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My right eyelid will not. stop. twitching. It’s been going on since Saturday morning and I’m at the point where it is driving me bananas (which I should probably eat, since the potassium supposedly helps with muscle spasms like eye twitching).

It’s my own doing, really. Between the caffeine, stress of the new semester, staring at a computer all day (& night, lately), and a lack of sleep, I’m simply combining all of the factors that cause eye twitching (I’m deliberately ignoring that alcohol is on that list too. The cask ale I tried on Saturday was amazing. I’m a firm believer that things that good should not be the cause of my problems).

The fix is pretty simple; I just need to stay away from computer screens (as much as possible – considering that my day job requires a full 8 hours), caffeine, and get a little more sleep. No big deal. Sometimes, when you’re pushing yourself too hard, your body has a way of telling you to slow down a little.

But – on a brighter note, I’m happy to share that some of this unanticipated eye strain may have been worth it. Over the last three years, I’ve been teaching myself a lot about building websites behind the scenes (HTML, CSS, PHP, customizing plugins, etc). Quite honestly, I’ve grown to love it. This blog has been my guinea pig for all the cool things I’ve seen other sites do (Process:  See awesome functionality on another site. Try to figure out how it was coded through tutorials online. Test out on one of my own pages. Break something. Fix it. Repeat.). The latest experiment? My project gallery. I have finally (FINALLY!!!) figured out how to code this page exactly the way I want it. Now, when you click on “Lessons Learned” at the top of the blog, you should see something like this (it’s going to look a little funky on mobile devices, but the links should still work):


Each grouping is for a particular subject: painting, crafts, holidays, travel, etc. When you click on any of the “More projects” links, you’ll be taken to a page dedicated to that subject. Combining that with the Archives update, I’m hoping this will help you navigate the site a lot easier. I’ve only just begun categorizing things into this new layout, so while there aren’t a lot of projects on that list to begin with, over time, there will be a lot more. The coding part was the hardest (fyi, I did NOT use a plugin, but if you are looking to find one, Catablog is a decent one, and it’s the one that Katie (Bower Power) uses if  you’re looking to see a fantastic example), so now that it’s done, I can get to the real task of properly categorizing older posts.

After some contemplating, I even began helping out a few blog friends to design their sites. Amy from ModPodgeRocks was looking to design a new sister site, and so was Jamie from C.R.A.F.T.  As far as clients go, I couldn’t have asked for two better people to work with. Not long after, Washi Tape Crafts and Really Awesome Costumes were born. I can’t describe how much fun it was to do something that allowed for testing out both my creativity and technical abilities (coding ain’t easy, I can assure you). And when I started getting referrals (thanks, ladies – you guys ROCK), I quickly realized I would need to figure out how to best direct their questions. I registered another site name exclusively for design work – Sweet Theory Designs – and have begun experimenting. It’s basically at the baby giraffe stage: awkward, shaky, and full of potential awesomeness. Not even the logo is set in stone yet. The portfolio is a mess. But I’m grinning from ear to ear at this new idea and have loved every single project I’ve been working on so far.

And, just as this post’s title implies, I’m basically catching you up on a hodgepodge of unrelated details going on around the UDH. I am still struggling to get the hallway finished (I need dear ol’ Dad to bring over the scaffolding so I can get the top part of the staircase walls painted), so until that happens, I have been trying to catch up on Mount Washmore. And taking Charlie to the park to work off some of her energy. And running to work of a little stress. I am also on the lookout for a few more 5k races this summer, so hopefully I’ll have more to share about that soon. Gratuitous cute dog pic in 3… 2… 1…

charlie uglyducklinghouse

Later this week, I’ll be sharing another Time Tips post. And this one will be my absolute favorite tip (I figured we’ll start off with a bang and let my advice get progressively worse until I run out of things to say – ha). So while I might be taking a rest between, now you know all of the reasons why :)  Have a wonderful week!

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  1. Let me get this strait, you work a real day job, go to school, fix up a house, blog, run, tend to a dog and do computer work? Keep up the good work! And also a little magnesium might help with the eye twitch. I’m going to check out Sweet Theory Designs just in case I ever get back to my workshop blog. I’ve got a surrogacy blog that took over all things workshop and I’m not as good at multitasking as you. :)

  2. You are absolutely CRAZY…in a really good way! Oh my gosh–programming stuff? I took one year to get my FB biz page up. I tried, my husband couldn’t figure it out (yet figures out all his own stuff) and I gave up. It was slow on my Etsy site a few months ago so I gave it another shot. I griped and moaned but finally figured it out (still can’t figure out how to post one big picture with three little ones under it–gggrrr). So that was cool but you are just crazy! I saw the washi tape site! I was looking for some cool Mod Podge projects for my daughters and I to do this summer and saw her new site–awesome work! And…I totally agree that if something is that good (like my gourmet chocolate chip cookies) that it can’t possibly be bad (ie. the one and only contributor to my migraines). Take it easy though!

  3. Have you had an eye exam recently? When I was doing online school work I had bad eye strain also. I got me a nice pair of reading glasses with the anti glare coating on them and it fixed me right up! Then there will be no more worry about having to think about that alcohol thing they talked about. :)

    1. Haha – I suppose it’s been a couple of years. I was told I had a slight astigmatism, but not enough to warrant glasses. I guess it’s worth looking into!

      1. That was my same problem too. It was enough to bother me when looking at a computer screen for hours though. Make sure you get the anti glare coating if you end up getting a pair, works wonders.

  4. Nothing better to see than an organized site! I have looked at blogs that I am not familiar with, and even using the ‘search’ I couldn’t find what I needed. Yours is going to become a model for blogs! I am so looking forward to the result of your hard work!

  5. My eye goes through phases of twitching too! Drives me insane.

    Have you considered selling your code for the gallery? Is it something that would work for blogger?? I have been trying to find or create one for a long time now and always come up disappointed :(

    1. I think the code is too site-specific. And it definitely wouldn’t work for blogger! The best I think Blogger can offer is plain old (painstaking) table codes in HTML. Not impossible, just time-consuming (I think this one explains it well). I think LinkWithin offers an alternative too. If you ever make the switch to WordPress, feel free to reach out!

  6. Hi Sarah!
    Love your site and wish you the best of luck with that new project!
    Thanks for the tip to switch to bloglovin. I love that now I actually get to see the bloggers cute / interesting / well designed sites – makes it lots easier to tell bloggers apart too.
    Greetings from Germany

  7. Sometimes a ramble post is just the right thing to do. I feel like almost all of my posts are just me talking away. There’s a little fun and updates in there, but I think mostly I just like to talk. Anyway, good luck with your staircase! That is close to our to-do soon list too!

  8. YAY! So happy I got to work with you! It’s hard to find a CREATIVE coder who makes pretty designs! THANK YOU, Sarah! I heart Really Awesome Costumes! And Trips will happen sooner or later ;)

  9. I would love to learn more about html, css and all that jazz, but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any books or websites you recommend for starting to learn about it? I LOVE your blog and have enjoyed watching it look more and more fancy over the last year! (not to mention the sprucing up of the house too!)

    1. There are a lot of tutorials online, and I just sort of skipped around from article to article. Didn’t actually read any books about it. I just picked a particular feature (something small, like changing hyperlink colors) and from there, selected other things (like adding & stylizing a tabbed widget). Over time, it just sort of became something that clicked. So my advice would be to be very specific in what you’re looking to change, and Google it. Takes forever, but I really enjoyed the process!