Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hello 2012, so glad you're here :)

For the first time in awhile, I am actually pleased to start a new year. I know a lot of people adopt the "new year, new me" philosophy but I feel that this year, turning to a new year in the calendar is a perfect reason to let go of the past once and for all. 2011 was the end of a major chapter in my life and it is finally time to turn the page and start a new one.

I never set new year's resolutions because I'm afraid of the shame spiral that would result from failure :) However, I do set yearly goals. Last year, I was so close to finishing 12 races (10+ mile distance) in 12 months, but had a set back in the summer months and finished with just 9. Not too shabby! I also came close to meeting a mileage goal of 1500 miles in a year, but I stopped keeping track of miles sometime in September and am not sure whether or not I reached the full distance. In my personal life, well, I finally flushed "the turd that refused to flush" and started fresh :) I call that an EPIC win!!!

This year I'm going to try to curb the shame spirals and focus on being a happier me. Its so easy for me to focus on the negative, which veils all of the positive things that are happening in my life! I've been given the gift of a fresh start and I'm not going to waste it! I'm also going to finally resume attending church. I've put of joining a church for entirely too many years and it is time to stop the excuses and just go!

Running-wise, I'm running a full marathon in Arizona on January 15th (my THIRD!) and will have to re-evaluate my training to see if its worth doing another full. I think I would rather focus on half-marathons and try to break the 2 hour time barrier, unless the opportunity arises to do one of my "dream" races. I was easily burnt out on my training plan on 2011 and want to make sure I keep my inner runner happy so that I can continue to get out and cover some distance.

In sum, BRING IT ON 2012! :) I'm glad you're finally here!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An almost year end wrap up

I can't say that I'm sad to see 2011 come to an end but I am happy to report that the year has come to a very promising end. If you would have told me this time last year that I would be divorced, in a brand new relationship, and falling in love with a wonderful man, I would have told you that you were crazy! But I am so thankful for the events of the past year and how they have changed my life in such a positive way. I finally feel like I'm allowed to be happy for the first time in a long, long time. I also feel like I am finally living my life instead of just being a passenger and allowing time to pass me by.

I suppose this reflection has come about because of another upcoming milestone: my 30th birthday which is a mere two days away. I am fortunate in that I have accomplished quite a bit in my short time on this earth. Although I won't admit it outside of this blog, I am actually excited to turn 30. It's almost a fitting end to a major chapter of my life and I'm secretly viewing it as the celebration of a new me!

My holidays were absolutely wonderful and I simply cannot wait to see what 2012 has to offer :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas List....

I've been told that I must make a Christmas list... So here it be.

Jersey (the retro or third jersey, not the new yellow ones, no name / number, mens M or L)

Tickets ('nuff said)

Vera... <3 Vera... (Mandy / Snappy in Floral Nightingale = <3)

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 (size 9.5 - womens)

That's all I can think of... and it was like pulling teeth to think of the short list... So it better be acceptable!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Sanity Swap Package - 2011 :)

A HUGE thank you to Ivie (Uridace) for my awesome Winter Sanity Swap package :)

Here are the awesome goodies:

Full package:
Little Red Book of Running (which is incredibly awesome!)
A little snowman SNOWGLOBE!
Noro <3
Cascade SILK! :)
Peppermint Hot Chocolate!
Traveling Woman Scarf (which looks BEAUTIFUL!)
Stitch Markers
A note pad
THREE Craft Bags! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter Sanity Swap

Favorite Color(s):
Pink and green… although purple has been my thing lately. I also like navy and yellow (for my hockey team, Go Preds!)

Favourite Colour Combination(s):
Pink and green! or Purple and Green :) Navy and yellow (GO NASHVILLE PREDATORS!)

Favorite Snack(s):
Oatmeal cream pies, milky way midnight bars, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…

Favorite Beverage(s):
hot cocoa mostly. And diet sodas.

Favorite Fiber(s):
Soft natural fibers. I use a lot of cotton, but soft natural fiber/blends are yummy!

Do you knit, crochet, spin, etc?
Knit, crochet and spin!

Favorite type of project?
Bags are my ultimate favorite but I’m really trying to get into bigger projects like sweaters…

Do you have any allergies?

