Gal Pal Lifestyle Blog - Feed https://galpal.net Live a Beautiful Life with Purpose-Grace-Joy Mon, 26 Oct 2020 05:53:48 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://mlni5hlhx1xx.i.optimole.com/KjBX9NI.jVXL~17d07/w:32/h:32/q:55/https://galpal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-GP.png Gal Pal Lifestyle Blog – Live a Beautiful Life with Purpose-Grace-Joy https://galpal.net 32 32 Preparing For College During The Pandemic- College Coach’s Advice https://galpal.net/preparing-for-college-during-a-pandemic/ Thu, 22 Oct 2020 03:51:24 +0000 Mira Simon https://galpal.net/?p=22245 Social distancing and new normal concept.

Preparing For College During The Pandemic- College Coach's Advice

Let's face it, most high school student's lives are turned upside down as they navigate life right now. So much to think about when it comes to applying for colleges these days. Many sophomore, juniors and seniors may be a little unsure how to prepare for college. As a college coach, I hope I can offer some guidance for your students in the letter below.

Dear Juniors and sophmores,

Hi juniors and sophomores.  How are you doing?  I know most of the attention has been focused on seniors completing their applications and first-time freshmen navigating online college, but this is also a different semester for you too. African Student Wearing Mask in Library This is the time of year that you’d be signing up to attend college visits at your high school so you can learn more about colleges and what you’re interested in.  It’s the time of year you would start thinking about which of the standardized tests you want to take or maybe even starting to test.  All of these things are disrupted or have come to a halt. As far as testing goes, I really recommend that you sit this semester out.  If you want to take a practice test just to see whether you do better on the SAT or the ACT, go ahead.  But that’s as far as I’d go for now, for two reasons.  The first, is that the few testing dates and locations that are available are needed for seniors who are applying to colleges that are not test-optional.  The second, is that I have a feeling there will be many changes still happening with respect to testing, so best to focus on coursework, grades and learning about colleges! Portrait of smiling cute hipster girl staring on camera while writing college exercises in notebook And here’s the good news!  There are many ways to do that! Colleges and college organizations have had time to plan and they have utilized their time productively to come up with alternatives to in-person visits!  Which means YOU can also use this time productively to start learning about colleges and begin to think about what you’re looking for and what’s important to you! You know I’m all about breaking it down into steps - so let’s do it!

Here’s A 3-Step Plan For Starting To Develop A List Of College Criteria:

1.     Think about what you already know you like.  You need go no further than your own high school experience.  What are the things you like most about your high school?  What are the things you’re missing most from being online?  What are the subjects you love most?  What activities/clubs/organizations are you part of and participate in that you want to continue in college?  That’s the beginning of a great list for what you want in your college experience. 2.     Think about what you DON’T like.  Is your high school too small?  Too big?  Not enough clubs or things to do?  Too much pressure to be involved? Do you feel left out if you don’t want to attend sporting events, join ASB, party? Are the teachers not involved enough?  Too involved?  Do you wish there were more electives in certain areas like business, art, accounting, culinary, creative writing?  This is a great place to start for creating a list of things you want your future college to have. 3.     Attend college presentations.   Once you put together criteria, use your preliminary list to listen for things that the college has that you like and don’t like AND learn things about colleges you didn’t even know to ask.  You may hear in one presentation that the college guarantees housing for freshman students and say to yourself “I definitely want that” and then know to listen for and ask about that in the next presentation you attend.
Here is a list of organizations that are hosting virtual college fairs - you can also check with your school counselor to see if they know any in your area:
WACAC:  Western Association for College Admission Counseling. You can also check the regional organization for your area such as NEACAC, IowaACAC and many others. NACAC:  National Association for College Admission Counseling. You can register here for college fairs on November 8th Once you find a few colleges that interest you, check out their websites to sign up for virtual tours,  information sessions and even student panels to learn more about them. Yes, it’s still virtual, but it’s a fun break from homework and zoom classes and a great way to begin to learn more about and visualize your future college experience! You got this,
Coach Mira
]]>
Social distancing and new normal concept.

Preparing For College During The Pandemic- College Coach's Advice

Let's face it, most high school student's lives are turned upside down as they navigate life right now. So much to think about when it comes to applying for colleges these days. Many sophomore, juniors and seniors may be a little unsure how to prepare for college. As a college coach, I hope I can offer some guidance for your students in the letter below.

Dear Juniors and sophmores,

Hi juniors and sophomores.  How are you doing?  I know most of the attention has been focused on seniors completing their applications and first-time freshmen navigating online college, but this is also a different semester for you too. African Student Wearing Mask in Library This is the time of year that you’d be signing up to attend college visits at your high school so you can learn more about colleges and what you’re interested in.  It’s the time of year you would start thinking about which of the standardized tests you want to take or maybe even starting to test.  All of these things are disrupted or have come to a halt. As far as testing goes, I really recommend that you sit this semester out.  If you want to take a practice test just to see whether you do better on the SAT or the ACT, go ahead.  But that’s as far as I’d go for now, for two reasons.  The first, is that the few testing dates and locations that are available are needed for seniors who are applying to colleges that are not test-optional.  The second, is that I have a feeling there will be many changes still happening with respect to testing, so best to focus on coursework, grades and learning about colleges! Portrait of smiling cute hipster girl staring on camera while writing college exercises in notebook And here’s the good news!  There are many ways to do that! Colleges and college organizations have had time to plan and they have utilized their time productively to come up with alternatives to in-person visits!  Which means YOU can also use this time productively to start learning about colleges and begin to think about what you’re looking for and what’s important to you! You know I’m all about breaking it down into steps - so let’s do it!

