Work-life deadlines

..I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog and insta lately. Mostly because I’ve been swamped at work, adjusting into my new(ish) position, attempting to stay on top of my game, studying for a PMP exam, “training” for a 5-miler, and trying to squeeze in time for self care (yoga, knits and Netflix). 

Naturally, I tried to do both – which was a fail

There is just a lot going on, and I’m having a TIME establishing a healthy work-life balance (parents, I don’t know how you do it). I’m learning as I go, faking it til’ I make it, and trying not to sprout anymore gray hairs in the process.  PS- I recently spotted 3 devil hairs that grow significantly faster and thicker than the others. What’s up with that, anyway?  

Anyway, in midst of all the everyday crazy, that we all endure, I’m frantically trying to finish up this baby blanket for a dear friend’s baby shower in early June (15 days, to be specific).  Of course I’m woefully behind, but was reassured that I’d finish this in time if I stuck to a schedule I made for myself when I started in May. 

~100 rows to get the length aka ~3 rows/day for a month and it should get it done.  I am..behind. Weekends are typically when I have my time to catch up but they’ve been quite packed this month.  

There is just not enough hours in the day..and too many things I don’t want to do that are getting in my way of what I enjoy. This is life, I know and overall it’s good ‘problem’ to have. 

“If I can just make it though this week, I’ll be good” – and I’ll tell myself that for the foreseeable future,  or at least through the end of June. 

How do you prioritize your conflicting priorities in life? What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’m open to any and all suggestions on maintaining sanity.  #SOS

~Bailey

Meet the Maker: Amy

Hey everyone! 

So it seems we’ve gotten a few more followers since we started Cozy Knitty Things! Welcome! And with that, why not tell you a little more about ourselves?

My name is Amy and I live with my family (the hubs, the kid, the dog) in the Chicagoland area. Suburbia, if you will. I’ve known how to knit since I was a kid, and learned how to crochet when my partner in crime, Bailey, basically bullied me into it. (Ok, fine, I wasn’t bullied, but she harassed me regularly about converting to crochet. I caved and she was right… it’s better.) We started CKT last fall after we had both been thinking about doing something like this on our own, and the rest is history! 

Fun fact: it seems once I became a mom or turned 30 (not sure which), all solo pictures of me ceased to exist. This is me laughing and hanging on to my mom…

Anyway, that’s why I’m here, but here are just some fun facts about me: 

1. I’ve lived in Chicago for over 10 years now. Sometimes my husband and I wonder what it would be like to live elsewhere (we play the “would we live here?” game on vacations), but I doubt that will ever happen. We love Chicago and have roots here. It’s home.

2. I was a crazy runner at one point. I’ve completed 8 half marathons, and would like to increase that number to 10, but it’s not a focus right now. Staying healthy is, obviously, but I’ve taken a much more laid back approach as of late and am kind of enjoying it. 

3. Traveling is something I wish we did more of as family. The most recent vacation my husband and I took was to Iceland and it was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been. I tell people you could probably go 20 times and have a different experience each time.  

Doing crazy things in Iceland… we hiked almost every day of our trip!

4. Being a good plant mom is a big goal of mine. Alas, plants just don’t love me at all. It’s still very sad to think about the day I finally gave up on the ficus tree I bought a couple of years ago. But if I can’t keep a succulent alive, the idea of keeping a ficus tree alive was just silly. 

5. I belong to two book clubs. It’s nerdy, but I’ve read quite a few wonderful books that I would have never discovered on my own, and have met a bunch of cool people along the way. And drank a lot of wine. Because that’s what book club should be about. 

6. When it comes to yarn, one goal of mine is to start writing patterns. Blankets, specifically. I just haven’t taken that leap yet, even though I play with new stitches and combinations all the time. #oneday

When your kid can no longer be trusted around the glass coffee table, you put it in storage and make life work without one.

So that was a little glimpse in my life, hopefully explaining some of the crazy that goes into my posts…. Nice to meet you and I look forward to hearing from you!

-Amy

Accessory Overload?

What is your favorite thing about starting a new hobby?  Is it the excitement of learning something knew? Exercising your mind? The self-fulfillment of overcoming challenges? It could be one or all of these things.  For me, it’s the accessories that come with starting a new hobby.

I go overboard with all my hobbies.  For example, when I first ‘learned to ski’ I remember my favorite part of the sport was buying the outfit.  The pants, coat, undershirts, cozy leggings, gloves, goggles with blacked out lenses, and of course, the helmet (who gets excited over a helmet)?  Weirdo.

It wasn’t the mountain, or the thought of scaling down it with grace and ease…it was the accessories.  All those outfits and ski gear that once pumped me up are now sitting in storage – guilty.  The only thing that would (maybe) get me back on the mountain is the thought of them laying in the basement, alone and unused.  I need to try to sell them to someone who will love and appreciate the accessories in ways that I never will.

Because accessories have feelings.

Then there is knitting.  A hobby I was sure wouldn’t be as much of an investment as ski gear.  It’s less of a commitment, more fun, and I’m less likely to be injured.  In the beginning, all this was true.

It didn’t take long for me to be 100% over the top so in love with it that I had to have the prettiest interchangeable needle set, double pointed needles, straight needles, and stitch markers I could get my paws on.  Yarn, oh the yarn.  I could write 10 posts on my yarn obsession alone, but will save that for another day.

The main point:

There are A LOT of knitting accessories, more than I ever imagined – and Instagram doesn’t help.  Below are the most recent indulgences I’ve treated myself to – NO REGRETS:

  • Knitting apparel (this cozy sweatshirt that encompasses everything I believe in):

  • This adorable pin that goes on my project bag:

  • This “project” bag that I need to replace ASAP. I have my eye on another..I told myself if I’m still dreaming about it after a couple week’s I’m buying it – Twig & Horn – look at how beautiful
  • The perfect knit chair, if you will.  This helps with posture and sits perfectly right in front of the fire, which is my fav spot – it even folds up and can be pushed under my couch when unused
  • For consideration:  glasses with lights on them, so I can see my knits in the dark, without having to turn on the main light in the room.
    p361256b

It’s gotten out of control, people.  Does anyone else get overly obsessed with accessories of the craft vs. the craft itself?  It adds to the excitement, in my opinion.  I can’t stop, won’t stop – So if you have a favorite knit accessory, please let me know what is it so I can buy it.

~Bailey

New Year, New (same) Me

Happy 2019, everyone!  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am relieved that the holidays have come and gone.  Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with family, friends, back-to-back weekend road trips, and most def the break from work.  The holidays landing on a Tuesday this year made me realize that all work weeks should be 3-days long.  Because everyone is more productive in a time-crunch, right?

We need more life, and less work.  #Team3DayWorkWeek

Preach!

This New Years weekend was spent in Killington, Vermont with a group of friends for skiing.  The Air B&B was right on Lake Bomoseen about 30-min away from the resort. It’s got to be one of my favorite rentals so far.  I should keep in touch with the owner in the event I hit the jackpot and never need to work again – I can retreat to VT and hide from reality.

Seriously though, the people are so nice/laid back, the pace is slow, the mountains are beautiful and so.many. trees.  Why can’t every day be that way?

Look at how perfect this set up was.  That fireplace, that couch – whew.  Who needs to ski?  Not me –  and I didn’t.  I opted to stay in, harness my JOMO (joy of missing out) moments and do what I do best.  Chill with knits – and be cozy AF.

In effort not to miss out on the ski-fun – I did get the mountain experience by treating myself to a massage, meeting up for drinks, and staring at everyone go down the mountain.  I’m not great on the slopes. Après ski is where I excel.

So many bloody marys…aka breakfast replacements.  There were 10 olives in that bad boy.

I also stopped by the Green Mountain Yarn & Fiber, because I always scope out the yarn stores.  It’s a must stop if you’re ever in the area.

I want this 🐻 for my living room 🧶

Anyway, the break was great overall – I spent time reflecting on the “New Year, New Me” motto, that I attempt every year.  It lasts about a week before reverting back to my usual self – which I’m 100% okay with.

This year I’m going to write goals down and hold myself accountable. It’s worth a try, and if I only follow through on one of these it’ll improve my life, and/or wallet.

  1. Order less pizza. We order in maybe 2x a week..sometimes more depending on the laziness.  I’m putting the delivery driver’s kid through college.
  2. Care less between the hours of 7-8am and 5-6pm (commuting time). If I could be more patient, it will likely have a ripple effect of greatness for the rest of the day.  It’s unnatural to have steam coming out of your ears by 7am, but it’s a daily occurrence.
  3. Deplete my yarn stash. I’m addicted to buying yarn with no project goals.  My apartment is closing in on me with containers. Someone stop me – SOS.
  4. Stop eating so much pasta! It’s cheap, it’s easy and…it’s easy.  However, I’m eating like I’m training for a marathon and I never run.
  5. Start running.

Do you ever make New Year’s goals that you never end up attaining?  For me, it’s going to be #3, 4 or maybe 5..I can already sense that I’m aiming too high.

– Bailey

Hello!

Hello! This is Bailey and Amy. We like yarn stuff.

Is that enough to go off of? No? Ok, let’s try again…

Hi! We used to live together as roommates in the city of Chicago. Nowadays, Amy is living the crazy Chicago suburban life and Bailey has made Boston her home. We’re still close friends, but the one thing that has really solidified that?

Yarn.

That sounds ridiculous.

But weirdly, it’s true. Amy’s known how to knit for a while, and even tried to teach Bailey once, but rarely ever spent time on the hobby she learned as a kid. She picked it back up again when her husband asked her if she could make him a hat. She responded, “I think so”. And did (it was her first hat, and terribly ugly but he did wear it, maybe twice, to be nice).

Bailey, on the other hand, decided to have another go at knitting (after Amy’s sub par attempt) and took some classes after she moved her life to Boston. She then graduated to crochet and forced Amy to learn it, as well.

Fast forward a few years later, and here we are. Texting each other what we’re working on, exchanging pretty Instagram knit pics and joking about their “grandma” hobby as we pass along info on yarn sales.

And we just really want to keep talking about it with whoever wants to listen. And how we weave (knit?) our little hobby into our lives.

Perhaps you’ll see our latest creations. Or be told a story. Or laugh at a play-by-play of how to not cry when security forces you to throw away your entire crochet hook set in the airport (Bailey is promising that tale soon).

We’re not really sure. But hey, this could be fun, right?

-Bailey & Amy