21 July 2014


That's just what we're fixin' to do around here - enjoy a few days of relaxation while we get things in order for another big year of school. Meetings, schedules, and changes galore - oh my!! It won't be long but don't fret that things have gone a tad quiet. Just getting my ducks in their necessary rows so life can run as smoothly as possible in our crazy little part of the world.  I'll be back before you know it.

17 July 2014

I have a plan

I am fluffy.  I've spent most of my life as fluffy sans my college years where I was the extreme opposite of fluffy which is just as unhealthy.  I have a handful of heath related issues that would benefit from me not being so fluffy - asthma, cholesterol, family history of heart disease, and joint pain... so I've decided to do something about it.

Each Thursday, right here, I am going to track my progress too.  It's one thing to make a declaration of having a plan, it's another thing to hold yourself accountable for said plan.  So to hold myself accountable, I'm going to document it... for me.  I know there will be good days and bad days, heck there will be good weeks and bad weeks, but I know this and it's okay.  The important part is that I get up and begin again.

So what is my plan?  It's super simple honestly because I won't do complicated.  I refuse to do complicated - my head will explode and I'll be defeated before I even begin.  It's not expensive either because I don't have the budget for it and it needs to be something I can maintain forever.  It's a lifestyle change so there won't be any prepackaged food shipped to my house.  It will be a simple thing that I can do without disrupting my world.

Stephen Covey taught me that it takes 21 days to make a habit, so that is exactly what I am going to do - make a new habit.  Here it is...

I rearranged my office by putting my bike right there in the corner.  I will ride this when I get up and I will do it three times a week to start.  My goal is 15 minutes a day right now.  I will increase it as time goes on but that will be 45 more minutes a week than I do currently so every little bit counts.

I have a fabulous view when I ride too.  I will just pop on a show or the news and peddle away.

I have a personal journal to log everything.  What I like, what I don't, recipes, ideas, ups and downs - just personal things for me only.  I could write in bold letters how much today stunk or I could leave myself a little pep talk.  It's just for me and won't be shared.  I think it's important to have a place where I can cry or toot my horn that is just for me.

I will log everything - what I eat, drink, and do.  There are so many things already in their database that I don't have to reinvent the wheel!  I made a free account and I will go in every day and log my information.  It keeps track of it for me and has an analysis tool so I can tweak the things that need tweaking.  I've wandered around here and it's just fabulous!

I learned that my coffee is 140 calories a cup... and that "Light Arts and Crafts, Sitting" burns 156 calories an hour.  Oh yeah, when I said I was going to log everything I meant it!

So here we are - at the jumping off point.  I won't be sharing numbers, those go in my personal journal, but I will share images - unflattering and truthful images.  No fancy angles or editing, just raw files straight from the camera and uploaded... and so it begins... today.

13 July 2014

Sunday Snaps

I started a shawl last night and I'm really loving how it's coming out.  Should finish this week if I stick to it!
While we were out last night, Pokey bought me the 4th season of Downton Abbey so I plan on having a marathon on Wednesday and Thursday when I'm off.  I think I can get through all 4 seasons in that time - at least I'm going to enjoy trying!  I'm taking Hobbit to my folk's on Tuesday so this will be the perfect way to fill those two quiet days before I head back to work for a long stretch of busy days.

I have notified Marilyn, the winner of the TIG yarn giveaway, so once I have her information I will be able to post all the winnings to all the winners.  Thanks again to everyone for celebrating my 4 year anniversary with me.  It has been a fabulous time and I look forward to many more years with all y'all!!

11 July 2014

Weekend Wonderment

These are going to be filling my weekend hours when I'm not at work - should make for a fun time!
  1. I am still working on my little orange top for someone very special.
  2. I decided last night that I needed a white shawl, so I started one.
  3. I am really enjoying my book so I will find some time to devote to it.
  4. I'm thinking DPS for tonight, CSL for tomorrow, and the a British movie marathon on Sunday.
Anything planned for your weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope it brings you joy.

10 July 2014

Some stuff to share

I finished my shawl last night!  I blocked it out in the office and woke up to being completely dry.
As soon as I had the points pinned on my shawl, I immediately started on my project from Crochet for Baby All Year!
So I have been busy these past 24 hours... oh yes, and I have the winners for the last two giveaways to share as well!  Let's see, where did I put them...

The winner of this amazing pattern book is Carmen N!!
The winner of Cuppycake Yarnz is Kristy M!!
I've reached out to both winners but as always, if I don't hear back in 48 hours, I will chose another because such awesomeness needs to be shared.  Thanks to all who entered and don't forget there is still time to win some TIG yarn as well!

09 July 2014

Wrangling it all up

I worked on my Market Bag while we were at the beach yesterday...

As well as adding a few rows to my socks while Pokey and Hobbit played in the sand and surf.

I may not be a fan of the beach but I sure do love the memories Hobbit is making while we're there.

I also get to take some pretty awesome photographs of some really fabulous things that only happen while we're there.

