Monday, December 15, 2014


So last week--let's just say that perhaps maybe I neglected to put the things I was really going to do--actually needed to do on this list. Which made it very unfulfilling to spend a day doing them and having nothing to cross off. What am I talking about? Baking of course.
Last week I made, two batches of hard candy--one strawberry, one watermelon and a batch of marshmallows. The candy was supposed to be red and green. I made the strawberry first and colored it red. Then I made the watermelon and the flavor oil turned the candy pink! Which of course meant that my green turned it grayish brown. So lovely and so festive! I'm making two batches of spiced pecans today. So at the end of last week, my kitchen was full of this: DSCN4102
and this:
And of course this morning, I'm doing the first batch of pecans (I need to buy pecans for the second batch --eeek) so this is making my house smell all good: DSCN4108
That's a long way of saying there were still items left on the list. Mostly dealing with wrapping presents--a task I despise. However, wrapping of the girls' presents must must must get done this week--this is the last week of school. I also broke out bigger tasks I want to accomplish this week, so my list for this week looks really really long.but it is so so satisfying to cross things off--so there is that.
Hopefully though, even if I don't get all the way through my list, I'll be ready for everyone to have their winter vacations and just chill in my messy messy house. And knit--oh yes knit. DSCN4107

Monday, December 08, 2014

cowl and sweaters

Last week I got EVERY SINGLE THING on my to do list done. That has not happened since I started keeping a weekly to do list 7 weeks ago. And it means that the secret Christmas jammies are done!! This week's list looks long, but I'm hoping I can knock it out too.

One thing that was not on my list this week, but needed to get done (and I should have written it on there) was to create a "ugly" Christmas "sweater" for both girls to wear to a Christmas party. After failing to find anything at Salvation army and refusing to spend $ (although I did buy puff paint for $10 so maybe I should rethink this next time) we decided to decorate some old sweatshirts that their grandma gave us for the occasion. What was really funny was in discussing the designs, it became clear neither girl understood what "ugly Christmas sweater" meant. So they both were dubious as my suggestions, and one of them kept begging to add black widow spiders. It went like this:
me: how about a big santa hat?
her: with a black widow spider on it?
me: um or maybe a Christmas tree?
her: decorated with black widow spiders?

In the end, no black widows, and not terribly ugly either: DSCN4044 DSCN4043

On to the knitting!:
I think I might have finished the cowl I was letting myself work on only for this week. I say think because I'm not sure I'm happy with it. DSCN4055

First, I'm not sure it is wide enough. I still have enough of both yarns to make a second one, but that seems a little odd to have two. Even odder to give the identical one away. And I'm not sure it is actually long enough either--this is it wrapped around me--just one wrap. (pre morning run, and so pre-shower/makeup sorry)


So, I didn't tuck in the ends, in case I decide to rip it out and start over.
Pattern:Bloom Striped cowl
needles: US size 8
yarn: Misti alpaca baby me boo Autumn Aster and Malabrigo silky merino

Monday, December 01, 2014

Bloom Striped cowl

I finally finished the socks. I did neglect to get a picture of puppy girl wearing them, but she wore them for a day and a half before taking them off and shoving them behind the throw pillow on the couch. This is a normal repository of socks in my house and I am convinced that both girls consider this to be part of their hamper. I TRY to do the natural consequence thing and not wash things that aren't in the hamper, but honestly they either have too many socks or their tolerance for socks shoved behind cushions of the couch is higher than mine. Perhaps both.


I decided to compromise and give myself a week, this week, to work on an alternate project before starting the second pair of socks. I mentioned a while ago that my LYS had a sale and when I went everyone was just gushing about the Bloom striped cowl. I bought two skeins to make it with and then laid out all my other purples to see if maybe one of them didn't go better. Then this weekend, I even dug out a burgundy and a baby blue. In the end I decided to go with not the silky wool I bought, but a darker purple. That um is called.... um.... I think I may have lost the ball band. Isn't that terrible? I do keep the ball bands--but I always get into trouble when the yarn comes in a skein and I decide I need to wind it RIGHT NOW!

I did a search of the yarn cabinet and did come up with the tag. The yarn is Malabrigo Silky merino. DSCN4031

And I quite like how it is turning out. DSCN4037

I will say this, whenever a pattern says cast on, I use a knitted cast on. I like it, I like how it looks. Sometimes I'll do a cable cast on--again easy peasy and looks nice. However, sometimes a pattern will specify and I truly try to believe that the pattern designer is not just a control freak who wants me use her favorite cast on and actually think there is a reason. So I use the cast on specified. That said--man I hate me some long tail cast on.

Monday, November 24, 2014

about the socks

You know what I am liking? The weekly progress pictures on the sock. Why? Because this week, I felt like I hardly knit at all. My arm has been hurting (which seems to be a combination of the ulnar nerve problem AND the tendonitis problem that I've had in the past. So my pinkie goes numb and my wrist hurts and my thumb feels weird.) Needless to say, it makes me not want to knit. I do think I have most of it figured out--I think the planks were aggravating my ulnar nerve and the brace I was wearing for that was making my wrist hurt. I'm switching from planks to boat pose, but I need to work up to a 30 second boat. I stopped planking a few days ago--stopped wearing my brace, and moved my pillows so I wasn't sleeping totally on my shoulder and I felt better so fast it wasn't even funny.

Are you curious about the steps? No? Well I'll tell you anyway. I still have my 10K streak going, but this week was HARD for that too. Wednesday I had to take my car in for service, AND I took a nap in the morning (it had been a rough rough night the night before). Then I didn't walk over to the school to get the girls (my daily walk!), so by 3:30 when we were all home I had 3000 steps. Usually I have 7000 by then. Let's just say I paced while dinner was cooking and barely made it. Yesterday was a similar thing--except we helped pack Thanksgiving baskets for the food pantry--and while it SEEMS like you'd be getting a lot of steps because you are walking along a line of food, picking up cans as you go, it turned out to only be 1500 steps for a 2 hour block. I probably have more to say bout what foods you should donate to food pantries based on this, and you can most likely find lots of articles that tell you the same thing, but I'm going to start with my big pet peeve: DON'T DONATE EXPIRED FOOD. And my "rule of thumb" If I won't eat it--I'm not donating it (exception: pumpkin pie filling stuff--I hate pumpkin, but some people love it--I haven't met anyone who likes canned potatoes though--if you do--give me a shout out). But on with the knitting!


As you can see--I'm getting closer to the end. If all goes well I may even finish it thins week.

Also on my list this week were to darn my Harry Potter socks. These are my favorite of my hand knit socks, and they are old, and Opal no longer makes the Harry Potter colorways. (note to self--I should have bought more of this yarn when I had the chance). I was distressed last year to note that one of these socks was getting thin on the bottom, and sad to say, I've been putting off fixing them for far too long. Every day this fall I'd look at them on the dresser and think--You should fix those! So I put it on the list (that coincidentally sits next to where the socks were--duh) and actually did it.


That's the Harry and Ron colorway BTW.

Also on the list--2 pairs of secret pjs (not done) and 2 pairs not secret PJs (done!). I am all set to get the secret ones done too--the problem is I got the elastic measured out for them on the weekend, so you can't really pull out the secret pairs while everyone is home. Joann's has flannel on super sale Wednesday and Friday this week, and I may pop over and pick up some more--for me. The girls are set I think after their Christmas pairs, but I would love another new pair.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I think I mentioned last week that I've been making a weekly to do list, to help focus my efforts. This week I think I went a bit overboard because there are 13 items on the list--I did add the 4 calendar items that I have this week--which is something I don't normally do, but we'll see how it goes. I think I jsut wanted to be sure I could cross something off every day. That's a real motivating thing for me to cross things off.

Last week I did EVERYTHING on the list except one item. The very last pair of planned pj pants for my panda girl still sit in the basement with no elastic because I was stupid and didn't cut a second length when I measured her for the frog PJs. I decided to do a pair for each of them for Christmas, and wasn't sure how to put those on the list because the list sits on my dresser. So I made them SCJ #1 and SCJ#2. And technically panda girl's only needs elastic--which when she decides she needs the plaid jammies that are still waiting on elastic--I'll cut two lengths. Puppy girl should be easier--her last jammies (a set of dogs with glasses) should get done this week. And she is always up for letting me measure out elastic.

This week I also finished a pair for me! Wore them and decided the elastic needed to be tighter--so I fixed them too: pants

Cute right! Sorry you can't see me modeling them, as I am very cute in them. But I'm sure as the winter goes on if you time it right, you'll see me walking (or driving) to school in them.

I never put knitting on the list--I just slog away at it every night as a form of relaxation. And this week I also hauled it to school conferences because it is set up like the DMV. Just what you want in a conference right? Sit in a chair and wait your 5 minute turn. We were there from 5pm when it started (ok we were there at 5:05 and it was already lines) until 6:45 when we saw the last teacher on the girl's team. I am so glad we put them on the same team of teachers! Otherwise we would have either had to split up or spend another hour waiting I'm sure. I'm so good at this sock pattern that I've done gobs of times that I actually turned the heel and set up the ribbing while I waited. I also got a ton of compliments on it. I still have about 3-4 inches of ribbing left. And I'm still trying to figure out how to not jump right back into the next pair of socks without hurting anyone's feelings.


Maybe I'll start the socks AND a cowl and alternate days? Maybe I'll find I don't like the cowl pattern. All these maybes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Socks, skirts, pj pants

You would think that in a week I would have gotten a lot done and have had a ton of pictures to show for it.

At this I laugh.
Seriously though, I did make progress on the second sock, despite the fact that I feel like I have already knit 2 socks and am a little tired of knitting socks. DSCN3950 I was told that it might be preferable if they didn't match, so they don't. If that bothers you--look away.

And yes, I am a little tired of knitting socks and I'm ready to knit something else. However, I still have 2.5 more socks to do. You see I have twin girls and they are very competitive for my attention/love/knitting. And I can't just knit socks for one of them ( these are for puppy girl) without knitting socks for both of them. So I have 2.5 more socks to knit before I can move on to something else. At least the next pair are a different colorway.

I did make some barbie skirts out of the pleather. (I made two!) And it appears that my panda girl LOVES this, as she's asked for a lot more skirts. Like one in every piece of fabric we have maybe. I did take a picture of the one doll I could find wearing the skirt. Which just happened to be the panda girl's doll.

My hand is there because this is the Barbie who rides a bike and so if I don't hold her I get this:

I also made pj pants for me (although I haven't done the waistband yet) and 2 pairs for panda girl (one is a Christmas surprise) --again no waists yet. And I cut out a third pair for her.

I sort of got on a kick while I was waiting for stuff. I should get on a kick about putting in the waistbands.

Planking, steps and decluttering are all proceeding like they always did.

Monday, November 03, 2014

October wrap up

Here we go--October wrap up. In October I wanted to accomplish:
Halloween costumes
Steps, planing, decluttering
Get on a regular schedule
Knit something

Obviously I finished the costumes. It felt last minute, but I think October 30 wasn't bad. The girls wore them to school and entered a costume contest (but didn't win). Panda girl was going for "most homemade"(she meant best homemade, but kept saying most homemade)--I felt like I should leave some thread hanging for her. The weather was NASTY, windy and cold and drizzly, but the girls desperately wanted to trick or treat. So we bundled up (long underwear. winter coat and boots for me, coat UNDER the poodle jacket, and coat OVER the superhero costume--a trench that she flashed open at every door--it was cute.

I'm sure people look at my nearly fully grown eleven year olds and think they are too old to trick or treat--but at least they are fully decked out costume wise. They took their best friend's little sister with them, and I think fun was had by everyone.

Steps! Did you know I've gotten at least 10K steps every day since May 1--except June 29 and August 6? I have! (Those two days were long driving vacation days).
Planks--ok not so great with the planks--but most days! And I really can tell the difference. I need to up either my reps or my time on each.
Decluttering is where I kind of fell off. I feel like when I look around the obvious clutter is not mine, but the girls'. And I feel like I bought too much fabric for all the costumes, and I don't want to pitch the extras, but I don't know what else to do with it. I tried though--and over the weekend, I made some strides in getting at least one girl to work on her clutter problem.

Getting on a regular schedule. Hmmm I'm not sure why I said that except maybe I was stressed at work because I wasn't putting in regular hours. I have kind of a routine going now, so we can call that good right?

Knit something! I planned socks for the girls, with my goal in my head of finishing one pair by the end of the month. And I kind of did--I finished 2 socks. They just happen to be the same sock re-done so it would fit!

The one on the left is the first one, that sadly did not fit. I ripped it out and got just past the heel and tried it on her again, and the foot part fit. So I picked it up again, gave it a wider heel--added 4 stitches to the leg, and did a lighter ribbing. I just bound it off last night, so we'll try it on her again and hope it fits.

I'm not doing goals for November. I know it is a month many people blog every day or write a novel, but I just want to relax. I have a weekly to do list--which is something I started a few weeks ago. It helps me remember what needs doing, and get them done. I'll check in here from time to time with projects, but probably not every day. Although yesterday I sewed a cute pair of PJs that poodle girl wore today for Pajama day (which I sewed quick because I heard her saying she thought her kitty jammies and her monkey jammies were "babyish" and she wanted these leopard print ones instead, and she was really saying--I don't want to wear pajamas to school. Oh well--that's one pair of jammies done--and quick--within an hour--so you know I can pull this stuff off. Perhaps I'll get a picture of them, perhaps not.

At any rate--Happy November!

Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween everyone!

You would think that given how crazy this month has felt to me--I'm sure it has come through here--that last night would have me in a sewing frenzy. But aside from adding velcro to panda girl's belt, I had no sewing after 8pm! Everyone was super pleased with their costumes. the puppy even mentioned that she thinks she wants to wear her "new jacket" on days besides halloween. They left this morning, decked out--worrying about if they would be the only ones dressed up. It is raining (and cold) I drove them today (something I rarely do) and we saw at least 2 other kids dressed up. You'd think that would help, but no--both were boys which--no matter how nice the boy--all boys are YUCKO (unless they aren't if you know what I mean).

here's the public picture so you can see the costumes.
Halloween 2014

So does someone care to explain to me how ALL of October was above average temperatures and less rainy than usual and today--the ONLY day that really counts for weather--it is cold rainy and going to snow? Is this just some cruel trick? Would it be sunny and 70 if I had not busted my butt on costumes?

Yesterday was all about the accessories. I had bought enough "fake shiny leather" to make boot covers, gauntlets, a mask and a belt. She ended up wearing her boots, and since she had on a black shirt (for panda arms duh) she didn't need the gauntlets. I did make the belt, choosing to rebel against the instructions and instead of fusing together the fake leather and some lining fabric (Oh the yards of back scraps I still have from last year's Harry Potter robe!), I chose two pieces of leather, sewn together and turned inside out. Um yeah--don't do that. And it looked funny, so I started to do it their way--and started ripping out my seam, when suddenly the point in the belt popped and wham-o--it looked like it was supposed to! Right as I needed to leave for work.

When I got home, I sewed it back up (Top stitched all the way around) and done! Then the mask. I did the mask the way the instructions said (sort of--I fused the webbing to the lining first instead of the leather first) and fused those together, and topstitched. I wasn't sure how my glasses wearing kid was going to wear it, but I thought--what if I make the eye openings as big as her lenses? So I did that--tracing around her glasses. She was thrilled because the mask fit right UNDER her glasses. So she could wear both and see!

I must confess that ever since puppy girl told me she needed "a headband with a bow and ears" I have been wondering how on earth we were going to pull it off. First, she hates headbands. Second, how do you attach ears to a headband? But in true rubber meets the road fashion--I had a brain spark. What if they were all on hair clips? The year panda girl was medusa, I had bought all these hair clips. Amazon calls them "duck bill clips" I called them something else. I had a whole sentence about it--then googled to get a picture, and lets just say I called them something that was slang for old lady porn. Don't go there.

ANYWAY, I couldn't find any of those around the house, and I was out for lunch around Michael's and decided to pop in to see if they had pink ribbon for the bow, and they had those duck clips! After I got home, I cut out some ears (I HATE that fabric can I be done with it NOW), and started playing with adhesives. Soon, I had two ears glue gunned to duck clips! The bow got wired on to a third and then we had puppy!


Halloween also brings us to the end of October, which means time for goal check in, and new November goals. But I don't really have big November goals and I'm thinking it will be boring to both write and read if every day I write--todays goals: get 10k steps, declutter, plank, hang out and read. Yesterday: I accomplished all that! Because I don't have big projects--I'm not knitting gifts this year, I thought I'd just write when I had things I was working on--hopefully more often than I did before September--but not every day.

I do have some projects though--I have some Christmas PJs I promised to help with (I haven't forgotten!), that I'm excited about. And I have some other sewing projects--a quilt one of the girls started, more pjs for us and all that Halloween fabric gave me ideas for barbie clothes! I mean, how crazy are you when you are sewing a costume and you think--would barbie look liek a hooker if I made her leather pants? Hey, you know who needs leather pants? KEN! Pretty crazy. Also--wouldn't barbie look gorgeous in a evening gown that had a leather bodice and a fun fur skirt? See, CRAZY!

Dont worry, I have no pattern for Ken clothes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30!

I see the light that is the end of the October tunnel. Tomorrow is Halloween,and kids are wearing their costumes to school. So theoretically by this time tomorrow--all will be done. Theoretically.

Yesterday I finished the tutu! Somehow, I had it in my head that I only needed 5 yards of tulle, so I bought 4 yards of pink, and a yard of a darker sparkly pink. I shoved them in a bag and dealt with other stuff. Then, I went researching no-sew tutus and many of them said--start with 10 yards of tulle. um TEN YARDS?! Well, I remembered I had 5, so buy 5 more right? So I went to Joann's and bought some (50% off--I got "shiny" tulle), I thought would be the same as the light pink. However, I didn't actually remember the light pink was light. So yep, I ended up with three different pinks for the tutu. BUT, that ended up being a really good thing--it added a depth that looks fabulous! Even in a blurry picture:

Oh and ten yards of tulle? WAY too much. But to be fair, 5 yards would have been a little skimpy. I do have enough to make a smaller tutu that will look just as fabulous.

Also yesterday, I finished the hooks for the panda girl cape, and started thinking about her belt. I did talk her into her winter boots, so that's one less thing to make.
In case you are keeping track, that means I need 1 belt, and 2 puppy ears.

Yesterday I was really bad about my big three. I didn't plank (went to yoga though and tried really hard to do the vinyasas correctly instead of my usual flop on my belly move), I didn't declutter (I have a PLAN for that tulle!) and just barely got my 10k steps (like pacing before bed for the last 200!).

Today, I will do better. Today I will get the halloween costumes DONE. Today I will get all three of the big three. And tomorrow? Tomorrow I will get halloween pictures BEFORE school.

One last thing, my husband often complains that halloween has become almost as stressful as Christmas, what with all the expectations. The costumes, the pumpkins, the decorating! All too much! And part I think of what feels stressful is the lack of advanced planning. I hate rushing to get costumes done. However, I was reminded of why I go through this every year.
We had dress rehearsal. We put on the costumes so we could make sure the parts are all fitting and working together (and get the cape hooked on straight). Both girls separately put on their costumes and said--OH WOW! I LOVE this! I look GREAT! The Awe in their voices, the joy in their expressions... that's worth it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29

Yesterday was the last day of the five days of black and white photos. It makes me a little sad because there were several things I liked about this challenge. First, it made me get the camera out and take more photos. I mean you can't find one good photo if you don't take at least one photo. Second, it made me think about contrast in ways I don't usually think. So, for example, the beautiful fall colored scene out my window looks not just muted in black and white, but monochrome. And last, I figured out that my camera has a setting to take black and white photos, so I didn't do much post processing. I'm a pretty SOOC (Straight out of the camera) person. I will crop, and sometimes brighten, but I hate fiddling with that stuff. I'd rather take 40 pictures and find one that looks decent. My style was made for digital cameras I think.

I also got all of my big three done, pulling in 11k steps, planking 3 sets--one of 35, and 2 of 30, and putting one string of bat lights in the donate bin. I hung two outside and realized that the outside outlet isn't working, so I may actually get rid of another string of bat lights--I have 4 and this is the first year I've hung them.

I didn't sew at all. I didn't start on the tutu either. I did vacuum up the fuzz in the sewing room (And a piece of fabric and maybe broke my basement vacuum). Oh wait, that's not right--I hand sewed. I got eyes for the cape sewn on the dress (or at least one shoulder--I need her to try it on to get the placement for the other--and hand sewed down the edges of the panda girl logo--because I'm terrible with fusibles.

Today, the tutu gets made. I have the elastic cut--all I need to do is cut and tie the tulle. Also the fitting for the panda girl costume, so I can finish the hooks and eyes for the cape.
I am skipping the last farmers market of the year, but going to yoga. I have a lunch date with my husband too! But the theme of the day is definitely tulle.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28

Yesterday I did an amazing thing--I finished the poodle jacket. Did you hear that? I FINISHED THE POODLE JACKET! Granted I only had to put in a zipper to call it done, but I had to buy the zipper.

So funny story with this--I measured for the zipper--24 inches, went to Joann's, found a 24 inch separating zipper, brought it home, realized upon laying the zipper out that while yes, one side of the jacket is 24 inches, the other is only 22. Yep, I'm just that great of a seamstress! Let's just say we went with 22, and some hems got added. So that added a few layers, because I also had to trim the zipper--so that meant making a new zipper stop.

I also realized that a while ago I decluttered my patterns and got rid of the one with instructions for making a non-sew tutu. Some people would say--see don't ever throw things away you might need! I say--Google! At any rate, I have a ton of tulle, and a plan for making a pink tutu (and possibly wrist and ankle tutus.

It probably goes without saying that I did my 10K steps, planked and de-cluttered. But I feel like saying it because--I didn't run. I wanted to stick around until my parents left, but by the time they did--it was 10am, and I just lost my will to run. I cleaned bathrooms, showered, did 5 loads of laundry, the above sewing and many other odds and ends (Oh yeah started chapter 8!)

Today, aside from the big three (and my volunteer shift at school--done!), I want to get tulle cut out for the tutu. I didn't measure any elastic on the girl before she went to school, so I really can't do the whole thing. I also need to look at panda girl's belt and mask and boots. I told her I'd at least get the belt, but it would be nice to have the whole thing. I have to work a few hours today though AND run to meijer, so we'll see what happens.

OH! And cupcakes part 2 maybe. See my girls are twins, and they do some activities together--including this book club. Last week panda girl offered to bring the cupcakes I mentioned, so then I thought phew, I don't have more of those to do--but then it turns out this week is poodle girl's turn to bring treats! Really? two weeks in a row? I could do cupcakes again (if I buy a cake mix and cupcake liners while I am out), or I could do something else--but the club is tomorrow, so I need to do it today--with no guidance from the girl.

My entry in yesterday's black and white was one of panda girl--who then turned the camera on me after 20 or so shots. I like this one she got of me--even if it wasn't one of my "official" entries.


Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27

One of the good things about not updating on the weekends, is that when I come back on Monday and start listing things I got done, I feel like there was real progress.

First, I got my 10K steps all three days. I got 2 days of de-cluttering, and 2 days of planking --and they were not the same two days, if you know what I mean. I did not plank Saturday, because we went to see Lyle Lovett in concert and got home very late--I am a lazy bones who saves her planking as a bedtime routine, there was just no way that was happening.

But really this weekend was all about the sewing. Poodle girl's jacket is ready for a zipper--which is the last step. Honestly, this jacket should not have taken me this long, but I ran into a problem with a vague direction, and let me tell you this fabric is not great for ripping out seams. It is also not very structured, which means it is hard to see where things are supposed to go. But I have it together, the girl has tried it on, and it fits. I swear, I don't know when I have ever been more proud of something I made, not because it looks professional (far from it) but because it was so fussy to make. Now let's see if I can get the zipper in with a minimal amount of swearing.
I also happen to think this is amazing because my parents are visiting--but they are pretty understanding of my need to sew as Halloween is less than a week away.

The weekend was also about a black and white photography challenge. The challenge is to post a black and white photograph (to facebook) every day for 5 days. I'm having quite a lot of fun with it. Here is Friday's entry:

Today, my parents are leaving. Originally I thought they were staying until tomorrow morning, so I cleared this day too. Which of course means--free day!

On tap aside from the big three: Buying a zipper and perhaps more tulle--so I can get the jacket finished and the tutu started, cleaning, and running. I'd also like to get busy reading chapter 8 (aka the LAST chapter). In fact this whole week has some big reading goals. I have two books to finish for book club (one we are discussing, one I am passing) and chapter 8. I think this is on the order of 400 pages by next Monday. Oh and it would be great if I finished chapter 8 by Wednesday--no pressure. Sigh. I tried to get my book club books on audio thinking I could listen while I sewed, shopped and cleaned. Only one of them was available and I would have to get it through interlibrary loan--plus it is the book we aren't discussing, so if I don't get it read by Monday it is no big deal.

Friday, October 24, 2014

October 24

So yesterday I had a really relaxing slow paced day with my mom. Seriously, I should do this more often. I crossed three things off my weekly to do list even. I planked, I got 13k steps, I got rid of two dental floss samples (my mom is on a quest to find her favorite floss that has been discontinued--yes, it does actually run in the family, this weirdness) and I started sewing the poodle girl outfit! Best of all I got all of chapter 7 proofread!

We really didn't get the shopping in, because we were kind of lazy all morning. But there are only so many hours in the day.

Today, I want to do the big three, and work more on the costumes. Which is kind of what I say every day anymore. I feel like it is all I ever hope for. I do have a doctor's appointment today too, and I'd like to run and shower before that, which might be tricky with guests because I always shower in the "guest" bathroom. However, it is 8am--the sky is turning pink, and so far I'm the only one awake in the house, as all the family have gone to jobs and school; my parents are still sleeping. I was going to wait until 8:30, give the sun a chance to come up, but maybe I'll go as soon as I post this--be back by the time anyone wakes up.

Yesterday I tried to capture the pinks of the sky as the sun rose, because it was quite lovely. This was the best I got:

The weekend is more of the same, plus a concert on Saturday!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 23

So yesterday, I did not run. In fact I went to yoga, which is not an activity that adds steps to the fitbit. And somehow I managed to clock in at 15K steps. That should explain just how busy the day was. I also decluttered a bunch, by taking $8.30 in cans and bottles back. That includes the 3 bottles that I had to take back to the specialty store since Meijer doesn't carry that brand (whatEVER). I think I got most of my stuff for the day done. I planked for 3 sets of 30 seconds (even though it was yoga day) and my mom told me I'm not planking, I'm bridging. WhatEVER.

I even decided that I didn't like the way the zipper was basted into panda girl's costume, ripped it out and basted and SEWED it in. Despite no less than 4 interruptions to my 1/2 hour sewing.

Super unhelpful Bernina zipper instructions

Sometimes when I think about yesterday and all the running around I did, but with not much to show for it, I wonder if I really got anything done. I need some way to quantify the intangibles I suppose.

Today, my parents are here, so I'm dialing back a notch. I'm hoping to do my big three of course--including a walk with my mom. I'm hoping to get some sewing done, and for the next however many days I need to spend at least 1/2 hour a day on my husband's book. I'm on chapter 7 of 8 chapters, and I want to get it finished soon.

Shopping is also on tap sometime this visit. All the decluttering has left me realizing that I have some significant gaps in my wardrobe. It was hard to see around the clothes I didn't want to wear. Now most of what I have left are clothes I like, but they are mostly black, white and brown. I want some purple and maybe some gray (round out the neutrals!).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 22

I was just not 30 minutes ago praising my own time management skills, and then got sucked into facebook. Sigh.

Ok, yesterday. yesterday was the usual whirlwind of activity. 11K steps, 3 sets of 30 planks, just some general paper clutter (and a chapstick) gone. I volunteered, i went to work where I discovered a whole bunch of work leftover from the fundraiser. Plus a bunch of volunteers needing to de-compress. Would you believe our deposits were off for the weekend (They were more than we had written down--so that was good but STILL)? Then I came home and made cupcakes. Did I mention the cupcakes yesterday? Maybe. Anyway, I bought a cake mix and a frosting and while the girls did homework, I baked cupcakes. I was feeling very domestic until one of the girls asked me if I'd frost them using the pastry bag "so they'd look nice." Um yeah no.
DSCN3760 I don't think they look bad? They're cupcakes for crying out loud!

Hey I also got the zipper basted into super girl costume. And the alterations done. And I think my guest area is ready for guests.

Today, big three PLUS: Guests arriving.
Seriously: yoga, farmer's market, small grocery run, clean bathroom upstairs, more sewing. I'm hoping to finish the zipper, because BAH. I also have to run the cupcakes over to school and I should do some work, so I don't have to go in tomorrow. I'm not sure how all of this is going to get done, so I'll have to prioritize.

I said to my husband that I felt like my load did not lift once my fundraiser was over like I thought it would. And he said--it has, you just have gotten a lot of crap thrown at you that added to it. I looked confused and said like what? "Cupcakes" was all he said.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21

So yesterday I ran. My iPod gave out (batteries) and I still ran. It was ugly. But it meant I got my 15k steps.
I ran my errands too. Even though Joann's was FULL of people. Even though I had to wait in line for 45 minutes to buy 3/4 yard of interfacing.

I really put off laying out the poodle costume because of the fabric. I said last year that I would never work with that silky fur stuff again. I lied, I guess. I knew it would be messy, and so somehow I managed to de-mildew the shower AND vacuum all of the downstairs before I cut the pieces out. That turned out to be an epic mistake, because I had to vacuum again afterwards. But on the bright side, it is all cut out.

I planked 3 sets of 30 seconds. It was hard, which reminds me that I need to keep doing it.
You will note that I did not mention decluttering. I didn't do any.

Today, I need to volunteer and work both. The bathrooms need to get cleaned and the final stuff for the parental visit needs to happen. I think I’m down to washing the extra blankets.

Today, I also need to get in the big three, but probably the work will take care of steps. Somehow, I need to come up with a snack for my daughter’s book club too. She wants to bring cupcakes, but I guess that depends on if I have a cake mix, and frosting. I mean I could MAKE frosting, but it would need to be dairy free—and I usually make buttercream. And for sewing I need to decide: Alterations or start sewing the poodle. I may do the alterations, so that when I start sewing the shedding silky fur, I can clean the machine ONCE.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20

Oh how much this weekend, I wanted to be in Illinois. My mom was in a play, my cousin had a wedding reception (they had eloped), and it was homecoming at the college I graduated from. Sadly, I was not in Illinois, I was here feeling spectacularly run down and slightly crappy.

Friday was just so busy. I managed 15K steps--I hadn't wanted to run but Oh was it ever a good run. And the rest of the day went super smoothly (probably because as it turned out--I forgot a bunch of stuff) and even the evening went fairly well. Only two people were upset with me at my job, which when you work with the public is actually pretty amazing.

I got the super panda costume all done and ready to fit--it still needed a zipper and to be taken in, two things I hoped to do over the weekend. However, my model would NOT try it on until Sunday night. So while I know how much it needs to be taken in, I have not actually done the alterations. I read over the poodle girl's pattern and figured out I need fusible interfacing, but really no sewing.

There was no decluttering or planks Friday. There was decluttering Saturday, when I secretly added 4 shirts to the donation bin from my girl's "outgrown but OH I LOVE this shirt" pile. There were no planks Saturday, and getting my 10k steps was a big chore (but I did it!). I also battled a massive headache most of the day--which means I sat and read a LOT.

Sunday, I felt better and planked 2 sets of 30 seconds, got my 10K steps AND cleaned out the pencil drawer (which was so full it was barely opening, and was responsible for the pens I kept finding under the bread machine in the cupboard below). In addition, I was dusting the guest room and found several other things I decided I no longer needed. Like I said though, so sewing. Also I took the girls shopping, which I think should get me a medal. It is always tricky when I take them shopping together. I have one who is quite daring in her fashion choices, and one that is more practical. The practical one needed pants--which she wanted to interpret as leggings, and needed a top to cover her bum. The fashionista was VERY put out that I wasn't going to buy her an outfit too (she HAS leggings, tunics, regular pants you name it!). She went so far as to try on silver leggings (tin man) and gold leggings (C3PO) and nearly had a fit when I told her no. Like I said--medal needed.

Today, I am still feeling pretty rundown. Mostly tired. The headache from Saturday had pretty much dissipated by Sunday but maybe I overdid it. I do have things I need to take care of today. My parents are coming to visit this week (hence the guest room decluttering) and I have a bunch of stuff I'd like to take care of before they arrive. I have a huge list of errands (including that fusible interfacing) and I'd like to get all my job work taken care of before they come.

I think today will need to be running, running errands, and cutting out the poodle girl's costume (plus of course, my big three). It means I'll have to be putting in a zipper probably while my girls are practicing their instruments, but they've been playing for a year, so it isn't as bad as it might be. Plus no squeaky instruments. I do hope to go completely through the clothing storage box before the girls get home from school, and do more clandestine decluttering, but that is more of a stretch goal.

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 17

I am feeling very much like I am treading water. Or more accurately, like I have been treading water for 3 or 4 minutes and am about to go under. Yesterday I sewed for nearly 2 hours and I feel like I barely have anything to show for it. I cut the tulle, I sewed it all together (9 pieces, sewed in sets of three--actually doublestitched), made three layers of tulle, put in two gathering stitches and gathered it and started to pin it to the underskirt. If I were optimistic, I would see the end in sight. The end where I sew it to the underskirt, sew the bodice to the skit, fit it, add a zipper, and then BE DONE. And then start costume number 2.


That's an awful lot of skirt and tulle!

I got my 10k steps yesterday without trying, and my planks went pretty easy. I had trouble with de-cluttering, but got rid of a bath puff right before bed. so that all should have felt good. Also I managed to get the living room vacuumed, and the frog water changed and dishes done which all contribute to a general feeling of cleanliness. But it was tempered by this feeling of impending doom at work. I am glad that not every event feels like this, and that I know that it is a combo of my under-preparedness and some staffing issues that have come up (if you can call volunteers "staff") at the last minute. Today should be the end, I just need to get through the day.

On that note, getting through the day looks like: running this morning (minutecast and radar say 120 dry minutes--sigh I was kind of looking for an excuse to skip.), sewing before I need to head off to errands (bank, post office) and then the craziness that is work. I also work during my usual "chill out" time tonight as our fundraiser starts. After that, the weekend looks clear. So there should be a LOT of sewing, as I'd like to finish super panda's costume, so I can start cutting on the poodle's jacket on Monday.

