“Where Have I Been?” or “Life (School) Happens”

This may be a long post as I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do. First, I want to say to anyone still checking out my blog: thank you!!! Second, I did not fall off the earth/suffer an illness/forget about blogging/stop bullet journaling/forget my WordPress password/etc. We all know life happens to the best of us, including me. To pick up where I left off last time

The biggest change is that I decided to go back to school instead of trying to find another office job where I would be unhappy. I didn’t anticipate that calling to make an appointment with the school the last week of March would end up with me starting classes the first week of April. While it may look like a snap decision from the outside, it is something I had been thinking about for over a year, and 12 weeks in I have not regretted the decision. I feel like I am where I need to be now, and heading in a direction I need to go. 🙂

So far I have chosen not to work while attending classes, but that will need to change within a few months as my unemployment benefits aren’t unlimited (unfortunately). I’ve already put some thought into where I want to apply, so it’s just a matter of feeling “ready” to add work to my life with school. I do already have a college degree, but the first time school was my job and I didn’t have a home, significant other, or cats to care for (or bills to pay) so this time is a different experience. I’ve made improvements to my time management since April, but I want to be sure I have a handle on it before I try adding anything else.

In addition to school, we had planned and budgeted to attend PAX East 2016 in April. (See my highlights here.) Since part of the trip had been booked already and the rest had money set aside, we went. One benefit of having started budgeting late last year is that we already had a buffer and a plan. The past couple of months Andrew has had more hours at work, so that’s helped to make up the difference between what I was paid while working and what my unemployment is. We’re not paying off debt with “gazelle intensity”, but our 4 walls are more than taken care of. (Just don’t tell Dave Ramsey I’m taking out student loans…)

I’m still doing couch to 5k! I haven’t actually completed the program yet, but I’m still working at it. I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to miss one of my 3 weekly sessions of jogging/walking, and I’ve even decided to add in a bit of additional fitness.

I’ve been trying to make sure not to forget self-care–or just taking a break in general. I like getting things accomplished as much as the next person, but especially with homework my brain can get fried.

My bullet journal… That may have to be its own post. Habit trackers always end up being a fail for me because, well, they just do. I try putting too many things on it and it becomes a source of guilt (the opposite of its intended purpose). Toward the end of the month, I always seem to have restlessness about moving from my Arc to another notebook. I tried two different notebooks I already had in April and ended up back in my Arc. I bought some Martha Stewart lined paper for it (aqua!) so I’ve now decided my bullet journal stays put at least until that is used up. I would prefer grid paper, but I have crappy (thin) copy paper at the moment and got tired of printing (and cutting and punching) my own and then every pen bleeding through. I’ve already started setting up July in the Arc, so I am delaying the decision of a new notebook until further notice.

I think that’s all for this time, readers. I don’t want to put a novel up here. How did Spring treat you? Are you ready for July yet?

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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Knitting for Snowmageddon

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been a knitting machine as far as producing squares for my leftover blanket. As I write this I have 4 squares left to knit and one that just needs bound off to have enough for a square lap blanket/throw. Of course I still have 4 rows of 12 squares each to attach to the blanket, and the cross “seams” to knit but I truly feel like the end is in sight. Thanks to the generosity of a friend from the knitting retreat, I have plenty of yarn to make my blanket bigger, but I’m ready for it to be done. All that she sent me won’t go to waste though.

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The day I’m posting this, we’ve just had a storm system move in that’s expected to dump several inches of snow between now and Monday(ish). Since I have a Subaru (yay AWD!) and don’t want to use PTO for snow days, it’s unlikely that I’ll be snowed in from work Thursday and Friday, but there is still the weekend to spend working away under a cozy knit blanket. 😀

In other knitting news, I finished the socks for my mom. They were supposed to be her Christmas gift in 2014. They were 368 days late. Whoops.

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I haven’t made a ton of progress on the Doctor Who scarf, so no updates there. *cue sad trombone*

What projects are you working on now? Do you have any (non-blanket) suggestions for my sock leftovers stash? Let me know in the comments!

As always, don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram for more content. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

November Knitting

Sadly, I don’t have as much knitting to report as I would like to have. My stick to a project and finish mojo hasn’t been so strong.

I want to knit, but I want to start new projects (which is a problem). The problem isn’t the projects I have in progress. The problem is the “ooh shiny!” start-itis I developed a few years ago. I’d ultimately like to finish the projects I have on the needles and get back to only having one (max 2) going at one time. At 3 I feel like I want to get everything done, but since I can’t work on all of them at once, decision fatigue sets in and I don’t work on anything. I still enjoy knitting, so this is something I need to make an effort to correct!

