Today was the day I was dreading. Comparably it is the same day in the pregnancy that my daughter was born. There was a weird coincidence to it. We put my daughter’s crib together 2 months and 1 day before her due date. She was born exactly one month after that.
In a weird twist of fate, we took advantage of the fact that we had a wedding one night and our daughter had a sleepover at my mom’s house to assemble the crib. As we were doing it, I did some quick math and realized that it was exactly 2 months and 1 day before this baby’s due date.
And having the crazy anxiety I’ve been having, I kind of FREAKED OUT over it. But I made it to this day. I had an obstetrician appointment. My obstetrician was happy that since she took me off work and I’ve been taking Prometrium, the cramps have mostly stopped. Except if I walk a lot. Which is why I’m off work. I have less than 2 weeks until the baby hits the 37 week mark.
This Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead made me feel justified to have all this anxiety about my pregnancy and also very, very sane. At least I don’t have to worry about my baby turning into a zombie inside of me and starting to eat me from the inside.
I am taking this time to myself to relax and KNIT.
It has been a LONG time since I’ve last posted. Not surprisingly I became very disillusioned with my job and I started to get a bit depressed. I gained weight for what seemed like no reason. I was eating healthy and exercising more. After a bunch of testing, the doctor thought maybe it was my depression over my job that made me gain weight. I started to look for a new job and almost immediately lost the random weight I gained. Yay!
Then I broke my ankle right around the time I started going on job interviews. A bit awkward but it is a good way to start a conversation. We had a family health crisis. Then right when I needed it, third time was a charm and I got what is seriously the most awesome job for me! And I got pregnant. Pretty much almost at the same time. Not the best planning…
This has been an anxiety filled pregnancy mostly because my daughter was born approximately 5 weeks early. She had no major health problems and we went home after 3 nights but the terror of another premie has taken over my brain this pregnancy. I’ve asked my husband many MANY times if I am normally this crazy and he has assured me that I am not!
It was a bit hard being pregnant at a job where I had no friends. But I dealt with it. I got the exact same morning sickness until about week 17 like I did last time. I took diclectin this time which helped a lot. I was fine for a few weeks then, right when summer started I started to have dehydration problems. Once I got that under control, I got bronchitis. Then, when that was almost done I got another urinary tract infection. And as if that wasn’t enough I got the flu which turned into an upper respiratory infection. That took me to the end of summer. I had a week of feeling alright and then I found out that I may have gestational diabetes.
I did not like the resident I was assigned at my family doctor throughout this. She did not seem to care about the fact that I had a c section at 35 weeks last time. She did not seem to care that I wasn’t gaining weight because I was so sick. She just didn’t seem to care about anything. And she didn’t know some things that she should have. I had to ask for my initial gestational diabetes test, she told me not to fast for the follow up one when I knew i had to. I called her on it and she was not happy with me.
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes but I consider myself lucky because it has been easily controlled through diet and I don’t have to go to a million appointments because of it and I only have to test my blood once a day for the rest of my pregnancy. And really, it is probably good for all pregnant people to eat properly during the last trimester when the baby puts on the most weight.
I got a referral to an obstetrician who has done a lot of relieve my brain. I’ve only seen her two times but she takes my fears of another premie seriously. Yesterday, she took me off of work because my body is showing signs of starting to prepare for labour at 34 weeks. Her goal is to make the baby stay inside until 37 weeks. I have to take progesterone for the next 2.5 weeks which can help delay labour in people who have history of preterm labour.
And that is it for now. My blogging will probably be more regular because I am home alone all day and cannot really go out and do things. I have a lot of plans and projects.
A little bit of background on me: I have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science. The programming portion has always been relatively easier for me, it wasn’t an ‘easy’ degree to get but it was the natural choice for me to take. When I graduated from university I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. I got a job as a programmer and I HATED it. I eventually quit because I just couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Would I go back to school and learn something else? Would I get a job somewhere? I started to explore my options and applied around to contracting services figuring I’d be exposed to a variety of companies. I got a job as an admin covering a maternity leave at the company where I still work.
While I was an admin, I discovered that it is not the career for me because I don’t have the patience. After my term was up they kept me on contract and I still did admin-type work and a little bit of analyst work. I was eventually hired on as an analyst and they used me to automate a lot of their manual processes and I discovered that is what I enjoy doing. Unfortunately, I had problems with my boss and I was still treated like an admin and my experience and skills were not valued.
