In Response to Last Week’s Events

I tend to not get involved in the death of celebrities.  It’s easy to think that because we see them online, on television, or in movies that we somehow understand them….or that we have some sort of gained insight into their personal lives.  The majority of us know nothing about them, no matter how much we would like to think otherwise.  Life happens to everyone, and it effects everyone differently.  No one’s story is the same as anothers, and everyone has a right to their personal privacy and story.

I won’t say that I took the news of Anthony Bourdain’s hard, after all I don’t know him.  What I do know, is that I just kept having the thought…..”Shit, we’ve really lost someone great.”  Even if I take the extreme liberty of feeling like I know him, have something in common with him….it’s only because I spent time working in a variety of less than stellar restaurants growing up, and I had grand visions of cooking professionally.  On that same note, I could claim the same of Paula Dean, Wolfgang Puck, or Gordan Ramsey.  I don’t want to claim the similarity with them though…..I wanted to smoke, drink, and be a generally snarky, tell it like it is asshole, in a kitchen somewhere with Anthony.  He seemed like such a wealth of culinary information, but not in a polished, perfect for tv sort of way.

So I went home after work last Friday, ordered myself one of the last remaining copies of his cookbook off Amazon, and when it arrives I’ll make something delicious.

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The sudden loss of two celebrities last week, Anthony and Kate Spade, really got me thinking about my own mental struggles, and the blog I wrote about it.  I will leave you with this….it’s always okay to reach out if you just aren’t feeling quite right….but maybe we should all start checking on our friends and family more.  The strong doesn’t always have the strength they project outward, and the happy doesn’t always feel the internal joy that its easy to assume they must possess.

My New Fluffy

She is glorious, thick, and warm….and I took her out and about with me twice this week!  She also sheds….a ton….but that comes with the fluffy territory I suppose.  If you think I’m talking about a new puppy, sadly your wrong.  I can understand your confusion on the issue, and honestly if you follow the #adoptdontshop mantra…….you can probably get a new puppy companion for less money than I spent on my glorious new fluff!!  I would love a puppy…..but that’s something for another time!

I promised last post that once I got my new scarf completed I’d write an update post.  Well…..she’s all done, and was surprisingly easy!  I say easy like I didn’t get two dozen rows in and decide to rip it all out and start over…..minor technicality.

I can’t take credit for the pattern, all of that goes to the wonderful Knit Collage and their glorious, chunky yarns!  If you love to knit, what to learn how to knit, or want someone you know to knit you something amazing……Knit Collage is the place to go.  Cheap and easy to follow patterns paired with interesting hand spun yarns you won’t find anywhere else.  If you can’t get inspired by clicking through their website there is not a ton of hope for you.  Their yarn skeins are more expensive than what you can get at a big box store, but they are all hand made by a handful of women in India.  This creates small batches of each yarn and also means that every skein will be slightly different.  They are random in the best way possible…..lumpy, shimmery, wooly…….perfection!

First things first….you’ll need to pick your pattern!  I went with the Wildcat Fringe Scarf because it was something unlike other scarves I have hanging in my closet.   Might as well go big and step outside your comfort zone right?!  The link and picture for the scarf are below if you’re wanting to whip up your very own fringed beauty!  If fringe isn’t your cup of tea, pick out your favorite sweater, scarf, or hat and get to knitting!

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Photo and pattern by Knit Collage : https://knitcollage.com/collections/cowls-scarves/products/wild-cat-fringe-scarf-pattern

The pattern calls for 2 skeins of their shimmery Pixie Dust yarn, and one skein of Spun Cloud yarn.  There are several different color options in both yarn types, so you’ll need to start the creative juices going before you even cast on your first stitch.  I wanted my Spun Cloud skein in a grey…..specifically a light grey.  I wanted to do this project and I wanted to do it now, however the light grey was out of stock…..so I improvised!  A quick swap of a skein of Sister yarn for the Spun Cloud and I was back in business.

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Pixie Dust in the color Midnight and Sister in Soft Grey Heather

Sister yarn isn’t quite as thick as Spun Cloud which probably accounts for the reason I needed to rip everything out and start over.  I wasn’t getting nearly the length recommended in the pattern.  I’ve always been and probably always will be a very tight knitter.  Apparently I take a lot of tension out on my knitting projects.  Anyway, the scarf has recommend lengths that should be achieved at various stages of the project.  I won’t give them here as it isn’t my pattern to share.  However I will tell you that a good mantra to recite as you knit is…….just let it be loose!  I don’t think you could possibly knit this too loose, but too tight is for sure a thing and you’ll just end up with a mess.  Too tight is a bummer because you’ve spent good money on this yarn for its hand spun textures and variation, but if the stitches are too tight and small you won’t be able to see and appreciate it.

My finished scarf ended up a bit shorter than the pattern lists.  It’s still plenty long, plus I had plenty of both skeins of yarn left to make the fringe.  You’ll have enough to fringe even if you knit the full length, but you’ll end up with only a handful of fringes in Pixie Dust.  I’m moderately obsessed with it’s texture and lumpiness though so I happily sacrificed some total inches for the chance to show it off on the fringe.  Plus since I know I knit tight, sometimes guesstimating length versus yarn remaining gets tricky….I always vote better safe than sorry!  I used both skeins of Pixie Dust completely up and I have some Sister yarn left over to maybe make a pom pom or something in the future.