Today it is raining so Hobbit and I are just goofing around inside.  She's channeling her inner Rita Skeeter.

We got all dolled up playing with my make up simply because we could... silly, cheesy things that we are.

Now it's time to finish up this shawl - only have a handful of rows left.  All lace.  Should be fun!
Don't forget - today is the last day to enter for the pattern book giveaway and the Cuppycake Yarnz giveaway.  I'll announce the winners tomorrow.  There is also the TIG giveaway still going strong - that winner will be chosen on Sunday. 

Good luck to everyone and I hope y'all are having a fabulously productive day full of giggles and grins.

08 July 2014

Tuesday Tunes

I'm being forced to go to the beach today. I am not a fan of the shore. My daddy is a ginger and my mama is a blond… I step in the sun and burst into flames. Though I must say, my sweet duo did come home with a chair umbrella for me the other day which I thought was amazingly sweet and I will definitely utilize.

I'll stick with being a fan of Elvis singing on the beach... it's more my speed.

07 July 2014

Relaxation motivation

Not the chicken, the African Flowers - isn't it fabulous, so very happy!
I've spent the past week celebrating so I took this holiday weekend to relax... well, when I wasn't working I was relaxing.

I had originally told myself that I was going to work on my Mission shawl that is due by Sunday the 13th but instead, I worked on my Quidditch because the colors made me super happy.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Mission but when I show the finished pictures, you will understand what I am talking about because I had to go undercover and create something that will keep me well disguised.  Which in my case, that means working with muted colors.  I did not realize how badly I craved color until I started this grey project.  I love grey.  I think it is a beautiful and underutilized color but if you look at my projects that I've made since I started this grey shawl, you will see the other extreme because they have all been done in neon yarns.  Funny to think how a color can do that, isn't it.

There are still a few more days left in the pattern book giveaway and the final two yarn giveaways (here and here) so be sure to toss your name in the hat.  I promise you, this pattern book will blow your mind!  Once I'm done with my shawl, I've got my University of South Alabama blue ready to go for little Miss Rebecca - we had to pick a neutral team to keep the family peace... since we were all Jags at one point, it seemed fair.

Happy Monday and I hope the holiday weekend motivated you too!

05 July 2014

Awards and one for the road

Oh my goodness, did you miss all the fun celebrations that lead up to today - my 4 year blogiversary?  No worries, I have something for you in just a bit - plus, there is still time to enter two of the previous goodies located here and here.  The first two fabulous yarny prizes have closed and so here are the winners...

Luv2CUSmile is the winner of "Anna"!
BethS is the lucky winner of "Iris"!
All winners have been emailed for their physical addresses.  If I do not hear back from them within 48 hours, I will pick again until I do hear back from someone - as much as I would love to just keep them, I want y'all have to them.

Now, for those who were late to the party - I have something fabulous for you too.  Are you ready?  Well, y'all know how much I have loved Three Irish Girls over the years.  I think my love affair with their yarn has been going on since roughly the minute Sharon opened her shop in 2010.

She made the most vibrant colorways on the most exquisite bases.  There are still a few that I have been wanting to get my hot little hands on but have yet to achieve said goal.  Do y'all remember my 95 mile pilgrimage to A Good Yarn in Sarasota just so I could squish the yarn and fell in love with Octopus Garden?  Yeah, well it wouldn't have been as long if I didn't go out of my way to avoid the super scary bridge but that's another story entirely.

I've been able to celebrate anniversaries past with Sharon who founded TIG so I thought it only fitting that I reach out to the new owners to see if they would like to carry on our tradition - and they were more than eager!!

This tonal blue is absolutely stunning - the highs and lows bring such depth to this yarn.
How would you like to get your hands on this squishy little beauty?  Isn't she gorgeous!  I am never disappointed when it comes to TIG because the love and joy for their creative process shines through in each and every skein.  The subtle changes in hue of this magnificent blue reminds me of the ocean or even a fabulous Florida sky.  I can literally get lost in this yarn - the texture, the color, and the weight are all perfectly balanced.

I can totally attest to the fabulous squishiness of this skein.  I may or may not have squished and squeed upon it's arrival.
If you would like to be the proud owner of all 320 yards of "Ice Blue Raspberry" on the 100% Merino Wool Kells Sport Merino base, then simply a Rafflecopter giveaway This one closes on July 12, 2014 at 11:59pmET and the winner will be announced on July 13th. Open to residents of the US only due to postage costs.

Good luck everyone and here's to another year in the making!!

04 July 2014

Give thanks today

While the smell of BBQ and the sounds of laughter fill the air, be sure to take a moment and give thanks to those who bravely serve in our military. Their daily sacrifice makes each of our days possible. While you are watching the beautiful fireworks twinkle in the sky later, say a prayer for those who are standing watch to keep us safe tonight - as they have done every night before and will continue to do every night that follows.

Freedom is many things, but it is not free. 