Here’s A 3-Step Plan For Starting To Develop A List Of College Criteria:

1.     Think about what you already know you like.  You need go no further than your own high school experience.  What are the things you like most about your high school?  What are the things you’re missing most from being online?  What are the subjects you love most?  What activities/clubs/organizations are you part of and participate in that you want to continue in college?  That’s the beginning of a great list for what you want in your college experience. 2.     Think about what you DON’T like.  Is your high school too small?  Too big?  Not enough clubs or things to do?  Too much pressure to be involved? Do you feel left out if you don’t want to attend sporting events, join ASB, party? Are the teachers not involved enough?  Too involved?  Do you wish there were more electives in certain areas like business, art, accounting, culinary, creative writing?  This is a great place to start for creating a list of things you want your future college to have. 3.     Attend college presentations.   Once you put together criteria, use your preliminary list to listen for things that the college has that you like and don’t like AND learn things about colleges you didn’t even know to ask.  You may hear in one presentation that the college guarantees housing for freshman students and say to yourself “I definitely want that” and then know to listen for and ask about that in the next presentation you attend.
Here is a list of organizations that are hosting virtual college fairs - you can also check with your school counselor to see if they know any in your area:
WACAC:  Western Association for College Admission Counseling. You can also check the regional organization for your area such as NEACAC, IowaACAC and many others. NACAC:  National Association for College Admission Counseling. You can register here for college fairs on November 8th Once you find a few colleges that interest you, check out their websites to sign up for virtual tours,  information sessions and even student panels to learn more about them. Yes, it’s still virtual, but it’s a fun break from homework and zoom classes and a great way to begin to learn more about and visualize your future college experience! You got this,
Coach Mira
]]>
12 Cozy Ways To Decorate Your Home For Fall https://galpal.net/12-cozy-ways-to-decorate-your-home-for-fall/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 15:47:36 +0000 Lisa Marinkovich https://galpal.net/?p=21631 Glass of Red Wine and Fire Pit

[caption id="attachment_22153" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Hello autumn. Cozy moody image Hello autumn. Cozy moody image[/caption]

MAKE YOUR HOME COZY FOR FALL

To give your  home that warm and inviting fall feeling without having to change out all of your decor, we have some easy Fall decorating ideas for you.

KEEP YOUR FALL DECORATING EASY

A few simple fall pieces will take you all the way from September through Thanksgiving, which means you won’t have to change a thing until the holidays.  Since I’m all about keeping things easy and affordable, most of the autumn decorating ideas in this post incorporate things you probably have around the house or yard.  Maple branches offer foliage that is so beautiful because of the rich color.   Other branches that look equally pretty are anything with berries (just keep them out of reach of kids!), Aspen Leaf, as well as Oak.

12 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME COZY FOR FALL

1. Bring The outside In

Take a walk in your yard and garden and look for rustic wood sticks, pinecones, acorns, curly willows.  try incorporating some large branches, pampas grass or greenery, Choose a favorite fall bloom for an instant touch of autumn. Arrange marigolds, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, or another fall flower in a vase to place on your bathroom vanity or an open shelf. An arrangement of a single flower variety offers elegant simplicity, while a mixed bouquet dials up the flair.

2. Cluster Candlesticks Or Lanterns.

Create a warm display of candles and natural leaves to add drama to a space.Add scented candles…everywhere! I love lighting candles that offer a smell of fall like apple, pumpkin, vanilla. So cozy!

3.  Create A Cozy Reading Spot.

Layer thick cozy blankets and fall colored pillows in a comfy nook along with a reading light and a small table you can place your warm tea or coffee on.  Somewhat enclosed spaces, like the window bench in my family room, seem to have built-in coziness…take advantage of it by making it a good place to sit. [caption id="attachment_22079" align="aligncenter" width="984"] Create A Cozy Reading Nook[/caption]

4.  Display A Wheat Sheaf Bundle.

 
A dried wheat sheaf is a classic fall harvest decorating piece. Tie a lovely ribbon around the bundle that is a warm tone like a soft beige or chocolate brown. It looks ideal in the entry way or side table.  

5.  Add Warmth Underfoot.

Change out some of your rugs with warm fall tones.

6.  Spice Up Your Front Door With A Simple Expensive Wreath

 

7.  Decorate Your Front Porch.

If you have room on your front porch, consider the traditional dried corn stalks, hay bales that will offer a festive harvest aesthetic. Add pumpkins and gourds around the hay bales. Use decorative greenery, like eucalyptus leaves, to fill any negative space between plantings, pumpkins, and other front porch decor. MUMS! Mums are inexpensive and perfect for your front porch. Place them on your steps to add color and joy through November. Consider placing lanterns with battery operated candles that will radiate a warm glow at night.. If you have room... add a bench because it offers a cozy place to sit and rest not to mention decorate.

