Week Four: Crochet Challenge

blanket week 4Week four is complete for my 2015 Crochet Challenge!  I am so happy with how this blanket is coming along, though I’m pretty sure J is going to kill me because I ordered more yarn.  LOTS of yarn.  Oh well…it’s a life skill, right?

I actually worked ahead this week, primarily because I was tired of just having a long line of squares connected.  So now, I’m on my second row, and I can finally see how this will all take shape!  Also, since I’m doing more than 104 squares, I need to work ahead somewhat, so that I still finish up at the end of the year.  I’ve put together an excel spreadsheet so that I can try to plan out the work, but I’ll still leave the color choices up to whim if another color strikes my fancy.  It’s structured, but not too much so.  Just how I like it!

As always, if you have any thoughts on colors to add, I’d love to hear them!

Much love,
K.

Week Three: Crochet Challenge

Week Three CrochetIt’s hard to believe that the third week of January has come and gone!  Before we know it, we’ll be into February, and that’s already a short month, so soon it will be March.  I remember, as a child, thinking that time moved so slowly, and I couldn’t wait to grow up.  As I’ve grown older, I find myself wishing that I was a child again!  I guess the lesson in all of that (sorry for the tangent!) is to take each day as it comes and live in the moment.

Ok, enough of that…now for why you’re really here!  I’ve finished up six squares so far, and the blanket (first row) is now three feet long.  It will end up being nine squares across, and thirteen squares long, so I’m nearly finished with the first row!  I’m definitely liking the connect-as-you-go strategy to granny squares, and since each square is only one color, there’s only two ends to weave in for each square!  This is turning out to be my easiest project yet!

I want to add a few more colors to the blanket, but I’d like some suggestions.  What am I missing…any thoughts??  I’d love to hear your opinions, so please let me know!

Much love,
K.

Week Two: Crochet Challenge

Week Two CrochetWell, we are two weeks in, and four granny squares complete!  I tried to keep up with doing a one of my squares out of the pattern book I have, but after realizing it would be a complete pain to attach as I go, I decided to squash that idea.  So, for this challenge, it’s all granny squares, which means it’s boring for you guys.  Sorry about that!  But, as a consolation, I’ll post photos as I go, and you can see the progression of my blanket!  I also might start throwing out options for my readers to pick the next two colors, once I’m a little further along.  I like it, sort of “Choose your Own Adventure” for my readers!  (Yes, I’m lame, I realize that)

Here’s my blanket so far…four squares out of 104 (actually, based on my measurements, it’ll be 117).  That’s a little over 2 squares a week!  J is gonna kill me, because I get the feeling that I’m going to need more yarn colors…

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: My Happy Place

happy placeIt’s the final question for my “30 Days of Blogging” Challenge!  It took much longer to complete than I initially anticipated, but sometimes the best things in life aren’t the easiest.  I feel like even though I knew the answers to all of these questions, quite a few of them really provoked a lot of thought for my response.  And introspection is a good thing to entertain, every now and then.

My last question is probably the hardest.  “Where am I happiest”…a good question, to be sure, and one that really made me step back and think before answering.

The truth of it is, I struggle to be happy.  I’m a pretty content person, and have a wide range of emotions (with quite of lot of emotional instability), but it’s hard for me to pinpoint when I’m truly happy.  I will say, when I think back to all my “happy” moments, the vast majority have included J.  He’s my rock, my emotional stability.  He’s my perfect north on a compass.  When I’m with him, I feel like I’m the most “ME” that I can be.  No matter where we are, I feel like it’s home, because he’s there.

So, in reality, I can’t pick a place I’m happiest.  With J would be my answer.  The place doesn’t matter, just the person beside me.

 

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: Guilty Pleasures

guilty pleasureEveryone has a guilty pleasure, it’s just whether or not you’re brave enough to admit it.  I have several, I won’t lie.  I love karaoke and singing at the top of my lungs while driving my car.  I love getting a Lindt truffle bar at the Target check-out line.  Hell…TARGET is a guilty pleasure unto itself!  But…my biggest??  Prepare yourself, folks…it’s a doozy.

 

My Guilty Pleasure?   Sitting at home, having a Twilight movie marathon while eating take-out sushi…ALL.  NIGHT.  LONG.

 

Much love,
K.

 

 

Week One: Crochet Challenge

We’re one week in for my crochet challenge!  In my past post, I talked about how I was going to challenge myself to a one year crochet project.  The idea is that, each week, I’ll crochet two squares that will go into a blanket.  At the end of the year, I’ll piece everything together (if I don’t piece as I go), and then I’ll have a nice blanket that we can use to snuggle up with on the couch or to put on the bed.  It won’t be a full comforter sized blanket, as that would take forever, but I do plan on it being about 4.5 feet x 6 feet at the end of the year.  So…definitely a good-sized blanket!

FullSizeRenderI initially thought I’d do one square in the granny square pattern, and one square as a new square out of my book.  At this point, I’m not sure how that’s going to work.  I found a really neat way to connect granny squares as you go, so I might just make the whole blanket out of granny squares.  This past week, I did one of each, and I really do like how the second pattern turned it!  It was a bobble pattern square, and I am a HUGE fan of the bobble!

I’m not sure what all colors I’m going to use.  I have a huge stash of yarn, so I’ll probably just pull as I go and see how it takes shape.  I’m really excited to see how this turns out, and I like the idea of seeing it take shape as I go along.  Hopefully you all enjoy it too!