Do you have any pets?
Cats and a dog

Do you have a post in the “wish list” thread?
Its in the old thread so I’ll update it in the new one and edit with my new number.

What holiday do you celebrate?
Christmas! :)

Do you collect any holiday motif (i.e., snowflakes, candy canes, Santas, etc)?
I collect snowglobes. My tree is in shades of blue and I love snowflakes, but don’t really have many collections per se.

How do we feel about paper vs. PDF patterns?
I usually print my patterns out and put them with my project. I like PDFs because I can print multiple pages on a sheet and have a smaller version of the pattern in my bag!

What type of project bag do you like the best? (Zippered, drawstring, box bag, etc.)
Drawstring is what I use most often. My current favorite is one I sewed for myself for my recent vacation. It has Vegas material on the inside and is reversible so there's San Francisco material on the inside. I'm a terrible seamstress but I love it anyway :)

Square, Circle, Triangle, Octagon, or Rectangle?
For shawls, triangle or half circle.

Straights, DPNs, or Circulars?

Magic Loop, DPN, or Two circs?
I usually use two circs.

What material do you like for your needles/hooks?
My favorite would be wood (i.e. bamboo). But my favorite needles at the moment are my Denise's interchangeables.

What style of stitch markers do you prefer? Flexible wire, hard metal ring, rubber ring, etc? Earring hook, lobster clasp, etc?
Flexibile wire or metal ring are good.

What knit/crochet/spinning notions have you been secretly lusting after but probably wouldn’t buy yourself?
I just saw a yarn caddy that I like from Purdy Thangz. It wasn't super expensive but there were so many other things at the show that I just couldn't justify it!

Stollen? Do you know what it is? Do you love it, hate it, want to try it?
I looked it up but had not heard of it previously. I'm not very into cakes, so I'm not sure that I would like it.

Do you have a yarn winder already?
I do not have a yarn winder.

Do you want your project yarn wound, or would you prefer it left in a hank if it comes that way?
I prefer wound, but I'm fine with whatever.

Mulled Wine or Egg Nog?
Neither :(

What level of knitter/crocheter are you?
I'm starting on some of the advanced techniques in both. I'd like to work on garments or color work in the near future.

Nostepinne? Niddy Noddy? Yarn gauge (wpi)? Needle gauge?
I have a niddy noddy but not a nostepinne.

Do you have any unique holiday traditions?
We go for hot wings on Christmas Eve. I know its not really holiday related, but my family has done it since I was little.

When do you (if you do) start decorating for the holidays? What kinds of things are a must as far as decorations go?
This year, I'm starting this weekend. I usually wait until the last minute though! I always do a tree (silver and blue decorations) and snowglobes. This year, I'm adding some outdoor lights as well.

Would you like to receive recipes for Christmas cookies or traditional holiday food from your spoiler?
Recipes are always welcome!

What’s the best holiday present you got as a kid?
I got a real metal / wood sled one year. It was awesome until it didn't snow that year.... First year with no measurable snow in Maryland! Grrrr!!!

For recipes - can you handle weight measurements? Metric? Cups?
I don't have a scale but have other measuring devices for liquids / powder.

Aside from the winter holidays, what do you love about winter?
SNOW! Hot chocolate and bundling up to go places.

Are you a coffee drinker or a tea drinker? Or do you swing both ways? What kind(s) do you prefer?
Flavored coffees (like mocha caramel lattes!) or hot cocoa.

What is one seasonal treat that you rarely if ever allow yourself (foodstuff/dessert/beverage)?
Copious amounts of chocolate chip cookies.

How do you feel about mohair? See post #1537 for more details.
Mohair is okay, but I don't like novelty yarns.

I’ve been making a lot of jams. Do you like jam and jelly? (I’m making more so this list could change). Which do you prefer: apple butter, plum jam, fruit-hot pepper jelly or watermelon rind preserves? (or a surprise!)
Apple butter is the bomb diggity!

When knitting accessories for yourself, what kind of style fits you best - are you a girly, girl? classic styles? Tom boy? Other ideas?
Although I don't consider myself one, I'm drawn to girly, girl styles.

Is there anyone/something else living with you, the we need to take into consideration when sending your package? For example - please entertain, choose one/all - the kids, dog, cat, pet, husband/wife, significant other while I am opening my package with catnip toy, doggy treats, husband/wife/kids - suggest something?
I live with my sister and I have two cats and a dog.