Here are my knitting goals for the rest of 2015:

  1. Finish my mom’s socks. They’re an “IOU” from last Christmas(!).
  2. Knit a moebius cowl for my mom’s birthday (in December, but this will be a fast knit).
  3. Complete chart pages 5 and 6 of the Doctor Who scarf.

I have my time off from work on my side somewhat. The 24th, 25th, 31st, and January 1st are holidays. The three weekdays in between (28th, 29th, 30th) I’ve taken off as my workplace doesn’t allow vacation carryover. So at least I’ll have some good knitting time during the holidays–and time to relax and hang out with the cats!

If you’re a knitter (or do any other crafts), let me know in the comments what projects you want to finish before the end of the year.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram!

Have a great day! 🙂

3 Month-iversary!

Welcome back! I’m here hardly able to believe that I’ve had a blog for 3 months already!

When I started, I wasn’t sure how this would work out for me. I’m not the most talkative in person, and I keep quite a lot to myself, but it turns out that I do have content to share with other people. I even have people interested in reading my content!

So far I’ve been doing all right keeping up with two posts per week, although these posts have been pretty planner-focused. This was not my intention with the blog, it just happened that those posts seemed to get more traffic. Going forward there will be more of the variety in content that I had originally planned.

  • I want to write at least one post per month about knitting–after all, it’s in my blog name, lol.
  • Andrew is trying to turn me into a gamer, so I may start posting my reluctant sporadic gaming experiences.
  • Now that it’s getting cold, I’m in the mood to work on fitness more (go figure). I had a steady gym habit through last winter, but a gym membership isn’t in our budget right now. I’d like to find that mojo again.
  • Speaking of budgets, Andrew and I are trying to spend money more wisely. We have furniture that needs paid off from when we moved into the house, I have a credit card balance I didn’t intend to accumulate, and Andrew has student loans. Not to mention our non-existent savings. Starting December 1st, we’re on a strict budget to get these fixed. I started watching the GazelleInTents YouTube channel, and used their tutorial for a zero-based budget in Excel (based on Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover). So I’m thinking about posting about our monthly progress and/or any struggles we have.
  • Hopefully I’ll be able to post some cat-focused content soon. We had a feline addition to our house in November, and she hasn’t been properly introduced!
  • I’d like to write up some more “favorites” posts, similar to the one I did for planner blogs and videos.

I won’t rule out other content that may come to mind, but at least I have a few goals now of different topics to write on to keep from getting bored myself, or from boring the readers (aka you!).

Let me know in the comments if there is anything particular you’d like to read that I haven’t covered or that you want me to expand on.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, and find me on Twitter and Instagram!

Have a great day! 🙂

October 2015 Recap

Time to look back on the past month, see what got accomplished, and determine what needs more focus for the new month.

First I’ll look at planning. I had much more restlessness in my bullet journal than I cared to. After the initial setup for the month, I changed again, then saw another idea at the end of the month I wanted to try. So I set up a trial of the last setup for the last week in my arc notebook, and used two last week. My cleaning and self-care routines got a bit thrown midway through the month (I was going off a medication and had some side effects to deal with). As a result, I’ve changed both my monthly spread and my weekly spread to help me have a better planning month. I’m also working on a budget in my arc notebook.

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I’ve used the supplies I got from Jet Pens some, but not a ton. So far I’m liking the fountain pen I got, and the Acroball multi-pen writes much better than the last pens I had bought. I may invest in some more of them if I find I need more than 3 colors of ink.

Andrew and I continued with Cycle 2 of the 17 Day Diet, and then moved on to a combination of Cycles 3 and 4. From the middle of September (when we started) until October 19th, Andrew lost 11 lbs and I lost 7–enough to make a difference in how our clothes fit, and to get us into better eating habits.

I didn’t make a lot of progress on the knitting projects I posted about before. I think the only project with noticeable progress were the socks, which are now ready to have the heels knitted. Instead, I caved and started a project with the Zauberball I purchased at the knitting retreat in September. I’m making the Foolproof Cowl so I can use as much of the yarn as possible.

