Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 6 of 30 Day Running Challenge

Day 6 today. It was 105 at 4:30pm when I went running. I know, what kind of crazy person goes running at 4fucking30pm when it's over 100 degrees outside? Me. I can't wait until it starts cooling down in the evening otherwise I'll lose my motivation and won't end up going. I've tried it. Trust me. At 5pm something hits me and I will absolutely not do a thing the rest of the night. My couch is too comfy and I kind of like watching the news and knitting.

Today I actually felt really good. No pain in my shins and not winded. I sweat a lot though. Like a lot a lot. And poor Hershey was pretty hot by the end. I almost didn't bring her with me since it's so hot outside. I took her out to test the ground and she was ready to go so I ran as far as she would go before she started slowing down. Then we walked the rest of the way home. I carried her a little bit of the way so her pads didn't get burnt from the asphalt. Luckily a lot of the route I took today was shady so the ground wasn't too warm for her most of the way. She's such a great running partner and of course got ANOTHER compliment today on how adorable she is. I don't think there will be a day that she doesn't get complimented.

Day 1 is here. Day 2 is here. Day 3 is here. Day 4 is here. Day 5 is here.

Did you go for a run today? Meet any goals you set?

WIP - Lily of the Valley Scarf

I am so proud of this WIP and I only have about 3 inches of my very long scarf complete. I had purchased the Alpaca with a Twist Fino in royal velvet for a knitting pattern that I got through Vogue knitting.

knitting yarn

Me being the detail-oriented person I am, wound up my ball of yarn before reading the pattern, which calls for double knitting. Alas, my single ball of yarn would not do, and I was not about to unwind, then rewind more than 800 yards worth of yarn. So I set out to find a pattern that would do this gorgeous yarn justice. I looked through my stitch library and found the lily of the valley pattern and knew that was it.

knitting yarn

This pattern is going to take a while to knit, just doing this small patch has taken me a few hours. I try to work on it a little bit each day but I have no deadline to meet with this so I'm taking my time. It's knit on US size 3 needles and I have a CO of 56. The yarn can piece when knitting if I knit too tightly so I'm having to learn to loosen up my knitting a bit. I usually prefer knitting with bulkier weight yarn since it knits up quickly. I like the gratification of finishing a project quickly so I'm learning patience with this project. Something I need!

knitting yarn

When I'm all finished I might gift it to my mom or sister for Christmas if I want to part with it, but it will probably just be added to my massive scarf and cowl collection. Soon I'll have one for every day of the year!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Top 5 Blog Posts of the Week - June 29

1. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom - Simple 5 Inch Fabric Flower Tutorial
These flowers are so adorable. They are a quick and easy project and yet they are so freaking cute!

2. The Thinking Closet - One Change I Made That Is Bringing Me More Balance
This post really rings true for me. During the school semester I feel incredibly overwhelmed and underwater. Now that I'm on summer break I am going to start implementing a morning routine and then expand it to a daily routine so that I don't fall behind and don't end up feeling like I'm up a creek without a paddle.

3. Knitting Craft Gossip.Com - 10 Shawls to Knit This Summer
I haven't knit a shawl yet but I keep seeing them everywhere so this post has got me inspired. I'm going to knit one - after my WIPs are finished of course.

4. Tin Can Knits - How to Block a Lace Shawl
This tutorial is so detailed and really helps to explain blocking. I have yet to block my first piece but once my lily of the valley scarf is complete I will need to block. I like this technique and will probably follow the tutorial!

5. Decor to Adore - $3 Summertime Hostess Gift
I always struggle to think of gifts to get for the hostess whenever I am invited to a party or a friends house for a nice dinner. This solves my problem, at least for this summer! It's inexpensive, useful, and stylish.

That wraps up my top 5 favorite posts of the week. Hope you enjoyed them and see you next week!

Day 5 of the 30 Day Running Challenge

Day 5! So far so good. I didn't end up running a longer run today like I had wanted. I convinced my hubby to run with me and my selling point was "short run" so we ran as fast as could with both dogs and stopped at a mile. It worked out perfectly!