Have you any interest in/ use for those super short circs, you know, those 9” ones?
Not really. They look complicated!

Hand Lotions: good, bad, indifferent? scented or not scented? If scented, what scents do you prefer? Floral, Foodie (ie. vanilla, peppermint), musky (sandalwood, etc)?
Hand lotions are good. I prefer foodie scents.

Candles: yes, no? Same scent question as above.
Yes, foodie scents!

What top 3 patterns would you like to receive?
I can't think of anything specific. I've always wanted to knit Central Park Hoodie (or something similar). I like shawls and bags too...

Are you in with the craze that is the bee keepers quilt or hexi puffing or any other remnant project? If yes would you like mini skeins of items?
Not really :(

If you had to choose one store in which to do all your holiday decoration shopping, where would it be?
Hobby Lobby! :)

Do you like ginger bread? Or is there some other cookie/sweet/salt you prefer?
Ginger bread cookies are yummy! I also love chocolate chip cookies at the holidays. It reminds me of home.

Do you like eggnog? Do you need a nog-mug? Or are you more of a tea/chocolate/coffee person?
I've honestly never had eggnog, but I don't think I'd like it. I'm a hot cocoa or coffee mixed with copious amounts of chocolate person. I just got a super awesome mug from the gnome swap so I'm good on mugs at the moment :)

What are your feelings about Taffy?
Taffy is okay, I just have to be in the mood for it.

Do you like peppermint?
Yes! Yummy!

What other hobbies do you have?
Running, reading, watching movies, HOCKEY!

Bubbles or Laser pointers?
Both :)

Who/what is your favorite holiday special character?
I love Will Farrell's Elf. That movie makes me laugh so hard :)

Dear spoilee, so I know how much yarn to get you, what size are you? I promise I won’t tell.
I wear a ladies large most of the time.

Needles--Do you need them, or are you stocked up?
I'm fairly stocked up with my Denise's interchangables but if you do decide to get needles, something out of the ordinary would be cool. I prefer circs.

I know that you have indicated anything you tagged for this swap would be good, but I was wondering - of your tagged items, which do you need/want to work on the most - a hat, some mittens, or a scarf/shawl?
I'm going to be going through my faves and updating today. I'm not picky though!

Do you wear earrings? Is dangly ok? Do you have a preference for lever back, french hooks or another type of earwire? can you wear nickel/plated? or do you need the good stuff hitting your ears?
All earrings are fine. I prefer dangly. Plated can be a problem sometimes but the "sensitive ears" metals seem to be okay.

Do you have a needle gauge? If no, would you use one?
I have one.

What are some of your favorite (brand names) yarns?
Cascade, noro, I love this yarn (from hobby lobby). The last yarn I bought was not brand (from a fiber fair, handspun).

Do you have a favorite winter motif (snowflakes, elves/fairies, peace doves, stars, Santas, etc)?
I don't have a favorite per se. All of the mentioned motifs sound lovely.

Dear Spoilee, I’m going to the Ontario science centre tomorrow with the family, would you like a little something from the gift shop in your package? Or would you prefer something from the gift shop at our local Stones ‘n’ Bones museum?
Local gifts are always interesting and appreciated :)

Stuffed animals?

Can you read knitting charts? Or do you prefer written out patterns? Or is either fine?
Either is fine.

Is there anything you can’t obtain in your country that an international spoiler might be able to get?
This isn't applicable, since I'm not swapping internationally.

If I included some smoked salmon in your box, would that be a good thing? And if you HATE-ABHOR-RESENT the mere existence of Smoked Salmon, speak up now. In general, is there any consumable that I should not include in your box unless my goal is to destroy your holiday?
I've never had smoked salmon.

I was wondering seeing your wish lists of patterns, I realized I likely have many patterns that you would like. Are you ok with some bonus patterns sans the materials?

A holiday tradition at our house is for me and my sister who love board/card games to bully our game-averse parents into playing. Would you like a board or card game included as part of your package and if so please list what you’ve already got and what you might like to receive.
Sure! I have scrabble, a few of the Scene It games (harry potter, twilight and Friends, I believe), and Mad Gab.

