Digital Planning – Creating Custom Stickers

I just started planning digitally a couple of weeks ago (I purchased an iPad and Apple pencil) and I’m really enjoying it. During my search for cute/kawaii style digital stickers, I didn’t find a lot of options so I thought I would make my own.

I love character kawaii stickers, so I thought, why not create one of my own so I could use it in my digital planning. I’m not very talented at drawing/illustrating so I started looking for people online who can hand-draw the stickers for me and send me the final versions. I’m currently sourcing an illustrator that can help me create the first set of stickers (I’m thinking 20-30 illustrations) and I’d like the main character to be a lamb.

I’ve reached out to a lot of people and asked them to send me a sample, I wanted to make sure they could get the style I was looking for right before I engaged in a bigger sticker design project. Most but not all were willing to send me a sample. Here are some of the samples they came back with:

Sample 1: Seal – This was my favorite of the samples I received. She was also the most expensive. The art style looks like it would match the finished outcome I’d like to see and the concept was so cute! I’m still waiting on a couple of other samples before making my final decision, but this one is in the top 3.

Sample 2: Hamster – This is currently in 3rd place. The price is good and the rough sketches look good, I’m just worried about the final outcome. I’m not sure if once it’s cleaned up it will match the desired style I’m looking for. The concepts were really cute though.

Sample 3: Fox – My daughter really wanted to see a fox as one of the characters (one of her favorite animals) so I requested a fox from this artist. The drawing style was not what I was looking for at all, but I think she did a great job!

Sample 4: Animal? – I’m not sure what kind of animal it is, but the style was not really what I was looking for. I’m glad he took the time to send me a sample though!

Sample 5: Bunny – This one was cute, but I think the style was a little too polished, I wanted it to look more hand-drawn, this one looked more like vector art. If I was going for this look, I would have definitely picked him, he was very easy to communicate with and the price was within my budget.

One of the artists I really liked did not offer samples. I’m still thinking about possibly working with her because her style is very close to what I’m looking for. You can see some of her doodles above. This artist is currently in the top 3 as well!

So now, I’m trying to wait patiently for the last samples and praying to find the right artist to work with. I hope you have a great day!

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Intermittent Fasting – A Diet Plan I Can Stick To With Awesome Results

A little backstory – I got pregnant with my lovely firstborn daughter when I was 20 years old. That was the last time I had a healthy BMI index :-). My doting husband would bring me Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches at 1:00 am when he would be getting off from work and I just ate and ate and ate. I was so used to being able to eat whatever I wanted without weight gain, I didn’t see the signs. After she was born, my weight was around 145. Then, I got pregnant with my son, and the weight went up to 160. For 14 years I’ve been carrying around an extra 40+ pounds. I’ve tried various diets (counting calories, Weight Watchers, low carb, whole foods plant-based to name a few) but I didn’t stick with any of them for longer than a week or two. I just didn’t have enough motivation to stick through something that made me miserable because I felt so deprived. Everyone around me get’s to eat whatever they want, I want some of it too!

How I Got Started

A couple of months ago, I stumbled across this video from an author whose books I enjoy, it was her one year update on intermittent fasting.

I had heard of intermittent fasting (IF) before, but it was Jennifer’s testimonial that convinced me to give it a try. Her eating window was reasonable (9-5), she did not deprive herself – she still ate delicious meals including cookies, dessert, and snacks. This plan seemed like something sustainable I could see myself doing long-term. Especially when she explained that if they went out to dinner and needed to eat later, she would just start her eating window later in the day the next morning so she would still have a 16 hour fast. I don’t know about you, but whenever I fall off a diet, I feel like just giving up, this plan seemed more forgiving of a minor setback.

Doing My Research

My previous knowledge of intermittent fasting came from 2 other sources, Ellen G White and Dr. Greger. From my reading of these 2 sources, I knew I wanted an early eating window (the earlier the better) and I wanted to wait more time in between meals but that wouldn’t be my focus. My expectation was that this diet would be like all the other ones I had tried. I would set a goal to lose even 2-3 pounds, not get the results I wanted in a week or two, and then, give up and go back to eating crazy. But I knew from watching Jennifer’s video and also reading up on the IF Reddit group, that results could take a while, but most users were losing about a pound per week. So I thought, I could do this for a long time, especially if I don’t need to deprive myself of the food I want to eat, what’s the harm? Let’s try it for a month and see. I also watched several videos from Dr. Fung, highly recommend his channel to learn more about intermittent fasting.

How Fast I Lost Weight

I started my IF journey on May 1st. It wasn’t on purpose to start on the first, it just happened to be the beginning of the month. My starting weight was 144. I track my weight daily in my journal. The first month, I consistently lost about a pound per week. For the first time in 10+ years, my weight got below 140. I hit 139.8 in the last day of May. The date I’m writing this is June 29th, so I’ve been practicing IF for 2 months (technically tomorrow). My current weight is 138. The number is not as low as I would like it to be (based on losing 1 pound per week) but I’m not really that discouraged by it, and here’s why.

Why It Works For Me

IF is not only about the weight loss. Of course I’m happy I’ve finally broken through the 140 plateau and weigh less than my husband, but there are so many other benefits to this way of eating!

  • My body feels so much thinner. I’ve lost fat in places I didn’t even really realize, like my toes, my ring finger, my cheeks, and my chest area.
  • My shirts/clothes fit me looser
  • I have so much more energy and stamina
  • I sleep better and wake up every day without an alarm early in the morning (usually 6-7am)
  • I’m more positive and self-confident
  • I no longer get heartburn at night*

It’s like a whole new me! A lot of IF’ers online will tell you to take body measurements. I wish I had so that I can see the difference in the numbers. It just works ya’ll!

The Challenging Times

In the past 2 months, I had 2 times when I ate out of my eating window. One was when we went on vacation and I had planned on not eating during the window and just enjoying the vacation. I regretted it big time. I got so sick, I was vomiting and had *heartburn the entire night during our 2nd day. My weight went back up to 141. And I’ve yet to get back to my pound-a-week losing schedule. Not sure if it’s because of some hormonal issues or staying up later at night (due to electronics lol)?

When I got back from vacation because of the weight gain, I decided to try a more aggressive eating window. That was a mistake, I got so discouraged I almost gave up and dropped the whole diet were it not for my husband encouraging me. That was the second day I ate out of my eating window, and I was so hungry I didn’t even feel bad about it. I got back on track the next day and the weight started going back down.

The most challenging thing for me, is at night, from 5pm – 10pm my family and others are always eating around me. Sometimes I want to eat what they’re eating or break my fast. During those times it helps that my family encourages me to not give in and also, I tell myself “Don’t worry, you can eat all you want of that tomorrow”. What’s funny is most of the time, I don’t even feel like eating that in the morning. I will also drink water or tea to help get my mind off of food/eating.

Eating Window and What I Eat

I typically do a 9-5 eating window. I even got an app called Fastic to help me track my fasting/eating window and my water intake and steps. I love the app! Often when I wake up, I’m not really hungry, so I wait until 10:30 or so to eat. Also often, I eat my last meal around 2-3 and I’m not hungry at 5 so I start my fasting window way earlier. I’m ok with this and it works for me.

I don’t really have typical foods that I eat, but here’s what a day might look like

Breakfast: Smoothie with avocado toast
Lunch: Some type of bento I make for myself (pasta, leftovers, homemade falafel gyros, rice and beans, tofu, etc…)
Dinner: Stove popped popcorn, apple, crackers

Sometimes, I’m not hungry in the morning, so I’ll eat around 10am, othertimes, my last meal is at 1 or 2pm because I’m too full to eat again at 5. On those days I do an involuntary longer fasting window, but I don’t really notice or feel worse.

I do try to pay more attention to what I eat because I’m more aware of certain things giving me a slight discomfort in my tummy, like when I eat products with cheese or junk food. I just feel bloated and yucky all day. Before IF, I used to just ignore feelings like that.

I also try to drink lots of water, especially now that I have the Fastic app and it reminds me. Water is helpful in helping me get over a craving I might have. I also drink tea with honey at night sometimes.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting can be challenging, but I really think I’ve found my way of eating for life. I’ve thought about what I will do after I reach my target weight or a healthy BMI, but I don’t think I’ll start eating late again. I may move my window to later in the day, maybe ending it at 6 but I’ll have to see how my body responds.

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Ideas for Your Morning Routine

Ideas for your morning routine
  • Hot and cold showers can improve your circulation, they also help me feel more energized and awake in the mornings. When I splash cold water on my face, I notice my skin is not as red and splotchy when I get out of the shower.
  • A couple of WFPB breakfasts I regularly have are: 1)a fruit smoothie (no sugar, just orange juice, bananas, and frozen fruits) with avocado toast 2)homemade granola with almond milk
  • I just search for a sermon topic on Youtube or look up my favorite speakers like Joyce Meyers or John Piper
  • For exercise if I’m not going for a walk, I keep it simple with a fitness program I designed myself using a book called Teach Yourself Fitness, I don’t use any workout equipment or anything other than a couple of cans of canned food for arm weights. Here’s a screenshot of one of my first programs (edited from the sample provided in the book) so you can get an idea of how simple it is. I do leg and lower body on Tuesdays and upper body/core on Thursdays. The rest of the days I walk.
  • I use this method to help me memorize scripture (the method is on pages 16-17)
  • Some of my favorite podcasts I’m currently listening to are The Lazy Genius and Optimal Living Daily (OLD)

What are some of your favorite things to do in the morning? Share them below, I’d love to know!

About Me

Welcome!
My name is Yoana, I’m a married mom of 2 living in the country in central(ish) Oklahoma. I write about random topics and trying to live a God-centered life.