The short distance today was probably a better idea anyway. I didn't have any pain during the run and I think if I had tried a longer run I'd be pretty sore, maybe in pain. Better for me to take it slow and not re-injure my shins!

My hubby ran with seasoned pro, Hershey, while I ran with newbie runner Bones. Bones is still a puppy so he has a lot of energy but he is not a distance runner at all. He's part pekingese, which are pretty low energy dogs in general. He really loves Hershey though so he tries to keep up with her, it's pretty adorable. It's also bath day so he's really going to be pooped the rest of the day from all of the excitement. Hershey won't be, she'll be her crazy energetic self all day long.

Day 1 is here. Day 2 is here. Day 3 is here. Day 4 is here.

Did you go for a run today? Meet any goals you set?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 4 of the 30 Day Running Challenge

Day 4! Today it was pretty hard to get out of bed and get my run done early. I had these grand plans to get up at 7am, drink a protein shake, stretch, get on the pavement by 7:30 and be done by 8:00, just in time to do an upper body workout on the jungle gym before the children swarmed it. Wishful thinking. I didn't get out of bed until 9, got on the road by 9:30 to run. When I was ready for my jungle gym workout there were hoards of kids playing on it.

But, I got my run in. A solid 2 miles without pain, but with a lot of soreness. It was also pretty slow going. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get 3 miles in at the same pace I ran today - 11ish minutes per mile. It's pretty freaking slow but as long as there is no pain, I'll take the turtle speed.

My legs are pretty sore today, shins specifically. The soreness went away about half a mile in so I just kept going. Right about 2 miles is when the soreness came back and I stopped so I can save some energy for a longer run tomorrow. Definitely going to ice and stretch today and hopefully tomorrow I'll be good as new!

Hershey got a lot of "aww" comments this morning. And really, she's freaking adorable with her bright pink flower and her perky ears. Her leash etiquette was horrible today. It was as if I had never trained her. She kept pulling ahead and trying to chase geese. Geese that are three times larger than her. She's got the small-dog complex and thinks she's much larger than she actually is.

Day 1 is here. Day 2 is here. Day 3 is here.

Did you go for a run today? Meet any goals you set?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 3 of the 30 Day Running Challenge

Today is Day 3 of the 30 Day Running Challenge. I was pretty tired to be honest. It was fairly warm out ~90 degrees, which isn't too bad but for some reason I was just not feeling it today. I did complete 1 mile, but it felt like I was running with bricks tied to my legs and it seemed to take an hour. In reality it was only about 9:30. I think Hershey was pretty much over it as well. She wasn't her perky waggy self today.

My legs were pretty sore, they aren't used to running everyday so I just have to make sure to stretch, ice, and foam roll. Plus do my physical therapy exercises to strengthen my muscles overall. Tomorrow's run will be in the morning before the heat gets here so I'm hoping that I'll feel more energetic and get a good solid run in.

Day 1 is here. and Day 2 is here.

Did you go for a run today? Meet any goals you set?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 2 of 30 of the 30 Day Running Challenge

Today was day 2 and I felt pretty good! My knee was sore when I hit 1.5 miles and didn't let up until I stopped running at 1.84. My pace felt good, definitely slowed down a lot towards the end though. Averaged a 10 minute/mile pace, can't complain!

Miss Hershey did wonderful again today. It wasn't too warm for her and we didn't run far enough to really tire her out. Still very fun for her since she loves going on runs. Luckily today she did her business before we ran so there was no potty break needed in the middle of it haha!

Day 1 is here.

Did you go for a run today? Meet any goals you set?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

30 Day Running Challenge - Day 1

I've been running on and off for about a year now. I've had to take extended breaks due some lingering muscle weakness that I've *hopefully* resolved. Now that I'm feeling much stronger I'm going to work on building my endurance and my speed. I'm also going on vacation in about a month and I want to be in fantastic shape by the time I go because, hello, bikini season has arrived!