Do your color preferences apply to outerwear as well as accessories/etc? For example, if you have hats and mittens in your fave patterns, will having them in your fave colors match or clash with your coat?
My coat is black so anything matches.

If you have reading as a hobby… do you only read on an electronic reader? or do you do the old fashioned thing with a real book that could use a bookmarker?
I don't have an e-reader so I only use the real thing.

Would you like to receive a Christmas ornament in your package? (Classic or otherwise. Aka zombie gingy bread man, rubber duck or knit related)

Will it be okay if I get you some yarn for your pattern that I think will be lovely even if its not listed as your favorite yarn?

What do you think of polymer clay, for stitch markers and that type of stuff?
Polymer clay markers would be good for larger projects!

Hand made gift tags (sorta like this) yea or nay? Or even better, the stuff to make them with?
I don't have many gift tags, so sure!

Would you like to try fair isle? I saw this great pattern for a ________ and was wondering if you’d like it even if it’s not in your queue.
Fair isle is on my knitting technique wish list. I just have to find the time to learn it!

If you are one of the many ducks who said that you enjoy tea/coffee/cocoa/cider, how do you like it? Tea in bags or loose, coffee ground or not? Also, would you like a nice new mug or do you have enough?
Tea in bags and cocoa as powder. I just received an awesome mug in the gnome swap so I'm good for now.

Dear spoilee, do you expect that I put scissors in your project bag?
You don't have to!

What metal tones do you like?
Silver / platinum. Not a huge fan of gold.

Do you want your project bag to be holiday themed?
It doesn't have to be but feel free to be creative :)

Spoilee, there are many color themes for Christmas--the burgundy/hunter green/gold or cream, Silver and Blue, etc. Do you like the more “Modern” Grinch-y colors: red, pink, lime and kelly? Or do you have another color scheme?
Most of my decorations are silver and blue but I am partial to the burgandy/hunter green. Although now that you mention the modern colors, that sounds more my style!

Dear Spoilee, do you take good care of your handknits? For instance, is 100% wool okay for a scarf, hat or mitts for you, or will you wind up felting it? Would you rather not have to handwash stuff like that? Should I buy you only superwash or blends?
I do handwash when needed but most of the stuff I knit with is superwash (just in case I accidentally drop it in the regular laundry).

What holiday character are you?
Susan Walker :)

Dear Spoilee, is there any other themes you might be interested in getting in your box other than holiday specific? Or do you prefer something holiday oriented?
I would prefer holiday oriented.

Dear spoilee from the house of Tannenbaum: I work for a handbag company that makes woven bali bags and was thinking about sending you one with your package (more info here). Does this excite you? If this does not excite you perhaps some homespun yarn will? Thoughts?
I'm always up for new bags (and I have never met a bag I didn't like). I also always welcome homespun yarn.

What’s your foot size?
I wear women's size 9 shoes.

Would you enjoy “lost treasures” from antique-y stores? (or Thrift stores, assuming the items are in good condition)

How would people feel about making winter madness CDs. Songs that remind you of winter or with some christmas carols?
I always love new Christmas CDs.

Spoilee, what’s your favourite holiday movie?
Elf and/or Christmas Vacation.

Would you like your favorite Christmas movie on DVD/Blu-Ray?
I already have both on DVD.

How do you feel about receiving a pair of fingerless gloves? Yarn weight or material preferences?
Fingerless gloves are cool. No preference on yarn weight but no fibers that are too itchy.

Would you like to receive a dish cloth in your swap package? If so, do you prefer it in favorite colors, your kitchen colors, or holiday colors? If kitchen colors, what are those?
I probably wouldn't use a dish cloth :(

Marzipan yes or no?
Never had it!

Dear Spoilee, please pick one.
Top right corner!

So, dear spoilee, if I get time to knit anything else, what would you want me to knit for you?
Surprise me! :)

Do you like the smell of Gingerbread?

Dearest spoilee, do you have any dietary restrictions? e.g. allergies, kosher, halal?
No allergies or dietary restrictions.

Dearest spoilee, I noticed that you have some sweater/top/cardigan on your wish list, what size would you make for yourself?
Women's Large

Do you have a bath tub? If yes, would you like some bath products?
I do! Bath products would be awesome :)

Hey spoilee, In mittens, do you consider your hands to be small medium or large?