I eventually got a new position in my company and I thought it was great. Sure, I am one of 2 non-engineers in an engineering department but I was going to be learning some very valuable processes for our company and eventually take them over. Great! I was going to have a boss that treated me like I have something to contribute AND they hired me because my skills and background contribute greatly to the department.
Perhaps that is still the case, but this week I overheard my boss tell another manager that he has 2 employees in his department without degrees, me being one of them. EXCUSE ME!?!? Did I just pay to hang out at university for 5 years for fun? Did I take Operating Systems with a crazy hard professor just because I like to torture myself? Did you not hire me partly because I could automate and improve processes in the department? Did I not do some work with your department BEFORE you hired me because you needed my computer skills?
This is my glass ceiling. My company values engineers above all. Every job posting pretty much implies “if you aren’t an engineer, don’t apply”. Perhaps my boss meant to say that 2 of us don’t have engineering degrees but he definitely did not say that. I have some other friends who are not engineers as well and we all feel like the company treats us like we have no post secondary education.
Can I really stay working at a company where I probably cannot get ahead? Not because of my gender but because after my name I have a B.Sc. (Comp Sci) instead of a B. Sc. (Eng)?
Did you hear I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop in honour of Earth Day? I am offering 15% off of everything in my shop. The coupon code is EARTHDAY15.
You can pick up a beautiful summer scarf made out of banana fibre which is an eco-friendly option because it is a completely renewable resource. The original price is $70, the sale price is $58.75!
You can also view my creations made out of recycled sari silk which are eco-friendly because they prevent all of the exceess silk in sari factories from going to landfills!
Happy Earth Day and happy shopping!
Please meet Sarah-Maria of the eco-friendly clothing shop, meerwiibli on Etsy. She is a talented designer who opened shop on January 1st of last year! If you would like to learn more about her, check out her facebook page or her website.
I’m a fashion designer/seamstress/photo researcher who lives in the Catskills but grew up in Switzerland. That makes my clothing Swiss made in the USA!
What makes your clothing eco-friendly?
Well, we all create waste and even making clothing from environmentally responsible fabric creates pollution and waste but it also creates jobs. I love using bamboo knits. Bamboo is an amazing fiber which is also super-soft, draws moisture away from the skin and it’s naturally antimicrobial. I also use organic cotton and most of my fabrics are made in the USA or Western Europe, where there is a high anti-pollution standards for manufacturing.
How did you get started in the world of crafting/design?
I grew up in Switzerland, handicrafts are quite important there and I learned knitting, crocheting and sewing starting in 3rd grade in school.
Your etsy shop is called meerwiibli, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?
Meerwiibli means mermaid in Swiss-German. My family crest is a mermaid and I’ve always been completely obsessed with mermaids so it was quite an easy choice.
What is a typical day for you?
Sadly I still spend most days at my day job. So my sewing time is between coming home and dinner and on the weekends. I end up working about 60 hour weeks between my day job and my shop but I love it. I’ll be trying to cut back hours at my day job soon though, yay!
What inspires you?
Beauty and nature. It’s all around us. Plus I have a serious fabric buying habit. I often buy the fabric first and design around it after I have the fabric, not the other way round.
What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?
I’m always a sucker for my coats and jackets and they seem to be my bestsellers usually. What I love about outerwear is that you can just put on a great jacket and the whole outfit is saved.
If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?
I should have opened my shop much earlier than I did. I thought I needed items in stock and while it sure helps it’s not necessary. I had a hard time getting started because I just didn’t have the time to create stock.
What are some of your favourite etsy shops?
Fairysteps is making me a pair of vegan shoes, her work is amazing! I really want a piece by Leanimal of Project Runway fame, her work’s been hugely influential to me. I’d love to have one of WoodlandBelle’s terrarium rings and emiliefriday has made some amazing felted figures for me.
Do you do any other types of crafts?
Well, nothing as well as sewing though I’ve incorporated needle felting into my sewing before, love doing that. I used to be a doily-crocheting maniac in middle school….
Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?
Shoe-making! Oh my goodness I really need to get on that! I’m a shoe addict but also a vegetarian – not a good combination, it’s really hard to find awesome non-leather shoes that are cool and good quality.
Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?
I’m going to have to go with pirates as the Pirate School books, written by my husband Brian James, always crack me up!
There are probably a lot of reasons why pictures are important, I am sure that I don`t even know hald of the reasons why. I do know that Google likes pictures. The one reason I can figure out is because you can link it to your shop listing and you can add alt tags and a title for Google to pick up.
Whenever you have a blog post about your Etsy shop, it is visually important to have pictures for your readers to look at. When I make a link here in WordPress, it automatically defaults linking the picture to itself. Make sure that you change this and have the link point to your shop listing. If you click on my link below, you will see that I have it going directly to my fingerless gloves.
You are also able to add words in your alt text. Make sure that you use the keywords that you’ve already selected for your item as well as a few other descriptive words. You need to make sure that the text will make sense to readers because they will see these words if the image doesn’t load up, or when they hover the mouse over the picture.
Google uses the alt text when trying to determine what the picture is for the image search feature. Personally, if I am searching for something specific, I will use the Google image search for fast browsing. The alt text is also used in browsers for the visually impaired so please make sure that the text makes sense!
If you will notice, I took my own advice in my previous Beginner SEO posts and created many backlinks throughout this post!
You’re now getting your shop name out there. How will people find out what you’re selling? By using carefully selected keywords.
What are keywords? They are the words and phrases that you use to describe what you are selling. It is very important to make sure that you use keywords that people will search to find your shop. You can use the Google Keyword Tool to search potential keywords and see which ones are popular search terms in Google. I am not an expert in using this tool yet, but it is very easy to look up keywords and see how popular they are compared to other keywords. It also lists similar keywords.
Using this tool, I looked up “fingerless gloves”, “fingerless mittens”, and “handwarmers”. I see that on average, fingerless gloves has on average 110,000 searches per month which is significantly more than the other 2 terms. From this, I know that the keyword to use for my fingerless gloves is indeed fingerless gloves.
Now the important thing is to use this phrase as much as possible when describing my fingerless gloves. I need to make sure that each listing of my fingerless gloves has the term at the start of the title. Etsy takes the fist few words from your listing and puts them in the url for the listing. http://www.etsy.com/listing/70283068/fingerless-gloves-knit-handwarmers As you can see the first words in the title of this listing is : “fingerless gloves”. I’ve also made sure that the word “knit” is in there too. You also need to make sure that you use this term right near the start of describing your listing so Google picks it up in the description. Google can also search your shop sections so if you can, create a shop section for each of your keywords. Remember, there are a limited amount of shop sections so this isn’t always possible.
The other place you need to make sure to use the keyword is in the clickable portion of links. As you have noticed, I used the term fingerless gloves and linked it to my shop section. I could even link to hand knit fingerless gloves for good measure. When linking to a specific item, I tend to use a little bit more of a descriptive term. One example could be pink hand knit fingerless gloves. When making your links, make sure that you put the keywords in the link title as well.
To increase my backlinks, I also make sure that I link back to the appropriate shop sections in each of my listings on Etsy as well. For instance, in each of my fingerless gloves, I link back to the fingerless gloves section.
♪ Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers
♪ This song is a legend with my family and my family friends. We play it at every special event.
♪ Karma Chameleon by Boy George
♪ This is one of the first songs or artists I remember liking. My sister was more into Michael Jackson but I was all about Boy George. For Christmas in Kindergarten, I got a Boy George tape as a present and I was so proud of it! I also proudly wore by Boy George shirt to school with my flourescent green socks. I wish I had a picture of that outfit.
♪ I’ve Got No Strings or The Grandfather Clock by Fred Penner
♪ I have to admit that I still enjoy Fred Penner songs. When I was a kid, I loved playing the Special Delivery tape (now called Ebeneezer Sneezer) over and over again. I can’t find either of these songs on YouTube but they’re worth looking for.
♪ The Age of Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension
♪ No matter which version I hear (and it is most often the one from the Hair soundtrack), I am always transported back in space and time and I remember watching the episode of Head of the Class where they preformed Hair.
♪ Stand By Me by Ben E King
♪In grade 5, I had a wonderful teacher for a few short months before he was promoted to a school division job. At the end of each day we would clean up our desks, put our chairs on top of out desks, and stand there while we listened to the song.
♪ Tonight by The New Kids on the Block
♪ My sister got into The New Kids on the Block earlier than I did so their first album was “hers”. This was my favourite song on the Step by Step album. One of the saddest moments of my life was when I was not allowed to go to their concert but my sister was and she didn’t really like them anymore.
♪ These songs take be back to a more innocent time in my life when my world was simple.
♪ Jeremy by Pearl Jam
♪ One of my most profound music video memories is watching the Jeremy video for the first time on MuchMusic.
♪ The Music of the Night from the Canadian Cast of Phantom of the Opera
♪ I am loyal to the first version I heard. My parents bought me the tape when they went to the show because I wanted to go so badly but it was sold out. I don’t quite remember but either later the show came back and they got tickets or they added shows on and they got tickets. I have seen this show at least 4 times now. I regret not going to the Las Vegas version when I was there just to see it but I felt weird going alone.
♪ Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravtiz
♪ No explanation necessary.
♪ Sleigh Ride by Harry Connick Jr
♪ This song introduced me to jazz music. It means the start of Christmas. Sorry for the poor quality video.
♪ Buddy Holly by Weezer
♪ For some reason, with the exception of a few songs, I don’t really like the Maladroit album. Other than those songs, I have pretty much loved every single Weezer song I’ve heard since Buddy Holly.
♪ Glycerine by BushX
♪ Yep, when this song came out Bush was called BushX in Canada. Awesome. My sister took me to the BushX concert for my high school graduation gift. We had great fun. Mostly at the expense of the girl in front of us who couldn’t stop crying.
♪ Wonderwall by Oasis
♪ Love singing along with this one. Charlie sang it in Lost.
♪ Resurrection by Moist
♪ My friends and I took the bus to a small town to see them because the show in Winnipeg sold out. It was the first time I took an overnight trip without any parents. We stood outside after the concert until we met most of the band. It was a Big Deal at the time.
♪ Stop by the Spice Girls
♪ The Spice Girls helped me embrace the idea of loving pop music. I guess I was a bit turned off after I stopped liking the New Kids on The Block. Every time I hear this song I need to get up and do the dance. Learn it.
♪ Change by Blind Melon
♪ I’ve listened to Blind Melon since I was in junior high (another concert my sister was allowed to go to and I wasn’t). When I was in university I fell in deep love with this song. It has helped me get through some difficult times. If there is just one song you listen to from here, please make it this one. Shannon Hoon unfortunately died way too soon.
♪ Common People by Pulp
♪ As you can probably tell by now, during my high school/university years, I was strongly influenced by Brit Pop music. This song makes me so happy. My husband and I regularly fight over which version is better: Pulp or William Shatner.
♪ Angels by Robbie Williams
♪ When I heard this song for the first time, I had no clue that a lifetime love affair would start. I often crave listening to his songs. I don’t always want to listen to every song but there is a Robbie Williams song out there to satisfy all of my moods.
♪ If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot
♪ My university boyfriend had just broken up with me and I was driving home. This song came on the radio. It spoke to me. It helped me.
♪ Killing Me Softly by the Fugees
♪ I know it’s not the original but I enjoy this version and I enjoy dancing to it
♪You and I by Michael Buble
♪ I also have a love affair with all Michael Buble songs. This was my wedding song. If you enjoy him and you have a chance to see a concert, go! They are some of the funniest and most entertaining concerts I’ve been to. This man is a performer. Despite that, I can`t find a youTube video for this.
♪ Multiply by Jamie Liddell
♪ This is another song that always gets me up and dancing. I was addicted to it the first time I heard it.
♪ If I Had Eyes by Jack Johnson
♪ He’s another artist that can do no wrong in my book. This was the first song of his that I took notice of and I love all songs before and after.
♪ Sleeping Sickness by City and Colour
♪ Consistently the #1 song on my playlist count. Adding to the awesomeness is the cameo by Gord Downie.
♪ After Tonight by Justin Nozuka
♪ There is something about his voice that soothes me and comforts me. I have trouble comprehending the fact that he was only 19 when this album was released! A kid!!
There are some artists too that provide the soundtrack to my life but I don’t remember when I first heard them, or I have too many favourites to list.
♪ Once I got over the fact that my Dad also liked them, I loved them. Day for Night was one of the first 2 CD’s I bought.
♪ I was so lucky to get tickets to their concert in Winnipeg. Since they had never played here before, it was like listening to a greatest hits album. Monster was one of the first 2 CD’s I bought.
♪ Most people only associate them with Home for a Rest but they have so many great songs.
♪ This is another artist who is consistently great in my books. And she seems like so much fun! Did you see her on Sesame Street?
I know this is very long and there are songs that I am missing but these are the standout ones that I remember.
I hope I managed to bring back some memories for you and hopefully introduced you to some new songs!
Do you have a soundtrack to your life?