So, to help me get in better shape I'm starting a 30 day running challenge. My goal is to run at least 1 mile per day, every day, for 30 days in a row. That will cut into my vacation a little bit but I'll still be able to run while I'm away.

Today was day 1 and I ran 1.12 miles in about 9:27 which is an 8:28 pace, pretty fast for me. My screenshot unfortunately didn't grab the time but I promise, it was about 9:27!!

Obviously I want to increase my distance by the end of the 30 days, and my speed. My plan is to alternate days. Today was a "run a mile as fast as you can without passing out" day. Tomorrow will be a slower 2.5 maybe 3 miler. 3 days per week I'll run as fast as I can for as long as I can, minimum of 1 mile. 3 other days I'll run at a comfortable pace for as long as I can. The final day of each week I'll run fairly slow and it will be my longest run of the week.

My running partner (isn't she adorable?) can run for-freaking-ever so my other goal is run so far that she gets tired. Unlikely to happen but it's something to strive for!

I'm using MapMyRun and if you'd like to follow you can search for me by yahoo email -

Do you have any goals you'd like to accomplish in 30 days? If so, share it! I'd love to hear about your progress and how you kept motivated because trust me, I'll need motivation.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Etsy Treasury Tuesday - Minty Leaves of Summer

I love all things mint this summer. The color is gorgeous and goes so well with just about everything. These are just a handful of the items I adore on Etsy and if I had millions of dollars I would purchase every single one in a heartbeat! Unfortunately I am not a millionaire so treasuries will just have to do for now.

'Minty Leaves of Summer' by SaraMarieCreations

Triangle, shawl, knitted, la...

Mint Bag Mint Tote Summer Ba...

MINT // Faux Deer Antler Ra...

Mint opal green gold necklac...

MINT Jewelry Box - SHABBY CH...

Mint, Coral and Gold Tissue ...

Mint Bird Earring Studs, Bir...

Big Mint Hair Bow

Chunky Faux Pave Gold and Mi...

Mint Chevron Minky Blanket

Wedding Bridal Bridesmaid Iv...

Mint Green and Gray Painted ...

–°lock wall faux vintage -Lo...

vintage mint green wicker wa...

Designer Dog Leash - Mint Gr...

mint baby elephant confetti,...
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Monday, June 23, 2014

FO - and Free Pattern! Eyelet Cowl in Hot Pink Sparkle

I posted about this cowl here last week and how great it was to have something easy to knit while zoning out in front of the tv. Well, that didn't last long. I was so excited about the pattern that I just had to finish it! Plus I love the gratification of finishing something I created from scratch, pattern and all.

knit pattern

The pattern itself is so easy, being a combination of knit, yarn over, and knit two together stitches. It knit up really quickly too, which was great and also not so great. Now I have to find another project to start to keep myself busy! I'm thinking of modifying this pattern and making a longer double wrap cowl with some lace-weight yarn. We'll see how that turns out.

knit pattern

I have the finished object listed on my Etsy shop for only $12.00 but for my lovely readers I have the pattern below for free!

knit pattern

Materials Needed: Approximately 100 yards (a little more than 1/2 of a skein) of Caron Simply Soft Party.
US 8 Circular Knitting Needles
Finished Scarf: Measures 6 1/2 inches tall and 26 inches circumference.
Gauge: Approximately 4.5 stitches per inch
Pattern: CO 120 stitches (multiples of 3), place marker and join to knit in the round.
R1 – Knit
R2 – *K2tog, YO, K1, repeat from *
R3 – Knit
R4 – *Yo, K1, K2tog, repeat from *
R5 - Knit
Repeat rows 2-5 until desired length. Bind off loosely.