8.  Top large cake stands with pumpkins, squash, cabbage, parsnips.

[caption id="attachment_22151" align="aligncenter" width="624"] Photo from Hously.com[/caption]

9.  Pile on thicker, heavier linens in the bedroom

Mix various materials to offer texture variance and interest such as faux-fur and wool.   [caption id="attachment_21750" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo from: onekindesign.com[/caption]

10.  Pumpkins

  • Sprinkle little white pumpkins throughout the house. White goes with everything. Use orange pumpkins where you can.
  • Paint Pumpkins. See my Chinoiserie painted pumpkin tutorial here. 
  • I love Chinoiserie- so I am paining pumpkins (either faux or white pumpkins) with blue and white chalk-styled paint,and accent the pumpkins with antiqued florals.
  • Berry wrapped pumpkins
  • Add visual interest to white pumpkins (or white faux pumpkins) by wrapping them with  berry garland.  You can go with the real deal or purchase an artificial version ($9, Michaels). Vary the size of your pumpkins for visual interest.
[caption id="attachment_21749" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] https://onekindesign.com/2020/09/04/cozy-farmhouse-fall-decor-ideas/[/caption]

11.  Fall Tablescape Ideas-

How To Create A tablescape In  six (6) Easy Steps:
  1. Lay the foundation of your table with a runner or tablecloth. I love to use runners. Pick a cloth or runner that leaves most of your table bare. Go for a color that compliments the dining room chairs and other decorations in the room.
  2. Pick a simple centerpiece and place it in the middle of the table. The centerpiece will help the table look interesting while still keeping it clean and empty. Choose your centerpiece size based on the size of your table, and place it on top of the table runner or table cloth.Choose a centerpiece that fits your table’s space. Aim to having the tallest and largest part of the centerpiece in the center of the table and other smaller pieces out toward the sides. When using multiple candles or flower vases, use odd numbers because they are more pleasing to the eye
  3. Organize in sets of three. 
  4. Put decorations around the centerpiece if you like an eclectic style. When a large centerpiece isn’t enough to satisfy your decorating needs, place small items that match your theme between the larger pieces.
  5. Pick placemats that compliment the tablecloth
  6. Make sure you add texture to the table with wood, leaves, pine cones etc. 
For Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas see this article: Here are some lovely ideas to explore: [caption id="attachment_21939" align="aligncenter" width="962"] Photo from Crown Linen Designs[/caption]

12.  Create an Outdoor Room

There is nothing like having guests enjoy an enclosed plush sitting area that boasts candles and a fireplace.  Gather warm blankets for each guest and decorate the yard or patio area with lanterns and overhead strung lights for the extra glow. [caption id="attachment_22156" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Wine in the yard **nominated** Wine and fire pit[/caption]]]>
Glass of Red Wine and Fire Pit

[caption id="attachment_22153" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Hello autumn. Cozy moody image Hello autumn. Cozy moody image[/caption]

MAKE YOUR HOME COZY FOR FALL

To give your  home that warm and inviting fall feeling without having to change out all of your decor, we have some easy Fall decorating ideas for you.

KEEP YOUR FALL DECORATING EASY

A few simple fall pieces will take you all the way from September through Thanksgiving, which means you won’t have to change a thing until the holidays.  Since I’m all about keeping things easy and affordable, most of the autumn decorating ideas in this post incorporate things you probably have around the house or yard.  Maple branches offer foliage that is so beautiful because of the rich color.   Other branches that look equally pretty are anything with berries (just keep them out of reach of kids!), Aspen Leaf, as well as Oak.

12 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR HOME COZY FOR FALL

1. Bring The outside In

Take a walk in your yard and garden and look for rustic wood sticks, pinecones, acorns, curly willows.  try incorporating some large branches, pampas grass or greenery, Choose a favorite fall bloom for an instant touch of autumn. Arrange marigolds, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, or another fall flower in a vase to place on your bathroom vanity or an open shelf. An arrangement of a single flower variety offers elegant simplicity, while a mixed bouquet dials up the flair.

2. Cluster Candlesticks Or Lanterns.

Create a warm display of candles and natural leaves to add drama to a space.Add scented candles…everywhere! I love lighting candles that offer a smell of fall like apple, pumpkin, vanilla. So cozy!

3.  Create A Cozy Reading Spot.

Layer thick cozy blankets and fall colored pillows in a comfy nook along with a reading light and a small table you can place your warm tea or coffee on.  Somewhat enclosed spaces, like the window bench in my family room, seem to have built-in coziness…take advantage of it by making it a good place to sit. [caption id="attachment_22079" align="aligncenter" width="984"] Create A Cozy Reading Nook[/caption]

4.  Display A Wheat Sheaf Bundle.

 
A dried wheat sheaf is a classic fall harvest decorating piece. Tie a lovely ribbon around the bundle that is a warm tone like a soft beige or chocolate brown. It looks ideal in the entry way or side table.  

5.  Add Warmth Underfoot.

Change out some of your rugs with warm fall tones.

6.  Spice Up Your Front Door With A Simple Expensive Wreath

 

7.  Decorate Your Front Porch.

If you have room on your front porch, consider the traditional dried corn stalks, hay bales that will offer a festive harvest aesthetic. Add pumpkins and gourds around the hay bales. Use decorative greenery, like eucalyptus leaves, to fill any negative space between plantings, pumpkins, and other front porch decor. MUMS! Mums are inexpensive and perfect for your front porch. Place them on your steps to add color and joy through November. Consider placing lanterns with battery operated candles that will radiate a warm glow at night.. If you have room... add a bench because it offers a cozy place to sit and rest not to mention decorate.