I'm going to cut myself some slack on de-cluttering and planking today. Steps should not be an issue at all today.

And on the brightest note yet, I did unravel the leg and heel of the sock, looked at the foot and thought--why does this not fit her? So I stopped unravelling and this morning, I tried it on her. The foot part fits perfectly. It just needs a bigger ankle. So, I think the plan is to do a wider heel--add some stitches to the ankle/leg and go from there. So only the weekend's knitting (a long traveling weekend, but STILL) is lost.

Man, I really don't want to run, but running always clears my head, and makes it easier for me to focus.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16

The good: I managed to get my 10K steps, get everyone vaccinated against the flu, sew the skirt lining to the skirt, went to yoga, and got a bunch of work done.

The bad: I only really decluttered by eating leftovers, and tossing what I might actually term "pre-clutter"; papers and such that had been sitting around for a while, but most people would have termed this "cleaning." I am having panic at work because one of my co-chair people for this event is out with a medical issue, and the others are more "big picture" people, and so I'm having to remember and fill in details that I usually don't have to deal with. Thus, people keep calling and texting me about napkins and markers. It makes me feel underprepared, usually I like to be the one calm in the storm.

The ugly: I'm going to have to rip most of the finished sock out, as it is too small, despite having been tried on and having fit at one point.

Just ponder that for a minute--I'm going to have to rip out about 2 weeks worth of knitting.

Moving on.

Today I have more work (and boy will I be glad when this week is over and my part in this fundraiser is OVER), and a noon meeting. I actually have to pack a lunch! I'm going to get the big three done (even if we are talking more paper here--paper piles up!), and as soon as I post this I'm going to go cut out black tulle until work time. I'd also like to get my house swept and vacuumed, but that might be the dreamer in me.

I'm posting this picture taken on our weekend trip, because I just need some peaceful lake today. Breathe in, breathe out....


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15

Yesterday was such a hectic day! I did get my 10k steps, I planked AND I got 4 items of clothing out of my closet and into the donation box.

I also managed to get the crinoline cut, and the skirt main fabric sewn together. I also got a bunch of crap done at work, although I am behind (I work for a non-profit who holds 3 fundraisers a year—the next one starts Friday. Yes, this Friday.). OH and I finished binding off the sock.

It occurred to me, as people asked on Facebook that I didn’t give details on the sock. So here goes:
Yarn: regia Fluormania color
Needles: 1.5 US which I think is 2.25mm
Pattern: On your toes From an Old Interweave knits. I have this pattern memorized because I use it All. The. Time.

Today, steps and decluttering of course. I’m going to yoga, so I’m skipping planking since we basically do planks between poses. I work another couple of hours today AND am taking girls (and me) to get flu shots today. I really want to get that shirt done, and get to the tulle today.

I must say too, that I am not anticipating this to be a great day. One of my children has been in a first class mood since last night at about 5pm. I’m not sure what happened to turn her so sour, but am thinking the idea of flu shots after her afterschool book club are not going to endear her to me slurpee bribe or not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14

Yesterday, I posted my update, checked both accuweather's minute cast and the weather channel radar, determined rain was not imminent, grabbed my ipod and headed out the door, promising that if it rained I could quit at 2 miles. I ended up going all 3, run/walking a 7/3. I also went to Meijer and did lots of running around the house, and so ended the day with what must be a record for me: 18K steps. I remembered to (grudgingly) do my 3 sets of 30 second planks. I ddi not de-clutter, but rather watched in amazement as people took my discards from the curb and loaded it into their pickup trucks. I worked on panda girl's costume, and got the bodice sewed together! I also cut out the skirt from fabric, realized the "interfacing" specified on the pattern was actually supposed to be an underskirt (and whoops, I didn't have the right kind or nearly enough). I went out after dinner, and bought some crinoline, because Joann's does not sell light buckram interfacing at all, much less in a 60" wide like the pattern calls for!!!

I also started on binding off the sock. It is a sewn bind off and is taking me for ever it feels like.
Plus you can see some last minute division practice in the background--big test today!

Today, I have a hair appointment, which cuts into my sewing time and probably will cut into my steps. Besides the big three, and the appointment, my goals today include, sewing on panda girl's skirt (hopefully trying to get to the tulle part), changing the frog water (ugh), and getting some work done for work. Hopefully it won't leave me too exhausted, as I'd like to have the girl try on the sock and it if fits, I'd like to finish binding it off.

PS I know it looks long and skinny, the child has long and skinny feet.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13

Our school district does not give us days off for most Federal holidays (Like Columbus day or veteran's day Or even Martin Luther King"s Birthday--so don't get your panties in a twist), but they do give us these random professional development days. The last one was Friday and we took great advantage and decided to develop our sightseeing skills. So Thursday afternoon when the kids got home, we loaded up the car and headed "north."
Heading north is what makes you a true Michigander--everyone heads north.

Our first stop was Traverse City/Interlochen. Interlochen is home to a very prestigious fine arts high school, and we were there to see a student performance. Most specifically a "collage" of student performances. It was wonderful. There was ballet, classical music, modern dance, singer songwriters, ensembles of all kinds (seriously, 8 bassoons), poetry, and a short film. Most of them were great, although some were a little freaky (short film, I'm looking at you). My girls LOVED it.

Friday is was even further north to Harbor Springs, with a stop in Charlevoix to see the Apple fest, which was a giant art show fronted by an entire farmer's market full of apples. By Friday night we had purchased: two pies (from Suzy's pies), a pound of taffy, A dozen Tom's Mom's cookies , and two jars of preserves from American Spoon foods. Yes, you can literally eat your way through Northern Michigan.

So, I did not plank Thursday or Friday or Saturday. I did do 3 sets of 30 seconds Sunday. I did not declutter anything Thursday or Friday or Saturday, although I took out a bunch of stuff for large trash pickup yesterday. I did get my 10K steps in EVERY DAY! I ran on Thursday which meant I had something like 12K steps before I even got in the car.

Sadly, no halloween progress was made. However, I did take along the sock I am working on and am ready to bind it off.

Today, the plan was to run. However, I hate hate hate running in the rain and there is an 80% chance of rain. I could have run before I wrote this, as it hasn't rained at all, but I also needed to finish my breakfast (going back to school is a hard transition from vacation). I do plan on decluttering, getting my steps, and planking. I need to work more on the costumes, and I need to make a grocery run. I also need to do all the laundry I didn't do over the weekend. I feel like I should run before I grocery shop, as this will give me time to focus and make a list, but it may work out the opposite rain wise. I also considered putting off my run until tomorrow, but the rain chance for tomorrow is 100%.
At any rate, I leave you here with some scenery from our trip. And hopefully tomorrow I'll have a picture of the finished sock. I thought I had a picture of the nearly finished sock, but alas I do not.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

October 9

Yesterday, I got my 10k steps and decluttered, but did not plank. I did go to yoga though.

I got brave with the Halloween costumes. I always get nervous as I'm about to cut a pattern out, because you really can't uncut something. I cut out the bodice of the panda girl dress, and the lining. I put in all the darts (lining and main fabric-- so 8 total) and fused the logo to the front of the bodice. I had hoped to sew it all together, but between work and after school stuff that just didn't happen.

Today, I am going to run, then go to work. Hopefully, I'll have some time to sew the bodice together, because I'd like to get that done before the weekend, which is starting today due to a pd day. Thankfully, our school district doesn't do Columbus Day, so Monday should be back to normal.

At any rate, I won't be updating again until Monday as the goals will really only be the big three. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

October 8

Well yesterday I did get my steps, and I planked 3 sets of 30 seconds, and while I dithered for the longest time about de-cluttering, I did decide to go have a looksee in the storage areas of our basement. And there I found several empty boxes that I felt like I didn't need, so i broke them down for recycling. Yes, that's sad, they weren't even broken down.

I wasn't sure how much sewing I was going to be able to do, because I had both volunteering and work. But I managed to get the panda girl logo mostly done (all it needs is some drawing):

And I did google the cross cut thing, and I think I have that figured out. (Maybe).

It also came to my attention that certain people in the household are sick of the stress of halloween costumes. To which I say 1) I'm stressing more on the fact that I put this off and 2) if this applies to you--you might want to stop reading this month.

Today, the usual plus, Farmer's market, yoga, cutting out the panda dress, gassing up the car, more work, and some routine cleaning.

Part of my wanting to get into a routine for the month was to figure out which "chores" I could reasonably do on which days. I like knowing when things were last cleaned, and being able to say--Oh hey it is Wednesday, time to clean X. I don't actually like cleaning though, so I tend to put things off until they bother me. Am attempting to get ahead on things.

Oh hey you made it through to the end--here's a picture of my coffee mug and my knitting.
mug and knitting

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

October 7

Ok, I'm running late today so this will be a fast one.

Got 13K steps yesterday, planked, but forgot to de-clutter. Finished the cape for Panda Girl, laid out the bodice of the dress, but got confused about the skirt part which said it had to be laid out crosswise. I have no idea, and need to google. Started on the logo, learned it needed to have a dark purple background, so I need to go buy some dark purple for that.

Today, I have volunteer and work. So trying for the usual stuff plus buying that purple fabric, googling the crosswise stuff, and possibly cutting the bodice out.

Monday, October 06, 2014

October 5--pattern cutting day

This was the first weekend since September started that I didn't update on the weekend, and it felt weird. Also it makes today feel like I have a lot to catch up on.

First, i did get my 10K steps all weekend, even though it was tough going on Saturday. I planked 3 sets of 30 seconds each on Friday and 3 sets of 35 seconds each on Sunday. I forgot to plank Saturday. I've been trying to plank every day (or 6 of 7 days) since mid-August and it still isn't habit enough that I didn't forget. I did declutter every day this weekend, getting rid of shorts I will probably never wear, instead of storing them, getting rid of sweatshirts that no longer fit he girls, and deciding that the metal water bottle in the back of the cupboard probably should go.

Between Friday and Saturday, I also think I got most of the fabric shopping done for the costumes. I even managed to take the girls, which is usually a disaster, as they always want really pricey fabrics. I needed them though because I wasn't sure if the idea that I had for "purple" cape or "poodle" fabric was the same as theirs. Plus we couldn't find purple pleather for boots (I know, right!?) They actually did great. In addition, I got panda girl measured, so I can start on her costume.

I had one of my daughters take pictures of me in my new finished white hoodie. I didn't like any of them, but this one was the best:
Which probably tells you how bad they all were. This pattern is Knitting pure and Simple's Neck down hooded tunic. I knit it up with Pure Aran Gold in white on size US 7 needles. I bought this yarn at a LYS that went out of business. I made this because I have a green one in the same yarn (only green--duh) that I LOVE. it is a little big and bulky on me

Today, I'd like to run, and am in fact dressed in running clothes. This should take care of my steps--I have two meetings (after 5pm even which is unusual for me) and so I need to get them done early. If I get to 12K today great--if not I'm not going to stress about it. And of course I'll plank and declutter.

I need to clean bathrooms today, but I'd really and truly like to get actually laying out the pattern and (eep) cutting on the Panda girl costume. Perhaps I'll even go as far as to say--finish the cape and get the super hero logo started. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, October 03, 2014

October 3

Yesterday was a little bit better kid wise--except I made a classic parenting mistake and did not actually check the homework progress before I agreed to let them have a friend over. When I did check I discovered that "a few problems" to them means 13 of the 20 were still left to do. Sigh. So I didn't have whining and crying over homework, I had sassy attitude and I hate yous over cutting the fun time with friends short. Hopefully the weekend will give us all the break we need.

I did manage to get my 10k steps (side note, my husband is a gem! He knew I needed to get out, and he offered to shepherd miss sassy pants and her sister through band practice and reading time while I walked.). I planked 3 sets of 30 seconds, which felt easier! And I took the running shoes to the donation box and went through my rainbow girl jewelry. This is another thing I know I should just get rid of entirely, and yet I can't bring myself to. I did get rid of 4 of the pins.

I started my fabric shopping list for the costumes, but it isn't done. I need to check my coupons and get moving on that.

Today, I was going to run, but the radar has Michigan looking like this:

(Lansing helpfully highlighted--and PS I do not live in the "thumb" area--which is the only place looking clear right now)

I don't run in the rain.
Steps might be the challenge today. Planks and de-cluttering are still on deck. I'm also going to try to finish the shopping list and possibly go shopping for some of the fabric and notions. It just feels like a good day to stay home and clean and sew and make soup, so I may do all those things.

In the meantime, I leave you with the puffball mushroom, that appeared on our porch:


And the progress on the kid sock I am making:

Yes, that is a lifeline of dental floss--I need to knit a bit more and see if it fits the recipient. I know a smarter person would have figured gauge, measured the foot and mathed it out. As opposed to me, a person willing to "waste" two days worth of sock knitting to make sure it fits the kid's foot the way she wants it to fit. the lifeline marks the spot where I would need to increase if I make it bigger. I happen to think it is the right size, but the girl in question was dubious with just the toe made.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

October 2

I was going to start out with--Man yesterday just sucked like a Dyson. But in fact, most of the day was quite lovely and didn't suck. I went to yoga, and then went biking with one of my former running friends, out to the other running friend's new house. I love spending time with these ladies, they are a great support team and people I know I can count on in good times and bad. We don't run 2-3 times a week like we used to and I miss spending that time with them. So that was fun.

Then I picked up the children.
Probably the less said about this the better. I'll just leave it as--today my goal is to do better.

Due to the fun times AND the sucky times, I did not plank or de-clutter yesterday. Although I did decide yesterday that my oldest running shoes have probably "outlived their usefulness" to me. I didn't count that because they are still sitting the hall and not the donation bin or the trash bin. I got my 10K steps, mostly by pacing around after the girls went to bed. I also did yoga--so that's kind of planking right? Plus we did three boat poses, and I did not wimp out in any of the ways I usually wimp out.
I also did a little planning on costumes, deciding to make the poodle girl's costume out of a jacket pattern (I think). I have three pattern possibilities.

Today, I'm going to de-clutter (actually take the shoes down to the box), get my steps in and plank. I'm also going to look again at the jacket patterns and narrow them down to one I think will work. I'm going to get panda girl measured, and make my supply list. I also am going to tackle all the household chores I have let slide the last 2 days.

Stretch goal: Get my newly finished sweater photographed, so I can write about it tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October 1

Yesterday I wrapped up September by not really doing too much planning towards October, but by planking (3 sets 30 seconds), getting my 10k steps, and getting rid of two things. I do have goals for October though. So without further ado:

Finish Halloween costumes.
Ok, this could actually say start halloween costumes. I do have the ideas: panda girl and poodle girl. I don't have fabric, or a real idea of what I'm going to pattern poodle girl on. I was thinking her monster costume from last year, but it doesn't have sleeves and she wants sleeves. I may look and see if there is something I can adapt.

Steps, planking, and delcuttering.

Get on a regular schedule.
I have been slowly working towards this and I feel like I am almost there.

knit something
I started a sock last night, hopefully I'll finish that pair and start the next before the end of the month.

I have so much more I want to accomplish, but I feel like to keep the goals reasonable, that's where they should stay. Of course, I want to finish the PJ pants--which would mean a pair for me and two more pairs for each girl, but they (and really everything) take a backseat to the costumes.

My mom is coming at the end of the month too, and I am hoping to have the guest room cleared out enough for guests (it is almost there thanks to the de-cluttering in September).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30

So here we are the last day of September. How did I do? Here are the goals:

Sew at least 3 pairs of pj pants for each girl
I did this! Well the third pair is awaiting elastic and a hem. This is not my fault, as the girl who wanted those pants has not tried on elastic.

Halloween costumes
The only progress I have made on this front is that I now know what everyone is going to be. Which is better than how I started September. Yesterday, I was going to make a shopping list , but could not find panda girl's rendition of how she wanted her costume to look. Found it as homework was kicking into high gear. Hopefully that will get done and I can actually shop for materials.

Can peaches
Did this! I have something like 34 cans of peaches.

Can tomatoes
Yep, even though I had to buy about half of my tomatoes. I have 18 or so cans. Plus pizza sauce. Ate some sauce made from the tomatoes last night too. YUM!

Finish sweater
I finished it yesterday! I'll do detail and pictures another day.

Start new sweater
Nope. And furthermore, I think I am going to put this sweater off until closer to spring. I guess that means I’m in need of a new project.

Socks for girls?

Update the decluttering blog at least once a week.
Close enough. I think I did 3 times this month.

I also had set some basic goals. Did get my 10k steps every day. I didn't always get rid of two things every day and I didn't always plank, but most days I did.

So, for today I’ll do my steps, planking, and decluttering. I volunteered this morning at the school library (which is why I’m late and I smell of goo gone--aren’t you glad you can’t smell me?). I’m going off to work in a little bit and then this afternoon I’ll be in project planning mode. Making my shopping list for Halloween, trying to decide what to knit next, thinking of October’s goals are all on the list. I wanted to start proofreading chapter 6 (I finished Chapter 5 yesterday!), but I think the planning might help more in the long run.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29

Yesterday, I didn't really have great big goals, but I did manage to meet most of them. I got my 10k steps (big walk around the big block!), decluttered (old therapy putty-- should have done a second item though ), planked (4 sets of 30 seconds)and managed to get the clothes shopping and the library trip.

I also promised I'd tell the story of the yarn. Saturday my LYS was having a sale, and I went because I have a gift card, and a friend working there. I thought I'd pick up some sock yarn, which is almost always my default. But I wasn't really seeing anything I had to have. But I did run into some friends and got to chatting. They were all really into making this cowl called the bloom striped cowl out of misti alpaca baby me boo and a complimentary colored solid yarn. And they had set out several ideas for the solid. The store sample was gorgeous, with purples. But I resisted for a while because I'm not a big cowl person. I'm not sure why, but I just don't wear them. Then I spotted some silky wool that I just knew would go with it. Which is how I ended up spending Saturday digging through my yarn and pulling out another silky wool (in purple) and a Noro silk garden. Probably by the time I make the cowl, I'll have decided of some orange yarn I don't even own yet. Or maybe blue.


Today though, already has goals, so no starting new knitting for me today. Today I'm running and then I have another meeting. I'm hoping that in the afternoon I'll get *my* pj pants sewn and the rest of chapter 5 proofread. Of course I'll still do steps (aiming for 12k with the run + meeting), planks and decluttering.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28

Yesterday was kind of a lazy day. By 10:30am when I got dressed, I only had 188 steps. But I did get moving and ended up with just barely 10k steps. I made a real effort to plank during the day instead of waiting until just before bed and thinking "crap I have to plank!" And so did my 3 sets of 30 seconds by 8pm. I also got rid of two shirts, a book with no spine, and mismatched socks that I would have pitched even if they had mates. I read and relaxed and went yarn shopping at my LYSs fall sale. I bought some stuff too, and took some pictures, but that will have to wait. I bought purples, and so took pictures with my better camera so I could get a better rendering of the purple. But Friday I had dragged around my point and shoot, and so yesterday I downloaded the pictures I took Friday. Follow that?

So this is how every morning was last week with a light fog as the sun rose.


Then I thought you might like to see the pink kitties


Today, it is kind of the same as yesterday, steps, decluttering, plank. I need to get the laundry done and get girls through homework. On Sundays they like to go to the library, and if need to take them shopping (for jeans, I'm going to need some heavy knitting time after that)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27

Yesterday, I got my 10k steps (I made girls walk to 7-11 for slurpees-- the horror!), I decluttered by reading some newspapers that I had stacked up and then recycling them. Yes, they were not clutter that had been around for years, but weeks, so I feel like this counts. I didn't want to plank, so I told myself I only needed to do two sets of 30 seconds. I also managed to finish the pink pj pants I started yesterday. The panda ones are awaiting elastic and hemming. Both require cooperation.

I did read chapter 5, getting to page 15 I think. And I worked, discovering at the end, that my work computer has been infected with malware. (Sigh). I had suspected something was up when Adobe reader mysteriously disappeared a month or so ago. I have addressed the problem, and hopefully resolved it.

Today, beyond the planking, steps, and decluttering I am just going to take it easy. I'll try to finish the panda pjs, and I have a pair I want to make for me, so maybe those will be the next pair I sew. Both girls have wondered aloud about their Halloween costumes recently too. I have not started on those, and maybe today is the day to read my pattern, and make a shopping list.

In reality, all is really want to do today is read. Read my fun book, my book club book, and chapter 5.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26

Yesterday! Well yesterday was a lovely day until 3pm. I did my fasting blood work (attempted to proof chapter 5 in the waiting room--turns out I can no longer tune out a television while I read. Must be for lack of practice) and was in and out in less than an hour. I had a mediocre phlebotomist and will have a big ole bruise. But then I got to meet my lovely biker chick friend for a long leisurely breakfast (is it brunch if you stay until the lunch crowd starts coming in?). Much better company than chapter 5 I tell you. Then I went home and cut out and sewed up a pair of pj pants!


I was afraid at first because this print has a definite direction to it. The pandas are all standing up in rows like a panda army (well a panda army with pink hearts). But it turns out--as you can see, I usually lay my pants pattern out in one direction. It just took thinking about getting them going the right direction. These pants are ready for elastic and hemming. That took 20 minutes--maybe half hour including cutting.

So then I went for a run and took a shower. The run was ok. I'm trying to get back into shape so my intervals feel pathetic to me.

After my shower, I had 20 minutes before school pickup so I laid out and cut the next pair of PJ pants (pink cats with glasses). I didn't photograph that. I didn't have time to sew them up, but thought--Oh well I'm sure I'll be able to find 20 minutes sometime this afternoon. Oh famous last words.

The girls were chatty after school, and let me tell you--when your tween girl wants to tell you things, you stop and you listen. So I listened. And I made smoothies for snacks (and one for me since I skipped lunch due to the huge breakfast). Because we usually need some decompression time, I let the girls watch a 23 min on demand disney channel episode every day before homework. I can see you saying--well there is your 20 minute sewing time right there. Um no. I needed to pick up hamburger for dinner--but couldn't do that until I determined who wanted burgers and who wanted hotdogs (which is why I didn't do it earlier). When I got home, tv was done and homework time began. Usually homework is not terrible. This year we are really struggling with math. I won't go into too many details except to say that 1) I hate the textbook (which promises to be online but will not print--like a single page when someone forgets their book. And will not open on the ipad--after we downloaded the app, logged in and discovered that ONE book is not an "ebook." Thanks!) and 2) the girls are adjusting to this teacher's style of teaching.

An HOUR later dinner was cooking, girls had finished homework--I started to check it, but gave up to get dinner on the table. After dinner it was one big long cleanup followed by the last CSA pickup, followed by the grumpiest bedtime I've seen in ages. At one point the pink cat jammie kid says--OH do I have any new jammies? I answer that I cut them out but hadn't had a chance to sew them. GO do it NOW! she says. Um yeah no.

I guess I just needed to vent there huh?

Anyway, I did get 14K steps, I found two pieces of school art that missed the purge and sent them to grandma's house, and planked 2 sets of 30 seconds, and did 2 sets each side of side planks for 15 seconds. I need to work on my form for the side planks. I only got to page 5 instead of the 27 I was aiming for in chapter 5.

Today, well I need to get the pink cat jammies sewn up. I need to get some de-cluttering, and my steps and my planks done. I need to get some housework and some work work done. I'd like to update the de-cluttering blog. And I'd like to get to page 30 on chapter 5.

I have also been giving some though to this project I started in September--this blogging thing. Do I want to continue it for October? Would you read it? Do you find it boring, as I'm not really showing off my knitting--although I am knitting nearly every night after girls go to bed. I've been thinking about maybe a weekday update as I find weekends a little hectic and lazy at the same time. Drop me a comment--even if you think I should just go back to sporadic updates with pure crafting content. (Just don't be mean)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25

Yesterday I got 13k steps, and did all my errands. I also decluttered, getting rid of a few things that were sitting on the guest bed (which by the way I keep decluttering and people keep piling crap on it). I opted to take a plank rest day. I even managed to get a little work done at work. I'm still behind, but catching up.

Today, I have a fasting blood test and afterwards I have promised myself breakfast out (with chapter 5 for company?). After that? Well planking, steps and decluttering of course. I'd like to get some exercise today, either running or biking. Also, I need to get to page 27 on the draft of chapter 5 and I need to sew some pj pants. I'm hungry and need to take the ladies to school, so no time for the pictures I took yesterday. Let's just say it is beginning to look a lot like fall.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24

Yesterday, I got my 10k steps, planked four sets of 30 seconds, but did not declutter.
I went on a 14 mile bike ride, and worked and volunteered. It was a very very busy day, but fun!

Today, I feel like I have a list as long as my arm. I wanted to go to yoga, but I missed the class so I could go to a rummage sale jewelry preview. I saw the most gorgeous ring and bracelet. Both way too much and I knew I'd never wear the bracelet because of the clasp. I may need to go over on half price day and see if the ring is still there.

But you know today I'll do the usual stuff (plank, declutter, steps). I have a list of stuff I need to do, mostly errand type things. (We need propane, I have some returns, and some things that got missed on the grocery run). I need to remember not to eat anything after 8pm, so I can get my cholesterol checked tomorrow morning. Such an exciting life.

Because I never got around to taking a picture yesterday, I thought I'd so a screen grab of my fitbit dashboard from yesterday. I love it when it says hooray!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23

So yesterday was pretty much the time suck that I predicted, only with added tween drama. Yes, you must do your homework before you watch tv, even though you usually get a tv episode before homework (you know when you need to decompress from school--a place you didn't go!)

Anyway, I planked three sets of 30 seconds, barely got my 10k steps, and actually got rid of a huge pile of cleaning rags (I still have more do not despair), and a shirt that missed my big closet purge from this winter. I also managed to finish chapter 4 of the book I am proof reading, and finished my Louise Penny book.

Today, I volunteer at school, and need to get that work that I've been trying to get done since Friday (yes, I have a flexible job, but yes, they will get upset if I don't get this done soon). Am also plotting an afternoon bike ride.

Should be a fairly easy day to get my 10k steps! I'll still plank (going for the 4th set) and declutter. I don't see that I have any time to work on my larger sewing goals, but hopefully I'll get started on chapter 5 of the manuscript.

What's on your agenda today?

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22

Yesterday, I barely got my 10k steps, I planked three sets of 30 seconds and made two whole pairs of pj pants! This set was the matching "monster" set. And let me tell you I could not believe my girls wanted the same fabric, because they NEVER want to match. I had one set cut out, and yesterday I not only totally finished those, but the second ones as well. In fact one daughter wore hers to bed. I made some significant progress on the proof reading AND I read a bunch of my fun book.
This means I've made 2 of the 3 sets I set out to do in September!

What I did not do was declutter. I'm not sure why exactly.

Today the girls have a day off from school (for professional development, so maybe I should have signed them up for a conference?). Because of that, I'm setting my goals really low. Like steps, decluttering and planking, and not much else.

I need to go to my office and get some work done and I'll try to do that, but that almost feels like a stretch goal. Oh and I'm going to update my iPad to ios8. Hopefully that will go ok.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 21

Yesterday, I took a truckload of stuff to be donated, and added a lamp to it. I'm counting that as two, just by virtue that it is all out of the house. I also got my 10k steps, coming in from a walk just 10 minutes before a huge rainstorm moved in. I got my planking done 3 sets of 30 seconds. I also bought more flannel and elastic. But really, no other forward progress.

Today, I'm going to do all the usual stuff (declutter, steps, plank) and try really hard to make some forward progress on the next round of pj pants. Stretch goal is to make some progress on proof reading chapter 4. The sleepover did happen though, so perhaps a nap should be on the agenda.

September 21

Yesterday, I took a trunk load of stuff to be donated, and added a lamp to it. I'm counting that as two, just by virtue that it is all out of the house. I also got my 10k steps, coming in from a walk just 10 minutes before a huge rainstorm moved in. I got my planking done 3 sets of 30 seconds. I also bought more flannel and elastic. But really, no other forward progress.

Today, I'm going to do all the usual stuff (declutter, steps, plank) and try really hard to make some forward progress on the next round of pj pants. Stretch goal is to make some progress on proof reading chapter 4. The sleepover did happen though, so perhaps a nap should be on the agenda.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 20

Yesterday, I did get my 10k steps, in part because I had to make an extra trip to school (I walk. It is 1500 steps round trip) to get homework. I know I said I wasn't doing any more canning, but I did do some preserving. I ended up with 4 quarts of green beans and no real way to use the in a timely manner, so I froze two quarts of them. I don't generally do beans, because it haven't had great luck with them in the past. We will see.

I did my three sets of 30 second planks. And got rid of a whole pile of papers and crap the girls had shoved in with their stickers. I also managed to finish the first set of the pj pants (and both girls are wearing them to bed) AND cut out the first of the next set.

I feel like this was a lot for having had a sick kid at home. Then I remember I didn't get as much of my paying work done today as I really needed to. I did as much as I could without going into my office.

Today.... well, I'm not sure. The planks, the steps, the decluttering of course but beyond those, the only thing I must get done is a trip to Joann's for more flannel (for me, because it is on super sale) and elastic. The sleepover may happen tonight or it may not. Perhaps I'll load the car up with my donation boxes and bags and get everything out if my house.

My stay at home daughter loved the way the beans looked in their sink of ice water, and so she took a very artistic picture:

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19

Yesterday, I sat in meetings for 4.5 hours. Seriously. I did manage to get my 10K steps because I took a HUGE walk. I managed to get both bathrooms cleaned in anticipation of a sleepover (that we’ve now had to postpone—more on that later). I also talked both girls into doing a fitting on their PJ pants, which was harder than it should have been. Despite being sore from yoga, I did three 30 second planks.
However, I got rid of nothing. (unless you count the gross stuff in bathroom cleaning- which I do not)

Today I have a kid home sick. I don’t keep kids home lightly, and I should have kept her sister home a day last week. I think, given the fun stuff at school today (They were going to EAT mealworms) and the sleepover which I said I’d postpone if she stayed home, she probably really feels crappy. Probably I am the parent everyone hates, sending kids in when they are sneezing or coughing but the reality is that if I kept a kid home every single time they were runny nose, cough, sneezing—they’d stay home most of the winter.

Anyway, today I’ll declutter and plank, and get my 10K steps. I’ll finish the pj pants, and maybe start some new ones. I need to go to work. Most of what I need to do I can do from home, but I guess I’ll need to arrange someone to stay with my poor sick kid for what I need to go in for. I’d like to update the decluttering blog.

I had her take some pictures of my dahlia cardigan. I finished this back in March—and I posted pictures but they all had strings that I hadn’t weaved in. So I was thinking I should take some new pictures not that it is totally finished and my ends are weaved in and the provisional cast on is off. The upside to having a tween stay home, is that you can usually bribe her to take your picture. And she may make you laugh even. DSCN3636

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18

So yesterday. What to say about yesterday? Let's just say anytime I say I need to run errands, I should probably admit that I will get nothing else done. They are remodeling our Meijer (and their new sign for the kids section says "Kid's" which is just going to drive me batty every time I am there) and so nothing is where it used to be. What that means is that you really can't plan your route if you have only like 12 things to get (and that's usually how my mid-week trip goes). The good part is that you rack up the steps, so even though my afternoon errand running sucked up the better part of the afternoon, I easily got 13K steps.

I really didn't make progress anywhere else. I went to yoga (and predictably I am SORE), and farmer's market. I got the elastic casings on the pj pants sewn down and both girls measured for elastic.

Probably my best area was in de-cluttering, because I cleaned our tv/sleepover room in preparation for Friday's sleepover, and got rid of so much stuff: 3 computer games, 2 white boards, some cords to old electronics, and some yarn scraps and swatches. And yes, I just admitted to throwing away old swatches and tiny balls of leftover yarn. Yarn, for me, is a hard thing to de-clutter, but I was sick of having these tiny balls of yarn around (and I do mean tiny--think smaller than golf balls. Think shooting marble sized)

Today, I have the errands sitting equivalent: meetings. Ever since I was downsized from my part-time library job, I have been doing a lot of volunteering (In addition to a very small part-time job). I'm at the point in my volunteer career where I do a lot of organizing with other people, which means--meetings. Today I have two. For two different things. I like the volunteering, but I am not crazy about the meetings. Maybe if we walked while we talked....

I am hoping that I still have time to do some more cleaning. I can't really do much on the PJ pants as they need fittings for length. I forgot to get elastic yesterday, so I'm now officially out. Just another reason why I don't want to cut out the other 4 pairs I need to make. I kind of need to go into my office and put in an hour at my actual paying job (see what I mean so part-time I do maybe 3-4 hours a week).

One thing I like about this project is that it really forces me to make a realistic to do list. I just deleted about 7 other things I "should" do today. I don't have time, really, to get the things I've already listed done, but it is a lot more realistic than what is going on in my head. (a trip to Joann's and taking a carload off to the donation center, updating the de-clutter blog, all those things will have to wait).

So today in a nutshell: meetings, 10k steps, get rid of 2 things. Stretch goal: finish pj pants.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17

Yesterday, I did run (and I upped my intervals to 5 min running, 3 walking) and made it three miles. It was ugly, but I did it. As a consequence, I made it to 15K steps. I almost forgot to plank, and so right at bedtime I did 2 reps of 30 seconds. I only got rid of one thing yesterday--a nail file. I did however, get the second pair of pjs cut out and sewed together. I was also super productive at work, which is good. I also threw my canning pot into the dishwasher and put it and all the other canning supplies AWAY

Today, I'm headed to farmer's market where I will NOT buy anything to can. NO. For one thing, I only have 3 jars left and for another, let's just say, I'm done. I will however, buy some stuff to eat. After that yoga. I have not been in ages, and so I'm cutting myself some planking slack. I do vinyasa yoga, so plenty of planking there. Today, I also plan to clean the house and run some errands. My elastic supply is low, and so I need some more. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish the PJ pants today too.

I know I've been kinda quiet on the knitting front, and I apologize. I have been plugging away quietly on a project I started at the beginning of summer. And it is taking me so long because I keep finding myself going UGH at the thought of more stockinette in the round. But last night I finished the second sleeve, so I hope I'll get to show it off soon.

OH I know! Yesterday I pulled out my new socks (The ones I finished in July) and they are even yummier than I remembered. I LOVED wearing them. Which is of course the great thing about making socks in the summer--it feels like all new when you finally get to wear them. Kind of like finishing them twice.