WIP - Blue Baby Beanie

Since it's summer vacation, I have to pack in as much knitting as I can! One of my favorite friends is having a little baby boy in a few short weeks and I've been trying to create some cute beanies for her little bundle of joy. I have seen some really cute patterns for beanies on Etsy and thought that I'd try to create my own. My inspiration is something similar to this beanie created by DoubleJCreationsNM. We'll see if it turns out how I'm envisioning. If not, well, I can always torture my cat and make him wear it!

knitting pattern

The yarn I'm using in Lion Brand Baby's First in the Sea Sprite color. It knits up pretty quickly since it's bulky. One thing I'm struggling with is using dpns while knitting. I keep getting the ladders during the needle change. I think it will just come with practice though. I don't usually knit with dpns but my US 10 circulars were no where to be found and I just had to start on this project.

knitting pattern

I'm about halfway finished with it and have spent maybe a cumulative 4 hours on it. I'm also a bit nervous about the poms that go on the corners. This will be my first time creating those so wish me luck!

Once I'm all finished I'll update with a FO photo. Hopefully the ladders aren't super noticeable.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Top 5 Blog Posts of the Week - June 22, 2014

Happy Sunday! I can't believe we are near the end of June. I feel like I was just celebrating New Year's Eve just the other day! Since the semester is officially over for the summer and I don't have many things going on that take up all of my time, I figured I would start doing my weekly awesome blog posts again. I really enjoy doing these because there are so so so many great blogs and interesting posts!

1. Remodelando la Casa - Ugly Glass Lamps Transformed
These lamps are amazing. I looked at the finished lamps first and never would I ever have guessed what they looked like originally. The red color is exquisite and like Christina says, the shades go perfectly with the new color.

2. It's Always Ruetten - 1776 4th Of July Themed Card
Sparkles and sequins, of course I love this card! It's simple yet fun and exciting at the same time. I love that she used 4th of July colors and kept a lot of white space on the card. It's the perfect balance in my opinion. Love it!

3. Knit and Tonic - Making Your Own Cowl On The Fly - A Tutorial
Absolutely love the pattern she chose for this great yarn.

4. Creative Designs by Sheila Zachariae - Mohair Blanket with Daisies
Two words: Daisy Loom. I need one. I have got to find one. Not just any, but the brass vintage one she used. I love it and I LOVE the daisies!

5. Ysolda - Technique Thursday - Keeping Track of Rows
This is such a great tip. I have a hard time myself keeping track of which row I'm on when I'm not paying full attention to my knitting.

That wraps up my top 5 favorite posts of this week. I hope you enjoyed :)

These are my favorites - I was not compensated or asked to feature any of these lovely posts.

Monday, June 16, 2014

WIP - Bright Pink Eyelet Cowl

I definitely need a better name for this WIP cowl. Yes it's pink, and yes it's an eyelet pattern, but that is such a boring name!! Hopefully I can come up with a more creative name by the time I finish it because the cowl isn't boring, so it can't have a boring name. I really like how it's turning out. It's not too structured and not super flimsy at the same time. I think it's going to look really nice and fit well. I really love that the yarn has a nice sparkle to it - I love sparkly things!

knitting pattern

This yarn works really well for the pattern which is just a combination of knit, y2tog, and yo stitches. It's really simple and fun to work on. I can just pick it up and watch tv or a movie and not have to concentrate really hard on what I'm doing. It's not at all like the Lily of the Valley scarf I'm working on, which takes nearly all of my concentration!

knitting pattern

The eyelet cowl is knitting up pretty quickly. I've been knitting it off and on for the past couple of weeks when I don't feel like working on my other projects. The good thing is I don't have any projects with deadlines other than trying to get another baby beanie completed before August so I can work as slowly as I want on this. I might just finish it so I get that gratification of finishing another project, and so I can get a draft of the pattern complete, though. That way I can start another project!

knitting pattern

Sparkle Zig Zag Waffle Cowl Pattern

This pattern is one that I finished a while back before the spring semester started. I never got around to posting it though. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to knit with this yarn - Loops & Threads Payette. The yarn is so pretty and I'm a sucker for sparkly and shiny things so this had to be knit into something spectacular. I saw this stitch in one of my books of knitting stitches and thought I could convert it into a circular pattern. It didn't turn out how the original pattern was supposed to, but I love it anyway.

knitting pattern

It took me quite a long time to get it knitting. It is knit on US size 4 needles and with nearly 200 stitches per round, it was kind of a daunting task. But I powered through and ended up with one of my favorite cowls I've knitted.