Would you like me to share some of my amazing stationery with you?

Would like your items (in your box) wrapped advent style?
It doesn't matter to me!

Are you you left- or right-handed?

Would you rather get a pattern from your queue or your favorites?
Favorites. The things in my queue are things I've worked on before.

Messenter bag…does it work for you?

Would you mind a bag crocheted by me?
I love crocheted bags!

Do you like reading? What kind of genre? Who is your favourite author?
I love reading! I mostly read crime novels / mysteries but also like some of the more modern romance novels. Right now I'm reading Steven King's new book, but the last book I read was Something Blue.

Do you like to wear hats? What sort of hat do you prefer?
I do wear hats in the winter. I like the earflap hats, although I only have one. Beanies are good too! For running, I like hats that have ponytail or pigtail holes :)

Would you mind terribly if your items weren’t wrapped?
Thats fine!

Do you spin or are you at all interested in spinning?
I do spin! Both on a wheel and on a drop spindle.

Would you maybe like your own little Bumble, Rudolph, or Santa? See this post.
Sure! Very cute!

Would you be interested in handmade needles or hooks?

Would you like to receive homemade peppermint bark and/or other goodies?
Love homemade peppermint bark!

Post a picture of a project bag you love!

How do you feel about Mr. Potato Head?
I had one when I was little.

I was wondering if my spoilee might like a Christmas chunk or two--Rebecca Danger’s monster chunks reinvented in Christmas colours and possibly wearing a elf cap or scarf.
Very Cute!

Is there a store that you don’t have in your area that you’ve heard about and would be interested in a little something unusual from?
I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

Do you need cable needles?

Tell me a little bit about your gauge…If your pattern calls for a size 5 needle, do you tend to buy size 4s because you know in your heart that that’s the correct size for you?
I'm usually pretty close to gauge.

Spoilee are you okay with your package not having a tape measure or do you really need one really badly?
That's fine, either way.

Would you rather have pre-used (by me) regular tips or brand-new lace tips?
Doesn't matter.

Ponytail holders: Yea or nay?

Spoilee, is your needle library up to date?
Most likely, no. I have Denise's interchangeables and a bunch of other random needles.

Do you like this bag?
Very cute!

Would you like me to include the needles that your pattern requests, even though you state you already have them, or would you prefer a set from your wishlist?
I could always use more needles, either that go with the pattern or not.

What kind of books do you like to read? Is there any you particularly want/can’t find?
Mysteries / crime / suspense.

Do you do anything naughty when following patterns, or are you 100% nice and follow instructions?
I 100% follow instructions! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. This weekend is the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville! :) Here's a blast from the past... me and Colleen (my best friend and training buddy) before the women's half in 2010:

This will be my second time running this race! Last year, the women's half was my VERY FIRST half marathon! I'm hoping that, a year later, this will be (a) easier to run and (b) that I can beat my time from last year.

I can't believe I've been a half-marathoner for a year! I remember how terrified I was to run this race last year because I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to finish! I walked the last two miles in tears because it was so hard. Now I routinely run 13+ miles in training... Crazy how much a person changes in a year!

2. Paper writing is the root of all evil... but somewhere deep deep deep down inside, I really enjoy writing papers. I will NEVER admit that outside of this blog, but there's nothing better than completing a 30 page manuscript after months of hard work!

Here's a figure from the paper I'm working on now...

3. Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am to have such awesome friends? Coming up on the anniversary of my first half marathon has made me realize how much things really have changed over the past year. If you told me this time last year that I would be single and dating again, I would've laughed until I peed my pants! But the one thing the past year has taught me is that I'm stronger than I ever imagined and a lot of that has to do with having an amazing support system in my friends and family. My ex convinced me that I was going to be alone and that I was nothing without him. How TOTALLY UNTRUE that statement was! I have the world's most awesome friends! :) Here are some pics to show how truly awesome they all are (shown in order that I met them, lol):

My sister, Jamie:

Charlie and Elizabeth:

Micah and Eloise:

Beth (with baby Zander):

Misty, David and baby Charlotte:

Colleen and Kait:

Joel and Melissa:

Ashley and Nathan: