’m excited it has sold already.

Look at those claw feet. I’m a sucker for those.

I repurposed an ugly vintage suitcase…

Look at it now…

And I turned a boring brown table into a clock table which I love…

I’m on a black and white kick….

And one other thing. Check out this super cool antique radio cabinet I scored. I’m totally repurposing it for something else…I can hardly wait to start it.

In other random stuff….

I was running through the store the other day and spotted this.. .

Like…what the heck Barbie?? I know times are a changin’ ya’ll but.. this isn’t the Barbie I knew and loved.

I love the glamorous Barbie even if the world thinks she’s unrealistic. What’s wrong with fantasy and fun play? I like my Barbies with crazy long legs and unrealistic waist sizes.

She had amazing clothes, cool cars and equally spiffy boy friends.

I don’t want a thick Barbie in mom jeans.

I know that may not be politially correct to say but it’s my personal opinion. Childhood is short, why can’t you have something wildly fun and non real to enjoy before you have to grow up?

Maybe there is a market for the mom jean Barbie….I prefer the Barbie who knows how to dress and has the cool car.

Your turn to weigh in…what do you think about a modern looking Barbie? What new projects or adventures have you been up to this week? How will you spend longer days?