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: Favorite Board Game

board gameI’m not a huge board game player.  I enjoy them from time to time, but overall they’re not normally my “go to” for entertainment.  All that changed once I discovered the game, Ticket To Ride.  It’s a board game by a German company, Days of Wonder, and it’s a BLAST!  My dear friend in the Netherlands introduced me and J to this game, and I’ve been hooked ever since!  The game is basically a bunch of train stations, and you have to make connections between one city and another in order to win the game.  There are several offshoots for different countries, including Europe.  We have both the US and European games, and I downloaded the European one on to my phone so I can play it during long car/plane rides.  It’s super easy to catch on to, and a ton of fun to play just between 2 people, or in a large group.  I’d definitely recommend it if you like board games!

Much love,
K.

CHIP: Complete Health Improvement Plan

fruitsStarting next week, J and I are kicking off 2015 by participating in an 8-week health improvement plan through our company.  The idea behind the program is to reverse the effects of unhealthy habits and create a lasting, healthy lifestyle.  The program has three meetings a week, all during lunch, and food is catered in that meets the program guidelines.  I’m actually really excited about it, though also nervous because it’ll be introducing some foods I’m not used to, and removing some of my staple items!  The idea is that a large portion of health issues in the US are lifestyle related.  By removing some of those unhealthy lifestyle actions, you can help mitigate the effects, and sometimes even start to reverse them.  Personally, I think that’s pretty cool!

So, starting Monday, I’ll move to a strict diet for a week.  It’s plant-based, so pretty much vegan.  I’ve never tried a vegan diet before, but I’m willing to give it a whirl.  Luckily, the program includes a cookbook, so there are a ton of recipes to follow, which makes it much easier.  If I had to come up with these recipes on my own, I’d be sunk.  After the first week’s strict diet, it starts to ease up and gradually reintroduce some items.  It still suggests that you give up dairy (which I already don’t eat), and wants you to heavily limit animal proteins, but encourages more fruits and vegetables and whole grains/legumes/beans.  Overall, it seems doable, and I am excited to see how it goes, so hopefully it’ll be a good experience.

Before the program starts, we had to have biometric screening done through our health service at our company.  They ran blood work and looked at body fat %, BMI, waist to height ratio, and other health factors.  I was really pleased that, after the past year and a half of weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, my numbers were all really good!!!  It’s always nice to see numbers and science to back up all the changes that you’ve made, that you really are doing the right thing for yourself and your health.  So, hopefully, at the end of this, it’ll be even better!  Time to kick off the 2015 year the right way!

Much love,
K.

30 Days of Blogging: Favorite Seasons

fallI realize I’ve been a bit lax on my 30 Days of Blogging, and even though it’s 2015, I’m bound and determined to finish what I started!  I only have a few left, so everyone should just hang in there with me.

My favorite season is fall.  Part of that is because my birthday is in September, but also because it kicks off the trifecta of my favorite holidays:  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!  Fall has amazing colors, great produce, awesome recipes, and three holidays where the whole point is dressing up, eating awesome food, drinking fabulous concoctions, and exchanging presents with friends and family.  What is there to hate about that?!

Much love,
K.

2015, A Year for Crochet

Yesterday, I was sitting back and thinking about a theme for a challenge I could do.  I like challenge…I like the call to continuity, something I can focus on weekly, without it being too overwhelming.  I feel like challenges are these nice little roadmaps…it gives me a chance to share things with my readers that they wouldn’t normally see, because often times they aren’t the HUGE things happening in my life.  Challenges cover the mundane, the everyday, and while the average day activities are great for me, they’re not alway in the forefront of my mind to write about.

For years, I’ve done a photography challenge each year (and I plan to do one again this year), but I’ve never really blogged about them.  If you think you’d like to see some of my photography, let me know, and I’ll start a weekly photo entry to cover my photography challenge.  One of my artistic goals for this year is to improve my photography skills.  I’ve gone back and looked at my entries that have photos, and I’m appalled by how bad they look!  So…definitely going to bone up on my camera skills.  It doesn’t help that J takes the most amazing photos ever, and I’m naturally competitive (sometimes to a fault), so I’m sure that is part of the drive as well.  But…I figure you all will see some benefit as well, so it’s ok.

As I was thinking about a theme, I realized that I hadn’t really posted much about my crochet work lately.  To be honest, that’s because there’s not much to post!  I took a hiatus on crochet this past year, because I overdid it making a blue million blankets and burned myself out.  But now, I’m ready to get back on the metaphorical horse, and start working on my yarn crafts again!  And, voila, a theme was born!

About a year or so ago, J bought me a pattern bookblanket with over 200 crochet block patterns.  I thought it would be a good way to introduce different patterns and looks to the blog, so I am challenging myself to two blocks per week.  One block will be a granny square (one of my all time favorite patterns), and the other will be a block out of the book!  I’m doing each of the blocks in solid colors, and taking inspiration from this blanket that I came across on Pinterest.  Normally I do squares with multiple colors in each square, but I thought this would be a fun (and easier) take on a classic multi-color blanket.  Plus…less ends to weave in!!

So, here it is…my challenge.  I hope you all will hold me accountable, and I plan to update weekly (probably on Thursdays) with my progress on the blanket.  I’m really excited to get started on it, and hopefully have a nice heirloom piece to pass.

Much love,
K.