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I don’t feel like I’ve done as well with reading this month, but I think it’s because I listened to more books than I read. I finished: The Death Cure [The Maze Runner #3] (James Dashner); The Martian (Andy Weir); White Cat [The Curse Workers #1] (Holly Black); You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Felicia Day). I didn’t end up finishing I Am Legend or Neurotribes. The “other stories” in I Am Legend just weren’t my cup of tea, and Neurotribes ended up not being what I thought it would be. I’ve started The Kill Order [The Maze Runner #0.5] and Red Glove [The Curse Workers #2]. I still need to finish The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

That’s all I’ve got to recap from October. I plan to participate in the Instagram #planwithmechallenge (hosted by Kim and Jessica) again this month, so I may incorporate some of those prompts into this month’s blog posts.

Sept. 2015 Knitting Weekend

Usually twice per year I go to a knitting retreat at a local state park that is sponsored by my favorite LYS. I always have a blast seeing what my knitting friends are working on, taking classes offered, and generally taking a break from the everyday routine. I’m writing this post the evening I returned home from the most recent one.

This time around, the classes being taught were for a brioche cowl and a knitted pumpkin that used German short rows. I decided not to make the cowl, but sat in on the class to pick up any tips on the technique that I might be able to use later. (I’ve never done brioche knitting, but there are some recent patterns out that have caught my eye.) I did take the class on the German short rows, and I’m so glad I did because I needed the technique in my knitting life. (I’ve avoided many patterns with short rows because the particular technique used didn’t click for me, and I didn’t know how to substitute a different one.)

I try to set some sort of knitting goal for the weekend, since I usually get a fair amount of time to dedicate without household interruptions. This weekend I wanted to finish the other dishcloth I was knitting (the one I started after finishing one for the retreat activity), not spend money at the market (I’m not in need of any particular yarns/supplies), and possibly work on one of my other projects-in-progress. How did I do?

I finished the dishcloth before I left to head home. I know I made a mistake near the end, but I got tired of trying to find it. I fudged a solution so I could get it done.

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I bought a Zauberball because Zauberball. Usually orange isn’t my first pick of colors, but this spoke to me.

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I pulled out my blanket square a few times, but I didn’t work on any of the other projects I took. A couple of them were taken out to be looked at, but not a stitch was knitted (or purled).

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I started the pumpkin in the short rows class and got 7 of the 8 sections completed on Saturday. I knitted the last section, stuffed it, and put on the finishing touches at home over the next couple of days.

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Of course we always get a “goodie” bag when we arrive on Friday evening, plus we had a dishcloth/washcloth exchange activity. Those added one ball of yarn with pattern and a cute kitty dishcloth to my acquisitions.

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We also have a “Secret Project” to work on Sunday morning–which I finished.

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All in all, I made out pretty well. Once I decided on the yarn (almost as soon as I got there), I tried to stay out of the market to avoid further temptation. And while I browsed Ravelry for project ideas for the new yarn, I didn’t actually purchase or cast on anything else new. I have some ideas of what I want to make with it, but not a definite pattern yet. I had a really great time (as I usually do), and the weekend went way too fast (as it usually does). Now to wait and save up for the next one in April! 😀

In the meantime, someone was very happy to have me home again.

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What I’m Working On…

One of my main hobbies is knitting. I taught myself how to knit when I was in high school, fell out of the habit during college, but picked it back up after I finished college. I used to be a monogamous knitter, but after discovering Ravelry a few years ago, I find myself with multiple projects in progress at once. Currently I have 4 projects on the needles–here’s a peek at them!

I’ll start with the “oldest” project first. I’ve been working on this blanket out of leftover sock yarns since January 2013. I started it as part of a stash busting knitalong. Some of the delays were due to running low on leftover yarn, but other times I just needed to work on something else for a while. I will finish it. Eventually.

Caramel likes to supervise my knitting
Caramel likes to supervise my knitting

The next-oldest project I have in progress is a Doctor Who-inspired scarf for Andrew (started in May 2014). It’s in fine weight yarn and charted, so takes a bit more focus than I can dedicate some days. I really do need to get this finished up. It will be gorgeous and impressive when it’s done.

More supervision...lol
More supervision…lol

My next project is more recently started–only a couple months ago. I’d hoped to knit a(nother) pair of socks for my mom for Christmas last year, but failed to finish (or even start) them by that time. My solution was to wrap the yarn and attach an “I O U” for a pair of socks. I’ve got these most of the way to the heel (working toe up), so if I get into it I should be able to finish them fairly quickly.

I've made a lot of progress on these since this photo
I’ve made a lot of progress on these since this photo

The most recently started project is a dishcloth for an exchange at the weekend knitting retreat I have in a couple of weeks. This should be a fast knit.

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I hope to post an update in a week or so…but we’ll have to see how my knitting mojo is. 😉

Thanks for stopping by!