What I really love most about it is that it can be worn long, double looped, pinned, etc. It's super warm too. The sequins are a bit scratchy sometimes but I got used to them after wearing the cowl a few times.

This pattern is my Etsy Shop, on Ravelry, and Craftsy if you're interested!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Estate Sale 6/8 Haul

Happy Monday!

The weekend just flew by and I wish we could have another three day weekend so I can finish everything I had planned! On Saturday a good friend of mine had a baby shower. I finished two beanies but not the third for her soon-to-be-born little boy. The third I should have finished *soon*.

On Sunday my parents came up and we hit about four estate sales. One was absolutely fantastic and the other three were very picked over, but still fun to go to nonetheless.

I'm really pleased with my haul this weekend. I ended up spending a grand total of $67. I was specifically looking for craft items, knitting especially. I found a handful of different sized straight needles for $2.00. Most of these sizes I have in circulars and in DPNs but only a few in straight. Can never have too many needles!

I also found these really freaking awesome bedsheets. Brand spankin' new, still in the plastic wrap. Originally $100 and I got them for about $10! They are in the wash now but before I dropped them in, they were super soft. I'm expecting them to come out of the wash even softer! We needed new sheets badly so I'm really happy about this purchase.

Probably my favorite item is the red sequined fabric. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it other than try making a super cool halloween costume. Besides that I might make some pillows or a pin cushion with it. There is a lot so I'm not worried about finding things to make with it. I got this for about $4.

Self explanatory wrapping paper. The house that I found most of these items from was just packed with holiday decorations including wrapping paper, ribbons, and a whole room full of silk flowers. It was kind of overwhelming! This wrapping paper I picked up for about $1 total.

Christmas wrapping paper

The best find though, was this brand new Singer sewing machine. It works and has never been used. It came with a really nice carrying case too. I have been looking to get a nice sewing machine for a while now since I had a teeny tiny little machine from wal-mart that let me sew super basic items. I spent $50 on this - since Sunday was the last day everything was marked down and haggling was much easier than on previous days. Plus there was so much stuff in this house that I think the sellers just wanted to get rid of things so they were great about working with us on pricing.

The last estate sale we went to I found this vintage monet butterfly brooch. It is signed and in great condition. I have it listed on Ebay but I'm seriously considering keeping it. This only set me back about $.25 - definitely worth it!

Monet Brooch

After finishing up our estate sale shopping, my parents and I went to Dona Chiyuta's in West Sacramento for lunch. As always it was delicious and well earned!

Cross Stitch Scarf Pattern

I'm starting to feel more confident in creating new patterns. I started this scarf back in January and ended up putting it down about 1/4 of the way through since school started back up. With working full time and going to school full time I just couldn't find the time to finish any projects!

Now that school is out for the summer (insert sigh of relief) I finally sat down and finished this scarf.

As I was starting it I wasn't sure that I liked how it was knitting up. I felt like I had made it too wide and the yarn was just not the right choice. Now that I'm finished with it, I love it. I will try this same pattern with other weights of yarn though, I think that a lace yarn would be so luxurious!

I used Loops & Threads Impeccable for the scarf. A full skein created a nice 58 inches long scarf. It's about 8 inches wide too. Weirdly it doesn't feel very heavy.

I did make a pretty bad mistake though. When I had started it in January, I forgot to mark which row I was on when I set it down so when I came back to it a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't remember which row I needed to knit next. So, I did the smart thing and knit a row. Turns out I shouldn't have done that, but I don't think most people will notice. The scarf is just for me too so I don't mind wearing it with a small section of the pattern being backwards.

knitting pattern

Now that I'm finished, I'm going to start a new pattern, and also knit some cute baby beanies for a friend who is having a baby. This pattern is located in my Etsy Shop, on Ravelry and Craftsy if you're interested.