Overall, it was a quick and fun project.  It only took maybe 8 hours?!  It’s hard to say what with the starting over, the drinking, and Netflixing that was also occurring while I worked.  It was New Year’s Eve weekend….it was really too cold to do anything other than drink spiked hot chocolate and lounge around with a pile of thick wool yarn in your lap!

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In case you’re worried I just boozed away my whole weekend, I did not.  The Engineer and I got fancy, bundled up against the cold, and went out for a nice dinner and some fancy drinks.  We then proceeded to come home to set alarms and nap before midnight.  I think that’s adulting right?!  Can’t pop corks at midnight if you aren’t awake….so just set alarms for 11:45 and power nap your way into the New Year!  I’m not sure what 2018 has in store for me, but I promise I will bring you all along for the ride!

The “Let’s Take a Nice Picture” process…..

 

 

Time to Get my Booty in Gear

I’m generally not one for recording goals.  I think everyone has goals that they mull over in their minds, but it’s often said that the most productive people write down their goals so that they can actually see them.  I’ve sometimes debated creating journals and lists for myself, but I know myself well enough to know that I’d probably do it for a week or two….but my commitment to these things never lasts very long.  Really, my commitment to most things only lasts until I forget to do it once and then it’s just all over.  Taking vitamins…..solid for a week or two at a time until I space it off one night and get out of the habit.  Honestly, this blog is one of the longest things I’ve ever committed to……and even on this I’ve missed a couple posts here and there…..like last week for instance!

I’m not interested in books like 50 Shades of Grey okay?!  I’m interested in the life changing magic of tidying up.  That’s right, how to declutter my home to achieve inner peace, and my optimum level of success!  That’s what your 30’s are about.  How can I turn this shit around?!  I’m a horrible person, I’m not happy with where I am.  How can I turn this shit around?!  Help me Tony Robbins, help me! — Ali Wong

So, in an effort to try and motivate my nearly 30 something life towards my maximum level of success….I present THE TO DO LIST!

  • Work to double my number of followers on social media — I have little to no idea how I’m actually going to accomplish this, but I’m hoping that people will just start to realize the amazeballsness that is me and decide to come along for the ride?!
  • Upgrade my blog account to look more professional — I’m thinking I’ve reached a place where I should take the plunge and fork over the cash money to buy my URL outright.  I’ve stuck with this long enough that I think it’s officially a thing.
  • Prepare, practice, and study to perform a successful turkey hunt this fall — Okay, so there’s nothing saying that every hunting trip is successful, that’s why it’s called hunting and not shooting.  However, I have good feelings about trying to get ready for a hunt.  I didn’t buy the bow with the intention of hunting,  but turkey tags are relatively inexpensive, I’m in charge of Thanksgiving so I obviously need a turkey, and I feel like this plan will help keep me motivated to hit the ranges.
  • Recommit myself to my fitness, specifically cardio — I say that like this isn’t Easter weekend and I’m not just lounging around munching and snacking.  However, I have recommitted myself to sculpt and rowing classes at the gym.  Also, summer time is coming and that means bike time on the trails with Pimp Money and his wife, so maybe I’ve sorta got this in check?!
  • Finally motivate to do the yard updates I’ve wanted since I moved in —  I can’t guarantee that I’ll be allowed to make these updates.  Mostly this sits in the hands of the HOA board.  However, if they approve my plans I’ll have to put them into action.  I took the first steps tonight by finally emailing the board with my requests, so now we just have to wait.  Approval will mean some digging and serious time in the yard ripping out and replacing plants, and digging up grass for a garden!

I’m not sure what kind of optimum levels my success will reach, but sometimes I think it’s important to take steps to over ride your inner lazy girl.

Restorative Weekend at Home

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had a weekend at home with just me and my Scout-a-Roo.

Even though the Bitch Face Bestie and the Hubby in Law took excellent care of my baby girl while I was gone on vacation, Scout’s been a bit clingy since I’ve gotten home, so I’m sure she’s been appreciating the extra cuddle time.

I meant to get my yard cleaned up a bit for fall, but it’s been cold and drizzly, so I didn’t get any of that done.  Hahaha….ooopsy!  Maybe tomorrow night, the dried up veggie plants can go out with the garbage.

I did however get my kitchen and bathroom scrubbed down and cleaned up!!  It’s amazing…it’s not like it really takes that long once you get down to it, but I just can’t seem to ever motivate myself to do it during the week after I get home from work.  When Momma was here a few weekends ago she was vacuuming for me and declared that I needed to scrub my baseboards.  I don’t ever recall ever scrubbing baseboards at home growing up, but mine are dark and I suppose the dust shows more…….. :/  So, in an effort to be a responsible home owner, I scrubbed all my baseboards and dusted!  Someone should be proud of me!

Friday night was a Halloween housewarming party at BFB and Hubby in Law’s new house!  I was a vodka bottle for the…..second, maybe third……year in a row!  I mean, if the $20 dress still fits you might as well wear it right?!  I decided this year that I would amp up the makeup a bit.  I found an inspiration video online that was a fortune teller…..and I decided to make myself a glamazon of a Svedka bottle!  I’ve included the link because @alyssamarieartistry is amazeballs, and everyone should watch her Halloween look!

Instagram video by Anastasia Beverly Hills • Oct 27, 2016 at 4:01am UTCSee this Instagram video by @anastasiabeverlyhills • 7,942 likesinstagram.com

 

First, you gotta practice…….

Then you just gotta commit and go for it!

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The party was so fun, and it was great to get out and see everyone!  Even though I got put to work finishing up decorating when I got there and had to ditch my 5 inch heels…..I’m easily appeased with yummy snacks and some of BFB’s homemade cake!

 

These are my people…..and I love them!

(Also, I’m barefoot in all these pics…..I have a collection of miniature friends!)

I didn’t get any landscaping done this weekend, but I did get dinner made for BFB and the Hubby in Law last night.  I cleaned and workout out yesterday, and then took dinner over to their house so we could all watch Game 4 together with all the fur babies!  I have yet to turn on my heat, so I’ve been relying primarily on my oven to keep the house at a cozy-ish temperature.

Plus, if you wanna talk about restoring your soul, there is nothing better than fresh outta the oven buns with butter.  Life doesn’t get any better than that!  Warm buns will make you happier than anything else ever could!  Buns, corn chowder, grilled cheeses, and bloody marys made for a pretty excellent Saturday night if I do say so!  I’m excited that the weather has started to change so that soup and fresh bread can start making a comeback into my life!

Today has been yoga, coffee, snuggles, and laundry.  It’s been nice to just chillax at home, relax, and recharge.  After vacation is always a stressful time at work because the samples don’t stop arriving because I leave for a few days.  After running around like a headless chicken in the lab all week, relaxing with mugs of coffee and tea while candles burn and Scout snores has been just what the doctor ordered I think!

Hope everyone has been having an excellent, and safe, Halloween weekend!

Pop Culture Inspiration

Nothing much exciting is happening this week in my life.  School started again…..barforama to optimization techniques.  So, I’ll have to get after that this weekend while I can more beans and peppers because ya know….I’m obsessed now.

I thought I’d throw together a list of women in pop culture who inspire me.  I have plenty of strong, inspiring women in my every day life, but every once in awhile a celebrity comes along and gives you a little extra boost of inspiration.

Rhonda Rousey

Could we talk about this outfit?!?!? I want it.....gym motivation right here!

Could we talk about this outfit?!?!? I want it…..gym motivation right here!

Should you ever feel like taking the lazy way out in life remember……Rhonda doesn’t have time for DO NOTHING BITCHES!  She says that it’s a term she uses to describe

  the women my mother raised me not to be.”

 I think that’s incredibly important in today’s society.  She sets goals and demolishes them, and that’s something that any mother should want for her daughters.  We don’t all have to win fights in 34 seconds, be rolling in cash money, or become a celebrity to prove you’re worth something.  Getting up everyday and working on the life you’ve made yourself……that makes you a DO SOMETHING BITCH……and that’s the kind of bitch my parents raised me to be.

Khloe Kardashian

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Someone’s got to be the tallest one. It’s not a role just anyone can fill!

Yes yes yes….I know some of you are gonna hate me for saying I find a Kardashian to be inspirational.  Just hear me out.  I think it’s important that girls of every shape, size, color, and height have someone to look up to.  For me, Khloe has been that person.  It’s just nice to feel like you don’t have to be a stick figure blonde to get somewhere in this world sometimes.  We tall, curvy, brunette women have to stick together….after all, it can get a bit lonely up here in the clouds.

No matter what, my weight doesn’t define me.”

She’s my reminder that I can be tall and wear heels.  Who cares if I tower over people….it’s a good way for my friends to find me when we are out and about.  Also she’s got sass for days and an epic bitch face!

Nicki Minaj

Can we talk about this dress!?!? Someday I could get married in a less pink version of this!

Can we talk about this dress!?!? Someday I could get married in a less pink version of this!

I’m not generally a huge fan of hip hop music, but sometimes Queen Minaj just gets my jam!  I also think it’s nice that she stresses the importance of education to her fans.  She’s known for promising her fans that they can be anything they want to be, but they need to stay in school.  She also never hesitates to call out the inequalities between men and women.

I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also have a strong sense of themselves.  If you’ve got a big ol’ butt?  Shake it!  Who cares?  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be graduating from college.”

I just want women to always feel in control.  Because we’re capable- we’re so capable.”

Women should be allowed to be as hardcore and sexual as we want, because men do it all the time.”

Ironically, I read on Yahoo! this morning that Nicki Minaj and the Kardashians were voted two of the worst influences for kids by parents.  Whatever, they can still be my role models because I’m not a child anymore!  This is maybe why I shouldn’t have kids…?!??!