8.  Top large cake stands with pumpkins, squash, cabbage, parsnips.

[caption id="attachment_22151" align="aligncenter" width="624"] Photo from Hously.com[/caption]

9.  Pile on thicker, heavier linens in the bedroom

Mix various materials to offer texture variance and interest such as faux-fur and wool.   [caption id="attachment_21750" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo from: onekindesign.com[/caption]

10.  Pumpkins

  • Sprinkle little white pumpkins throughout the house. White goes with everything. Use orange pumpkins where you can.
  • Paint Pumpkins. See my Chinoiserie painted pumpkin tutorial here. 
  • I love Chinoiserie- so I am paining pumpkins (either faux or white pumpkins) with blue and white chalk-styled paint,and accent the pumpkins with antiqued florals.
  • Berry wrapped pumpkins
  • Add visual interest to white pumpkins (or white faux pumpkins) by wrapping them with  berry garland.  You can go with the real deal or purchase an artificial version ($9, Michaels). Vary the size of your pumpkins for visual interest.
[caption id="attachment_21749" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] https://onekindesign.com/2020/09/04/cozy-farmhouse-fall-decor-ideas/[/caption]

11.  Fall Tablescape Ideas-

How To Create A tablescape In  six (6) Easy Steps:
  1. Lay the foundation of your table with a runner or tablecloth. I love to use runners. Pick a cloth or runner that leaves most of your table bare. Go for a color that compliments the dining room chairs and other decorations in the room.
  2. Pick a simple centerpiece and place it in the middle of the table. The centerpiece will help the table look interesting while still keeping it clean and empty. Choose your centerpiece size based on the size of your table, and place it on top of the table runner or table cloth.Choose a centerpiece that fits your table’s space. Aim to having the tallest and largest part of the centerpiece in the center of the table and other smaller pieces out toward the sides. When using multiple candles or flower vases, use odd numbers because they are more pleasing to the eye
  3. Organize in sets of three. 
  4. Put decorations around the centerpiece if you like an eclectic style. When a large centerpiece isn’t enough to satisfy your decorating needs, place small items that match your theme between the larger pieces.
  5. Pick placemats that compliment the tablecloth
  6. Make sure you add texture to the table with wood, leaves, pine cones etc. 
For Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas see this article: Here are some lovely ideas to explore: [caption id="attachment_21939" align="aligncenter" width="962"] Photo from Crown Linen Designs[/caption]

12.  Create an Outdoor Room

There is nothing like having guests enjoy an enclosed plush sitting area that boasts candles and a fireplace.  Gather warm blankets for each guest and decorate the yard or patio area with lanterns and overhead strung lights for the extra glow. [caption id="attachment_22156" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Wine in the yard **nominated** Wine and fire pit[/caption]]]>
How To Paint Pumpkins With An Chinoiserie Design- Fall Decor https://galpal.net/how-to-paint-pumpkins-with-an-chinoiserie-design-fall-decor/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 04:24:04 +0000 Lisa Marinkovich https://galpal.net/?p=22088

Chinoiserie Painted Pumpkins

Fall Pumpkin Painting

If you are seeking a fun fall project, this is it! I decided to  decorate and paint a Chinoiserie design to compliment my home decor. I love blue and white! 

Chinoiserie derives from the French word chinois, meaning `“Chinese”, so it is a western aesthetic inspired by Chinese designs. During the 17th until 18th centuries, Europeans were very interested with Asian culture so they tried to blend with their art, and also King Louis XV of French thought Chinoiserie combined well with the Rococo Style.

https://galpal.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Videoleap-3A0F22C9-4561-41E6-BEE8-2620C6E85EE7.mov

Decorate and Paint Faux and Real Pumpkins This Fall

No matter your style, painting pumpkins is way more fun than I ever thought it would be. 

You can paint either real pumpkins or faux pumpkins. I painted paper mache pumpkins.
This method of painting can be used for real or faux pumpkins.  I will show you how I designed a floral  Chinoiserie type of design. Lots of room for error. 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Faux or real pumpkins. (Walmart currently has inexpensive faux pumpkins in store.)
  • Acrylic paint or chalk paint in desired colors–both will work.Do not use oil-based paint it can dissolve foam and suffocate a real pumpkin.
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper towel                                                                                                                                                          Black permanent marker
  • Blue paint pen

How To Paint A Pumpkin In A Chinoiserie Design

https://galpal.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Videoleap-3A0F22C9-4561-41E6-BEE8-2620C6E85EE7.mov

1. Clean and Seal Your Pumpkin

Sealing your pumpkin before you paint it is optional, but it helps to give you an excellent surface to paint on. Choose an aerosol or brush sealant and cover your pumpkin. 

2. Choose the Paint

Choosing the right paint for your pumpkin depends on painting with children or creating your masterpiece. Use washable paint with kids for obvious reasons.
I used chalk spray paint, which offers a muted surface compared to a shiny finish. 

3. Use the Proper Brushes

You will need three fine tipped acrylic paint brushes.  

4.  Spray Paint The Pumpkins

I used chalk spray paint. It has a nice matte finish. 

 

4.  Plan Your Design

I painted my pumpkins to go with the décor of my house, blue and white. After deciding what color scheme or design you want to go with, decide if you are going with a freehand design or use a predesigned stencil. Look at the designs above as you draw your design, it helps to have a design to look at as you design your pumpkin. 

5.  Start To Paint

Trace your design on the pumpkin with a pencil or pen.

Using your thinnest paintbrush and your darkest blue paint, begin to trace over the lines you just sketched (this includes the outline of the petals of your flowers). Some strokes will be thicker than others, but don’t sweat it. Don't worry about making it perfect, the paint will start to blend nicely.  If you make a boo boo, use a damp paper towel to wipe it of and then start over. 