03 July 2014

Anniversary Week - Tasty treats, Day 4

Do y'all remember when I joined my first ever "yarn of the month club"?  This was the first month treasure.
I have had a lot of firsts this blog year and one of them was participating in my first ever "yarn of the month" club.  It was hosted by Cuppycake Yarnz during The Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup's annual Hogsmeade Weekend which we hold every Winter term.  I had no idea what to expect but I must say, I totally enjoyed all three months.

This was the second month - inspired by Disney villains, in particular Ursula the sea witch.

The proprietor of Cuppycakes Yarnz is a fabulous Gryffindor by the name of scrapind.  I can't remember if we met 'on the train' to Hogsmeade Weekend or if she stumbled into my Disney Adventures group but either way, our mutual love of all things nerdy is what brought our paths together.  Knowing she understands my nerdy needs, she was definitely on my list of people that I wanted to participate in my anniversary celebration - and she agreed!

The final month was inspired by Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog - isn't it gorgeous!

The winner her fabulous act of generosity will receive one skein of beautiful yarn from her shop.  (**UPDATE** - From the proprietor herself: "you guys can score a club for 10% off use promo code loyal OR if you win this i will take $25 off the club if you would rather do one of my clubs instead of a skein of yarn.")  Take some time to wander over there and have a look around, then after you've wiped the drool from your keyboard, come back here so you can enter the giveaway -
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This one closes on July 9, 2014 at 11:59pmET. Open to all residents of planet Earth!

02 July 2014

Anniversary Week - Too much cuteness, Day 3

I can hardly handle all the cute on the cover - I about died when I opened it open up and saw all the rest!
You know I love it when Stackpole Books reaches out to me and says "Hey, we've got this awesome new book and are curious if you'd like to take a look."  My answer will always be "YES!!" because every single one is full of awesome projects that inspire me to no end - and this latest one does just that!!

Crochet for Baby All Year by Tammy Hilderbrand is twelve months of cheek pinching cute projects that will have you scrambling for your hook and the closest skein of yarn.  You think the front cover makes you babble with glee, wait until you open it and take a wonder through the pages.

Initially I thought I would do the cheerleader outfit first because I know that my little Miss Rebecca has some serious need of this - in both Alabama and Auburn colors so her parents will always have their girl cheering for their favorite team.  I don't know what they'll do during the Iron Bowl! - but when I started reading the patterns for the other outfits I just couldn't decide!!

Every month has at least one ensemble for a little girl and one ensemble for a little boy - which is awesome!
The newest addition to our family, my great-niece Roxann, needs to have this sweet patriotic frock with matching hat.  Both of her parents are proudly serving in the US Marine Corps, stationed in Japan.  What could be better than having their sweetest little girl all glitz up in the colors of Old Glory?

Ladybugs!!  Ladybugs!!  Seriously, ladybug rompers AND a ladybug hat - I can't stand it!!
Then there is sweet little Miss Abigail who I know needs to have the ladybug romper and hat set.  She will be the cutest kid in Central Park sporting the cutest critter to ever be labeled as a "bug".  The crown of the hat even has a ladybug on it - can you handle all of this cuteness?!?!

I could seriously show you every single outfit in here and tell you exactly who I am going to make it for but instead, my fabulous friends at Stackpole Books have offered to send one of my lucky readers a copy of their own - how fabulous are they!!  All you have to do is -
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This one closes on July 9, 2014 at 11:59pmET.  Open all readers, everywhere on the planet!  I will announce the winner on July 10th because it is one of my favorite crocheter's birthday - my sister-in-law Sandy who is my fabulous Roxann's very proud grandma!!

This celebration has been going on all week so be sure to catch the other two giveaway days here and here.

01 July 2014

Anniversary Week - Pokey's favorite color, Day 2

Iris by the incredibly talented linuxchic of Nerd Girl Yarns
Another awesome Slytherin from The Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup on Ravelry is linuxchic.

Not only can this girl craft in a way that defies comprehension, she is just all around full of fabulousness that can't be contained.

When I reached out to her regarding this week, she didn't even hesitate before agreeing and a few days later, this bit of loveliness was in my mailbox waiting for me.

I absolutely love this colorway - full of every imaginable shade of purple that you can handle.  It runs from deep plums to softer lavenders and lilacs.  Pokey saw this sitting on my bookcase in the office and got really excited, asking if I was going to make him something with it.  I had to break his heart and tell him that I am giving this beautiful skein to one lucky reader.  Gotta love a man who gets excited when he sees a pretty skein of yarn sitting on a shelf.

Can you handle all of this awesomeness - I know, me neither!!

These 400 yards of 4-ply gorgeousness are on her Zen Fingering base (60% Superwash Merino/20% Yak/20% Silk) and they can be in your hot little hands just by doing the following -
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This one closes on July 4, 2014 at 11:59pmET. Open to residents of the US only due to postage costs.  In case you missed the first day, click here to enter!  My international friends, don't despair because I've got stuff for you too - stay tuned!!
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