Fill in the petals of all of your flowers- don’t go too opaque with your painting, it’s ok if it’s not a 100% solid finish. I used the paint pen and the permanent market to accent the flower pedals. 

Add some dots, swirls, and curves to the petals using the light blue paint color. Using your black or another color of your choice paint, fill in the centers of the flowers, add further details to the petals and add a few random dots around the flowers for contrast.

More Inspirational For you~ I'm painting the monogram one next!

I encourage you to get your paint brushes out. I am no artist, trust me but it's really fun and relaxing to paint. I bet you will be better artist than you ever expected. Check out my post on how to embellish a canvas print, another fun project that doesn't require much skill. Trust me! 

]]>

Chinoiserie Painted Pumpkins

Fall Pumpkin Painting

If you are seeking a fun fall project, this is it! I decided to  decorate and paint a Chinoiserie design to compliment my home decor. I love blue and white! 

Chinoiserie derives from the French word chinois, meaning `“Chinese”, so it is a western aesthetic inspired by Chinese designs. During the 17th until 18th centuries, Europeans were very interested with Asian culture so they tried to blend with their art, and also King Louis XV of French thought Chinoiserie combined well with the Rococo Style.

https://galpal.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Videoleap-3A0F22C9-4561-41E6-BEE8-2620C6E85EE7.mov

Decorate and Paint Faux and Real Pumpkins This Fall

No matter your style, painting pumpkins is way more fun than I ever thought it would be. 

You can paint either real pumpkins or faux pumpkins. I painted paper mache pumpkins.
This method of painting can be used for real or faux pumpkins.  I will show you how I designed a floral  Chinoiserie type of design. Lots of room for error. 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Faux or real pumpkins. (Walmart currently has inexpensive faux pumpkins in store.)
  • Acrylic paint or chalk paint in desired colors–both will work.Do not use oil-based paint it can dissolve foam and suffocate a real pumpkin.
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper towel                                                                                                                                                          Black permanent marker
  • Blue paint pen

How To Paint A Pumpkin In A Chinoiserie Design

https://galpal.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Videoleap-3A0F22C9-4561-41E6-BEE8-2620C6E85EE7.mov

1. Clean and Seal Your Pumpkin

Sealing your pumpkin before you paint it is optional, but it helps to give you an excellent surface to paint on. Choose an aerosol or brush sealant and cover your pumpkin. 

2. Choose the Paint

Choosing the right paint for your pumpkin depends on painting with children or creating your masterpiece. Use washable paint with kids for obvious reasons.
I used chalk spray paint, which offers a muted surface compared to a shiny finish. 

3. Use the Proper Brushes

You will need three fine tipped acrylic paint brushes.  

4.  Spray Paint The Pumpkins

I used chalk spray paint. It has a nice matte finish. 

 

4.  Plan Your Design

I painted my pumpkins to go with the décor of my house, blue and white. After deciding what color scheme or design you want to go with, decide if you are going with a freehand design or use a predesigned stencil. Look at the designs above as you draw your design, it helps to have a design to look at as you design your pumpkin. 

5.  Start To Paint

Trace your design on the pumpkin with a pencil or pen.

Using your thinnest paintbrush and your darkest blue paint, begin to trace over the lines you just sketched (this includes the outline of the petals of your flowers). Some strokes will be thicker than others, but don’t sweat it. Don't worry about making it perfect, the paint will start to blend nicely.  If you make a boo boo, use a damp paper towel to wipe it of and then start over. 

Fill in the petals of all of your flowers- don’t go too opaque with your painting, it’s ok if it’s not a 100% solid finish. I used the paint pen and the permanent market to accent the flower pedals. 

Add some dots, swirls, and curves to the petals using the light blue paint color. Using your black or another color of your choice paint, fill in the centers of the flowers, add further details to the petals and add a few random dots around the flowers for contrast.

More Inspirational For you~ I'm painting the monogram one next!

I encourage you to get your paint brushes out. I am no artist, trust me but it's really fun and relaxing to paint. I bet you will be better artist than you ever expected. Check out my post on how to embellish a canvas print, another fun project that doesn't require much skill. Trust me! 

]]>
A Fitness Guru’s Tips On Finding Your Happy With Exercise in 4 Easy Steps https://galpal.net/a-fitness-gurus-tips-on-finding-your-happy-with-exercise-in-4-easy-steps/ Mon, 12 Oct 2020 04:08:40 +0000 Ginny Pietlila https://galpal.net/?p=21360

Nationally Recognized Fitness Expert

On Finding Your Happy With Exercise

Meet Ginny Pietila Finding your happy . . . With exercise. The natural high we all want. I hear it all the time as a fitness professional. As clients leave their personal training appointments or small-group classes, I will ask, “how do you feel?” 99% of the time, I hear a resounding, “I feel SO much better than when I walked in!” Why is that? Let’s explore. We all know that exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. The great news is that your regular sweat sessions can also help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. It is so important, especially now more than ever, to remember how GOOD we feel after we exercise. These are weird, stressful, anxiety-producing times we are all living through right now. Even as much as we all will say at times, “I’m fine, everything is fine”, it often really isn’t fine. We often really aren’t fine.

How And Why Do Our Bodies React They Way They Do To Exercise?

Being the data and science geek that I am, I love to dive into the science of our bodies and the how and why they react the way they do to exercise. Regular physical activity helps to release our feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals that enhance our sense of well-being. We don’t even need to walk into the Cannabis store for this incredible effect! We need to lace up our shoes, head out the door, and get moving. Who doesn’t love a good distraction from our problems? Think of your exercise time as your “me time”. Maybe it is when you solve that nagging issue in your head. Maybe it is where you simply “escape” and take your mind off your worries for a bit. We don’t need to solve world peace (although that would be awesome!) while exercising but catching up with a friend while power walking goes a LONG way toward a happy head and heart. Let’s face it; the walls do seem to be closing in a bit. We now work from, school from home, eat at home, shop from home, AND exercise at home. You are most definitely NOT being selfish by stepping outside the house for 30-60 minutes to find your exercise happy place. You are merely taking great care of your physical and mental self.

What Is The Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise?

Physical activity and exercise are not the same things, but both are beneficial to your health. Physical activity works your muscles and requires energy and can include work or household or leisure activities. Think gardening, car washing, walking your dog. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness. Think running, bicycling, exercise classes, and lifting weights.

How Much Exercise Is  Enough?

Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve your mood, but smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.

Four Simple Tips To Start & Stick With An exercise Routine Or Regular Physical Activity

Getting started and sticking to a routine can be a challenge. Here are some realistic tips to help you get started and stay motivated.

1.  Identify What You enjoy Doing. Are You A lone Wolf? 

If you prefer to get your workout jam on solo, then consider walking, running, cycling, hiking, and the like. If, on the other hand you enjoy the company of a few people (of course from a safe 6 feet away!) or are looking for a more structured, instructor-led workout, look into some small group classes or personal training near you. This is where a little soul searching goes a long way towards success.

2.  Set Reasonable Goals. 

If exercise is just another “should” in your life that you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Think baby steps here. If you are simply not engaging in any form of activity or exercise now, and you find a way to start out with 2x/week for 30 minutes. Thank is 100% improvement from where you were. 100%, that is pretty amazing!

3.  Sort Out Your Barriers. 

Figure out what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising. If you stick to goals better with a partner, find a friend to work out with or who enjoys the same physical activities that you do. If you don’t have money to spend on exercise gear, do something that’s cost-free, such as regular walking. If you think about what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution. My favorite tip, buy yourself a new workout outfit or shoes. Us girls know better than anyone the power a cute new outfit holds.

4. Prepare For Setbacks And Obstacles. 

Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. If you skip your planned workout one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain an exercise routine and might as well quit. Just pick it up again the next day. Stick with it. This is where a trainer or other accountability partner comes in really handy. Getting all the way back to where we started . . . Remember just how GREAT you feel when you have successfully worked up a sweat, raised your heart rate, and possibly created some sore muscles for tomorrow. THAT feeling will keep you coming back for more of the wonder drug we like to call Endorphins. Exercise is a big part of self-care.  Meet Ginny At Mercer Island Athletic Club! 

Other Popular Posts

 

A Fitness Guru’s Tips On Finding Your Happy With Exercise...

A Fall Thelma & Louis Gal Pal Getaway- In Napa...

Meet Wendy Steinmetz- Gal Pal Spotlight

Mother Daughter Duo’s Good Fortune Comes From The Pandemic with...

Feeling Frazzled- Fatigued-Frumpy? This may be why..

Look Younger -9 Anti-Aging Foods That Will Make Your Skin...

Suzanne’s Easy Perfected Zucchini Bread Recipe

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9 Everyday Ways To Practice Self Care For Better Health

]]>

Nationally Recognized Fitness Expert

On Finding Your Happy With Exercise

Meet Ginny Pietila Finding your happy . . . With exercise. The natural high we all want. I hear it all the time as a fitness professional. As clients leave their personal training appointments or small-group classes, I will ask, “how do you feel?” 99% of the time, I hear a resounding, “I feel SO much better than when I walked in!” Why is that? Let’s explore. We all know that exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. The great news is that your regular sweat sessions can also help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. It is so important, especially now more than ever, to remember how GOOD we feel after we exercise. These are weird, stressful, anxiety-producing times we are all living through right now. Even as much as we all will say at times, “I’m fine, everything is fine”, it often really isn’t fine. We often really aren’t fine.

How And Why Do Our Bodies React They Way They Do To Exercise?

Being the data and science geek that I am, I love to dive into the science of our bodies and the how and why they react the way they do to exercise. Regular physical activity helps to release our feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids), and other natural brain chemicals that enhance our sense of well-being. We don’t even need to walk into the Cannabis store for this incredible effect! We need to lace up our shoes, head out the door, and get moving. Who doesn’t love a good distraction from our problems? Think of your exercise time as your “me time”. Maybe it is when you solve that nagging issue in your head. Maybe it is where you simply “escape” and take your mind off your worries for a bit. We don’t need to solve world peace (although that would be awesome!) while exercising but catching up with a friend while power walking goes a LONG way toward a happy head and heart. Let’s face it; the walls do seem to be closing in a bit. We now work from, school from home, eat at home, shop from home, AND exercise at home. You are most definitely NOT being selfish by stepping outside the house for 30-60 minutes to find your exercise happy place. You are merely taking great care of your physical and mental self.

What Is The Difference Between Physical Activity and Exercise?

Physical activity and exercise are not the same things, but both are beneficial to your health. Physical activity works your muscles and requires energy and can include work or household or leisure activities. Think gardening, car washing, walking your dog. Exercise is a planned, structured, and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness. Think running, bicycling, exercise classes, and lifting weights.

How Much Exercise Is  Enough?

Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve your mood, but smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more-vigorous activities, such as running or bicycling.

Four Simple Tips To Start & Stick With An exercise Routine Or Regular Physical Activity

Getting started and sticking to a routine can be a challenge. Here are some realistic tips to help you get started and stay motivated.

1.  Identify What You enjoy Doing. Are You A lone Wolf? 

If you prefer to get your workout jam on solo, then consider walking, running, cycling, hiking, and the like. If, on the other hand you enjoy the company of a few people (of course from a safe 6 feet away!) or are looking for a more structured, instructor-led workout, look into some small group classes or personal training near you. This is where a little soul searching goes a long way towards success.

2.  Set Reasonable Goals. 

If exercise is just another “should” in your life that you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Think baby steps here. If you are simply not engaging in any form of activity or exercise now, and you find a way to start out with 2x/week for 30 minutes. Thank is 100% improvement from where you were. 100%, that is pretty amazing!

3.  Sort Out Your Barriers. 

Figure out what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising. If you stick to goals better with a partner, find a friend to work out with or who enjoys the same physical activities that you do. If you don’t have money to spend on exercise gear, do something that’s cost-free, such as regular walking. If you think about what’s stopping you from being physically active or exercising, you can probably find an alternative solution. My favorite tip, buy yourself a new workout outfit or shoes. Us girls know better than anyone the power a cute new outfit holds.

4. Prepare For Setbacks And Obstacles. 

Give yourself credit for every step in the right direction, no matter how small. If you skip your planned workout one day, that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain an exercise routine and might as well quit. Just pick it up again the next day. Stick with it. This is where a trainer or other accountability partner comes in really handy. Getting all the way back to where we started . . . Remember just how GREAT you feel when you have successfully worked up a sweat, raised your heart rate, and possibly created some sore muscles for tomorrow. THAT feeling will keep you coming back for more of the wonder drug we like to call Endorphins. Exercise is a big part of self-care.  Meet Ginny At Mercer Island Athletic Club! 

Other Popular Posts

 

A Fitness Guru’s Tips On Finding Your Happy With Exercise...

A Fall Thelma & Louis Gal Pal Getaway- In Napa...

Meet Wendy Steinmetz- Gal Pal Spotlight

Mother Daughter Duo’s Good Fortune Comes From The Pandemic with...

Feeling Frazzled- Fatigued-Frumpy? This may be why..

Look Younger -9 Anti-Aging Foods That Will Make Your Skin...

Suzanne’s Easy Perfected Zucchini Bread Recipe

How To Install A Flagstone Garden Path- In 8 Simple...

Sip and Support Local- Eat, Shop,Stay, Play and Drink –...

9 Everyday Ways To Practice Self Care For Better Health

]]>
A Fall Thelma & Louis Gal Pal Getaway- In Napa Valley & El Dorado Wine Trail https://galpal.net/fall-thelma-louis-getaway-in-napa-valley/ Thu, 08 Oct 2020 01:56:19 +0000 Wendy Steinmetz https://galpal.net/?p=20884

Dreaming Of A

Thelma & Louis Getaway?

Time with our Gal Pals are priceless!

Fall is a fabulous time for a little "Thelma & Louis" action!

Fall is the ideal time to plan a fun Thelma & Louis road trip with a Gal Pal, especially if you can put the top down or open the sunroof and let the wind in hair stir up some awesome carefree vibes! Ok, sometimes a hat helps one see a bit better while riding with the wind, but there is just something about a 'wild hair don't care' road trip with a girlfriend that replenishes the soul. 

Maybe that is why the 1991 Academy award-winning movie, "Thelma & Louis" is such an iconic classic? Sometimes we need to grab a girlfriend, stock up on some road-trip munchies, cue up some good tunes (Sister Hazel's Heartland Highway is the bomb):  and head for the hills! Or the beach? Or wherever the road leads us! 

My Favorite Windblown Adventures With Gal Pals Are Priceless! 

Cheetah Gals head to Apple Hill (which is part of the El Dorado Wine Country,) in Placerville, California! When my gal pal, Cindy, told me she that she always wanted to put on some cheetah garb, put the top down, and drive, I quickly ran to our local thrift store, Thrift Town, and loaded up on all of the cheetah print items I could find – hats, tops, scarves and even shoes!

[caption id="attachment_20927" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Thrift Town Finds For My Girlfriend Getaway[/caption]

 We headed to Apple Hill in the El Dorado Wine Country  for the day to take in the fresh fall air, eat some amazing apples and stop by some of our favorite El Dorado County wineries . Boeger Winery, Narrow Gate Vineyards and Holly Hills are some of my favorites! It's an ideal time to stock up on wine to bring home! Of course, one of our day's highlights was indulging on the best burgers in Hangtown at Bones Roadhouse! 

Every year, my gal pal Kathy & I plan a fun girlfriend weekend road trip together.  Why? Why not! It's been proven that girlfriend getaways are proven to be good for us! 

We typically pick a wine country region to visit as Fall Harvest is always a fun time to visit the wine country! A few years ago, we deviated from our plan and decided to head up to Lake Tahoe! We borrowed my daughter's convertible Volkswagon Bug for our adventure and splurged on a night at the beautiful Ritz Carlton at Northstar. 

[caption id="attachment_20901" align="alignnone" width="768"] Snowed In at The Ritz in Tahoe, California![/caption]

Girlfriend Getaways Are Always An Adventure

A long-time dream for us both! It was a gorgeous sunny Fall day, but we woke up to two feet of fresh, new SNOW! It was October and the season's first snowstorm was upon us in a big way! We had no idea a snowstorm was brewing when we headed on our sunny little adventure (note to self, check the weather before all road trip adventures). 

The roads and highways were closed and no match for our cute little Bug, so we decided The Ritz was a great place to be snowed in and headed out to the fire pit to enjoy a delicious "S'moreTini". Funny thing – we bought matching winter hats, and when the roads cleared the next day, we put the top down and enjoyed the fresh air and the magical winter wonderland down the mountain!

Sunroof Silliness in Wine Country In California

Again, that carefree feeling (okay not during the pandemic as much) is all about the windblown hair! No convertible is needed! Simply roll the windows down and open the sunroof, and you're livin' the dream! Best time with gal pal, Amy, during our Fall Harvest visit to Napa Valley – we laughed, cried, and sang our favorite tunes from dawn 'til dusk – and pretty sure we had some substantial sized windblown hair knots at the end of the day, but oh so worth it! And just for fun, some of my gal pals made a list of some of our favorite road trippin' snacks. Here were our top five 'must-haves':
Fritos Corn Chips
Red Vines Licorice
Good & Plenty or M & Ms
Frozen Grapes
Pumpkin Seeds

Ready for a Gal Pal Road Trip this Fall? Ready, Set, GO

If you live in Washington... the Washington Wine Country is amazing too. Sip Local and support your local wineries wherever you live! 

Wendy "Woo" Steinmetz

]]>

Dreaming Of A

Thelma & Louis Getaway?

Time with our Gal Pals are priceless!

Fall is a fabulous time for a little "Thelma & Louis" action!

Fall is the ideal time to plan a fun Thelma & Louis road trip with a Gal Pal, especially if you can put the top down or open the sunroof and let the wind in hair stir up some awesome carefree vibes! Ok, sometimes a hat helps one see a bit better while riding with the wind, but there is just something about a 'wild hair don't care' road trip with a girlfriend that replenishes the soul. 

Maybe that is why the 1991 Academy award-winning movie, "Thelma & Louis" is such an iconic classic? Sometimes we need to grab a girlfriend, stock up on some road-trip munchies, cue up some good tunes (Sister Hazel's Heartland Highway is the bomb):  and head for the hills! Or the beach? Or wherever the road leads us! 

My Favorite Windblown Adventures With Gal Pals Are Priceless! 

Cheetah Gals head to Apple Hill (which is part of the El Dorado Wine Country,) in Placerville, California! When my gal pal, Cindy, told me she that she always wanted to put on some cheetah garb, put the top down, and drive, I quickly ran to our local thrift store, Thrift Town, and loaded up on all of the cheetah print items I could find – hats, tops, scarves and even shoes!

[caption id="attachment_20927" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Thrift Town Finds For My Girlfriend Getaway[/caption]

 We headed to Apple Hill in the El Dorado Wine Country  for the day to take in the fresh fall air, eat some amazing apples and stop by some of our favorite El Dorado County wineries . Boeger Winery, Narrow Gate Vineyards and Holly Hills are some of my favorites! It's an ideal time to stock up on wine to bring home! Of course, one of our day's highlights was indulging on the best burgers in Hangtown at Bones Roadhouse! 

Every year, my gal pal Kathy & I plan a fun girlfriend weekend road trip together.  Why? Why not! It's been proven that girlfriend getaways are proven to be good for us! 

We typically pick a wine country region to visit as Fall Harvest is always a fun time to visit the wine country! A few years ago, we deviated from our plan and decided to head up to Lake Tahoe! We borrowed my daughter's convertible Volkswagon Bug for our adventure and splurged on a night at the beautiful Ritz Carlton at Northstar. 

[caption id="attachment_20901" align="alignnone" width="768"] Snowed In at The Ritz in Tahoe, California![/caption]

Girlfriend Getaways Are Always An Adventure

A long-time dream for us both! It was a gorgeous sunny Fall day, but we woke up to two feet of fresh, new SNOW! It was October and the season's first snowstorm was upon us in a big way! We had no idea a snowstorm was brewing when we headed on our sunny little adventure (note to self, check the weather before all road trip adventures). 

The roads and highways were closed and no match for our cute little Bug, so we decided The Ritz was a great place to be snowed in and headed out to the fire pit to enjoy a delicious "S'moreTini". Funny thing – we bought matching winter hats, and when the roads cleared the next day, we put the top down and enjoyed the fresh air and the magical winter wonderland down the mountain!

Sunroof Silliness in Wine Country In California

Again, that carefree feeling (okay not during the pandemic as much) is all about the windblown hair! No convertible is needed! Simply roll the windows down and open the sunroof, and you're livin' the dream! Best time with gal pal, Amy, during our Fall Harvest visit to Napa Valley – we laughed, cried, and sang our favorite tunes from dawn 'til dusk – and pretty sure we had some substantial sized windblown hair knots at the end of the day, but oh so worth it! And just for fun, some of my gal pals made a list of some of our favorite road trippin' snacks. Here were our top five 'must-haves':
Fritos Corn Chips
Red Vines Licorice
Good & Plenty or M & Ms
Frozen Grapes
Pumpkin Seeds

Ready for a Gal Pal Road Trip this Fall? Ready, Set, GO

If you live in Washington... the Washington Wine Country is amazing too. Sip Local and support your local wineries wherever you live! 

Wendy "Woo" Steinmetz

]]>